“Crime in Tuskaloosa (One Man Killed – Three Others Wounded)”

Source Type: Newspaper
Author: M. J. Williams
Publisher: Selma Morning Times
Place of publication: Selma, AL
Date of publication: Apr 28, 1869 11:00 pm

One Man Killed — Three Others Wounded. — The Tuskaloosa Monitor of the 27th contains an account of one of those disgraceful outrages which are of too frequent occurrence in the South, and though not occurring so often in Alabama as in some other States South, yet often enough to excite alarm and fears in the minds of all good citizens, and to materially injure the growth and prosperity of our State. The civil authorities should use more diligence in arresting and bringing to justice the participants in these outrages, and those bad, unprincipled white men, who, to accomplish their own bad ends, encourage and incite the ignorant blacks to such deeds, should be discountenanced by all good citizens, and be looked upon, and treated as enemies to the growth and prosperity of our State. We take from the Monitor the following particulars of this affair: On the morning of Wednesday last, the 21st inst., our citizens were much shocked to hear of the murder of a young man named Murchison Findley, about four miles from Northport near the “Cochrane Plantation.” The accounts of the dreadful tragedy are quite conflicting; but, by due consideration of each, the following statement may, we think, be relied upon for correctness: It seems that on the night of Tuesday, the 20th inst., four young men, on their way home from North Port, rode towards a cabin, in which lived a family of negroes of very bad character, and had hardly halted before they were fired into by several guns, loaded with buck-shot. Young Findley received nine buck-shot wounds in his bowels, and his three companions were also wounded, though not dangerously. Findley lived only about three hour, when he expired in great agony, calling upon his friends, with his last words, to avenge his death. The bad news traveled over the country around with the rapidity of lightning. Several persons from the neighborhood came into the twon of North Port, and reported that there were between twenty and thirty negro men at the scene of the murder, armed to the teeth and defying the community. These amused themselves, for some hours on Wednesday morning, by discharging their guns and pistols in glorification of their success the night before. Such being the terrible state of affairs, about twenty citizens of the county procured a warrant for the arrest of the lawless crowd of negroes, armed themselves thoroughly, and, mounted, proceeded to the scene of disturbance in order to arrest the outlaws. Upon reaching the spot, it was discovered that the negroes had crossed the river, some hours before, in skiffs, and the premises were deserted. This family, of negroes has been known for some time, as a notoriously bad one, and sundry members thereof have not infrequently made threats against the whites. The old man, Aaron, was a great rogue also, and therefore a considerable nuisance to the neighborhood. As the leading negro, Levi, son of old Aaron, was origanally from the viciaity of Greensboro, a portion of the posse crossed the Warrior, and procceded in that direction in pursuit. The tragic death of young Findley is greatly deplored by the young people generally, and much grieved over by his numerous friends particularly. He was a most promising young man, just merging from boyhood into manhood. His character is represented by all as being utterly irreproachable. He comes of a most respectable family, all the members of which stand high in this county. In a subsequent article the Monitor states that three of the negroes who were engaged in the murder were pursued and overtaken by a party of men, and, upon refusing to surrender and showing fight, were instantly shot.