General Court Martial of Isaac Richardson
[Extract of the General Court Martial whereof Lieut. Colonel John YORKE was President, held at New York, between 16 November and 27 November 1778.]
Isaac RICHARDSON, a Negro was brought Prisoner before the Court, accused of the Murder of Edward Gray MARINER, and the following Witnesses were examined in Support of the accusation vizt.
John ACKLAY, Inhabitant of New York, being duly Sworn, deposed that on or about the 12th or 13th of September last, as he was Sitting in his own house, he heard a riot in the Street, and a large Stone rattling along the Pavement; that upon going out he saw the deceased laying on the Ground, and large Clots of Blood issuing from his Mouth; and he saw the Prisoner who was at Some distance off, knock down another man twice with his fist; that the Wounded Man was carried into a Neighbouring house and died soon after.
William HATCHER, Surgeon's Mate to the General Hospital being duly Sworn deposed that upon examining the head of the deceased he found that the Temporal Bone was fractured and depressed, which he is of Opinion was the Cause of his Death.
The Prisoner being put upon his Defence Said that he was coming from Church with two Women, who had been at the Christening of his Child, when he met two Sailors, and they being in Liquor he Strove to avoid them, but one of them run against him and almost pushed him down; that the other then called out ROBINSON, why don't you knock him down, upon this ROBINSON came up, and put himself in a posture of Defence, and the other called out to him to knock him down; that ROBINSON then Struck, he fended off the Blow with his left Arm, and then Struck retreating and knocked him down; that he then made the best of his way home, when ROBINSON followed him & again Struck him, and he (the prisoner) returning the Blow again knocked him down, and got into his House and Shut the Door; that ROBINSON then followed him with a large Mob, and seeing the women just then coming up, he ordered the Door to be opened to them, when ROBINSON and others rushed in and insisted on carrying him to Goal for Striking a White Man; that a Gentleman then coming up rescued him from the mob, and said that he would go and get a Guard, and whilst he was gone, ROBINSON and the rest of the Mob, set upon him and beat him; that a Guard soon after came and carried him to the Provost, and that he knows nothing of the deceased, nor how he came to his Death.
The Court having considered the Evidence against the Prisoner Isaac RICHARDSON, together with what he had to off[er] in his Defence, is of Opinion that he is Not Guilty of the Crime laid to his Charge, and doth therefore Acquit him.
Step. P: ADYE
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