THE STORY OF A SENSATIONAL TRIAL

Author: Glenn (L. Mell)
Year: 1965
Publisher: Keys Printing Company (South Carolina)
Edition Details: 1st US Edn.
Book Condition: NrF
Price: 80.00
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Hardback. On October 8, 1865, near midnight, pistol shots were heard in the vicinity of Brown's Ferry on the South Carolina side of the Savannah River. Later the bodies of three young soldiers were found. These men were soldiers of the occupation forces stationed at Anderson, South Carolina, and they had been assigned to guard fifteen bales of cotton that James Crawford Keys' men had brought to the ferry just days before for shipment to Savannah. The cotton had then been confiscated by agents of the United States Treasury on the pretext that it was the property of the Confederate government and, therefore, subject to seizure. On the night of the murders a mob used a boat belonging to Francis Gaines Stowers to take the cotton bales downstream and hide them on Piney Island, where the bales were later discovered. Then the mob returned the boat to Stowers' boat landing. When the soldiers' bodies were discovered, a massive hunt began for the perpetrators. The first person to be arrested was James Crawford Keys, owner of the cotton seized by the Treasury agents. Keys was a wealthy Anderson County planter. One of his sons, Robert, was also arrested, as was his friend Elisha Byrum. Eight days later, while Francis Gaines Stowers was in Augusta buying supplies for his household, he too was arrested. He was suspected because it was thought that his boat had hauled the cotton. Stowers was a successful planter and former state senator who lived on the Georgia side of the Savannah, in Hart County. The men were taken first to Anderson and then to Charleston to stand trial. This book contains Part II of 'Keys Family Sketches: Four Generations', which is a privately published volume of biographical information concerning four members of the Keys family. It contains an historically accurate account of the trial of James Crawford Keys, Robert Keys, Francis Gaines Stowers and Elisha Byrum. The information presented is based on material obtained in 1962 from the War Department Section of the National Archives in Washington, DC. These authentic records include all the testimony, the proceedings, and related documents pertaining to the trial of James Crawford Keys and his 3 co-defendants and the sequence of events which resulted in their release and return home as well as the Majority and Minority Reports of a subsequent Congressional committee investigation. The biographical sketches of the Keys family were written by the author in the form of letters to J.C. Keys, Jr. 51pp. 8vo. h/back. From the library of true crime writer, Wilfred Gregg, with his personal b/plate. V. sl. sunned o/w Nr. F. Rare.

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