Thursday, June 21, 2012

Murder and mystery

The white marble obelisk at the grave of Phillip Rice (d. 1866) has a startling inscription.

Slave
Murdered

These are not words you expect on a gravestone. Even supposed to be seems unusual.

 


PHILLIP
RICE
COLORED
BORN A SLAVE
IN Va.
MURDERED
July 26, 1866
SUPPOSED TO BE
73 YS OLD

An annotated reading of the cemetery’s inscriptions published in The “Old Northwest” Genealogical Quarterly, Volume 10 (1907) provides more detail. Only one problem: That reading does not agree with this gravestone!
Rice—Philip, d. June 4, 1874, æ. 75 y. Died from gunshot wounds received from men whom he knew were guilty of robbery. He was born a slave in Virginia, was made free in 1851; resided in Blendon Tp. with Wm. P. Needles, whose wife’s father owned and made free this negro. After 1870 he resided on his own land alone in a cabin 3½ miles west from New Albany, in Blendon. His murderers left the State, a reward of $1,000 being offered by the citizens for their conviction.

Blendon Central Cemetery, Franklin County, Ohio

3 comments:

  1. How fascinating and Oddly weird....

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is a great find. Leaves you with a lot of questions!

    ReplyDelete

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