For Duplin County slaves, no mercy from the court

On this day in 1787: Darby and Peter, Duplin County slaves, are convicted of murdering their master with an ax. Darby is sentenced to be “tied to a stake on the courthouse lot and there burned to death and his ashes strewd upon the ground.” Peter, less severely punished because of his youth, is sentenced to have “one half of each of his ears cut off and be branded on each cheek with the letter M” and to receive 11 lashes.