Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Ed Alberty Aka Charles Burns Murder In Arkansas

Ed Alberty was a Cherokee negro, who was known by both by his father's name of Burns and that of his former master, Alberty, he was convicted of murder of one Phil Duncan, at the Cherokee Nation, in the Indian Territory. The indictment alleged the crime to have been committed 15 May 1879, but it appeared by the evidence to have been committed in 1880. Upon judgement of death, being pronounced, defendant sued out a writ of error from this court, assigning a want of jurisdiction in the court below and various errors in the charge to the jury connected with the law of homicide, and the influence to be drawn from the flight of the accused.

The above is from a docket prepared for the Supreme Court Of The United States No. 853 dated October Term 1895.

These documents have great historical and genealogical value.

They prove Alberty was born a slave and his father's last name of Burns and his mater's name of Alberty.

This document also explains why he was at the Cherokee Nation because at the time slavery was abolished by the Indians.

The victim Phil Duncan was the illegitimate child of a Cherokee Indian by a colored women who was not his wife, but a slave in the Cherokee Nation As his mother was a negro slave, under the rule partus sequitur ventrem, he had to be treated as a negro birth, and not as a Choctow Indian. There is additional reason for this in the fact that he was an illegitimate child, and took the status of his mother.

The Story:

Ed Alberty at the time of said crime, was living at Fort Gibson Indian territory, that for sometime before the killing of Duncan, himself and wife had been living apart, because of the attentions Phil Duncan was having toward his wife. He had never done or said anything to Phil Duncan in a desire to harm or injure him. Phil Duncan had continuously threatened to kill Ed Alberty and on two separate occasions had shot at him. At the time of the killing his wife was working at Mrs. Lipes, and sleeping there.
Phil Duncan was at the house when Ed Alberty came by and Duncan came at him with something in his hand threatening to kill him. He ran with Duncan chasing after him and Ed Alberty fired back. There were many witness seeing this happen and witnesses knowing Phil Duncan had threaten Ed Alberty many times. 


Ed Alberty's account of events

He was finally declared not guilty

I do not know if or when he was released I would assume he was freed from the above document.

I did not find a death date for ed Alberty or his wife's name, I was hoping she would of been listed on the witness sheets but wasn't.

I hope Ed and his wife worked things out and lived the rest of lives together in peace.

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