Proceedings of a Court of Oyer and Terminer in Prince William County, 8 May 1781.
Prince William County to wit
Cuthbert Bullitt attorney for the Commonwealth for the County aforesaid giveth information to the Court; that Billy alias Will, alias William late of the Parish of Dittengen in the County aforesaid; a Mulatto Slave belonging to John Tayloe Esqr. late of Richmond County in the Commonwealth aforesd. upon the Second day of April in the year of our Lord 1781 at the sd. Parish of Dittengen in the County of Prince William aforesaid with force of Arms &Ca. did feloniously & traiterously Adhere to the Enemies of the Commonwealth and gave them aid & Comfort & upon the Sd. Second day of April at the sd. Parish of Dittengen in the County of Prince William aforesd. did in Company of & Cunjunction with diverse Enemies of the Commonwealth in Armed Vessels, feloniously & Traiterously Wage & Levy War against the Commonwealth to the great Danger of Subverting thereof and against the Act of Assembly in Such Case made & Provided, and the Peace of the sd. Commonwealth, & the Dignity thereof.
The said Slave Billy, Alias Will,
alias William, let of the sd. Coty. of Prince William being brought to
the Bar of the Court, and Indicted for Treason, in Joining the Enemies
of this Commonwealth, upon his Arraignment, Says he is not Guilty, Upon
hearing the Several Witnesses, it is the opinion of the Court that he is
Guilty, & that he Suffer Death, And be Executed agreeable to the
Act, Declaring what Shall be Treason And the Said Sheriff of the Sd.
County on the Twenty fith of this Inst. between the Hours of Eleven
& two of the Same day, do Execution thereon at the Common Gallows of
the Sd. County, by Causing the Sd. Slave to be hanged by the Neck untill
Dead, & his head to be Severed from his Body & Stuck up at Some
Publick Cross Road on a pole, And the Sd. Court do Say that the Sd.
Slave is worth Twenty Seven Thousand Pounds Current Money
[ ] Graham Clk. Court
Legislative Petitions, Prince William Co., n.d. [received 7 June 1781], Record Group 78, Library of Virginia.