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Confession of Monday Gell


I come out as a man who knows he is about to die -- some time after Christmas Vesey passed my door, he called in said to me, that he was trying to gather the black to try and see if anything could be done to overcome the whites; he asked me to join; I asked him his plan and his numbers; he said he had Peter Poyas, Ned Bennet, and Jack Purcell; he asked me to join; I said no; he left me and I saw him not for some time. About four or five weeks ago as I sent up Wentworth street, Frank Ferguson met me, and said he had four plantation's of people who he was to go for on Saturday, 15th June. How, said I, will you bring them down; he said through the woods; he asked me if I was going towards Besey's to ask Vesey to be at home that evening, and he should be there to tell him his success. I asked Jack Purcell to carry this message he said he would; that same evening at my house I met Vesey's mulatto boy , he told me Besey wished to see me, I sent with him; when I went into Vesey's I met Ned Bennett, Peter Poyas, and Frank Ferguson, and Adam, and Gullah Jack, they were consulting about the plan; Frank told Vesey on Saturday 15th he would go and bring down the people and lodge them near town in the woods; the plan was to arm themselves by breaking open the sotres with some business of my own and asked them to excuse me, I went away, and only then was I ever there. One evening, Perault Strohecker, and Cacchus Hammett brought to my shop a keg, and asked me to let it stay there till they sent for it; I said yes, but did not know the contents; the next evening Gullah Jack came and took away the keg, this was before the 16th June; since I have been in prison I learnt that the keg contained powder.

Pharo Thompson is concerned, and he told me, a day or two after Ned and Peter were taken up, if he could get a fifty dollar bill, he would run away; about two Sundays before I was brought here, he asked me, in Archdale-street, when shall we be like those white people in the church; I said when it pleased God; Sunday before I was taken up, he met me as I came out of Archdale Church, and took me into a stable in said street, and told me had told his master, who had asked him, that he had nothing to do in this affair; which was a lie. William Colcock came to my shop once and said a brother told him that five hundred men were making up for the same purpose. Frank said he was to send to Hell-Hole Swamps to get men

Perault Strohecker is engaged; he used to go of a Sunday on horse back up the road to a man he knows on the same errand. One Sunday he asked me to go with him; I went and Samrt Anderson; we went to a small house a little ways from the road after you turn into the ship yard road, on its left hand; they too went into the stable with an old man that lived there, I remained in the yard; they remained in the stable about half an hour; as soon as they came out I and Peiralt started to town to go to church and left Smart there; I was told by Denbow Martin, who has a wife in Mr. Smith's house, that Stephen Smith belonged to some of the gangs.

Saby Guillard is concerned; he met me on the Bay, before the 16th of June and gave me a piece of paper from this pocket; this paper was about the battle that Boyer had in St. Domingo; in a day or two he called on me and asked if I had read it, and said if he had a s many men he would do the same too, as he could whip ten white men himself; he frequently came to me to speak about this matter, and at last I had to insult him out of the shop; he and Paris Ball was often together. A week before I was taken up, Paris told me that my name was called.

Billy Palmer and Vesey were constantly together; there was once in my shop a long talk between them about this same matter; I begged them to stop it; Vesey told him to try to get as many as he could; he said he would.

John Vincent told me that Edward Johnson, a free man, had said, as he was a free man he would have nothing to do with slaves, but the night they began he would join them.

I told Charles Drayton what uproar thee was about this business, and since we have been here we have talked together.

Albert Inglis came to me and asked if I knew any thing about it; I said yes. He asked me if I had joined; I said yes; he said he was one also; he said Adam, a free man wanted to see me, I went with him one night; Adam asked me how many men had joined; I told him what Frank Ferguson had said; he asked me if I believed it; I said yes; he said if he could only find men behind him he would go before. Previous to the 16th, Albert said to me quit the business, I told him I was too far into it, so I must stick to it.

I never wrote to St. Domingo or any where else on this subject, nor kept a list or books, nor saw any such things, but heard that Paul's William had a list nor did I hear any thing about arms being in possession of the blacks. I don't know that Tom Russel make pikes, nor that Gullah Jack had any of the.

Lewis Remoussin called at my shop and asked me to call at his house, he had something to tell me, but I did not go; Jack Glen told me he was engaged.

I met Scipio Sims one Sunday, coming from the country, who said he had been near the Savannah's to Mr. Middleton's place; I heard afterwards that his errand was on this business.

I know John the cooper, who said he was engaged too in this business.

William Garner said he was engaged in it and had got twelve or thirteen draymen to join.

Sandy Vesey told me he belonged to it too.

At Vesey's house, Frank told Gullah Jack, to put one ball and three buck shot in each cartridge.

Mingo Harth acknowledged to me that he had joined, and Peter Poyas told me so too; he, Mingo, told me so several times; Mingo said he was to have his master's horse on the night of the 16th.

Lot Forrester told me frequently that he was one of the company, and I know that he had joined in the business myself. Isaac Harth told me once that he had joined, he knew I was in the business.

Morris Brown knew nothing of it, and we agreed not to let him, Harry Drayton, or Charles Corr, know anything about it. -- -- told me in my store that he was to get some powder from his master and give it to Peter Poyas; he seemed to have been a long time engaged in it, and to know a great deal. Joe Jore acknowledged to me once or twice that he had joined, he said he knew some of the Frenchmen concerned; he knew I was in it.

Slave Insurrections: Selected Documents, reprinted in 1970 by the Negro Universities Press, A Division of Greenwood Press, Inc., Connecticut





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