The Gabriel Prosser Co-conspirators Trial

The Gabriel Prosser trial of co-conspirators

The trial of Peter belonging to Allen Williamson.  Witness Ben Woolfolk—on the Thursday before the barbecue at  Mr. Young’s spring, the prisoner came to Mr. Young’s and said that he has been that night to see Gabriel, and had joined him to fight against the white people and was to be a  light houseman—Gabriel was to furnish him a sword—

The trail of Billey belonging to Ambroso Lipscombe Esq.  Witness Ben Woolfolk—I saw the prisoner at a meeting  he went with me from thence to a house, where I asked him if he could keep a secret, he replied he could upon which the intended insurrection was mentioned to him..  He freely joined in it –He the prisoner remarked that he had been abused by Claiborne Lipscombe and expressed a wish for revenge—The prisoner was considered by the witness as one of his men—though he had no notice of the time appointed for the operation—

The trial of Billey belonging to Nath Lipscombe—witness Ben Woolfolk—In going one Sunday to Mr. John Williamson’s he met the prisoner and asked him to turn back with him, which he did—He told the prisoner he had a secret to tell him if he could keep it, who replied he could, upon which he relates to him the plan of the insurrection.  The prisoner readily joined in it—and was promised he should be his right hand man. That at the meeting at Mr. Young’s he informed the prisoner that the time appreciate  for the insurrection was that day so be fixed upon, and requests him to attend at the spring after meeting for to receive information.  The prisoner did not come to the spring.  He saw him afterwards in the path going to the houses and gave him notice of the appointed time, and he promised to attend at time and place mentioned to him—The witness informed him that he would furnish him with a sword.  He did not send him word afterwards respecting this business---

The trial of Lewis, belonging to Dabney Williamson—Witness Ben Woolfolk.  He was enlisted by Gilbert.  The prisoner in company with Gilbert, Geo Smith, the witness and others, took a walk down to Mr. Young’s mill, from whence they proceeded to a cherry tree to get cherries—after which Gilbert proposed to the prisoner to join him.  He said yes I will, and be in readiness that as soon as the world should be given he would cut off the head of his master and mistress that he knew where their money was—and that he would take a horse called Cumberland belonging to his master, which he would ride as far as Richmond, that he had fixed on.  Harry Shores horse for himself so soon as he got there—after the plot was discovered by the white people, the prisoner urged the necessity of recurring the negroes confined in jail, and insisted that one hundred of them could effect this business.

Commonwealth, Sam Byrd, Michael William Sept 24th 1800.