Documentary Editing, Association for


Date of this Version


Document Type



Documentary Editing, Volume 21, Number 3, September 1999.

ISSN 2476-1796 (electronic); ISSN 2167-1451 (print)


1999 © the Association for Documentary Editing. Used by permission.


On June 19, 1822, a court composed of two magistrates and five freeholders convened in Charleston, South Carolina. The discovery of a planned slave revolt led by Denmark Vesey, a free black carpenter, had alarmed the city just days earlier. Before the summer was out, Vesey and thirty-four enslaved men were hanged and about the same number sentenced to be transported outside the United States. Lionel H. Kennedy and Thomas Parker, the two magistrates who presided over the trials, published An Official Report of the Trials of Sundry Negroes ... later that year:, but Kennedy and Parker's version of the proceedings IS Incomplete. Two manuscript transcripts at the South Carolina Department of An:hives and History preserve a full~r version of "the proceedings of the Court and the testimony received on the trials of those charged as principals or accomplices. " In the volume under review, Edward Pearson seeks to make this material and a good bit else more widely available.