Circuit Court records - CLPL



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Twenty-four pages of original court documents from the State v. Baldwin case dating 1859. The case was heard in the State of Mississippi Lowndes County Circuit Court.


The State of Mississippi, Lowndes County, charged Charles H. Baldwin with larceny and slave stealing in 1859. According to Baldwin's statement, he was intoxicated on several occassions including the day of the incident. The crime started on Monday, October 11, 1859, when Baldwin woke up beside a fire in the woods intoxicated and abandoned by a party with whom he had been hunting. He then went into Columbus and hired a horse and buggy from the stables of William Cady. From there, he pursuaded a young male, George Kirk, to follow him to retrieve his hat three miles away. While retrieving his hat, they ran into several enslaved persons. One of the enslaved was named Eliza Jane and belonged to John Rickman. Baldwin decided that he wanted to leave Columbus and the enslaved people begged to go with him. The next morning, Baldwin left a note for his brother and then met up with the enslaved people and left town heading towards Louisville, Mississippi. He followed the line of the telegraph and was on the public road while traveling. Once reaching Louisville he was arrested. Baldwin pleaded guilty to the charges. He was sentenced to five years in the penitentiary. A petition was signed by citizens of Columbus for Baldwin's pardon and granted on April 19, 1859 by Governor William McWillie.

Approximate Creation Date


Time Period



Slaveholders.; Slavery -- Mississippi.; Slavery -- Mississippi -- History -- Sources.; Slaveholders.; Slaves -- Social Conditions.; Crime and race.; Legal documents.; Negotiable instruments.; Crime--History.; Women--History.


Slavery, Slaves, Circuit Court, State Court, Criminal Files, Enslaved persons, Lowndes County, Mississippi, Legal Instrument

Geographic Location

Columbus--Mississippi; Lowndes County (Miss.).

Object Type


Physical Format


Digital Format


Digital ID



State of Mississippi Lowndes County Circuit Court State Criminal Case Files Collection. Billups-Garth Archives, Columbus-Lowndes Public Library System (Miss.).


Columus-Lowndes Public Library System


Columbus-Lowndes Public Library System

Digital Publisher

Mississippi State University Libraries


Images, texts, transcriptions, and/or recordings reproduced in this document may be protected by copyright. Users who contemplate reproducing materials should determine ownership and, if restricted, seek permission before reproducing them. Whenever possible, the Local History Department (LHD) at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library System will provide information about copyright owners and restrictions. The LHD provides this information as a service to aid researchers in determining the appropriate use of an item, but that determination ultimately rests with the researcher.

The State of Mississippi v. Baldwin, 1836 (Lowndes County Circuit Court. 1859)



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