Once a Knight is Enough

Knight Genealogy

by Laura Knight


The Murder of John Malphurs by Charlton Mizell

In Camden County, Georgia, in the early 1830's, rivalry and bad blood existed between the Mizell boys, (Enoch, Joseph and Charlton) and John Malphurs, Jr. On the night of December 24, 1832, the Mizell boys, sons of David Mizell, with their brother-in-law, John Pearce, attacked John Malphurs. In the ensuing fight, John Malphurs was killed.

Enoch Mizell, Joseph Mizell and John Pearce were arrested and charged with murder. Charlton Mizell, who actually committed the crime, eluded arrest and fled the state.

The trial of the Mizell boys and John Pearce took place in Court Chambers at Jefferson, Camden County, GA on December 31, 1932.  An extract of the Court Minutes, as recorded:

Monday, December the 31st 1832, the Honorable Inferior Court from the County in the State of Georgia, met in Chambers at Jefferson. Present, their Honors, Archibald Clark, Hugh Brown, Gillis McDonald, George W. Thomas, Justices of Said Court. The State vs Enoch Mizell, Joseph Mizell, Charlton Mizell, and John Pearce, charged with the murder of John Malphurs, Junior.

The prisoners, Enoch Mizell, Joseph Mizell, and John Pearce having been arrested and in custody, prayed that writ of Habeas Corpus which was granted agreeably to the motion given to the Court convened and proceeded to an examination of the testimony produced on the part of the State and having maturely considered the same, are of the opinion that the said Enoch Mizell, Joseph Mizell and John Pearce are not guilty of the charge of being accessory to the murder of the deceased John Malphurs, Junior as charged against them, but that the act, as shown by the evidence before the Court, was committed by Charlton Mizell who, as the court has shown, has since been advised, has absconded. It is therefore ordered by the Court that the prisoners be discharged from their confinement, and it being further represented that the friends of the deceased are in indigent circumstances and are unable to meet the expenses attending the arrest of the prisoners, it is ordered that they be defrayed by the County and that a Bill of Particulars be made out and taxed by the Clerk of the Court. Ordered that until the vacancy of the Office of the Sheriff be filled, that a gaoler be appointed to take charge of the county gaol, and that Stephen McCall be sworn to that office.

Ordered by John Bailey, Treasurer, pay Pliney Carter, seventy four dollars 37/100 for his bill of expenses in assisting the prisoners, Joseph Mizell, Enoch Mizell and John Pearce, and feeding and attending Court and the Habeas Corpus. Also, that the Treasurer pay to Isaac Bailey, Clerk of the Court, five dollars 31/100 for his services in attending the Court under the writ of Habeas Corpus, in the case of the State vs Enoch Mizell, Joseph Mizell and John Pearce.

Signed: Archibald Clark, J.I.C.C.C., G.W. Thom as, J.I.C.C.C., Gillis McDonald, J.I.C.C.C., Hugh Brown, J.I.C.C.C.

From the "Union Recorder," Baldwin County, Georgia, Thursday, February 7, 1833:

Whereas I have received official information that on the night of the 24th of December last, a murder was committed on the body of John Malphurs, of Camden County, in this state, by Charlton Mizell; and whereas it has been represented to me, that the said Charlton Mizell has fled from justice, I have thought it proper to issue this, my proclamation, hereby offering a reward of $200.00 to any person who may apprehend the said Charlton Mizell and deliver him to the Sheriff of the County, aforesaid. By the Governor, Wilson Lumpkin; Everhand Hamilton, Secretary of State.

Charlton Mizell was apprehended. he was convicted of manslaughter in 1833 and sentenced to four years in the State Penitentiary. He died in prison on April 28, 1834.  The cause is not revealed in the above report.

From: Huxford Genealogical Magazine


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