A true account of Nayomy Wise

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A true account of Nayomy Wise
by Mary Woody

This text is a description of the murder of Naomi Wise, also known as Omie Wise, who was killed by Jonathan Lewis in 1807 (sometimes given as 1808), in Randleman, North Carolina. It is curious as it contradicts many of the details from, and adds many new details to, the account given in the better known Naomi Wise: The Wrongs of a Beautiful Girl, a formalized account of the murder by Braxton Craven first published in 1851. The text below was taken from a handwritten manuscript now held by the Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA (UCLA-URL-SC 100, Box 7). It is from a commonplace notebook originally owned by one Mary Woody, born in 1801 and donated to UCLA in 1952 by Mrs. Thomas B. Williamson.

To Such as here and Wants to know
A woman Came Some years ago
Then from a Cunty named by hide
In Randolph after did reside
And by Some person was defild
And So brought forth a basturd Child
She Told her name neomy Wise
Her Carnal Conduct Some did despise
It was not long till She another
that might be Cald a basturds Brother
And Being poor and Credit low
From hous to hous She had to go
And labor hard in tiol and pain
Herself and babes for to maintain
The Second Child neomy bore think She
Into a neighbors man Ben Sanders Swore
And now She Seems give up to Sin
Too much neglecting grace within
In Eighteen hundred Six the year
She was over come a gain we here
And by a lewis was defiled
And a third time became with Child
a Sprightly youth a lively man
Such was accounted Jonathan
He held himself of high degree
But too fond of Carnality
Although her case was Surely Sad
The girl it Seems apeard glad
That She had known So brave a man
Of So high Rank as Jonathan
She by a yongster was beguild
And pleased to find herself with Child
And She So Sensless was of Shame
She Seemd rejoiced and likd it well
Ans bold Enough the Sin to tell
And with the Scandel So Content
She told it mostly Where She went
Lewis then was offended high
To be exposed far and nigh
Fof [?] his own Credit Such Regard
he promist her a grate Reward
If She Would keep it quite Conceald
And never let it be Reveald
To keep it Secret then Lewis Chose
and not the matter to expose
To his disgrace and open Shame
Nor bring dishonor to his name
Although Shed Caus to morn and weep
Yet She a Secret Cannot keep
So void of fear grief or Shame
What [?] he Said She would proclaim
All Which inraged Lewis So
He thought Some further yet to do
He did not Choose her for a wife
But threatened Hard to take her life
Its huist he thought Vile work to Try
Join murder [to] Carnality
So Carry on the mass[acre?]
And bring about the tragedie
Such tails She told against his Will
He threatened that he would her kill
She disregarded what he said
And of his threats Seemd not afraid
She liked her State So very weell
She Still inclind of it to tell
And Lewis then with anger filled
We guis he Thought She must be Killed
She to the hous of Adams Came
And Lived a While about the Same
A School hous to that place Was near
She promisd him to meet him there
A mournful Story to Relate
In 1807 date
the poor young woman ded was found
She [in?] deep River being drownd
The People Thought non[e] more likely than
The angry Vexed Jonathan
Might in a Vile and Wicked fit
The Vile base murded might Comit
And under water force her head
Until he found that She was dead
Now look and See some reasons why
[—?] think he made her drownd and die
I think he dont give reasons why
Theyd meet at a School house So nigh
And made naomy promiss well
Of theire appointment none to tell
When he was gone then soon behold
She of the Same to mary told
The[y?] went that night the both did go
But did not meet it happend So
Next day he Came a gain its said
And then a new appointment made
He told her then he thought he might
Apoint to meet next Sunday night
And Chargd her that She might Conceal
The mater unto none reveal
But she not fearful but was bold
To mary Adams Soon She told
And mary told her not to go
Least that he might some mischief do
He out of fury rage and spite
To her some private mischief might
There was no danger then she said
And seem'd of Lewis not afraid
Was tender hearted She believe'd
Tho by him She was mutch deceive'd
When night came on She took a pail
But to return did Shorely fail
She went with it towards the Spring
Just like She went to water bring
That seemd a long a tedious night
Not knowing what there happebed might
To mary long it Seemed to be
And tedious to that family
And when next morning plainly Came
Naomi wont returned home
Then mary went unto the Spring
And found her not a Shocking thing
But near the Same the pail She found
And Standing on or near the ground
So thare it was with water filled
And mary though she was killd
And then She did to denis go
And thought Shed Let the neighbors know
About the matter and inquire
What he thought or did disire
Might yet be dun and further Said
There had been two apointments made
To meet there With Some intent
I realy think for mischief bent
And further more She also Said
He has murderd her I am afraid
But denis thought he would not killl
But he persuads against her will
To Sware the Child to other man
And Clear himself So if he Can
A Cunstable then Lewis Was
And Some aquainted With the Laws
A precept had he did prepare
To make the girl the Child to Sware
Before it was born What Could it be mand [?]
Unless he went himself to Screen [?]
Or that it might tend to his honor
to have the Crime laid all upon her
And Denis dennis Said or hoped Some
That soon she back again would Come
When mary thus Such thoughts are thine
And thy opinion is not mine
And then insisted he might go
To Joseph Elliots for to know
If she was thare or had been seen
For thare some time her Child had been
And if She lives above the ground
Some there She thought She might be found
For denis Went but found her not
then Came with him the sad Elot
Then to the schoolhous Both Repair
And found his hors tracks plenty thare
Not many Sises grat and Small
He thought one hors had made them all
He Came and went plain to their Sight
and had Been thear in both the nights
Or its to travel took the day
and one towards the River Way
He did Conclude and did agree
That She away must taken be
To tell about naomy Wise
And why [?] on the morrow day
To hast away to Curnal gray
And then before the Curnal Sware
About Naomy as the are
And tell how She was missing too
Let [?] him consider What to do
Which When he came to understand
He give a warent to Command
The [?] Lewis to be taken why [?]
That Justice might be done? thereby
But Scarcely home When mary heard
Naomy ded had then appeard
She in deep River being found
And most inhumanly She Was drowd
The neighbors Soon Collected Were
and many people being there
and med was Sent to Lewis take
and fetch him there a prisoner make
The[y] brought him there firmly bound
Unto the place Where She was drownd
Next day the[y?] brought him Strongly tied
Unto the Bank or River Side
I guis to Lewis it was tring
For to be brought Where She was Lying
Was guarded here and Where he found
A Larg concors [?] ware standing round
Would not the heart of any been
Much moved and peirded at Sutch a seen
If theyd but think and take a vaiu [view?]
She was with Child and murder too
And the unhapy Victome See
Of Such a Wicked Cruality
then bound With Cord So fast and Strong
Which to Such people did belong
And then the orders the[y] Ware Such
He Was requested her to touch
And So he did We understand
With a pale face and a trimbling hand
The Crowner then a Jury had
To try the mater which was sad
And divers people furder more
To [?] what the[y] knew the[y] also Swore
And Mary adams did begin
And Swore to what is within
And William Wadkins did declare
that Lewis had been Surely thare
At his own house that very day
And in the evening went a Way
After the sian of the Sun
And he towards the Schoolhouse run
And also Wadkins did declare
That it was not two miles from thare
Ann Davis also Sworw and Said
A noise was at the river made
Shrieking [?] and a dofful Sound
In that Same night that She Was drownd
Shrieks Was awful two or three
A morning [?moaning] then it Seem to be
Supprising Shrieks a Shocking Crying
As if Some Woman might by dying
Which people Recond Was not more
That fifty perches [16 1/2 feet] from the dore
Some others might or as now mentioned be
Who Said the Same as Well as She
More Witnesses I mintion might
If I to tell it took delight
To them acounts min taking heed
The Crowners Jury all agreed
Neomy then was Carried by
Said Lewis Who had made her die
She in deep River being found
I[n] humanly and basely drownd
Amittance of Carnal gray

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