Saturday, February 29, 2020

Stage Coach Accosted

     Daring Outrage.—On Saturday evening last, the Fayetteville (Cumberland County)
stage was interrupted in its progress towards Murfreesborough (Chowan County), when about two miles distant (on the south side) from that town, by four men, each driving a cart, who on seeing the stage approach, formed a line across the road with their carts and began shouting like savages and uttering the most horrid oaths. The driver begged them to make room for him to pass, and not endanger the lives of his passengers and perhaps their own by attempting to stop him; but he was only answered by a fresh volley of shouts and imprecations; finally, he made a dash between two of them, but unfortunately broke some part of his gear in the attempt to pass and was compelled to draw up in order to repair it. There were three gentlemen passengers in the stage, who remonstrated with the carters on the impropriety of their conduct, and entreated them to desist, but to no purpose; they continued their yells and abuse, to which they now added threats of assassination, (declaring they were armed with daggers,) and were in fact about to attack the stage, each carrying a heavy club, when the driver took his seat and drove on. The assailants then in a trice disengaged their horses from the carts, mounted them and pursued the stage at full speed till they overtook it, when the passengers, in order to intimidate them, threatened to fire upon them, though in reality they had nothing to fire with. This probably had the desired effect, for the pursuers soon after took off and left them, at the same time calling out to the driver that they would “do his business for him the next time he came along that road.”
[Taken from 123RF]
            On the arrival of the stage at Murfreesborough, and the above adventure being related, it was ascertained that the men were all of one family, of the name of Johnson, and that they had left Murfreesborough that evening in a state of riotous intoxication. It is hoped, for the peace and safety of the community and the dignity of the laws, that the public authorities will not suffer this flagrant outrage to pass unnoticed. It is wonderful that the stage horses (four in number,) composing one of the finest teams in the country, did not take fright and run away with the stage; but it appeared as if these noble animals were abashed at seeing the degradation of their miscalled superiors, or deemed it a disgrace to run from such yahoos.—Herald.

[Fayetteville Weekly Observer (Fayetteville, NC) 8 Mar 1826]

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