The Ouachita Telegraph
July 8, 1881
At the last term of our District Court a negro named Jeff was in jail awaiting trial on the charge of committing rape on an old negro woman. This woman was said to be crazy, and hence the State could not obtain the evidence necessary to go to trial. An application in Jeff’s behalf to give bond was made, and the court granted it fixing the bond at a nominal sum. Mr. W.R. Turnage went upon the bond and the negro was released from custody, and went with Mr. Turnage to work on his farm.
On last Wednesday during the absence of Mr. Turnage, his wife and eldest son, from their home, the negro Jeff was discovered by Mr. Turnage’s eldest daughter under the house. He was armed with a large knife and club. Miss Turnage ordered him to come from under the house and go to his work.
After coming out and going towards the horse lot the actions of Jeff so alarmed Miss Turnage that she attempted to seek her father and mother. The negro seeing her leave the house followed and overtook her in the road. A scuffle ensued, when the young lady proving to be the stronger, broke loose and fled back to her father’s house, pursued by the negro. Reaching the house first, she rushed in at the door and instantly closed it. The Negro attempted to force the door open but failed. He then procured an axe with which he savagely struck the door with the avowed intention of bursting it open. Miss Turnage with a little brother and sister, the only inmates of the house, was apparently at the mercy of an enraged and brutal negro. But equal to the emergency she armed herself with a large sized revolver and before the negro could force the door she shot him, firing through it. The ball struck him in the thigh, inflicting a dangerous wound. After the negro was shot he left the place. Before sun down Mr. Turnage and his son returned home and learning what had occurred, they took steps to secure the villain. Mr. Turnage and some neighbors posting themselves in the D’l’Outre swamp; and his son near the stock lot, anticipating that the negro might return about dark for the purpose of renewing his attack upon Miss T. when she was attending the cows as part of her domestic duties. About dark the negro was captured near the cow-pen. The next morning he was seen hanging to the limb of a tree on the edge of the D’l’Outre swamp, and there remained over twenty-four hours; may be there yet for ought we know.
There are some cases that do not admit of law’s delay, especially in an attempted
outrage upon a daughter or sister.