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Colonial America's Oldest Unsolved Murder
NPR ^ | June 24, 2013 | Linton Weeks

Posted on 06/25/2013 8:38:04 AM PDT by nickcarraway

When archaeologists in Virginia uncovered the skeletal remains in 1996 of one of Jamestown's first settlers — a young European male designated as JR102C in the catalog — they said he was the victim in what was perhaps Colonial America's oldest unsolved murder.

At the time, archaeologist William Kelso, now director of archaeological research and interpretation at Jamestown Rediscovery, reported that "the lead bullet and shot fragments lodged in his lower right leg contained enough force to fracture his tibia and fibula bones, rupturing a major artery below the knee. JR would have bled to death within minutes."

Now, 17 years later, the forensic archaeologists at Jamestown may have identified the victim and, therefore, the perpetrator of the crime. Recent evidence, Kelso says, points to a duel in 1624 "where a man named George Harrison took a bullet in the leg and later died from it."

The bullet, found by researchers, "hit the right side of the knee suggesting the man was standing sideways, which would happen in a duel," says Kelso. "It is possible that JR102C is that man."

And the man who murdered Harrison in a duel, according to Kelso: Richard Stephens, a Jamestown merchant. Stephens went on to become a court commissioner and an outspoken detractor of Virginia Gov. John Harvey. In 1635, Stephens and Harvey engaged in fisticuffs, and Stephens lost teeth in the bargain. Stephens died circa 1636.


TOPICS: History; Local News
KEYWORDS: ancientautopsies; godsgravesglyphs; jamestown
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1 posted on 06/25/2013 8:38:04 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Murder, hunting accident, who can tell?


2 posted on 06/25/2013 8:44:28 AM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: nickcarraway

Dueling was an accepted practice of settling disputes. Therefore, it cannot be murder. Where there is no law, there is no sin.


3 posted on 06/25/2013 8:45:00 AM PDT by Salvavida (The restoration of the U.S.A. starts with filling the pews at every Bible-believing church.)
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To: nickcarraway

Calling a dueling death a murder is a misnomer, especially since dueling was not illegal at the time.


4 posted on 06/25/2013 8:45:09 AM PDT by PhiloBedo (You gotta roll with the punches and get with what's real.)
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To: nickcarraway

In 1624 was a fatality from a duel legally considered a murder?


5 posted on 06/25/2013 8:45:22 AM PDT by null and void (Republicans create the tools of oppression, and the democrats gleefully use them!)
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To: nickcarraway

I though George Harrison died of Brain cancer.


6 posted on 06/25/2013 8:46:10 AM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (To stay calm during these tumultuous times, I take Damitol. Ask your Doctor if it's right for you.)
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To: null and void

I’m going to have to type faster if I want to get the question in before the answers!


7 posted on 06/25/2013 8:46:21 AM PDT by null and void (Republicans create the tools of oppression, and the democrats gleefully use them!)
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To: nickcarraway
hey said he was the victim in what was perhaps Colonial America's oldest unsolved murder.

If it was a duel, it wasn't murder. And if we know who was dueling with him it is not unsolved.

8 posted on 06/25/2013 8:47:23 AM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins)
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To: nickcarraway

9 posted on 06/25/2013 8:49:17 AM PDT by JoeProBono (Mille vocibus imago valet;-{)
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To: null and void
In 1624 was a fatality from a duel legally considered a murder?

Of course not, but this is NPR and the narrative is "unsolved murder". Dramatic license, I guess.

10 posted on 06/25/2013 8:49:44 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Conspiracy Guy

He’s not dead, he’s a Buddhist, and you they keep coming back until they get it right. There is no way he got it right this last time!


11 posted on 06/25/2013 8:52:01 AM PDT by Mastador1 (I'll take a bad dog over a good politician any day!)
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To: Salvavida

Don’t know about the no sin part, but agree with no murder.


12 posted on 06/25/2013 8:54:46 AM PDT by Lee'sGhost (Johnny Rico picked the wrong girl!)
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To: JoeProBono

Wow. He looks like George Harrison.


13 posted on 06/25/2013 8:55:48 AM PDT by EternalVigilance (They tore down the Berlin Wall, and then rebuilt it between us and our Liberty.)
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To: SunkenCiv

ping


14 posted on 06/25/2013 8:57:06 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: nickcarraway

I don’t believe at that time it was considered murder. Frankly a little fist fighting in politics wouldn’t be all bad. Might straighten out some of the idiots that have more money than brains.


15 posted on 06/25/2013 8:57:21 AM PDT by Portcall24
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To: nickcarraway

Looks like it’s neither “unsolved” nor a “murder”. Who’s writing headlines at NPR?


16 posted on 06/25/2013 8:58:14 AM PDT by Truthsearcher
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To: nickcarraway

Dueling was not considered to be murder.It was said to be a way for Gentleman to settle disagreements.


17 posted on 06/25/2013 9:00:11 AM PDT by puppypusher (The World is going to the dogs.)
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To: Lancey Howard

Under English law at the time, death during a duel was murder. However, it was rarely prosecuted.

In 1624, I believe the colonies followed English common law and hence a murder was committed. That the murder was not prosecuted does not reclassify it; rather it represents an acknowledgement that a jury conviction was almost impossible to obtain under those circumstances.


18 posted on 06/25/2013 9:01:35 AM PDT by JackOfVA
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To: nickcarraway

The guy who shot him was a really bad shot—but lucky.


19 posted on 06/25/2013 9:02:52 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: nickcarraway

What makes them think it was unsolved?

It’s presumptuous to call it ‘unsolved’ just because we in the here and now don’t know who did what to whom in the there and then since that does not mean that those at the time did not know, and if they knew it wasn’t ‘unsolved’.


20 posted on 06/25/2013 9:04:50 AM PDT by KrisKrinkle (Blessed be those who know the depth and breadth of their ignorance. Cursed be those who don't.)
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To: nickcarraway
bush fault photo: Blame Bush Bush_Fault.gif
21 posted on 06/25/2013 9:15:29 AM PDT by Snickering Hound
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To: nickcarraway

Well, at least Ringo is in the clear.


22 posted on 06/25/2013 9:19:36 AM PDT by Conservative4Ever (I'm going Galt)
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To: Conservative4Ever

I think Yoko was behind it...


23 posted on 06/25/2013 9:41:11 AM PDT by Revenge of Sith
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To: Revenge of Sith

It was Courtney. She got Kurt, too.


24 posted on 06/25/2013 9:42:44 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: nickcarraway

That’s the same way Albert Sydney Johnston died at Shiloh a couple hundred years later.


25 posted on 06/25/2013 9:50:15 AM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: JackOfVA

Thanks for the info.
That’s why I live here at FR.


26 posted on 06/25/2013 10:01:52 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Mastador1

True


27 posted on 06/25/2013 10:09:02 AM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (To stay calm during these tumultuous times, I take Damitol. Ask your Doctor if it's right for you.)
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To: nickcarraway

Well, if he was shot during a duel and everyone then knew enough about it to write about it - then there was no unknown murdered.

Eh, NPR, what morons.


28 posted on 06/25/2013 10:11:20 AM PDT by PeteB570 ( Islam is the sea in which the Terrorist Shark swims. The deeper the sea the larger the shark.)
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To: PeteB570

Murdered - murderer.


29 posted on 06/25/2013 10:12:21 AM PDT by PeteB570 ( Islam is the sea in which the Terrorist Shark swims. The deeper the sea the larger the shark.)
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To: EternalVigilance

I think so too.


30 posted on 06/25/2013 10:15:48 AM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (To stay calm during these tumultuous times, I take Damitol. Ask your Doctor if it's right for you.)
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To: nickcarraway

***And the man who murdered Harrison in a duel,***

MURDER? Mighty strong words. It was a duel. Duels were legal then.


31 posted on 06/25/2013 10:20:16 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Sometimes you need 7+ more ammo. LOTS MORE.)
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To: nickcarraway

I don’t really think dueling counts as murder.


32 posted on 06/25/2013 10:54:41 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Georgia Girl 2

Believe it or not, that was a big debate back then.


33 posted on 06/25/2013 10:56:49 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Georgia Girl 2

Believe it or not, that was a big debate back then.


34 posted on 06/25/2013 10:56:49 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: JackOfVA

After Vice President Aaron Burr (D-NY) killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel, he was wanted for murder (but never brought to justice).


35 posted on 06/25/2013 2:34:55 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: afraidfortherepublic; Pharmboy; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks afraidfortherepublic.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


36 posted on 06/26/2013 4:17:51 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (McCain or Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: SunkenCiv; nickcarraway; indcons; Chani; thefactor; blam; aculeus; ELS; Doctor Raoul; ...
Thanks for the post, nickcarraway, and the ping, SunkenCiv. If you messed with a man's honor, you could die for it in a duel. People watched their words back then...it was the equivalent of '...an armed society is a polite society.'

Whether he was the challenger or challengee, he died as a man of honor.

RIP.

The RevWar/Colonial History/General Washington ping list

37 posted on 06/26/2013 7:16:26 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: Pharmboy
"And the man who murdered Harrison in a duel,"

I didn't think dueling was considered murder?

38 posted on 06/26/2013 7:28:55 PM PDT by blam
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To: Pride in the USA
Didn't we have some relative hanging around Jamestown circa 1635? :-)
39 posted on 06/26/2013 7:38:16 PM PDT by lonevoice (Today I broke my personal record for most consecutive days lived)
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To: blam

Oh absolutely. The NPR headline writer blew it. This was within societal bounds and not illegal. Arguments could be made to bring back dueling.


40 posted on 06/26/2013 7:47:44 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: Portcall24
Might straighten out some of the idiots that have more money than brains.

Doubt that Mike Bloomberg could survive a dose strong enough to make a difference.

41 posted on 06/26/2013 8:05:15 PM PDT by Max in Utah (A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within.)
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To: PhiloBedo; Salvavida

With a name like “Linton Weeks,” do you really expect the author to know anything about history of duels? We should take comfort in the fact that he didn’t spell it “dual.”


42 posted on 06/26/2013 9:49:32 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: JackOfVA

Thanks for putting up info that is likely most correct here. Lots of corrections are still needed.


43 posted on 06/27/2013 6:05:44 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: Verginius Rufus

200 years later, in a country different from Britain. US had only recently made dueling illegal IIRC.


44 posted on 06/27/2013 6:07:01 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: Venturer

They were using matchlock pistols most likely. Not very reliably accurate.


45 posted on 06/27/2013 6:11:03 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: the OlLine Rebel

The duel was in Jamestown, Virginia, not in Britain.


46 posted on 06/27/2013 8:34:20 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: SunkenCiv

Died from a shot in the leg, he died of lead poisoning.


47 posted on 06/27/2013 9:39:26 AM PDT by Lady Jag (If you can't make them see the light, let them feel the heat. - Reagan)
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To: Salvavida

Ahh, but one human person killed another human person. That is always murder. You know, like how all military persons are murderers.

/leftist


48 posted on 06/27/2013 10:59:31 AM PDT by Grimmy (equivocation is but the first step along the road to capitulation)
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To: JoeProBono

He looks more like a Bon Jovi than a Harrison.


49 posted on 06/27/2013 4:23:43 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: Lancey Howard

Of course not, but this is NPR and the narrative is “unsolved murder”. Dramatic license, I guess.

***
Good point. Any death due to a firearm must be labeled a murder, no matter what the circumstances.


50 posted on 06/27/2013 4:54:00 PM PDT by Bigg Red (Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved! -Ps80)
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