Thomas King III1,2

M, #1843, b. 1780, d. 8 May 1835
Last Edited=6 Jun 2011
     Thomas King III, son of John King and Jane Moorhead, was born in 1780 at Pitt County, North Carolina.3 Thomas King III was the son of John King and Jane Moorhead.3

Thomas King III was included in the will of John King on 1 August 1803 at Camden County, Georgia; The will reads as follows:
"Be it Remembered that I John of the County of Camden State of Georgia planter have this day given and granted for and in consideration of the love and affection which I have unto my beloved son James King, a certain negro man named Tom, to have and to hold the said negro man Tom to him self his _____ and assigns, fully and of wright. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and seal this 20th day of August, One thousand Eight hundred and one."

And: "Know al whom it ay concern that I john King of the County of Camden planter have this day for the love and affection which I bear to my beloved son Thomas King given and granted unto him my said son Thomas King three certain negroes _____ Peter, Pheb, Nancy, to have and to hold the said negroes Peter, Pheb, & Nancy aforesaid as he cometh of age and until that time the said Negroes Peter, Pheb & Nancy is hereby declared to be under the directions of my beloved wife Jane King, to bring up and educate my son Thomas King in such manner as the produce of their labour will justify. In witness whereon I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 23rd day of June 1802. John King.4

Thomas King III married Maria Therese Woodland, daughter of James Woodland Sr. and Elizabeth (?).2

Thomas King, III, was on Major William Bailey's Pay Roll of the 381st District Company of Militia in Camden County, Georgia as a private. At this time there were many struggles on the frontier with Indians who the white settlers said were harassing them, stealing their cattle, hoses and ammunition, and scalping women and children.5

On 7 August 1818, Quail Frazzar appointed Thomas King III as his attorney (this sounds like what we would recognize as a "Power of Attorney") to represent him in the sale of property on his behalf.6

Entry Con. K 7; DG V 69:
"Thomas J. Prevatt deposes before James Green, J. P. of Nassau County, that he is acquainted with Thomas King, who before, on, and after 2/22/1819, did inhabit and cultivate betwixt 10 and 15 acres of a tract of land on St. Marys River, and that he is head of a family of ten, 9 whites and 1 black.7

In 1828 there were 21 individuals who voted in the home of Thomas King at King's Ferry, Nassau County, Florida. There was also an election to nominate a territorial representative for the U.S. Congress held at the King home.8

In 1830, Thomas King III appeared on the United States Census, at Nassau County, Florida, The census lists: 2 males under 5; 1 male 5-10; 1 male 10-15; 3 male 15-20; 2 females under 5; 1 female 10-15; 1 female 20-30; 1 female 40-50. This corresponds to the family as we know it. The oldest children were out of the home.9

On 11 June 1830, William Haddock sold Thomas King, III, 250 acres on the South side of the Saint Marys River. The location was called Mills Ferry but later became Kings Ferry. It was in Nassau County, Florida.10

In February of 1835, there was an incident which apparently ended with the execution of Thomas King III, and the fleeing of his sons, John, Hiram and George. It is believed that sons John and Hiram eventually ended up in Mississippi and assumed the surname Adams. Two Rouse brothers also fled and they changed their surname to Hodge, which was their mother's maiden name.

In the Georgia Black Book the incident is reported this way:

"on the night of the 18th or 20th instant, THOMAS KING, HIRAM KING, GEORGE KING and JOHN KING, with two others names ROUSE 'entered into the house of MRS. JANE CASEY in the county of Camden in the State and in a most atrocious and savage manner, murdered her daughter NANCY CASEY (the mother of an infant child) and a young man named JAMES SCOTT, and also mortally wounded several other persons, members of her family.' THOMAS KING and his sons, HIRAM AND GEORGE, have fled justice."

The Camden County, Georgia, transcribed court records state that: April 8, 1835: Indictments for Murder were returned at this term against Thomas King 'commonly called Thomas King the Third', John King, Hiram King, George King, Simeon Rouse and William Rouse; Saml. F. Ryan, prosecutor. Thomas King, the third, was tried first, and found guilty. Witnesses for the State: Jane Casey, Garret Demott, Dr. Henry D. Holland; for the defendant, Adeline Casey and William McCulley. JOHN King was then placed on trial charged with murder in the second degree; found not guilty. On April 11, 1835, William Rouse and Simeon were placed on trial, and a mistrial was declared. On same date, Thomas King was sentenced to be hung May 8, 1835, and other defendants were ordered to be kept in Chatham County jail until next term. Note: Examination of minutes for the following two terms show that it was impossible to empanel a qualified jury in these cases, and so far as can be found the cases were never tried."

Researcher Frank J. Peugh relates the following regarding this incident: This story was "told by the oldest daughter (Mrs. Marion Rouse/Hodge Whatley) of William Rouse/Hodge to the mother (Mrs. Dee Alice Mosley Peugh) of" Frank J Peugh:
On the night of 18 February 1835, members of the Thomas King, III, group listened outside near the chimney of the Casey house. Parties in the Casey house were talking and laughing how 'Old Man King' would react the next morning when he discovered that his boats had been cut from their moorings and were floating down the river. This apparently angered Thomas king, III, because he operated a ferry service from Kings Ferry, Nassau County, FL between the South and North banks of Saint Mary's River. After learning of this act, Thomas King, III, led his group of six, including himself, on an emotional, insane and murderous charge into the Casey house seeking revenge. William Casey and his bride, Adeline King, had apparently anticipated her father's insane outrage and the bride and groom stayed elsewhere on the night of their wedding. Possibly, their anticipation or luck saved their lives.


On 25 Feb 1835, there was the following letter written to the then Governor of Georgia, Wilson Lumpkin, by a John H. McIntosh"
Dear Sir
On the day that I heard of the shocking and atrocious murders committed by Thos. King and His sons on the bodies of Nancy Casey and James Scott on the north side of St. Mary's River, I met with Mr. Small. Clarke one of the Justices of our Inferior Court, and we agreed that I should make out a rough copy of the statement of facts, which he would have...forwarded to your Excellency...I will again relate the facts of this horrid transaction as I have lately heard them as coming from one of the Rouse who with his brother and John King are now in our County Jail. There are two families, that of King and Casey who live on the St. Marys River -- Kings in the Territory of Florida on the south side, and Casey on the north in the State of Georgia. One of the Casey’s run off with a daughter of the Kings, and carrying her into the interior of the state several miles, married her. On the 18th inst. John King now in custody went with Rouse to Mrs. Casey, and made to the family some most horrid and violent threats -- He went away, returned soon after, threw open the door of the House, which had been shut after him, and cried out to those outside of it 'that all was now clear' -- Thomas King, the father, with hi other sons, George and Hiram, now rushed in with knives drawn -- The Father, Thomas, first met with Nancy Casey, a young woman with an infant in her arms -- Her he stabbed to the Heart -- she fell and was found the day after with her child yet at her breast -- He next stabbed and cut open the bowels of Mr. James Scott, who without resistance fell dead a few paces off -- Mrs. Casey, the mother of Nancy was the third victim of this demonology -- He stabbed and cut her, but not mortally -- Finally Garret Demot, who was endeavoring to intercede for this poor woman, received in his body the fatal knife in two places - While the Father was acting this bloody scene, his son George, discovered a youth sick and lying in bed, called Baldwin Casey -- He stabbed and cut his abdomen across, so as to sever some of his entrails -- Scott and Demott made no part of the family -- but had accidentally stopped in.

I have heard nothing of either Demott or Casey within two or three days -- but neither of them were at that time expected to live.

The Kings, say Thomas the elder, and his sons George and Hiram, then returned to Florida, and I fear are at large -- Parties from this side who saw the dead Bodies, went under the excitement to endeavour to apprehend these wretches but it is expected that they will not succeed.


A Jacksonville, Florida newspaper on Thursday, February 26, 1835, described the incident and reported further on the eventual capture of the Kings and Rouses. That article concluded with "It was a melancholy sight -- a father and his two sons accused of murder -- and that with the original design of taking the blood of a daughter and sister. The same Cause which leads to the Commission of the most aggravated crimes occasioned this monstrous deed: Intemperance."

Frank J. Peugh, in his manuscript, states that on 18 Feb 1835, at about 11 pm, Thomas King, three of his sons and two Rouse brothers, one of whom was Thomas's son-in-law, killed Nancy Casey, age 25, daughter of Mrs. Jane Casey; James Scott; and James Baldwin Casey (who actually died on 24 Feb. 1835.) Another man, Garret Demott was not expected to live but actually did survive.11,12,13,14,15,16

Thomas King III left a will on 13 April 1835 at Camden County, Georgia,
In the name of God Amen. I Thomas King the third late of the Territory of East Florida but now of the County of Camden and State of Georgia, knowing that I am about shortly to die, do make and publish this as my last will and testament in writing hereby revoking all and every other will or wills by me at any time heretofore made.

First, It is my will and desire that all my just debts be paid and satisfied out of my estate.

Secondly, after which as to any such worldly Estate as it has pleased God to bless me with I give, devise and bequeath all my Estate real, personal or mixed of every nature and kind and where ever situated into my beloved wife Maria King and to my beloved children, 1. Josiah King. 1. Lawrence D. King. 3. Edwin R. King. 4. Henry P. King. 5. Andrew J. King. 6. Elizabeth A. King. 7. Mary H. King. 8. Ellen M. King and to the survivors and survivors of them his or their heirs and assigns forever share and share a like.

Third, I hereby nominate constitute and appoint my beloved wife executrix and my beloved son Josiah King Executor of my last will and testament. In testimony where of I have hereunto set my hand and seal this thirteenth day of April 1835.

Signed, sealed, publish and declared by this said testator to be his last will and testament who at his request and in our presence and in the presence of each other have affirmed our name as witness thereto.

William T. Hopkins Thomas King 3rd (S.S.)
Jesse Folder
Jacob L. Goodbread
George Lang.17


Thomas King III died on 8 May 1835 at Jeffersonton, Camden County, Georgia. "We know from local historians that the courthouse in Jeffersonton was a two-story wooden structure, 25 feet wide by 35 feet long, the boards of which were later used to build the old church which still stands (by 2008, even that is gone). A small jail was also built near the courthouse and a hanging tree stood nearby." This tree is most likely the tree in which Thomas King III was hung. The above quoted article includes a photo of the "hanging tree." At the time of his death, Jeffersonton was the county seat of Camden County, Georgia. The town no longer exists and the county seat is Woodbine.18 He was buried at Kings Ferry Cemetery, Kings Ferry, Nassau County, Florida.3

On June 5, 1835, the Columbus County Georgia Enquirer ran this article under the heading "Execution of Thomas King 3rd:"
The Execution of Thomas King 3rd took place in Camden County Georgia - Friday the 8th altime - in conformity with the Sentence of the Law.

He apparently suffered but little in his speedy transit from Time to Eternity. The Solemnity of the Occasion seemed to be felt by all.

While the exchanges of the Last Farewell between the Father and his numerous Family-rendered the scene Deeply Affecting.

During the last days of his confinement - he was well attended by Clergy and made a Full Confession of his guilt and his mind seemed prepared for the awful change - which awaited him."19

Children of Thomas King III and Maria Therese Woodland

Citations

  1. [S111] Jean & Edwards, Patricia N. Strickland, compiler, Clarke County Mississippi Probate Court and Estate Records 1839-1850 (P.O. Box 5147, Moss Point, MS 39563: Jean Strickland & Patricia N. Edwards, 1954). Hereinafter cited as Clarke County Probate Records.
  2. [S246] George Shirley, "E-Mail Correspondence with George Shirley," E-Mail message from (author E-Mail address private) at Madison, Mississippi to this researcher, 22 Jul 2006 and following. Hereinafter cited as "Correspondence - George Shirley."
  3. [S382] Judy Stewart Kroker, "Correspondence with Judy Kroker Regarding the King/Adams Family," (author E-Mail address private) at Orlando, Florida, to this researcher, May 2008 and following. Hereinafter cited as "Correspondence - Judy Kroker."
  4. [S85] Recorded Will, 1 Aug 1803, Camden County, Georgia, Will Book and Minutes Book F, pages 85 and 86. photocopy or digital copy is in the personal records of this researcher, Florence, Pinal County, Arizona.
  5. [S387] III, and his descendents Thomas King, Unpublished Manuscript, 23 April 1989, Compiled by Researcher Frank J. Peugh, Bryan-Lang Historical Library, Woodbine, Camden County, Georgia, page 3.
  6. [S431] Quail Frazzar entry, Camden County, Georgia, Will Book, Book K, Book K, Page 104-105., unknown repository, unknown repository address. Hereinafter cited as Camden County, Georgia, Will Book.
  7. [S403] "John King: Revolutionary War Soldier 1740-1804 Camden County Georgia," (MS, about 2007; Florida), This entry is said to be from: Spanish Land Grants in Florida: Briefed Translations from the Archives of the Boards of Commissioners for Ascertaining Claims and Titles to Land in the Territory of Florida, Vol. IV, Vol. IV. Confirmed Claims: K-R. Prepared by The Historical Records Survey Division of Community Service Programs Work Projects Administration, State Library Board, Tallahassee, Florida, March 1941, page 4.; Alphabetically filed, Bryan-Lang Historical Library; Woodbine, Camden County, Georgia. Hereinafter cited as "John King, Revolutionary War Soldier."
  8. [S400] Jan H. Johannes Sr., editor, Yesterday's Reflections II Nassau County, Florida, A Pictorial History (Jacksonville, Florida: Lexington Ventures, Inc., 2000), p. 122 references the 1828 election. Page 299 references the 1829.. Hereinafter cited as Yesterday's Reflections.
  9. [S197] 1830 United States Census, population schedule, Nassau County, Florida, page 6, kube 74.; digital image by subscription, The Generations Network (http://www.ancestry.com); from the National Archives microfilm. A printed copy is in the personal records of this researcher.
  10. [S387] III, and his descendents Thomas King, Unpublished Manuscript, 23 April 1989, Compiled by Researcher Frank J. Peugh, Bryan-Lang Historical Library, Woodbine, Camden County, Georgia, page 4.
  11. [S295] Robert Scott Davis The Georgia Black Book: More Morbid, Macabre, & Sometimes Disgusting Records of Genealogical Value - just when you thought it was safe to get back into genealogy., II (Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1982), page 144.. Hereinafter cited as Georgia Black Book, Volume II.
  12. [S296] Fred R. and Hartz, Emilie K. Hartz Genealogical Abstracts from the Georgia Journal (Milledgeville) Newspaper, 1809-1840, Volume Four, 1829-1835 (Vidalia, Georgia: Gwendolyn Press, 1990), p. 794-795.. Hereinafter cited as Georgia Journal Abstracts.
  13. [S373] Folks Huxford, compiler, Camden County, Georgia, Court House Records (Homerville, Georgia: Huxford Genealogical Society), p. 220.. Hereinafter cited as Camden County, Georgia, Court House Reords.
  14. [S384] Vertical Files of Camden County Georgia Records, Miscellaneous Unpublished Records, Bryan-Lang Historical Library, Woodbine, Camden County, Georgia, Leter to the Governor of Georgia by John H. McIntosh, on 25 Feb 18365. The original is on file in the Georgia Department of Archives and History.
  15. [S384] Vertical Files of Camden County Georgia Records, Miscellaneous Unpublished Records, Bryan-Lang Historical Library, Woodbine, Camden County, Georgia, Jacksonville courier, Jacksonville EastFlorida, Thursday, February 26, 1835.
  16. [S387] III, and his descendents Thomas King, Unpublished Manuscript, 23 April 1989, Compiled by Researcher Frank J. Peugh, Bryan-Lang Historical Library, Woodbine, Camden County, Georgia, p. 9.
  17. [S387] III, and his descendents Thomas King, Unpublished Manuscript, 23 April 1989, Compiled by Researcher Frank J. Peugh, Bryan-Lang Historical Library, Woodbine, Camden County, Georgia, page 10.
  18. [S385] Kay Jenkins, "Jeffersonton - Old County Seat is Just a Memory," The Southeast Georgian (22 Jan 1981): page 3.. Hereinafter cited as "Jeffersonton."
  19. [S392] Unknown author, Columbus Enquirer, Columbus, Georgia: June 5 1835, page 2. "Execution of Thomas Kind 3rd".. Hereinafter cited as "An article in The Columbus Enquirer, Columbus, Georgia."
  20. [S247] Clarke County, Mississippi Probate Court, "Public Notice," Eastern Star News, Quitman, Mississippi - Public Notice, 5 issues, 1868 (15 Jan 1868 through 12 February 1868). Hereinafter cited as "Public Notice."
  21. [S247] Clarke County, Mississippi Probate Court, "Public Notice," Eastern Star News, Quitman, Mississippi - Public Notice, 5 issues, 1868 (15 Jan 1868 through 12 February 1868): This public notice listed the Adeline Casey as presumably the aunt of Elias Adams, who it is believed was actually the son of Hiram King, aka Hiram Adams.. Hereinafter cited as "Public Notice."
  22. [S247] Clarke County, Mississippi Probate Court, "Public Notice," Eastern Star News, Quitman, Mississippi - Public Notice, 5 issues, 1868 (15 Jan 1868 through 12 February 1868): This public notice listed the surname as Adams and it only an educated guess that this was Perry King.. Hereinafter cited as "Public Notice."
  23. [S247] Clarke County, Mississippi Probate Court, "Public Notice," Eastern Star News, Quitman, Mississippi - Public Notice, 5 issues, 1868 (15 Jan 1868 through 12 February 1868): This public notice listed the surname as Adams and it only an educated guess that this was Jackson King.. Hereinafter cited as "Public Notice."
  24. [S247] Clarke County, Mississippi Probate Court, "Public Notice," Eastern Star News, Quitman, Mississippi - Public Notice, 5 issues, 1868 (15 Jan 1868 through 12 February 1868): This public notice listed the Mary Fox as presumably the aunt of Elias Adams, who it is believed was actually the son of Hiram King, aka Hiram Adams.. Hereinafter cited as "Public Notice."
  25. [S247] Clarke County, Mississippi Probate Court, "Public Notice," Eastern Star News, Quitman, Mississippi - Public Notice, 5 issues, 1868 (15 Jan 1868 through 12 February 1868): This public notice listed the surname as Adams and it only an educated guess that this was Edward King.. Hereinafter cited as "Public Notice."