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The Murder of James B. Tutt

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My 3rd Great Grandfather, Clement C. Tutt, brought his family to what is now Texas in 1824 or 1827, depending on which document you accept. Originally from South Carolina, they spent 3 or 4 years in Louisiana before pushing on to Texas where they settled in the area now including Sabine, San Augustine. and Shelby Counties. Clement and his wife, Millicent Isabella Ames, had 13 or 14 children. I descend from their son, Sydney O. Pennington Tutt who was named after one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence.


This post, however, is about Clement's oldest son, James B. Tutt (my 3rd Grand Uncle), who was senselessly murdered on June 5, 1845 while plowing in his fields. The killer was one Joseph Simmons, a friend of the family who coveted James Tutt's wife. Simmons was caught almost immediately, then later was tried, convicted and sentenced to die. After his conviction, he wrote a full confession and was executed in Shelbyville, Texas, by hanging, on Saturday, November 29, 1845. Curiously, the confession was published months later in the April 2, 1846 issue of the San Augustine [Texas] weekly, "The Red-Lander. It is a long and difficult, but fascinating read. I have attached my transcription of the story below, as it was written, but with a couple of explanatory remarks inserted.  At the end, there is a link to the actual Red-Lander issue.



Simmons, Joseph LAST CONFESSION.doc

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