GEORGIA SUPREME COURT, 1858
Thomas Golden convicted of murder of Nicolas Jordan, March 1858. Case is appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court that the judge gave bad instructions to the jury, and one juror surnamed Slaughter was so angry at having to jury duty that he swore to convict whomever was accused, watch him hang and then stay there until ‘…the hairs of his arse touched the ground’ — the court finding that the juror was prejudiced essentially just because he didn’t want to be there.
New trial given. Outcome unknown.
Circumstances: Alcohol involved. Beyond a few drinks. This included Golden. A group of men bullied Thomas Golden. They chose the biggest among them (Nicolas Jordan) to beat Golden. It did not go well,and somehow a gun came into play with Jordan being killed.
The judge that overruled the original conviction and granted a new trial noted that whether Golden was guilty of actual murder or was just defending himself, that it is probable that Golden could have prevented the fight to begin with.
>>> Summary of Ruling: “That Golden might have avoided the catastrophe is probable. That he was crowded by his foes is too obvious, from the proof. How far he is excusable for the death of Jordan, if at all, we refer back, to the decision of another impartial jury. Judgement reversed.”
Thomas Golden and Pickens, South Carolina
Was Thomas Golden from South Carolina? Shortly after his court case, the local Pickens Courthouse legal newspaper Keowee Courier ran a very short blurb:
“Convicted – We learn that THOS. GOLDEN was tried at the Superior Court of Marion county, Geo., last week, for the murder of NICOLAS JORDAN some time last winter and was convicted.” … END OF STORY.
— Keowee Courier newspaper, Sat, Mar 20, 1858
Whomever Thomas Golden was appears to have been fairly well known among local Pickens residents. There was no introduction such as ‘a local man …’ or ‘a Georgia man …’
Whether this is one of our Goldens is unknown. ‘Thomas’ tends to be unique to our family, but a number of nearby Goldings had started using the ‘Golden’ name by this time.
You are welcome to add to or to correct this story by contacting: Bill Golden, Norfolk1956@gmail.com
BTW – I look forward to sharing your stories, photos and in-search-of quests. You can also send me materials and photos to: Bill Golden, Box 1655, Prince William VA 22195, USA.