That knife is clearly worth two shillings

On September 24, 1811, William Winston and Solomon Malone got into an argument. Extant records list both men as labourers. In short, they cut logs and hauled rocks for a living. One can only assume that it was an argument about rocks, possibly logs.

It escalated.

It escalated to the point that William Winston punched the poor Solomon Malone and pulled out a weapon. They tangled for a moment and then William turned quickly and “did then and there did stab him, the said Solomon, with a large knife of the value of two shillings in the arm just below the elbow with intent to kill him.”

We learned a lot about Solomon Malone with this sentence. He was the kind of man to be nearly stabbed in the ribs, to be almost murdered, and to pause to say to himself “that is a knife of median value. I should note this for later.”

Solomon Malone had strange priorities.


The Territory v. William Winston, Minute Book of Madison County Mississippi Territory of the Superior Court in Law and Equity, 1811-1819. p. 34/36-37 (1811).

One thought on “That knife is clearly worth two shillings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s