Beasley Barbee – Tombstone Inscriptions

Barbee, Beasley
Section 28.8
ID # 281094

Barbee Beasley
Giles Co.

Nineteen Penitentiary inmates died of Cholera during the June 1833 Epidemic in Nashville. They were buried at Nashville City Cemetery. In 2016 wooden markers were placed at the cemetery for these Cholera victims.

Fred Zahn of the Metropolitan Historical Commission was responsible for the carving of the inscriptions on the 19 wooden markers and locating where to place them at the Nashville City Cemetery. To read about his work on the project, click here.

To read the account of John Hill, a contemporary of these men and survivor of his time in the penitentiary, click here.

For more information, and to see a listing of the inmates’ names & counties of residence prior to incarceration, please see the following newspaper article in the Nashville Republican and State Gazette, Friday, July 5, 1833.

Charles A. Sherill has given permission to quote from Tennessee Convicts: Records of the State Penitentiary, Vol. I. 1831-1850, by Charles & Tomye M. Sherrill, published 1997:

Page 2
“Beasley Barbee was received into the Penitentiary 9 April 1831. He is about 20 years old, 5′ 9 1/2” high, weighs about 165 lbs., dark skin and hair, eyes gray. The little finger on his left hand has been broke. Scar on the middle finger of the same hand, scar on the left side of the left leg below the knee. Born in Orange Co., North Carolina, and brought up in the counties of Marion, Giles, and Hardin, Tennessee. He has a brother living in Louisiana on the Mississippi River near the Arkansas line, and a sister married to John Garner near Pulaski, Tenn. Was found guilty of maliciously shooting N.J. [or N.G?] Nye at the Circuit Court of Giles County, and sentenced to four years and eight months confinement in the Jail and Penitentiary House of the State of Tennessee. Beasley Barbee [died] of Cholera on the [17th?] of June 1833. [Ledger 45, p. 3]”

Research Report August 2017

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