Weekly Rehearsal, Boston, July 15 1734, pg 2 via GenealogyBank.com [Although, it cannot be found for some reason under the name of Abigail Dent, instead use search terms Portsmouth, murder, 1734.]
Portsmouth (in New Hampshire) July 12. On Saturday Evening last, a young Woman about 17 Years old, belonging to this Place, was found in a Swamp about a Mile out of Town, most barbarously murdered. She went from Home on the Wednesday Evening before, about Ten of the Clock, and 'tis thought that this inhuman Murder was committed by two Sailors, to conseal another Act as Vile and Base as this was Barbarous. All Means are used by Magistrates of the Town to ind out the cruel Authors, and two Men who were taken upon suspicion, namely Thomas Pachal and Thomas Daniels, are still under Confinement and Examination, and tho' by most 'tis believed that these Wretches (or one of them) were the savage Authors of so unheard of a Tradedy, yet nothing as yet appears sufficient to bind them over to the Assizes, Every Night produces a new Circumstance against them, and who knows what a day may bring forth?
The young woman's name was Abigail Dent, and the Jury of Inquest brought in their Verdict Murder.
Weekly Rehearsal, Boston, Aug 19 1734, pg1, via GenealogyBank.com [Although, it cannot be found for some reason under the name of Abigail Dent, instead use search terms Portsmouth, murder, 1734.]
Portsmouth, in New Hampshire, Aug. 16 Last Week at our assizes came on the Trial of Thomas Pachall and Thomas Daniels, who were indicted by the Grand Jury for the Murder of Abigail Dent, and no Evidence appearing against them, they were acquitted.
Also found was this in the Annals of Portsmouth: compromising a period of two hundred years.....by Nathaniel Adams, pg 163 free via Google Books
July 7th. The body of Abigail Dent, was found in an alder swamp, in a pasture belonging to George Jaffrey, Esq. situated on Middle road, about a mile from the court-house, with evident marks of violence upon it. The Coroner's inquest states. "that she was murdered by being strangled by the menes of some ill disposed person or persons, by laying violent hands on her throat." The body was secreted among the bushes, and was accidentally discovered after she had been missing a few days. Two sailors were suspected, as perpetrators to the deed, who were arrested and examined, but there was not sufficient evidence to convict them.
A book titled American Homicide By Randolph Roth, pg 132 under "Romance Homicide" he states -
Abigail Dent, a seventeen-year-old boardinghouse servant from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was probably killed by a former lover. The chief suspect was a sailor names Thomas Paschal. She was last seen in his company, and they were arguing about Dent's relationship with another sailor. Her body was found later that week in a swamp about a mile from town. Paschal was the only suspect, but his messmate swore that he had been in their room asleep at the time of the murder, so no charges were ever filed.
His end note refers to New Hampshire Provincial Court file 20613, New Hampshire State Archives, Concord - [which I have not personally seen....]
The State of New Hampshire, Provincial and State Papers 1725-1800, Vol XVIII, pg 208 states:
"at another Term four persons were indicted for the Murder of one Abigail Dent and Two of them tryed for their lives"
I have no known relation to the people mentioned here. I just found it curious.
Live & cherish the moment while exploring the past!
Amylynne (Baker) Murphy