- Governors office of NC
- United States of America
On July 12, 1833, Frances “Frankie” Silver was hanged from the gallows on Damon’s Hill in Morganton. She had been convicted of killing her husband Charlie with an axe and hacking his body into pieces. The murder occurred December of 1831.
A neighbor found pieces of bones among the ashes in the fireplace inside the Silvers’ cabin near Kona, Mitchell County. More body parts were discovered beneath the cabin’s floorboards, buried in the yard, and hidden in a nearby sourwood stump. In January 1832 Frankie was arrested for first-degree murder. The jury found Frankie guilty, and the judge sentenced her “to be hung by the neck until she be dead.” She was eighteen years old and the mother of an infant daughter.
Frankie’s lawyers filed several appeals, and nearly three dozen important Morganton women asked the governor to show mercy when it appeared that Frankie had murdered Charlie in self-defense. But one by one the appeals were denied. Frankie’s execution date was set for July.
Stories of the gruesome crime are still passed around today. People think it was Charlie’s drunken abuse and beatings that drove her to kill him. Because the law in those days didn’t allow women to testify in court, Frankie never told story before a judge. Even at the gallows, when she started to speak her last words, Frankie’s father shouted to her from the crowd, “Die with it in you, Frankie!” Sadly, she did.
Charlie Silver was buried in three graves in the Silver family cemetery behind the Kona Baptist Church. That’s because the pieces of his body weren’t found all at once, and it was considered improper to reopen a grave.
Please watch the Frankie & Charlie music video on YouTube by Ali Randolph & Outta Luck Band.
We, the undersigned, call on the North Carolina Governor to fully pardon Frances "Frankie" Stewart Silver convicted for the 1831 Murder of her Husband, Charles "Charlie" Silver in the Mountains of North Carolina in present-day Mitchell County.
The Pardon Frances "Frankie" Stewart Silver petition to Governors office of NC was written by Ali Randolph and is in the category Gender Rights and Issues at GoPetition.