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Tom Dooley

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					       Tom Dooley
     North
    Carolina
    legend


PowerPoint by Meredith Harley Inserra from various sources on the internet.
A Civil War soldier   This is the
                      story of a
                      handsome
                      young Civil
                      War soldier.
                      He was tried
                      and found
                      guilty of the
                      murder of
                      Laura Foster,
                      but some say
                      he didn’t do it.
His real name
was Tom Dula,
often
pronounced
Dooley, so
most people
now know him
as Tom
Dooley.
 photo from the outdoor drama
    by the Wilkes Playmakers.
There are many versions to the story, so
we don’t know exactly what happened,
and we probably never will, but we do
know it happened right here in North
Carolina, in Wilkes County, in 1866.
Before the war, two of Tom’s girlfriends
were Laura Foster and Ann Melton.
They were cousins.
Ann got married to
someone else before
the war ended, so
Laura thought she
could have Tom
all to herself.
But after the war
Ann Melton saw
Tom and fell in love
with him again,
although she was
married to
someone else!
                       Ann Melton
Laura had
another
boyfriend
too,
named
Bob
Grayson.
Tom told Laura to gather up her things,
sneak out at night,
and meet him.
They planned to run
away to get married.
She was never
seen alive again.



    photo from the outdoor drama
       by the Wilkes Playmakers.
After weeks of searching, her body
was finally found in a shallow grave.
Her legs were broken and she’d
been stabbed in the chest. A small
bag of her clothes were also found.
No one knew where Tom was.
              Laura’s other boyfriend,
              Bob Grayson, led a
              search party for Tom.
              They found him in
              Tennessee and brought
              him back in chains.
              As a crowd gathered Tom
              asked to be unchained.
              Tom sat and played a
              song on his banjo, or was
              it a fiddle? It depends on
              who you ask.
Bob Grayson
Tom’s lawyer asked for the case to be moved to
  Tom was jailed in Tom was charged
Statesville in Iredell County.Wilkesboro towith
  await murder and
the actual his trial. Ann Melton, Laura’s cousin,
was charged with "influencing him to commit murder.”




     This is the actual jail where Tom Dooley was held.
Tom was tried in court in Statesville
and found guilty for the murder of
Laura Foster.
Tom’s lawyer was
Zebulon Vance,
who had been
governor of
North Carolina.

Our neighboring
town, Vanceboro,
is named after
him.
On the night before his execution Tom wrote a
note: Statement of Thomas C. Dula-"I declare
that I am the only person that had any hand in
the murder of Laura Foster." Ann was
released from jail based on this confession.

But was he confessing to help
Ann? Some people believe Ann
actually killed Laura so she could
marry Tom.
On May 1st, 1866 Tom Dooley rode through
the streets of Statesville in a wagon. He sat
on the top of his coffin with his banjo on his
knee, joking with the people walking along.
He played his banjo, laughing as the wagon
neared the gallows. When the rope was
placed around his neck, he joked with Sheriff
Watson, "I would have washed my neck if I
had known you were using such a nice clean
new rope". Asked if he had any last words to say, Tom held
his right hand and replied, “Gentlemen, do you see this
hand? Do you see it tremble? Do you see it shake? I never
hurt a hair on the girl's head". And he was hung.
Laura was buried on what is now
known as “Laura Foster Hill” in
Caldwell County, NC.
Tom is buried by the Yadkin River




                                    Road
                                    marker on
                                    NC
                                    Highway
                                    268 in
                                    Wilkes
                                    County.
Tom Dula’s gravestone is on private property on the
Tom Dula Road in Elkville, NC, now known as
Ferguson, NC. The access road has been closed.
People have chipped away at the stone to keep a souvenir.
What do you think?
Did Tom really kill
Laura Foster
or did Ann do it?
Or both?
Could there be more
to this story?...
Notes, Links, and Sources
The photo on the second slide may be an actual photo of Tom Dooley,
although I cannot verify this. This photo is associated with Tom Dooley on at
least two web sites on the internet, but that is not a definitive verification.
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Lake/4713/tomdooley.html
http://www.wilkesplaymakers.com/contente.asp?page_id=dooleye
http://library.thinkquest.org/03oct/00492/page34.html
http://www.main.nc.us/graham/mcclung/Dooley%20Legend.html
http://www.davidholt.com/photos/tomdula.html
http://www.mce.k12tn.net/johnson/legends/tom_dula.htm
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?GRid=2473&page=gr
http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMDT9
http://www.americanahomeplace.com/news.LifeLegendTomDooley.htm
http://blueridgecountry.com/FavoriteArticles/TomDooley/index.html
http://www.dailyyonder.com/tom-dula-murder-sold-10-000-guitars
http://joski56.blogspot.com/2008/01/story-of-tom-dooley.html

				
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