To His Excellency Joseph McMinn Governor of the State of Tennessee. We your petitionersof the County of Wilson being aware of a petition forwarded to your Excellency in favour of a reprieve for Charles L. Bennet who now stands sentenced for death for the murder of William T. Hay pray for a non compliance. Our reason for so doing we wish your Excellency to be in full possession of it. 1st We conceive that if a petition of that kind is in existance it should have originated in the neigh =bourhood where the murder was committed and not in an adjoining county ^ or an extreme part of our own county where the people are less informed of the transactions attending it. We therefore consider the petition now forwarded to be done in a clandestine manner. 2nd As the county of Wilson only, is liable for the expenses of said prisoners confinement, and removeal from one county to another as he have thought proper to change the venue, we think that the citizens of Wilson county only ought to be signers to a petition for or against the prisoner. 3rd We believe that a large majority of the citizens of our county are n favor of said Bennets Execution agreeable to his sentence and we have great reason
to believe that if Charles L. Bennet, from the enormity of his crime, should be reprieved that robberies and murders may be commited in our State with Impunity. Some, if not all, of us have seen a piece in the papers published in Franklin said to be C.L. Bennets confession of th e murder of W. T. Hay (that confession too since he was condemned). We are willing and will shew the prisoner all the lenity that a confession will intitle him to, but we do not conceive that a bare confesseion, if true ought to atone for a murder of such an attrocious nature. We your petitioners therefore pray Your Excellencys non Interference but let said C.L Bennet be punished by the Law which he has broken for which we your petitioners will ever pray.
October 1st 1819 Robert Nichols Josiah Hallum John W Nichols Charles (McKelroy?) John Hallum Thomas S. Green Lemuel Hickman Hezekiah Stone Henry C. Nichols Jacob Milton Jacob C(?) E(?) M. Chandler (Illegible) William B(?) Anderson Trice Edmond Jacobs Jacob Bennett
Acquila Hearn John YC Smith James Carruthers Wm Shanks Barry B. Shorter James [Willeford?] [James ?] William Morres [Illegible] Isham Palmer Robert Johnson Bernard Carter Martin Hancock John C. Tibbet Dawson Hancock James D. Johnson John Skeen John H Bonner [Illegible] Richard Jones Calvin [N?] Edward Jones Absalom Harris John Coe William Ballard [Nathan?] [Shar?] David Standley Thomas [Guilfor?] James Ellis Thos Edwards John Cay Wm H [Williford?] William Guthrie Nathan Fullerton Thomas Smith Wm Stafford Thomas L. Smith John L[?] [Howard Honn?] [Lee?] Elliman