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The following documents relating to the killing of Burwell Chapman in Chapmanville District are located in the Logan County Circuit Clerk’s Office in Logan, WV.


Logan, W.Va.

Sept. 14, 1903

Mr. S.B. Mullins,

Dear Friend:

I write this to inform you that I expect to have you and Maudie summoned to my trial pretty soon. The time has come that I must face bitter enemies and as you know they would be glad to see me hung whether I was guilty or not. I know and God knows I am not guilty of the charge which is alleged against me, though my life is at stake because they hate me so bad. You know that I stayed at your boat on the night the house was burned and you know that we talked about it the next morning and you said that you were glad that I did stay at your house that night. I am positive that I was not off your boat on the night the house was burned. I can’t swear positive that a fishing crew passed your boat on the night the house was burned but I was positive that I talked to you that night about going fishing.

Don’t you remember seeing that light at the head of the shoal above the boat the night the house was burned? I know that you can safely swear that I stayed at your boat anyhow till 11 o’clock that night. How would you like to be taken away from your family for something you did not do?

It is in your power to make me a free man and I know that you will do so. I want you to come up to see me just as soon as you get this letter. No matter what you are doing when you must drop it and come. I will pay you more for your time than you can get for working on the mill. I want you to go to work for me and help me to show up the truth in this matter. Justice is all on earth I ask.

Your Friend,

L.A. Ellis



The Grand Jurors of the State of West Virginia in and for the body of the County of Logan, upon their oaths present that Lloyd Ellis on the 14th day of May 1903, in the County aforesaid, willfully, maliciously, deliberately, feloniously, and unlawfully did slay, kill and murder one Burwell Chapman, against the peace and dignity of the State.Found at the October Term of said Court, 1903, upon the information of Lena Chapman sworn in open Court and sent before the Grand Jury to give evidence to that body.


We the Jury find the Defendant Not Guilty.

W.W. Perry