Tom Dula 

dulasign.jpg (28494 bytes) In July of 1866 a man came up to Lt. Col. James W. M. Grayson's home near Trade, Tennessee. He had come from Wilkes County. The man told Col. Grayson that his name was Tom Hall. He wanted to work on Grayson's farm to earn money for a new pair of boots. His were falling apart.
 

 

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Lt. Col. James W. M. Grayson

 

Grayson put Tom to work as a hired hand. After he worked long enough to earn the new pair of boots which was about a week Tom took off.

About July 10 just a few hours after Tom left Grayson's home the authories from Wilkes County came to Grayson's looking for a man named Tom Dula. Grayson knew from the description they were looking for his hired man who had called himself Tom Hall. Dula was accused of the murder of Laura Foster. She had died on June 18.

Grayson said he would help the posse find Dula. Grayson rode with the posse to Taylorsville (now Mountain City) to get the sheriff. The sheriff was in Shady Valley some miles away. Grayson decided to keep looking for Dula without the help of an official. The posse found Tom Dula nine miles west of Taylorsville at a place called Pandora. Tom was sitting on a rock in the creek soaking his feet because his new boots had rubbed blisters. Grayson dismounted and picked up a rock. He told Tom he was under arrest. Grayson didn't have to remove his gun during the arrest. It wasn't until the members of the posse wanted to hang Tom, that Grayson took out his gun. Grayson told the posse that he wanted Tom to get a fair trial. Grayson took Tom back to his farm in Trade. He put Tom in the barn and had his son W. F. Grayson who was a young boy at the time guard Tom during the night. The next day Grayson put Tom on a horse. He tied his hands and tied his feet underneath the belly of the horse. They headed to Wilkes County.

dula1.jpg (43995 bytes)

 

The trial took place in 1868 in Statesville. Tom was found guilty. On May 1, 1869 Tom was hanged in Statesville, North Carolina. Tom's casket was placed on a wagon for Tom to stand on during the hanging. He was given a chance to say some last words. Tom said, "I want everybody to know that I did not harm a single hair on that fair lady's head."

This is the foot stone at Tom Dula's grave site. Notice the dates are different from the headstone above. The headstone is wrong. dula2.jpg (43686 bytes)
grayson's tombstone.jpg (215664 bytes) Lt. Col. James W. M. Grayson was buried in the graveyard at the Zionville Baptist Church. This is in North Carolina just before you reach the Tennessee state line.

Gillam Bannon Grayson, Col. Grayson nephew from Laurel Bloomery, along with Henry Whittier went to Memphis to record the Ballad of Tom Dooley for Victor Records on October 1, 1929. It became popular in the late 1950s when the Kingston Trio re-released the song.This ballad tells the story.

Chorus

Hang down your head Tom Dooley
Hang down your head and cry
Hang down your head Tom Dooley
Poor boy you're bound to die.

I met her on the mountain
And there I tuck her life;
I met her on the mountain
And stobbed her with my knife

Chorus

Hang down your head Tom Dooley
Hang down your head and cry
Hang down your head Tom Dooley
Poor boy you're bound to die.

This time tomorrer
Reckon where I"ll be?-
If it hadn' -a been for Grayson
I'd be-a been in Tennessee.

Chorus

Hang down your head Tom Dooley
Hang down your head and cry
Hang down your head Tom Dooley
Poor boy you're bound to die.

This time tomorrer
Reckon where I'll be?-
In some lonesome valley
A-hangin' on a white oak tree.

Chorus

Hang down your head Tom Dooley
Hang down your head and cry
Hang down your head Tom Dooley
Poor boy you're bound to die.

 

(No longer an active link.) http://members.spree.com/martianchic1/rocknroll2.htm

 

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