Make your own free website on



A) Weekly Alabama Journal-February 26 1853, Montgomery Alabama.(1)

B) Autauga Citizen-February 24 1853, Autaugaville, Autauga Co. AL.(4)

C) Advertiser and State Gazette-February 23 1853, Montgomery Alabama.(3)

D) Weekly Alabama Journal-March 19 1853, Montgomery Alabama.(2)

E) Weekly Alabama Journal-May 27 1854, Montgomery Alabama.(6)

F)  Extradition Paper(two pages). Original was one sheet, folded, then, tri-

[Sources above, and item notes below, are keyed by letter to the replicated articles]

ITEM NOTES:                      
A & B-Duplicate articles, first published in the Selma Enterprise, which furnished much of the information on the "case". Early issues of the paper, if they exist, were not microfilmed. Selma(now the county seat of Dallas Co.)was approximately half way between Burnsville, and Cahaba, the county seat until 1865.

C-This paper also contained a third article, a "proclamation" from the Governor, adding an additional $400 reward for the capture of Joseph Noles(an exposure problem made a decent copy impossible). The original may be among the Governor's papers-or, those, of the Secretary of State(an extensive search did not find the original).    

D-Clearly discernible on the microfilm, but somewhat obscure on photocopies(beneath crease in the original-below fifth line of the article)is this notation: "at the  residence of his brother".(James Knowles Sr. may have been Joseph Noles's half-brother; he was sixteen years his senior!).
E-This article was attributed to the Cahaba Gazette, a paper which would have likely been a prime source, since the trial(and all "legalities")took place in Dallas County(if early issues exist, they were not filmed)! Evidently the execution date had not been set. The James B. Knowles diary, which inspired this search, made this notation on August 11 1854: "today is the day for my uncle to be hung-but was not".(# 1).
F-It is unclear whether this was a general extradition paper, issued to all parties who were searching for Joseph Noles, or specific authorization for these two men. Wording seemed to indicate that these men might be officials-perhaps, Sheriff, and/or other law officers of Dallas county(a closer look showed that it was a standard form, and was, indeed, for these two men). Other records, in fact, showed that Wm. B. Hall had been a major witness to the crime; one, who had very likely-despite the liberal reward, had second thoughts(quite reasonably)about becoming a "bounty hunter".(# 2).

# 1) The James Knowles diary(1852-1858)furnished just enough clues to unlock the mystery of "Uncle Joe Knowles". It is now in the State Archives(see copies of original pages- and "Guide To Diary Pages" on page 4).  GO BACK
# 2) Hall's words and actions undoubtedly had a major impact at the crime scene.  Please don't skip ahead, but watch for his(and fellow witness-C.R. Coxe's)testimony in trial transcripts.

(See " Guide  to Newspaper Articles & Extradition Paper" )


The summaries below were made from photocopies of the original newspaper articles, which were included in the booklet on Joseph "Noles".  Most of my files were recorded in WordPerfect, later converted to MS Word/Windows 98, and then reformatted for Win 95-97. The latter files required still further changes for Internet protocol, so there may be minor errors-due to repeated reformatting.  See "guide" above for sources, and comments about the articles below. The extradition paper at the bottom of this page was found in the Alabama Archives.

COPIES OF NEWSPAPER ARTICLES(see sources at top of page)


MURDER-We learn from the Selma Enterprise that Mr. George T. Sharp was shot near Burnsville, in that county, on the 14th inst., by a man named Noles, while attempting to arrest the latter under a warrant for the infamous crime of incest.     Noles immediately fled, and though hotly pursed, made his escape. A reward of $500 is offered for his arrest, and parties are now out in pursuit of him. It is hoped they may speedily succeed in arresting and bringing him to justice.

ITEM  C-#1

We copy from the Selma Enterprise an account of a most atrocious murder commited in Dallas on the 14th inst., by a man named Noales on the body of George Sharp, of Burnsville. We see by a handbill that the relatives and friends of the murdered man offer a reward of five hundred dollars for the apprehension of the murderer; and the Governor, by proclamation in another column, offers  a reward of four hundred dollars-- making in all nine hundred dollars.

ITEM  C-#2
Horrible Murder

We are exceedingly pained to learn, that Mr. George T. Sharp, of Burnsville, was murdered on the 14th inst., by a man named Noles. The circumstances of the horrible affair were, as we learn from an eye-witness, the following:

Noles had been guilty of the infamous crime of incest with two of his daughters, and a warrant had been issued for his apprehension. Mr. Sharp had been deputised to serve the warrant, and in the performance of this duty he, on the 14th inst., with a posse of men, proceeded to the house of Noles, about two miles west of Burnsville, for the purpose of arresting him. When they reached Noles' residence he was seen standing at the corner of his house with a gun in his hand. Upon the near approach of the party, he raised his gun and fired, the shot taking effect upon Mr. Geo. T. Sharp, killing him almost instantly. The gun was loaded with buckshot, one of which struck Mr. Sharp in the breast, two in the region of the heart and one in his forehead, thus producing death almost instantaneously. Noles...(crease in original copy)...good his escape. Parties are out in search of him and we have little(doubt?)but that he will soon(be?)caught.   A reward of $500 has been offered for his apprehension. Noles is about six feet one inch high, dark complected, high cheek bones and of thin visage. He had on when he left a white wool hat and cotton homespun clothes. Seldom has anything happened in our county, more calculated to harrow the feelings than the above. Thus has a young man, endeared by his many amiable traits of character, to a large circle of relatives and friends, been cut off in the bloom of his youth, by the ruthless murderer. We deeply sympathise with the relatives in this, their sad affliction, and sincerely hope, that the All-wise Ruler will support the aged and venerable mother in her heavy bereavement.
Selma Enterprise


MURDERER ARRESTED--Joseph Noals, who was advertised as having murdered Geo. T. Sharp, at Burnsville, in Dallas Co., on the 14th ult., passed through this place yesterday, in the custody of Mr. B.J. McCaine. He was arrested on Satur-.... ...(crease in original).......
                                          ---- at the residence of his brother,
in Dooly county, Georgia, by Mr. McCaine and Mr. A.B. King, of Dallas, who started in pursuit of him the morning of the murder, and by persevering effort succeeded in arresting him at the time and place stated above. A reward of five hundred dollars was offered for his apprehension, and the crime of which he stands accused is represented as being of a most atrocious and outrageous character. In addition to the above, he is charged with the commission of the most revolting crime known to the criminal calender, and if all that is said of him is true, no (no) punishment would be too severe to visit upon him.


CONVICTED--We learn from the Cahaba Gazette, that Joseph Noles was tried on Wednesday last in Cahaba, Dallas county, on the charge of murdering George T. Sharpe, in February 1853, and convicted of murder in the first degree, with the death penalty. The victim was acting at the time of the murder as special constable, and in company with several others proceeded to the house of the culprit for the purpose of arresting him under a warrant sued out by his wife against him for assault and battery, and for having incestuous intercourse with his own daughter. As the party approached the house, the prisoner rushed out with a gun in his hand, and cried out, 'stand your ground, gentlemen, or I will shoot". The party immediately stopped, and the deceased sprang from his horse, when the prisoner deliberately shot him down and he died upon the spot. Nules fled-was afterwards arrested in Dooly county Ga., and brought back to stand his trial for the offense. We have not learned the period fixed for his execution.


EXTRADITION PAPER(found in Executive Office records, Alabama Archives)

ITEM  F         To the Executive Authority of the State of

        WHEREAS, it appears by the annexed documents, which are hereby certified to be
    authentic, that_______Joseph Noles ______________________________  
    stands charged with_____the murder of Geo. T. Sharp_____________                                   

    ____________________________committed in the State of Alabama, and information
    having been received that the said____Joseph  Noles____________________
  ______________________________has fled from justice and taken refuge in
       THEREFORE, I,______Henry W Collier______, Governor of the State of
 Alabama, have thought proper, in pursuance of the provisions of the Constitution and Laws of
 the United States, to demand the surrender of the said _____Joseph Noles___________
 as a fugitive from justice, and that he be delivered to __Wm B Hall  & M Wheelin_

 who is hereby appointed the agent on the part of the State to receive him.

                    GIVEN under my hand, and the Great Seal of the State
                                                                            affixed at the City of Montgomery, this
                         4th ______day of_____March____
                                 A.D. one thousand eight hundred and fifty- 3__
                                 and of the Independence of the United States
                                 of America, the seventy-__Seventh__
                                                                     Henry W. Collier
              V. M. BENHAM
             Secretary of State                                (Second page omitted)