Frankie Silvers facts
Francis Silvers was born around 1810 and died in 1833. Her parents were Isaiah and Barbara Stewart.
Francis or better known as Frankie was abused and mistreated, beaten by her husband Charles Silver. She finally had enough and killed Charles in December 1831. Charles came home that night drunk. Frankie killed him with the ax. Local legends says Frankie cut Charle's body up, then stuffed parts of him in various locations in the woods. One spot being inside a hollow tree. A dog found his bones. Discovery of Charle's body parts led to Frankie's arrest.
Charle's dismembered body is buried in 3 separate graves becaue not all his body parts were discovered at the same time.
Frankie was tried for the murder but the laws of that time did not allow the accused to testify. She was found guilty and sentenced to hang. However, Frankie confessed after the trial that she had killed her abusive husband as he was loading his gun to shoot her. Public sentiment swung towards her favor. Hundreds of people signed a petition to stop Frankie's execution to no avail.
Before her execution, Frankie's family broke her out of jail. She was soon apprehended.
The town of Morganton in Burke County NC hung Frankie Silvers for the murder. She was 1 years old. When asked for Frankie's last words, her father told her to take it to her grave, and she did. Frankie's father buried her in an unmarked grave.
In 1963, Perry Deane Young wrote the Untold Story of Frankie Silvers which proved through documentation that Frankie Silvers should not have been hanged. The book later became a play entitled, Frankie.
In 1999, the novel The Ballad of Frankie Silvers was written by Sharyn McCrumb based on this tragic story.
Frankie Silvers was the first woman hung in North Carolina and the last person hung.