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The State of Delaware vs Professor West by Syl Woolford

The State of Delaware vs Professor West by Syl Woolford


Dr. Isaac Collins West was a teacher in Dover, Delaware. He had tried several business ventures and all had failed. In an act of desperation, he decided to fake his death and collect the insurance money.

The major obstacle was to find a corpse that he could claim was him and get a death certificate. He settled on a Black man by the name of Henry “Cooch” Turner, who was a known drunk in the community. He invited “Cooch” into his house my offering him something to drink and then killed him. The next problem that Professor West had, was “Cooch” was a Black man. To fix that problem Professor West skinned “Cooch” Turner, cut off his hands and feet and then set his body on fire.

The plot quickly broke down and Professor West was arrested and put on trial.

The result of the trail was that Professor West was declared innocent based on a plea of self-defense.

This story is tough to believe, but is worth leaning more about to understand how in 1873, a white man could go free for killing a Black man.

Presented by Syl Woolford, recognized by the Delaware National Education Association and the NAACP for his contribution to the preservation of African American history. Mr. Woolford is a member of the Delaware Heritage Commission, the Historical and Cultural Affairs Collections Committee, the Historic Preservation Fund, and the Wilmington University History Committee.

This is an online event. Event URL will be sent via registration email.
Wednesday, August 21, 2024
6:00pm - 7:00pm Eastern Time
Appoquinimink Public Library
  History and Genealogy  

Registration is required. There are 40 in-person seats available. There are 40 online seats available.