Rae and Jason suspected the pair in question (Sena Sollis and Adam Sollis) were cousins: Sena was the daughter of Martha Taylor and Luke Sollis; Adam was possibly the son of Joseph Sollis and Elizabeth Allen. . . . .Joseph Sollis? The one that was hanged for murder?. .. . .I guess that's better than incest. . .. .
It had been so long since I'd heard about Joseph that I needed a refresher thanks to Jason and the internet. The Sollis family lived in Duplin, North Carolina as did the Kornegay family. They were definitely neighbors and might have inter-married. We don't know much about the Sollis family during the colonial period but the Kornegays are well documented being plantation owners. There are several indications that they were not only wealthy but also used their influence in court cases involving intoxication with assault and battery.
I haven't found the cause of the disagreement between Abraham Kornegay and Joseph Sollis but the end result was Joseph killed Abraham Kornegay. There was a reward for Joseph's live capture:
Aug,2, 1826 North Carolina Journal August 2, 1826
-- JOSEPH SOLLIS, for whose apprehension a reward of $300 was offered, as the
murderer of ABRAHAM KORNEGAY of Duplin County, was arrested in Cumberland
County on Friday last, and committed to the jail in Fayetteville for safe-keeping. Since the death of KORNEGAY, SOLLIS has been lurking about his former residence in Duplin, until lately, he made the attempt to get off, with his wife and child, to the Western Country, but in this attempt was discovered and taken. SOLLIS had called at a house near the road to get water, and was recognized by the occupant, who gave information to an officer, and the neighbors, by whom he was taken.
He was captured and put on trial. Although I haven't found documentation, Jason Sollis said Kornegay's brothers were on the jury that sentenced Joseph Sollis to death by hanging.
Wed. May 9, 1827 North Carolina Journal April 27, 1827
EXECUTION -- JOSEPH SOLLIS, who was convicted at the last term of the
Superior Court for Duplin Court, of the murder of ABRAHAM KORNEGAY, underwent
the sentence of the law on Friday,m the 27th ultimo.
The newspaper article describing his execution is also interesting.
But the story doesn't end with Joseph Sollis's hanging. Two of the Kornegay brothers tried to collect the reward for finding Joseph Sollis when it is clear in the earlier article that the occupant of a house turned him in.
This information is contributed by Carolyn Shank
Petition for Reward for Murder of Abram KORNEGAY-1828
The Committee of Claims to whom was referred a Resolution instructing them to enquire into the expediency of allowing Bryan KORNEGAY and Henry KORNEGAY of Duplin County, three hundred dollars, for the apprehension of Joseph SOLLIS, who stood indicted in said County, for the murder of Abram KORNEGAY - have had the same under Consideration, and respectfully report -That the fact is as stated in the Resolution; but the Committee are of opinion, that in law, the parties in whose behalf this application is made are unquestionably not entitled to the remuneration, which they claim, nor do they believe that it is either expedient or politic to allow it. The Claimants had no right to look for it to the Legislative - the offer was voluntary on their part, and altho' their feelings, as Relations of the Murdered individual might have been more excited, yet they had no more authority to offer a reward in this case, than any other individual - It is made the duty of the Governor, when a criminal escapes, and flies beyond the pursuit of justice, to offer a reward for his apprehension - But this was not the case in this instance. From the relation in which the Citizen stands to Society, without any additional inducement it is his Duty to aid and assist in bringing to Justice the perpetrators of crimes - Allow, however, this application and the inevitable effect will be that but few men will move in an affair of this kind, until a sufficient inducement, by way of reward, is held out to them - Criminals, of course, will frequently escape, and there will be no end to applications to the Legislature similar to this. For these reasons, the Committee recommends the adoption of the following resolution - Resolved that it is inexpedient to grant the prayer of the Petitioners.
Thos. LOVE, Chm.
In the Senate Decem'r 29, 1828. Read and agreed to.
J W CLARKE AG
Report of the Com'e of Claims on the Resolution in favour of Bryan & Henry KORNEGAY.
In Senate Decem'r 3, 1828. Read and on motion of Mr. WELLBORN ordered to be
J W CLARK AG
Mr. LOVE Chair'n
With so much detail, Jason and I are left with a lot of questions. What were they quarreling over? Were they intoxicated? Was it a dispute among neighbors? Were they cousins? Jason and I both have DNA matches to Kornegays and we have two ancestors that we think may have been Joseph's children. With a pattern of mental illness in both of our families, we also wonder if this dispute involved one or both of them being mentally ill.