Amos and Abler Manley

Amos and Abler Manley were Creek Indian brothers who were implicated in the death of Eli McVay, a white man, near Eufaula, Indian Territory, in December 1880. The brothers knew McVay and were welcomed in when they stopped at his house, saying that they were looking for a place to rest while traveling.

While McVay slept, the Manley brothers shot and killed McVay. They also assaulted McVay’s hired hand, Bill Barnett. His wife ran and was able to avoid shots fired at her.

After a hung jury in their first trial, Amos and Abler Manley were tried a second time. Despite several alibi witnesses, the inculpatory testimony of McVay’s wife prevailed and the brothers were convicted and sentenced to death on June 16, 1881.

Amos and Abler Manley were hanged at Fort Smith on September 9, 1881. From the gallows, hey are reported to have confessed to killing McVay, though in self-defense.

Author: Bill Lofquist

I am a sociologist and death penalty scholar at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I am also a Pittsburgh native. My present research focuses on the history of the death penalty in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pa. This website is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about all Allegheny County cases in which a death sentence was imposed. Please share any questions or comments, errors or omissions, or other matters of interest related to these cases or to the broader history of the death penalty in Allegheny County.

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