Alvis, Charles, 1829 - 1886
Charles Alvis was born in Mashpee in July of 1829, the son of Sampson and Hannah Low Alvis. At the age of 5, he was enumerated with his parents and two siblings in an 1834 Mashpee census and was also signatory on the January 1834 Mashpee petition written by William Apes. Charles signed his mark along with 288 other Mashpee residents and community members outlining a number of longstanding grievances against the overseers and the Congregational missionary to the tribe. Charles, with his parents and siblings, was present on the Mashpee lands in 1848, according to a census.
Sometime around 1852 Charles married Jemima Pocknet and together they had four children, Mary Ann Alvis, born 1852, and Bethiah Alvis born September 9, 1854, Kilburn Alvis born circa 1856 and Ebenezer Alvis born circa 1859.
Charles was sent to jail in September 1856 for assaulting Amy Wilber by knocking her down with a piece of wood. In the spring or summer of 1859, Charles, age 31, a mariner, was listed with his young family in another Mashpee census. However, for some time, he had been living with Adeline Pells of Mashpee and beating her repeatedly. In early June, after another beating when Charles was intoxicated, she died from her injuries. Charles was arrested and set for trial. During the investigation, it appeared that not only had he threatened the life of Adeline for some time, he once was imprisoned for striking his wife with an ax. The following September, Charles was indicted. When the case came to trial, prosecutors realized they did not have enough evidence to charge murder but sent the matter to the grand jury to consider manslaughter charges. In April 1860, a grand jury indicted Charles for six counts of assault and battery against Adeline. He later was tried for one and was convicted, pleading guilty to two others. He was represented by the firm of Marston & King. At sentencing, Charles Marston gave favorable assistance such that the sentence was to serve one year in the House of Corrections. In late summer of 1861, news came that Charles has escaped from prison and not seen since.
Charles was arrested in 1875 for adultery with Leah Hendricks. He pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to one year in the House of Corrections in Cambridge, Hendricks to eight months at the House of Corrections at Barnstable. On May 31, 1886, Charles and William Drury got into a fight in which he was seriously injured. Charles Avis died on June 27th from a fractured skull.
Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, Vol. 1, Ancestry; Petition of the Mashpee Indians to the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1834.01.29.00; Bird Report, 1849; "Coroner's Report," Barnstable Patriot, June 7, 1859, p. 2. "Superior Court," Barnstable Patriot, September 12, 1859. "Supreme Judicial Court -- Special Term," Yarmouth Register, December 16, 1859. "Escaped," Barnstable Patriot, August 27, 1861, p. 2. Earle Report, 1861. "Superior Court," Yarmouth Register, October 16, 1875, p. 2. "Hyannis," Yarmouth Register, July 3, 1886, p. 1. "Deaths Recorded in Barnstable in 1886," Barnstable Patriot, March 8, 1887, p. 3.
Died:June 27, 1886