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Donald Paine Collection of State of Tennessee v. Fulton

Identifier: MS-2732

  • Staff Only

This collection contains lectures, handouts, notes, photocopies of court documents, maps, newspaper clippings, and photographs documenting the case of State of Tennessee v. Fulton. Series I: Lecture Materials, 2002-2003, contains material related to a lecture entitled "Sex, Murder, and UT Football" that Donald Paine wrote and presented to several legal organizations in East Tennessee. It provides an overview of the case mounted against James Fulton for murdering Sam Parker and the subsequent case against J. E. Bell for murdering James Fulton. Series II: State of Tennessee v. Fulton, 1850-2003, consists primarily of photocopies of original court documents and newspaper clippings documenting the case. Of particular note are the two binders, which contain a complete transcript of the case. Other items include research regarding Sam Parker's life, including material related to his time at the University of Tennessee, notes, photographs, and reference books. This series also includes several items documenting the later case of State of Tennessee v. J. E. Bell.


  • 1850-2003 (bulk 1903-2003)

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.


1.5 Linear Feet


This collection contains lectures, handouts, notes, photocopies of court documents, maps, newspaper clippings, and photographs collected by Donald Paine that document State of Tennessee v. Fulton, a case related to the murder of UT graduate Sam Parker on July 5, 1906.

Biographical/Historical Note

Samuel Epps Young Parker was born on May 12, 1880. He attended the University of Tennessee from 1903 to 1905, during which time he played on both the football and baseball teams and was apparently quite well known. On July 5, 1906, lawyer James E. Fulton shot Parker as he was stepping off a train in Helenwood, Tennessee. Parker died the following morning, and Fulton was charged with his murder. At his trial, Fulton insisted that his wife, Laura Neil Fulton, had been conducting an extramarital affair with Parker. As a result, when Fulton saw Parker at the train station, he was so enraged that he shot Parker without being conscious of his actions. Fulton's first trial ended with a hung jury, but he was found guilty at his second trial and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Governor Malcolm R. Patterson pardoned him after only 10 months, and Fulton returned to his legal work.

In June of 1917, the editor of the Scott County Times, J. E. Bell, printed an editorial that Fulton felt reflected poorly on him. Fulton apparently stalked Bell for several weeks thereafter, which prompted Bell to procure a firearm to defend himself. Somewhat predictably, when Fulton appeared in Bell's office on July 1, 1917, Bell shot and killed him. Bell was convicted of involuntary manslaughter but subsequently pardoned by Governor Thomas Rye.


This collection consists of two boxes divided into two series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Lecture Materials, 2002-2003
  2. Series II: State of Tennessee v. Fulton, 1850-2003

Acquisition Note

Donald Paine donated this collection to the Special Collections.

Related Archival Materials

Interested researchers may also wish to consult:

Missing Title

  1. MS.0830: Sam Y. Parker Collection, 1796-1929

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA