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Donald Paine Collection Regarding the Trials of Maude Moore

 Collection
Identifier: MS-3517

This collection consists primarily of Donald Paine’s notes regarding the trials of Maude Moore that occurred in Knoxville from 1919 to 1921. Included with these notes is correspondence regarding his research into the case, various related documents including marriage and death certificates, newspaper articles about Moore and her trials, photographs of various locations involved in the case, and recordings and handouts from Paine’s presentation about the case for the Knoxville Bar Association Lunch and Learn program on April 8, 2010. The newspaper articles include several from local newspapers as well as two from the St. Petersburg Times and the New York Times. Other materials include a sketch of Knoxville in 1921 and an article by Paine about race and murder in Knoxville during this time period.

Dates

  • 1909 December 15-2010 September, undated

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.

Extent

0.5 Linear Feet

Abstract

This collection consists primarily of Donald Paine’s notes regarding the trials of Maude Moore that occurred in Knoxville from 1919 to 1921. Included with these notes is correspondence regarding his research into the case, various related documents including marriage and death certificates, newspaper articles about Moore and her trials, photographs of various locations involved in the case, and recordings and handouts from Paine’s presentation about the case for the Knoxville Bar Association Lunch and Learn program on April 8, 2010. The newspaper articles include several from local newspapers as well as two from the St. Petersburg Times and the New York Times. Other materials include a sketch of Knoxville in 1921 and an article by Paine about race and murder in Knoxville during this time period.

Biographical/Historical Note

Maude Moore (née Maudene L. Moore) was born on July 6, 1893 in Emporia, Kansas. Her family moved to Knoxville when she was young and she went on to attend Knoxville Business College and work as a stenographer. Moore had loaned a revolver to an acquaintance, LeRoy David Harth, on September 5, 1919, and requested its return three days later. Harth returned the revolver on the 8th and offered to drive Moore to the train station. Harth, however, drove away from the train station (while drinking prohibition whiskey) and stopped just beyond Bearden Hill. He then pulled down his pants and requested that Moore perform an unmentionable act. Moore refused and, when the revolver fell out of Harth’s pocket, Moore shot and killed Harth before he could recover the gun. After the shooting, Moore hid in Spring Cave before surrendering to the authorities on the 9th.

Moore stood trial for first degree murder on December 4-6, 1919. She was found guilty and sentenced to 21 years in prison. The presiding judge, however, granted a new trial so that Moore could be tried on the lesser charge of second degree murder. When the date of the second trial came on July 27, 1920, Moore did not appear. She had fled Knoxville for Tacoma, Washington, having dyed her hair blonde and begun calling herself Helen Hope. Moore was arrested again on August 15, 1921 based on a tip from a sailor who recognized her from her wanted posters.

The second trial was held on December 5-10, 1921. During this trial, the defense presented evidence condemning Harth’s character, and the jury declared Moore not guilty because Harth had committed a felony in forcing Moore to perform the unmentionable act and so Moore was therefore entitled to shoot him. Moore then returned to Washington, where she died on March 27, 1939.

Arrangement

This collection consists of one half box.

Repository Details

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

Contact:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480