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for Avery, William Waightstill, 1816-1864
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On Tuesday, 11 November 1851, lawyer William Waightstill Avery shot and killed businessman and politician Samuel Flemming in the Burke County courthouse at Morganton. Three weeks earlier Flemming had beaten an unarmed and unsuspecting Avery on the main street of Marion as a result of their several years of political, legal, and personal disputes. Avery felt he had to kill Flemming to retain his standing according to the Southern gentleman's code of honor, and when tried immediately after the killing, Avery was acquitted by a jury who was determined to uphold the code regardless of the casualty involved.