Murder on Maryland's Eastern Shore, by former Worcester County, Maryland State's Attorney Joseph E. Moore, explores the racially charged case of Euel Lee, alias Orphan Jones, an African American worker accused of murdering his white employer and family. Moore reconstructs the crime and ensuing trial of Orphan Jones against the backdrop of Jim Crow politics, which was very much a part of America in the 1930s. Moore provides accurate detail, local color and an enlightening empathy with all the participants in the saga of Euel Lee. He has sought out and mastered the available evidence, even to the extent of locating the two confessions of the convicted murderer. The Euel Lee case as explored by Joe Moore is more than good, readable, local history. It is about the stresses and strains in American society in the Depression, from the radicalism of a young Communist lawyer to the conscious efforts of a rural community to contain violence, confront or at least deal with their prejudices and see that justice was served for a senseless murder in their midst. Moore sets a high standard of factual accountability and entertaining narrative based upon oral history and archival research. General readers and scholars alike will not be disappointed.
About the Author
Joseph Moore was born in Berlin, Worcester County, Maryland, the location of the events reported in this book. Educated in the Worcester County school system, he received a BA degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, and an LLB from the University of Maryland School of Law. Mr. Moore is the senior partner in the law firm of Williams, Moore, Shockley & Harrison, LLP, in Ocean City, Maryland, where he has practiced law since 1969. Mr. Moore served as deputy State's Attorney for Worcester County from 1972 to1978 and was thereafter elected to the office of State's Attorney. He is a former member of the Maryland State Bar Association Board of Governors and presently serves as co-chairman of the First Appellate Circuit Character Committee of the Maryland State Board of Law Examiners. In 2003, Joe was admitted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal organizations in the country. He is also on several boards of local historical organizations. Joe and his wife, Susan, live in Berlin, and they have two daughters and two grandchildren.