The Richmond Daily Dispatch reports on an incident that foreshadows the world of Jim Crow. “Prompt and summary punishment,” and no time wasted on legal process.
–In the county of Chesterfield, near Skinquarter meeting house, on Sundaynight, the 12th inst. at a late hour of the night, a negro man forced open the door of the house of a lone maiden lady, and dragging her out of her bed, some hundred yards into the woods adjacent, attempted to violate her person. Having choked and otherwise cruelly abused her, he left her, apparently dead. Some short time after, she sufficiently recovered to make her way to the house of a neighbor. Circumstances causing suspicion to rest upon a free negro of the neighborhood, he was arrested on Mondayevening, and on Tuesdaymorning thirty gentlemen of the vicinage met, and having heard the testimony, the outraged lady having first identified the prisoner as the guilty party, pronounced him guilty, and soon thereafter hung him till he was dead. Cases of the kind will rarely occur, where there is such prompt and summary punishment meted out to the offenders.