A Ball Suddenly Broken Up

September 1, 1866


A party that was put on by "negroes" was interrupted when a man dumped cayenne pepper all over the ballroom floor. The evening was ruined when guests were forced to run from the event.


A Ball Suddenly Broken Up. A few evenings ago a party of negroes gave a ball on Broad street nearly opposite Brook avenue, and while the fun was at its height., a mischievous American citizen of African descent entered the ballroom and scattered upon the floor something like a pound or two of cayenne pepper. The result may he more easily imagined than described. Sneezing suddenly became the order of the night, and the rush for doors and windows would have astonished a looker on. The ball was incontinentally broken up, and no more "spote " was had there that night. Some hundreds of negroes might have been afterwards seen looking for the perpetrator of the deed, but it is almost unnecessary to say he made "himself scarce," and has not yet been apprehended.
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Nat Berry




“A Ball Suddenly Broken Up,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed February 19, 2019, http://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/297.