Local Matters

September 15, 1868


Thus us the story of a white man with temper issues beating his wife severely and almost killing his son.The punishment was a fine.This is significant because when the case is a black person, it always almost results not just in a fine but also some sort of jail time.This shows how unfair and harsh the African American population was treated at this time in Richmond by the law itself.


A white man named William H. Beal, who resides on the comer of Third and Baker streets, was arraigned before the Mayor yesterday morning for beating his wife in a most cruel and merciless manner on last Sunday morning. From Beal's own testimony it appears that he inflicted this punishment on his wife because she had broken into his money-box. When the officers entered the house to arrest Beal they found his wife covered with blood flowing from the wounds he had inflicted on her person. During the difficulty a son, a little boy about six years old, ran towards his mother, when he received a severe blow on the head, inflicting a wound which it was thought would result fatally , but he is now much better. The affair created quite an excitement in the neighborhood, and several hundred persons assembled around the house. The Mayor disposed of the case by fining Beal twenty dollars and requiring five hundred dollars security to be of good behavior.
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Contributed By

Jacob Markman




“Local Matters,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed December 3, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1125.