Cumberland Country--Negro Justices__ New Clerk, etc.

November 25, 1869


In CUmberland, a part of Reconstruction District 1 along with Richmond, an era of colored justices is ushered in with no protest.


Poor old free State of Cumberland. Thou model county of old! The county of the Thorntons, the Pages, the Johnsons, the Crowders, the Wilsons, the Perkinses, the Irvines, the Fords, the Parishes--to you is assigned, by Mr. Canby, the affliction (not the humor) of inaugurating in what was once Virginia, but is now Military District No. 1, the ERA OF COLORED JUSTICES. To-day the Right Rev. John White and Professor Billy Wood took their seats on the bench of the country court of grand old Cumherland as Justices of the peace, and as the successors of William M. Thornton and V. Parish. The people (true, patriotic, and resigned) manifested no temper--no rebellion; but in the spirit of calm resignation acquiesced. To the surprise and unaffected regret of all, Blake B. Woodson, who had so long, so faithfully, so acceptably, occupied the clerk's table, was not in his accustomed seat. An order was read announcing one Captain Buter, late of the United States army, as clerk of the courts. Fortunately for him and the county there were but few entries to be made : among them, however, I learnwas a refusal to allow the people of the county the opportunity of saying whether they would tax themselves to the subscription of $50,000 to the Buckingham and Farmville railroad, running ten miles through the county. Rolfe.
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Jermaine Reynolds




“Cumberland Country--Negro Justices__ New Clerk, etc.,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed December 5, 2022,