Latest News by Mail
May 24, 1866
A black lawyer represents himself in court, claiming damages from Baltimore and Ohio railroad companies which refused to comply with his payment to be transported from Washington to Baltimore.
LATEST NEWS BY MAIL. A Negro Sues a Railroad Company in Two Courts Under the Civil Rights Act- He is Non-suited. Aaron Bradly, colored lawyer, representing himself as a member of the Suffolk bar, Boston, instituted a suit before Justice Hayward, claiming damages from the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company for refusing to comply with the terms of a contract by which he paid $1.50 to be transported from Washington to Baltimore. The plaintiff alleges that he was ejected from a car, in contempt of a law of the United States, on account of his color, race, &e., and brings a civil action to recover the amount of his fare, and damages laid at one hundred dollars. J.H.B. Latrobe appeared for the defendant. He stated that under the laws of the State the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company derived authority to make rules and regulations for the government of travel. They had absolute authority to refuse white men the privilege of entering ears occupied by ladies. He had never heard that white men ever questioned the propriety of their rules which were adopted for the sole purpose of contributing to the general pleasure of travellers on that great highway to the west. Justice Hayward, after listening to the argument in the ease, entered a judgment of non pros., which is supposed to mean that there was no cause of action. Baltimore Sun, 23rd.
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“Latest News by Mail,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed September 21, 2017, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/173.