A Court and Jury of Colored Men

June 19, 1866


A group of blacks assembles as court and jury for a trial of a white offender who stole goods and clothing from a black man's home. The group of blacks sentenced him to lashes on his back.


On Saturday last a court of negroes convened at the fish-house on the shore at this place, and proceeded to the trial of one of their number for larceny. It appears that the offender was good for nothing, being too lazy to earn an honest livelihood, and to keep up appearances watched his opportunity and entered the houses of his neighbors during their absence, and appropriated whatever of their goods his wants demanded; lately he made a descent upon a colored man's house and took a suit of clothes. He was arrested with part of the clothes upon him, brought before this quondam court, stripped of the stolen goods, and, upon due consideration, sentenced to receive twenty lashes upon the bare back, which were administered then and there by one of the members of the court. The scene caused considerable merriment.
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Brooke Beam




“A Court and Jury of Colored Men,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed December 3, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/224.