The Governor is Worried

May 1, 1897


The Governor is disconcerted over the recent case of lynching in Alexandria, Virginia, as “he thinks lynching was a most disgraceful affair.”


The Governor is greatly perturbed over the lynching in Alexandria, and when seen by a Dispatch man last night expressed himself in vigorous terms concerning the lawlessness. He received a letter yesterday morning from Judge Norton, of the Criminal Court of Alexandria, but the contents or nature of this epistle he was unwilling to give out, as he regarded the communication as rather in the nature of a private one. He declined too, to say whether or not he purposes talking any action to an investigation of the failure of the military to respond to the alarm sounded for them.
In the course of the conversation, the Governor said: “It was a most awful affair, and I can’t imagine how it could have been carried through. If I had been asked before it occurred if such a thing were possible in Alexandria, I should have replied with a most emphatic ‘No’. I can’t help it, though; if the Mayor of Alexandria allows the law to be thus ignored and set at naught, I can’t prevent it. The trouble does not lie so much in the fact that the brute Negro was hanged, but in the fact that the law of the State was trampled underfoot and overridden. There was no excuse nor reason for it, and the whole affair is a great reflection on the law of this State. It will go forth to the world that the people of Alexandria do not believe that justice can be secured in their courts.”
The general impression is that the Governor can do nothing in the matter. The telegrams received by the Governor and the Adjutant-General, and already published, show that while an alarm was sounded for the military, there was no call made upon them for service. –Richmond Dispatch, April 25th.
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Brian Schrott


“The Governor is Worried,” Black Virginia: The Richmond Planet, 1894-1909, accessed July 17, 2019,