An Outrageous Verdict

December 5, 1903


A white man charged with “the murder of George Tucker”, a respected black man, is acquitted. Mitchell claims that black men have “no hope in a [legal] contest of this kind”.


An Outrageous Verdict.
Captain William T. Martin, white, was acquitted of the murder of George Tucker, colored, at the Isle of Wight Courthouse, November 18th, 1903. The plea set up by his attorneys was insanity, caused by drink. The facts are that Martin deliberately killed Tucker July 7th, 1903, at Isle of Wight C. H., while he held up both hands and begged for his life.
When asked about the verdict, Martin remarks that he “sorter thought” he would go free. His neighbors had never regarded him as a crazy man and this verdict of the jury was a surprise to everybody in the neighborhood.
We have repeatedly asserted that colored men have no hope in a contest of this kind with negro-hating white men. Tucker, the victim was a respectable colored man of the old school. There was no excuse whatever for the murder. It was a cold, brutal, cowardly murder, and admitted to be such by white men well acquainted with the circumstances.
What do we think about it? Tucker should have dealt with his murderer as his murderer was trying to deal with him and both should have gone on the other world together.
Martin had sense enough to know that he was dealing with a sheep, instead of a bull-dog and he proceeded with the slaughter with no thought of harm or danger.
Colored men will learn after a while, and when they do, there will be a different story to tell...
About this article

Location on Page

Lower Left Quadrant

Contributed By

Rose Williams


“An Outrageous Verdict,” Black Virginia: The Richmond Planet, 1894-1909, accessed December 5, 2021,