Mary Abernathy Free at Last

September 26, 1896


Mary Abernathy, an innocent Lunenburg Prisoner, was released from prison after the court declined to prosecute her further.


Mary Abernathy is now a free woman. She was released from the Lynchburg jail, Sept. 21st and is now in this city.
The story is soon told.
On Saturday, Editor Mitchell received a phone message from Capt. A. B. Guigon that he would leave on Sunday for Farmville, Va., and represent Mary Abernathy in the county court of Prince Edward.
It had been previously arranged that a nolle prosequi should be entered and the order delivered to Capt. Guigon. This gentleman stated that it was advisable that Editor Mitchell should leave at 9 o'clock, Monday morning for Lynchburg and he would join him at Farmville, go to the place cited and deliver to him Mary Abernathy.
Accordingly, the editor boarded the N & W train at 9 o'clock on last, Monday morning. He met Mr. George W. Bragg, who was enroute to Farmville. When that city was reached a crowd was at the depot.
Young Mr. Guigon, true to his promise was at the station and he held up a document in his hand. A glance was sufficient, It was the nolle prosequi order entered in the case of the commonwealth versus Mary Abernathy and read as follows:
Virginia: At a County Court held for the County of Prince Edward on Monday, Sept. 21, 1896, Commonwealth Against Mary Abernathy on indictment for murder.
The attorney for Commonwealth, with the consent of the Court declines to prosecute further in this behalf, thereupon, it is considered by the Court that the said Mary Abernathy be discharged from imprisonment and the sergeant of the city of Lynchburg is hereby authorized and directed to release said Mary Abernathy from the jail of said city, wherever she is confined under an order of this Court.
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Upper Right Quadrant

Contributed By

Liam Eynan


“Mary Abernathy Free at Last,” Black Virginia: The Richmond Planet, 1894-1909, accessed August 4, 2020,