An important Decision

June 20, 1908


The Virginia Supreme Court’s decision on the People’s Pleasure Park Company trial “makes a citizen feel, whatever his race or color may be that he can get justice in this commonwealth,” and allows for black people to own and operate businesses.


A decision of far-reaching importance was rendered by the Supreme Court of Appeal of Virginia, sitting at Wytheville. It was the case of People’s Pleasure Park Company, Inc. vs. Rohledger. The Circuit Court of Henrico, Judge R. Carter Scott, presiding was reversed. This was the case where the colored company purchased Fulton Park as a pleasure resort and the white people of the neighborhood objected to the sale and instituted proceedings to prohibit the use of the park by colored people. An injunction was sued out before Judge R. Carter Scott and granted to be effective, when the bond specified therein was furnished. The case was finally heard upon its merits and the injunction made perpetual. Messrs, Smith, Moncure and Gordon were counsel for the defendants and it was by the persistent efforts of that firm that the far-reaching decision was rendered. The Supreme Court has thus decided that the injunction should not have been granted. The opinion was handed down Thursday, June 11, 1908. We call attention to the fact that this decision is of more far-reaching importance to the colored people of this State that any that has been rendered by the Supreme Court of the United States. It makes a citizen feel, whatever his race or color may be that he can get justice in this commonwealth. Race prejudice will not be permitted to interfere with the issuance of that even-handed justice for which this State is noted. It also establishes beyond cavil the fact that a Negro’s property rights are as safe in Virginia as they are in any other State of the Union and that so long as he exercises his rights in a lawful way he will be protected in the exercise and enjoyment of those rights. We have always had a high opinion of our Supreme Court but now we feel that those rights that we cannot get through the decisions of that tribunal, we are ready to go without.
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Emma Alvarez


“An important Decision ,” Black Virginia: The Richmond Planet, 1894-1909, accessed October 27, 2020,