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Judicial CP - January 1879

Corpun file 24887 at

Public Ledger, Memphis, Tennessee, 4 January 1879, p.3

Virginia Flogging.

(Richmond State.)

Click to enlarge

Captain Lipscomb, chief of police, joined a group of gentlemen, including Judge Clopton, Colonel Ambers and the State reporter, standing on Hull street, and told of a white man that he whipped this morning by order of the mayor. The prisoner was a tramp hailing from Connecticut, and gave his name as Charles A. Wilson. He was convicted in court of stealing a pair of boots from John Dunavan, Danville shops, and was sentenced to receive five lashes. One gentleman in the party asked how he administered the lash. "With a paddle three inches broad," was the reply. "That don't fill the bill," said the gentleman. "It should be a cowhide, or a whip, or a strap." Judge Clopton was appealed to, and said that the law didn't provide any special instrument to be used in administering the lash, and thought a paddle was good enough. Upon the gentleman who advocated the cowhide still objecting to the manner in which the tramp had been whipped, Colonel Ambers facetiously remarked that it would be an easy matter for Wilson to get a new trial and have the whipping done over again if he wasn't satisfied.

When the police officers of Manchester apply the lash to a male prisoner they make him divest himself of his clothing and stand with hands fastened in the partition wall.

Speaking of the whipping-post, Judge Clopton wondered what had become of Chesterfield's "old mule," as the post was vulgarly termed. It was a post with a cross-beam at the top, in which the prisoner's hands were fastened.

The judge said the last time he saw it was when the county seat of Chesterfield was removed to Manchester in 1871. The "old mule" had just been repaired and painted as good as new, and was brought here along with the books, papers and other valuables of the county, but since that date nothing had been seen of it. Old Archer, the sable janitor of the courthouse, is supposed to have chopped it up for kindling-wood. The "mule" was quite historic. It had been used for upwards of fifty years.

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