Richmond Whig, 7/29/1864

Written Accounts
Other Sites

Back • Next


From the Richmond Whig, 7/29/1864, p. 2, c. 4

CHARGED WITH CRUELTY TO A NEGRO. - Capt. Robert Boyce, foreman of the smith shop at the Confederate Arsenal, was charged with cruelly beating a negro belonging to Thomas M. Jones.

It appeared that the negro, who works in the shop under Boyce's control, came home Monday evening, what Mr. Jones, Mr. Griffin and other witnesses, who saw him, considered "cruelly beaten." Mr. Griffin said he was the worst beaten and bruised negro he had ever seen. Mr. Jones went to see Captain Boyce, who said he had beaten the negro to "make him confess." Several workmen in the shop stated that the negro, having acted in a very suspicious manner about some copper which was subsequently stolen, Captain Boyce whipped him, in their judgement, not cruelly.

Captain Boyce stated that being convinced that the negro had stolen the copper, he had whipped him to make him tell here it was; the negro confessed stealing the copper, but would not tell what he had done with it; the negroes were constantly stealing all sorts of material from the works, and it was absolutely necessary to whip them to keep their thieving propensities in check, Colonel Brown, the chief of the works, had directed him to whip the negroes when necessary; he had whipped this negro properly, but not cruelly, as would be seen if the negro were brought into court; it had not been so very long since the whipping was administered but that evidence must still exist if the whipping had been so cruel as had been represented.

The Mayor said the testimony before him was that the negro had been most cruelly beaten. He should fine the accused $20, and Mr. Jones could carry the matter to the Grand Jury if he thought proper. If the negroes in the Arsenal committed larcenies, it was the duty of those having control over them to bring them before him, instead of whipping them to make them confess.

We do not advocate negro murder, or cruelty towards negroes, but certainly it is much better when negroes are caught stealing to thrash them soundly than to pester the courts with their cases.

Page last updated on 07/16/2008