From the Richmond Examiner, Monday, 4/6/1863 , p. 1


MAYOR'S COURT - April 4, 1863. - The Mayor this morning resumed the investigation of the riot cases, all the ordinary police cases having been handed over to Recorder Caskie, who held court in the Sergeant's office.

The court room presented an appearance never approached in strangeness, except upon the previous day, when the riot cases were first called. - The male rioters, fifteen or twenty young men of the veriest rowdy class, occupied the prisoner's boxes on each side of the bar. Some of them seemed to regard the affair as a good piece of fun; others, however, evidently took a graver and more sensible view of the matter. The female prisoners, thirty, perhaps in number, more of whom were clad in furs and silk than calico, were ranged round the court room outside the bar, sitting on barrels of flour, piles of bacon, and piles of dry goods. The goods recaptured from the rioters filled the balance of the space of the room not occupied by policemen and lawyers, a flock of the latter being gathered like vultures by the scent of the prey. It were idle to attempt an enumeration of the various articles of merchandise gathered together. Everything that ever was to be found in a flourishing country store and many things beside were here collected; flour, bacon, sugar, coffee, candles, silk, cloth, brogues, balmorals, cavalry boots, ladies' white satin slippers, childrens' embroidered dresses, wash tubs, men's shirts, pocket handkerchiefs, bowie knives, stacks of felt hats, clothes pins, unfinished tailors and shoemakers work, etc, etc.

We published yesterday the names of the rioters then in the court room ad think it unnecessary to repeat that list. The parties, except those absent on bail, were in court. The following persons were arrested for riotous conduct on Friday: Martha Good, Sarah Radford, Martha Goode, Martha A. Gardona, Martha Mudd, Margaret McCarthy, Joseph Johnson, Robert W. McKinney and Patrick Henry.

We were in error in saying that any of the cases had been sent on to the Hustings Court ; the Mayor reserved his decision in all the cases.

In our account of the investigations we shall follow the course of the court. The reader would do well to bear in mind that a great number of the names given by the parties accused are assumed. On the day of the riot the many women disguised their persons and assumed aliases which they retained during the examination.

Robert W. McKinney, of Atkinson's Battalion, was called to the bar.

Officer Crone testified that this man and others were collected in a large crowd near the old market; Colonel French requested them to disperse; this man went off grumbling; a few minutes afterwards encountered him in a crowd of women on Franklin street; heard him say to the women, "G-d-n it, why don't you go to the cage and tear it down, and go into the stores and take what you want, and I'll back you"; took him into custody; prisoner was intoxicated.

The prisoner was ordered to sit down. Prisoner stated that he was so drunk on Thursday that he did not recollect anything that happened.

Alexander Jennings was called up.

L. H. Fitzhugh testified that on the day of the riot; after he had arrested a Dutchman and carried him off and returned to Mr. Knote's store, saw the prisoner standing against the wall, swearing he would kill the first man who came to him; Mr. Knote, his clerk, and another gentleman were trying to take him; they said he was one of the leaders; witness arrested the prisoner and took him out into the street; prisoner called on the mob to rescue him; prisoner repeatedly said he had marked witness and would "fix him."

Mary Jackson, the huckster, was recalled. On the previous day it had been proved that she was arrested on Broad street with a Bowie knife under her shawl.

Mr. Joynes, clerk of the Secretary of War, testified that the evening preceding the riot saw Mrs. Jackson near the New Market; had known Jackson from her frequent application at the war office for a discharge for her son; she said there had been a meeting of three hundred women on Oregon hill to organize to demand bread at Government prices, and if they did not get it they would take it; she said the Mayor had been informed of the intended movement, and had threatened to break it up, but if he attempted it he would get a ball put through him; as she said the Mayor had been informed of the movement witness did not think it necessary to communicate what she had said.

Mayor - It may be well for me to state that I had heard nothing of such design on the part of the women.

The Mayor then gave his opinion in the case and remanded Mrs. Jackson to answer for felony before the Hustings Court , refusing bail.

Mrs. Johnson, a toothless old woman with a most determined phis, was called up.

Colonel Basset French testified - On the morning of the riot was at the Governor's house; this woman came with a mob of women; asked her what she wanted; she said they wanted bread, and bread they would have or die; told her she was not proceeding in the right way to get bread; told her the Governor was at the Capitol and left her; this is certainly the woman.

Robert S. Pollard testified - On Thursday morning a mob of women came to my store; attempted to keep them out; this woman headed the mob; we attempted to shut the door; it was broken open with hatchets and axes this woman was the first to enter the store; had a scuffle with her at the door; in a moment the store was full; they took three thousand dollars worth of bacon, a large quantity of brooms, shoes, hats, and a large box of soda.

Mr. Salmon deposed - Was standing in Mr. Pollard's door; heard this old woman demand bacon.

This case was continued to Tuesday morning.

Alexander Jennings was recalled for further examination.

Mr. Fitzhugh repeated his testimony; Mr. Knote said Jennings was the man who led the rioters into the house and stood at the window and dealt out papers of needles to the women; Jennings said he had gone there to disperse the mob; this Mr. Knote's clerk denied; did not see either of the Messrs. Tompkins' there.

Mr. Knote testified that he had put shutters on the doors of the store; the mob demolished the windows; I think I saw Mr. Jennings at the window with the mob, but am not certain; after the mob had somewhat dispersed, I saw him at the lower end of the store; asked him if they were never going to be satisfied; he said he was helping me; I was very much excited, and had bee knocked down when the mob burst in and was stunned for a considerable period; recollect asking someone who was in the window to throw out something to appease the mob, and at the same time I handed that person a box of ten thousand needles; I don't recollect who that person was; a couple of hours after the excitement was over, Jennings came back to the store and made threats; seemed to have a spite against us on account of his arrest; can't remember the words he used.

Mr. James W. Johnson was in the street; saw Jennings in the window throwing things out; the windows had been demolished and the panel of the door cut through; after the excitement was over Jennings came into the store and said he was hurt, I said you are the man who was throwing the things out of the window; Jennings said you are a d-n-d liar; I told him he was a robber and a scoundrel; I did not know that Mr. Knote had told any one to throw things out; I don't know whether Mr. Knote told him to throw things out; after he had been bailed, Jennings came back with Mr. Tompkins, and they pronounced the charge made against him as false.

Mr. Herbert Tompkins deposed - I was standing on a coal cart in front of Knote's store; the mob were trying to break in; Mr. E. B. Spence was trying to keep them out; a member of the City Battalion got Mr. Spence down; I ran to the assistance of Mr. Spence; I am certain the man was a member of the City Battalion; he used to be in the State guard; after Mr. Spence was relieved, went to the window of Knote's store; Mr. Jennings was throwing things out; he called to me, and he and I helped to clear the store of the mob; after Mr. Jennings' arrest, Mr. Knote expressed regret, and acknowledged that he had told him to throw the things out to appease the mob.

Mr. Shephard and an old gentleman, clerk at Knote's, testified that Jennings was about the first erson who entered the store; was engaged putting things out of the window; as I threw things out of the window into the store Jennings handed them over my shoulder to another man in the window, who distributed them to the mob; the man in the window said hand up those blank books; I said for God's sake don't, they can't possibly be of any use; Mr. Knote was in the other window on the other side of door; I did not hear him tell Jennings to throw things out; Jennings was near me; Knote may possibly have given the direction; Jennings was throwing out needles, socks, shoe strings, &c., when at last I told Jennings to stop; he stopped; after it was all over Mr. Knote said "Gentlemen, is there no one who will help me to arrest this man," meaning Jennings; a gentleman who may have been Mr. Fitzhugh, I didn't see his face, seized Jennings and carried him off; there were some few women in the mob, but most of the mob were men; (in answer to the Mayor) they were not in search of bread or provisions; there was nothing eatable in our store.

Mr. Robert Tompkins saw the mob at Knote's store; Mr. Jennings was nearest the door, apparently endeavoring to put the mob back.

Mr. Shephard recalled - After the store was cleared, the cry was raised, "the police has come, its all up," and immediately a shower of goods was thrown back into the store; things that had been stolen from our store and many things stolen from other stores.

The case was continued to Monday, and the accused admitted to bail.

Sarah Coghill, alias Martha Talifero, and Mary Butler, were called up.

Officer Morris testified that he, Captain Pleasants and Mr. Hall, arrested the prisoners on Thursday morning coming up Fourteenth street towards Main ; they all had articles of merchandize in their hands, bacon, brooms, &c.

Mr. Hall corroborated his testimony.

The prisoners were sent on to answer for a misdemeanor before the Hustings Court at the May term, and bound over to keep the peace.

Mr. Robert F. Barnett, who swore that he owned several houses and lots in the city, went bail for his sister, Mrs. Mary Butler.

Old Mrs. Taliafero, being well to-do in the world, and herself the owner of real estate, found no difficulty in giving bail.

Henry Cook was called. A small boy in the crowd answered "he ain't here; he was bailed out yesterday and said he wan't coming back."

John Jones, alias Orvell Jones, was called up. - Prisoner was a pop-eyed, red headed man of forty.

Officer Griffin testified that on the day of the riot he arrested the prisoner on Cary street, near the Columbian Hotel, with twelve hats filled with coffee, some dry goods, bacon, candles, and other things wrapped up in a lady's shawl; Mr. Martin Lipscomb first gave information of the man and said he had stolen the goods from Pollard & Walker and was guarding them with a knife.

Lieutenant Adrian Vannerson said he saw the prisoner with the goods; he was standing guard over them with an open knife; saw officers Griffin and Adams arrest him.

Jones stated that he was walking up Cary street when he met Mrs. Enroughty and Mrs. Jordan from Rocketts old field, and they asked him to take care of the things for a few minutes; while he was guarding them he was arrested.

The case was continued.

George Jones, a man in the uniform of the City Battalion, but not a member of that corps, was called up, but his witnesses not being present, his case was continued till Monday.

W. J. Lusk, whose case was examined on the previous day, was sent on to the Hustings Court . This was the party who busied himself lifting the women into Knote's store, and when arrested pleaded that he was a patient at the Winder hospital and in dreadful health.

Thomas Samani was sent on to the Hustings Court and bail refused. The party distinguished himself by breaking into the widow Sweitzer's. He is the same who had been rendered notorious by his connexion with more than one forgery case. He is a native of Richmond , of wealthy parentage.

Miss Elizabeth C. Ammons was called, but the witnesses not being present, the case was continued till Monday. The accused was handsome and handsomely dressed, furs, fine bonnet and all that.

Eliza Jane Palmeter was called up. The prisoner was a girl of fourteen, who for two years has been a notorious thief and street walker.

Officer Bibb testified that he arrested her on Thursday in a wagon loaded with flour, bacon, twelve hats and a number of brogues; when prisoner saw him she jumped off the wagon and ran.

Mr. John T. Hicks testified that on the day of the riot the mob broke into his store and took all he had, boots, shoes and hats; the hats taken from the prisoner were his property.

The prisoner was sent on.

John D. Lowry was called up for examination. Prisoner was a stout man of fifty. He lives on Cary street , near Rahm's foundry, and keeps a house - well, say a cookshop and shoe store, for that it purports to be.

Officer Perrin stated that on the day of the riot, understanding that bacon had been carried to Lowry's, went there with Mr. Bibb; Mrs. Lowry said there had been no bacon brought there; Lowry coming in said some bacon had been brought there by the girl Palmeter; found the bacon, two middlings in a chest upstairs in Lowry's chamber with women's underclothing over it; no one had yet claimed the bacon.

The case was continued till Monday.

Martha Jamison alias Martha Ferguson, a dweller in Penitentiary bottom, was bailed to appear on Tuesday next.

Frank Woheb, alias Frank Wallip, a German huckster in the market, and Margaret Macarty, an Irish woman, with a most tremendous brogue, were called up for examination.

Lieutenant Carter, of the night watch, testified that on the day of the riot he arrested the prisoners on the corner of Thirteenth and Cary street; they each had a middling of bacon; the man said the woman was his wife, and that she had given him the meat; the woman offered witness the meat if he would let her go.

Margaret Macarty stated that a man gave her the middling; she did not give Wallip any meat; she never saw him before she had a husband, whose name was Kennedy.

Wallip stated that a woman he didn't know gave him the meat in the street to carry home; he didn't tell the officer that Mrs. Macarty gave him the meat.

The case was continued.

Sarah W. Champion, from below Rocketts, was called up for examination.

Watchman Hall testified that he arrested the woman on the day of the riot on the corner of Twenty-fifth and Marshall streets, with three pair of men's shoes, some unfinished shoe makers work, and a lot of candles; she said she got them from up town; when asked if she was in the riot, she at first said she was, but when arrested denied it and said the goods were given to her.

At the instance of the prisoner, the case was continued till Tuesday.

Minerva Meredith was called up for examination. The prisoner is full six feet high, raw boned and muscular, and about forty years of age. She was well dressed.

Mr. Henry Myers, steward of the city hospital, testified that on the morning of the riot he had a wagon load of beef for the patients of the hospital; Mrs. Meredith and a crowd of women surrounded the wagon; he told them the beef was for the sick at the hospital; Mrs. Meredith went off up the street, and an Irish woman and a one eyed woman jumped into the wagon, and he jumped out; the women carried the wagon and beef off; hadn't seen the beef since; had known Mrs. Meredith for years.

Mr. G. W. Gretter saw a woman like Mrs. Meredith standing on the corner of Main street and Locust alley, inciting the women to violence; was not certain Mrs. Meredith was the woman, as she had a sister.

Mrs. Meredith - It was me. I was there.

Mr. Adcock testified that during the riot he saw Mrs. Meredith surrounded by a crowd of women, pass down Main street near Knote's shoe store; she was apparently very much excited, and had a pistol uplifted in her hand; but I was too far off to hear what she said.

Mr. Orange Bennett said he saw Anne Meredith, sister of the prisoner, on Main street during the riot, and at first thought it was Minerva Meredith but when he saw the prisoner here he was convinced that the woman he saw was not Minerva Meredith.

Mrs. Meredith - I was the woman that had the pistol.

The case was continued till Tuesday morning.

Mrs. ____ Lane , from Henrico, was called up.

Dr. Maddux testified that he heard his woman and others discussing the riot on the City Hall steps; this woman said she approved of the riot and should have been in it if circumstance had permitted; that she wished they had come upon Broad street and swept every store on it; that the Yankees had been very near here once and they could get here again whenever they choose; she said if she had been in the riot she would have got a calico dress certain; asked if she was in favor of the Yankees; she declined to answer; there were two girls in this Court room who heard all she said.

Miss Harris was called up as a witness but seemed very unwilling to testify. She had heard Mrs. Lane say she would like to have a calico dress, but didn't hear her say anything else.

The other girl was called up but said she had heard nothing at all; she said she would like to have a calico dress herself.

Mrs. Lane denied that she had used any of the language attributed to her; she came to Court as a witness against Mrs. Ould.

Mrs. Isabella Ould, the English woman, was called up. She is party arrested on the previous day for using incendiary language on the City Hall steps.

The prisoner was dressed in all the pieces of the rainbow.

It was fully established by the evidence of several gentlemen that she had publicly expressed her approbation of the riot.

The Mayor, after explaining to Mr. Ould that his British protection did not authorize his wife to incite, by language or otherwise, people to riot and lawlessness, required her to give security in the sum of five hundred dollars to keep the peace and be of good behavior.

At this point, the hour of four o'clock , P. M. having arrived, the Court adjourned.

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