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By Harry M. Ward

Richmond within the overdue nineteenth century used to be now not the genteel peaceable neighborhood historians have made it. Virginia’s capital was once cosmopolitan, boisterous and crime-ridden. From 1905 to 1915 there has been an legit purple mild district. The police had their arms complete with drunks and riffraff, and quite a few road urchins and waifs—most of whom have been very poor—found themselves at the fallacious aspect of the law.
The juvenile delinquents of Richmond—some slightly out of infancy—were held dependable within the Police courtroom. A juvenile court docket approach used to be now not verified till 1916. Presiding over the Police courtroom for 32 years was once Justice John Jeter Crutchfield who, notwithstanding unlearned within the legislation, functioned like a biblical Solomon yet with nice showmanship. The Police courtroom attracted many travelers and a few of Virginia’s literary figures reduce their tooth writing newspaper assurance of the court cases, vying with one another for the main hilarious slant. What emerges from the general public checklist is an a laugh and touching photo of what lifestyles used to be rather like within the post–Reconstruction city South.

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