Virginia Christian

Mug Shot

The African American girl Virginia Christian was photographed once in her life, on June 3, 1912, when she was transferred from the jailhouse in Hampton, Virginia, to the state penitentiary in Richmond. So this day was a fateful one in Virgie’s life a century ago. And we know almost nothing about it. In fact, although […]

Mug shot of Floyd Allen taken at the state penitentiary in Richmond, Virginia, where he would die in the electric chair. Library of Virginia.

A Crisis Somewhat Akin

Found guilty of first-degree murder in the courtroom shooting in Hillsville, Virginia, Floyd Allen was sentenced to death by electrocution in May 1912. Virginia Christian’s murder trial took place a month earlier. Her lead attorney, George Washington Fields, a former slave, was blind. Despite the disability, he was masterful at interrogating witnesses. J. Clay Smith, […]