Murder and Mayhem: Criminal Conduct in Old Alexandria, Virginia, 1749-1900
Murder and Mayhem: Criminal Conduct in Old Alexandria, Virginia, 1749-1900 - T. Michael Miller. Mr. Miller’s latest contribution to the history of Alexandria is well off the beaten track; it gives a fascinating picture of a century and a half as extracted primarily from the pages of the local newspaper, The Alexandria Gazette. The local sheriff and several constables were responsible for law and order in colonial Alexandria. Most of the offenses reported in those early days were minor infractions, such as gaming, swearing profanely, and drunkenness. The punishment for such offenses was usually a fine or a requirement to post bond against further incidents. As time passed and the population grew, the incidence and severity of the crimes reported increased dramatically, as did the punishments meted out. Mr. Miller presents here accounts of a wide variety of crimes from the mundane to the bizarre that will amuse and fascinate every reader with an interest in Alexandria in particular, and early American life in general. The articles vary in length from a paragraph to several pages, and provide an intimate view of life that is often glossed-over in more formal histories. He has also included a brief history of the Alexandria Police Department, and a roster of police personnel who served in Alexandria City and Fairfax County for the period 1749–1904. The every-name index cities all the people mentioned in the text. (1988), 2015, 5½x8½, paper, 218 pp.