Washington County, Virginia Minute Book 23, October 1879-February 1882


From the Introduction: 
This Minute Book covers primarily 1880 and 1881, the years of Rutherford B. Hayes (and later, James Garfield) as President. President Hayes' wife, "Lemonade Lucy" (Lucy Ware Webb, alias Hayes) would have been pleased with the stepped up "moral bleaching and scrubbing" given Washington County, Virginia in those years with numerous prosecutions for running houses of ill fame, adultery, fornication, seduction, lewdness, and lewd and lascivious cohabitation, but she would have likely been disgruntled at the seemingly liberal allowances of liquor and bar room licenses accorded in the same period by the Washington County, Virginia Court! These were, as usual, exciting years: On 31 Mar 1880, Wabash, Indiana became the first city in the world entirely lighted with electricity. In 1881, President James Garfield was assassinated (02 Jul and died 19 Sep); and in 1882, 29 Mar, the Knights of Columbus organization was incorporated and the outlaw, Jesse James was shot in the back of the head on 3 Apr 1882 by none other than Robert Ford! The book leaves us in early 1882, the year a depression descended upon the US, lasting until 1885.

This Minute Book is particularly valuable in that minute books or order books in general frequently provide accounts of persons not otherwise captured in Deed Books, Will Books and other major court books. Minute Book 23, as usual, sometimes leaves one with a great yearning for more details on a particular case entry; these would likely be found, if preserved, in loose court papers or one may consult the Chancery Order Books sometimes for more details...

Jack Hockett and Donald Helton

2018, 8" x 10", 246 pp.