Murder in Lexington: VMI, Honor and Justice in Antebellum Virginia

Murder in Lexington: VMI, Honor and Justice in Antebellum Virginia

by Daniel Morrow

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Overview

Murder in Lexington: VMI, Honor and Justice in Antebellum Virginia by Daniel Morrow


In 1853 Lexington, Virginia, Mary Evelyn Anderson, one of the most beautiful women in the Commonwealth, spurned the advances of a young law student named Charles Burks Christian. Humiliated and heartbroken, Christian confronted, stabbed and killed the man he believed responsible for Anderson's decision. The man was her cousin, Thomas Blackburn, a VMI cadet and student of Stonewall Jackson. What followed was a circus of inept and brilliant lawyers dragging members of the most prominent families in antebellum Virginia through and all-too-public discussion of seduction, courtship, honor and self-defense. Author and historian Daniel S. Morrow chronicles the history of the events that led to Blackburn's death, the trials that followed and the impact on Lexington, its two colleges and the men and women who would soon find themselves engaged in a great Civil War.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609498962
Publisher: History Press, The
Publication date: 10/15/2013
Series: True Crime
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author


Dan Morrow is the publisher of the Middleburg Eccentric, a newspaper outside Washington, D.C. He is the founder of the Jamestown Exploration Company and was the first executive director of the Computerworld Smithsonian Awards Program. He has served on the Board of Directors for many local organizations, including the Mosby Heritage Area Association.

Table of Contents

Preface 11

Acknowledgements 13

Introduction 15

Part I The Unhappy Holiday

1 Out of the Darkness 19

2 The Mistress of Col Alto 22

3 The Invitation 26

4 A Blow to the Heart 30

5 Despair and Indignation 35

Part II Toward A Fateful Decision

6 The Gathering Storm 41

7 The Blackburn Family 44

8 A Fateful Decision 49

Part III Fighting Words

9 The "Interview" 57

10 Thrice-Told Tales 61

11 Knives and Pistols 66

12 Friendly Advice 70

Part IV The Encounter

13 Sunday Morning Jitters 77

14 Sunday Evening: The Challenge 81

15 A Violent Scuffle 87

16 Stepping Up, Stepping In 91

17 First Aid 94

Part V Flight, Capture, Imprisonment

18 Christian's Flight 99

19 Fear, Panic and More Advice 103

20 The Arrest 107

21 Calming the Corps 111

22 Christian in Custody 117

Part VI Preparation and Mourning

23 A Morning Tour 123

24 Autopsy and Inquest 126

25 Early Rumors 130

26 Hiring Tom Michie 135

27 Mourning and Michie's Money 141

Part VII Pre-Trial Riots and Maneuvers

28 Preliminary Hearing: Prelude 151

29 Preliminary Hearing: Denouement 155

30 Certainties and Doubts 158

31 The Return of Captain Moore 164

32 The Ryland Scandal 167

33 Missing Witnesses, Multiple Lawyers 170

Part VIII The Trial in Lexington: Witnesses Testify

34 Prelude and Day One: Indictment, Jury and First Witnesses Wednesday and Thursday, April 13-14, 1854 175

35 Day Two: Of Victims and Scoundrels Friday, April 14, 1854 184

36 Day Three: Surprise Saturday, April 15, 1854 191

37 Day Four: Into the "Third Pool" Monday, April 17, 1854 197

38 Day Five: Of Blood and Character Tuesday, April 18, 1854 205

Part IX The Trial in Lexington: Lawyers Sum Up

39 Day Five: Moore's Law Tuesday, April 18, 1854 211

40 Day Five: Moore's Case Tuesday, April 18, 1854 217

41 Day Six: Dorman for the Defense Wednesday, April 19, 1854 223

42 Day Seven: Stuart's Attack Thursday, April 20, 1854 230

43 Day Seven: Stuart vs. Michie Thursday, April 20, 1854 235

44 Day Eight: Michie vs. Doyle Friday, April 21, 1854 241

45 Day Eight: Michie Earns His Fee Friday, April 21, 1854 246

46 Day Nine: Doyle for the Defense Saturday, April 22, 1854 251

47 Day Ten: Brockenbrough Stands In Monday, April 24, 1854 256

48 Day Ten: Brockenbrough's Last Stand Monday, April 24, 1854 262

49 Day Eleven: Verdict Tuesday, April 25, 1854 269

Part X Double Shock

50 The Agony of Defeat 277

51 The Trial in Liberty 286

52 Michie, Money and Reconciliations 295

53 Aftermath 302

Notes 311

Works Cited 335

Index 343

About the Author 351

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