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The New York Times, 14 August 1878
A Girl Whipped for Larceny.
The Richmond Dispatch of Tuesday prints the following letter from Mr. A.M. Kelly concerning a case which has been widely commented on by newspapers:
"The Northern papers have during the past month very diligently circulated a story of the public whipping on the bare back of a white girl by a black constable in Elizabeth City County, of this State, upon a conviction for petty larceny. The publication has been generally accompanied by indignant denunciation of the Virginia people who could elect such an officer that would impose such a punishment on a female, and upon the public sentiment that would tolerate it; and I presume every right-thinking man instinctively shared somewhat that sentiment. Suspecting that there was some exaggeration, if not a wholesale falsehood, in the story, I addressed the County Clerk a request for information as to the facts, who courteously and promptly returned a letter, inclosing the following statement by the Sheriff:
HAMPTON, Va., Aug, 10, 1878.
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