This Day (Was Their Last Edition)

On this day in 1913, by order of Governor William Hodges MannFloyd Allen and his youngest son Claude were executed despite a number of public pleas to commute their sentences. The two were convicted of murder after a judge, a sheriff, a commonwealth’s attorney, a juror, and a court spectator were all killed in Carroll County by shots fired by Floyd Allen and others after Allen was convicted of assault.
Floyd Allen died in the electric chair at 1:31 in the afternoon and his son followed him eleven minutes later.
While we’re at it, on this day in 1674 the writer and elite planter William Byrd II was born. Oh, and, in 1870, the Rock of Chickamauga, George H. Thomas, died. Thomas came from a family of slaveholders in Southampton County—they actually fled into the woods during Nat Turner’s uprising—but Thomas stayed in the United States army when the Civil War broke out and was effectively disowned. By the end of the war, he was an advocate of African American rights. Not everyone made the same choices as Lee (see also Winfield ScottPhilip St. George CookeJohn Newton, Jesse L. Reno, and William R. Terrill).
Versions of this post were published on March 28, 2012, and March 28, 2011.
IMAGES: Floyd and Claude Allen (Library of Virginia)


2 thoughts

  1. In light of your post a few days ago, Brendan, it is interesting to learn how people in Virginia died. In that post, several of the subjects had committed suicide. Do you track cause of death? This day was William Byrd II’s first. Just saying.

  2. So write about William Byrd, Sue. Thank you. We don’t actually track causes of death, although in George Tucker‘s case it would be falling cotton bale and with Sherwood Anderson swallowing a toothpick. The notorious Daniel Parke, meanwhile, was stripped naked, dragged from the governor’s house in Antigua, and murdered. Oral history holds that his body was left in the streets for a week to rot.
    Perhaps we should track this stuff!
    We do take note, on occasion, of so-called good deaths.


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