A Guide to the Brunswick County (Va.) Commonwealth Causes and Pardons, 1791-1806; 1898-1903 Brunswick County (Va.) Commonwealth Causes and Pardons, 1791-1806; 1898-1903 1208256

A Guide to the Brunswick County (Va.) Commonwealth Causes and Pardons, 1791-1806; 1898-1903

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Barcode number: 1208256


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Repository
The Library of Virginia
Barcode number
1208256
Title
Brunswick County (Va.) Commonwealth Causes and Pardons, 1791-1806; 1898-1903
Physical Characteristics
0.25 (1 box)
Collector
Brunswick County (Va.) Circuit Court
Location
Library of Virginia
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Brunswick County (Va.) Commonwealth Causes and Pardons, 1791-1806; 1898-1903. Local government records collection, Brunswick County Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. 23219.

Acquisition Information

These items came to the Library of Virginia in a transfer of court papers from Brunswick County.

Historical Information

Brunswick County was named for the duchy of Brunswick-Luneburg, one of the German possessions of George I. It was formed in 1720 from Prince George County, but, because of the sparse population, county government was not organized until 1732. In the latter year Brunswick County was enlarged by the addition of parts of Surry and Isle of Wight Counties.

Scope and Content

Brunswick County (Va.) Commonwealth Causes and Pardons, 1791-1806; 1898-1902. Commonwealth causes, 1791-1806, are criminal court cases. Most of the cases in this collection pertain to enslaved people, and many involve accusations of poisoning. One case, Commonwealth vs. Isaac, Phill, and Shaq, documents an alleged insurrection to "kill all white people." Pardons, 1898-1903, are pardons granted by Virginia Governors James Hoge Tyler and Andrew Jackson Montague to persons convicted of criminal offenses.

Commonwealth causes consist primarily of warrants, summonses, indictments, and verdicts handed down by grand juries and other legal authorities in order to prosecute individuals who violated the penal code. Some cases also include depositions describing the alleged crimes. Offenses ranged in severity from murder, rape, assault and battery, and larceny.

Warrants were issued by grand juries, judges, and justices of the peace directing law enforcement officials to either arrest and imprison a person suspected of having committed a crime or to cause an individual to appear in court to answer accusations made against them. Peace warrants directing an offender to "keep the peace of the Commonwealth" or to restrain from any violent acts are commonly found in assault and battery cases.

An indictment is the official, written description of the crime that an accused individual is suspected of committing, which is approved by a grand jury and presented to a court in order to begin legal proceedings. Due to this process, indictments are often referred to as "presentments."

Verdicts are the formal pronouncements made by juries on issues submitted to them by a judge or other law enforcement official. In the case of a guilty verdict, a judge will sentence the offender. Sentences may include a fine, corporal punishment, and/or imprisonment. Coroners also submitted verdicts such as "death by suicide," "death by natural causes," etc. when determining the cause of a suspicious or sudden death.

Index Terms

    Personal Names:

  • Montague, Andrew Jackson, 1868-1937.
  • Tyler, James Hoge, 1846-1925.
  • Corporate Names:

  • Brunswick County (Va.) Circuit Court.
  • Subjects:

  • African Americans -- History.
  • Assault and battery -- Virginia -- Brunswick County.
  • Crime -- Virginia -- Brunswick County.
  • Criminals -- Virginia -- Brunswick County.
  • Larceny -- Virginia -- Brunswick County.
  • Murder -- Virginia -- Brunswick County.
  • Pardon -- Virginia -- Brunswick County.
  • Poisoning -- Virginia -- Brunswick County.
  • Rape -- Virginia -- Brunswick County.
  • Slave insurrections -- Virginia -- Brunswick County.
  • Slaveholders -- Virginia -- Brunswick County.
  • Slavery -- Virginia -- Brunswick County.
  • Slaves -- Virginia -- Brunswick County.
  • Geographical Names:

  • Brunswick County (Va.) -- History.
  • Genre and Form Terms:

  • Depositions -- Virginia -- Brunswick County.
  • Indictments -- Virginia -- Brunswick County.
  • Local government records -- Virginia -- Brunswick County.
  • Pardons -- Virginia -- Brunswick County.
  • Summonses -- Virginia -- Brunswick County.
  • Warrants (Law) -- Virginia -- Brunswick County.

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Montague, Andrew Jackson, 1868-1937.
  • Tyler, James Hoge, 1846-1925.