The Loudoun Board of Supervisors will not seek authority from the Virginia General Assembly in January to move or remove a statue of a Confederate soldier that stands in front of the county courthouse.
On Wednesday, the supervisors narrowly defeated a motion by Board Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) to request that the General Assembly amend state law to give the county discretion over the bronze statue, which was erected in 1908. Under state law, Virginia localities are not permitted to “disturb or interfere with” war memorials.
The Clerk of the Circuit Court’s Office displayed records that document the separate and unequal treatment of African Americans in the county during that time. Documents reveal how segregation pervaded all areas of life, including the education, public services and land transactions.
Although Rachel Steer, John Lambag and Arthur White lived in three different centuries, they have at least one thing in common: At some point in their lives, each ran afoul of the law in Loudoun County.
Records of their offenses have been kept and catalogued by the historic records division of the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court, which recently completed an index documenting more than 10,000 criminal cases from 1757 to 1955 — a project that took about eight years. Office staff members showcased some of the most interesting criminal records Oct. 7 at an open house in the historic courthouse in Leesburg.
During downtown Leesburg’s First Friday event this month, scores of people got a glimpse of a war being quietly waged every day in the Loudoun County Circuit Court archives: the battle against the ravages of time, including mold, bookworms, rust and acid-laden cellophane tape.
In 1799, a 40-year-old man named Aleck was working as a carpenter at Lexington Plantation on Mason Neck. Kate, a 50-year old woman with impaired vision, was working in the plantation’s main house.
Aleck and Kate might have been forgotten if their names had not been recorded in a will book at the Fairfax County courthouse. Both were slaves owned by George Mason V, son of the statesman George Mason of Gunston Hall, and their names were recorded in an inventory of his property.
The board voted Wednesday to contribute $50,000 toward the memorial, which the local chapter of the NAACP has proposed as a way to present a more complete history of Loudoun’s involvement in the Civil War. The only commemoration of the war at the site is a statue of a Confederate soldier.
Two juries agreed: Washington Senators starting quarterback Robert Triffy IV was not guilty of malicious wounding and assault and battery. Triffy had been charged with the crimes after his errant pass struck receiver LeSean Trackson in the face as Trackson chatted with a cheerleader on the sideline. Trackson suffered a broken nose and was eventually traded to another team.
The fictitious scenario — inspired by players for another Washington football team — played out simultaneously in four Loudoun County courtrooms June 20. The teams of attorneys on both sides were actually high school students participating in mock trials, the culmination of the 14th annual Thomas D. Horne Leadership in the Law summer camp.