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August 25, 2016 / Joanne Yeck

The Famous Forbes Case of Buckingham County: Part XXXII


Courtesy Richmond’s Times-Dispatch

Sheriff Williams’ Announcement

On Monday, July 25, 1904, the spectators in Buckingham County’s courthouse had a roller-coaster of a day. The topper came at 5:00 PM, when Sheriff William Williams suddenly appeared before the court, interrupted the proceedings, and stated that he had just learned that Edloe Spencer was on his way from Farmville to Buckingham Courthouse with the intent of violently attacking Congressman H. D. Flood. According to The Times-Dispatch, earlier in the day, counsel for the defense Flood had “vigorously attacked Spencer’s veracity and denounced his motive for arresting Wooldridge.”

Judge Hundley immediately ordered the sheriff to obtain papers and arrest Spencer upon his arrival. Congressman Flood rose to his feet, protesting Spencer’s arrest and claiming he was not afraid of him. The judge, however, insisted that Sheriff Williams prepare for an arrest.

The Times-Dispatch continued:

Everyone in the court room seemed to understand the situation, as Mr. Flood had, this morning, upon one occasion, when the jury had retired, made a vigorous speech bitterly denouncing Spencer for arresting Wooldridge; and for his falsehoods, which Mr. Flood said, Spencer had told throughout his connection with the case. Mr. Flood did not hesitate to say that he considered Spencer’s conduct reprehensible, and almost accused him of being a brute for his actions in the case. Many of the friends of both gentlemen are apprehensive, lest trouble should occur between them, yet it is hoped that the officers here can prevent anything of the kind. To-morrow is looked forward to with the most intense interest by a great crowd of people. E. C. Wooldridge will certainly be placed on the stand to-morrow morning at nine o’clock. A great crowd is expected. Edloe Spencer arrived here from Farmville at 7:30 tonight. He was immediately approached by the sheriff and he promised the sheriff that he would give bond for his good behavior while here.

What exactly were Edloe Spencer’s intentions? Who had warned Sheriff Williams? Had Spencer really cooled off between Farmville and the village of Maysville or was he harboring other plans?

Coming Next: Wooldridge Takes the Stand

Need to catch up? Click here for The Famous Forbes Case of Buckingham County: Part I

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