previous next

Rowdyism in Richmond.

The occurrences of Monday night, we think, ought to satisfy every reasonable person that it is time the strong arm of power was put forth to hold in check the spirit of lawless brutality now rampant in Richmond. It is time, too, that we should call things by their right names, for, disguise it as we may, the city is at this time infested with a gang of ruffians, whose presence, morally speaking, it is much to be deprecated as that of the enemy of our race. The shameful practices of drunkards, libertines, and profligates, who live neither sensibility, honor, nor shame, are not natural to the South, and it is with pass and regret that we contemplate the introduction here of these controlling elements of Northern society. The first open manifestation of the new order of things in Richmond was developed at the theatre, and it shortly culminated in the burning of that building. The intervening period was filled up by villainies of the minor sort, which generally had their origin in whiskey, until deally, on Monday night, we were entertained with a spectacle at Metropolitan Hall, which, for open violation of decency and law, is entirely without a parallel in this community. The row, as a matter of course, occurred in the gallery, where a number of brazen women were surrounded by a crowd of drunken, unprincipled men. Caths and curse, shrieks and yells, intermingled with the rapid discharge of deadly weapons, the sudden panic and flight of the through in other portions of the house, made up a picture of Northern rowdyism which could not be looked upon without a shudder. If there were any policemen present, which we doubt, they were powerless to suppress the tumult, and it went on until one party of the belligerents withdrew from the scene, and the lights in the hall were extinguished. It is not for us to suggest a remedy for these things. The civil and military authorities are doubtless competent to devise a scheme, which must strike at the very root of the evil; which must remove the temptations which allure the innocent as well as stimulate the wicked; and then we may see our community restored to the happy condition of peace and harmony which was our boast in former days. There are monstrous evils in Richmond, to which the gambling houses bear no comparison and while the efforts (futile though they have proved) of the Mayor to break up these establishments are commendable enough, we would have the authorities agree upon some method to extirpate the base influences which inflame the passions of bad men. ‘"There needs no ghost, come from the grave, "’ to point out what these evils are or the places where they flourish. The people expect protection from internal vices, as well as from external foes; and this they will love, at any sacrifice of official interest or position. If our citizens cannot be permitted to visit a place of amusement or recreation or even walk the streets at night, without the risk of interruption from these outcasts of civilization, then there might as well be no law; for law is no better than a farce unless sternly administered, especially in times like the present.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: