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The Trials of Mary Booth and the Post–Civil War Incarceration of African American Children

The Trials of Mary Booth and the Post–Civil War Incarceration of African American Children <p>Abstract:</p><p>On October 17, 1882, Mary Booth, a fourteen-year-old African American girl, arrived at the Virginia State Penitentiary to serve a life sentence after being wrongfully convicted of murder. Working from a fragmented and fragmentary archival record, this article reconstructs the tortuous path Booth traveled through Virginia’s courts and prisons. Her story sheds light on how African American children were transformed into new carceral subjects in the wake of emancipation. It also provides insight into the varied strategies black Virginians employed in their efforts to extract meaningful, if inadequate, gains in access to justice under the Readjuster Party. Ultimately, locating Booth’s story within the larger history of children’s incarceration offers insight into why Virginia’s late-nineteenth-century juvenile justice reforms entrenched, rather than diminished, racial disparities for young citizens accused of crimes.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

The Trials of Mary Booth and the Post–Civil War Incarceration of African American Children

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 10 (3) – Aug 28, 2020

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p>On October 17, 1882, Mary Booth, a fourteen-year-old African American girl, arrived at the Virginia State Penitentiary to serve a life sentence after being wrongfully convicted of murder. Working from a fragmented and fragmentary archival record, this article reconstructs the tortuous path Booth traveled through Virginia’s courts and prisons. Her story sheds light on how African American children were transformed into new carceral subjects in the wake of emancipation. It also provides insight into the varied strategies black Virginians employed in their efforts to extract meaningful, if inadequate, gains in access to justice under the Readjuster Party. Ultimately, locating Booth’s story within the larger history of children’s incarceration offers insight into why Virginia’s late-nineteenth-century juvenile justice reforms entrenched, rather than diminished, racial disparities for young citizens accused of crimes.</p>

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Aug 28, 2020

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