On this day in 1913, by order of Governor William Hodges Mann, Floyd Allen and his youngest son Claude were executed despite a number of public pleas to commute their sentences. The two were convicted of murder after a judge, a sheriff, a commonwealth’s attorney, a juror, and a court spectator were all killed in Carroll County by shots fired by Floyd Allen and others after Allen was convicted of assault.
Floyd Allen died in the electric chair at 1:31 in the afternoon and his son followed him eleven minutes later.
While we’re at it, on this day in 1674 the writer and elite planter William Byrd II was born. Oh, and, in 1870, the Rock of Chickamauga, George H. Thomas, died. Thomas came from a family of slaveholders in Southampton County—they actually fled into the woods during Nat Turner’s uprising—but Thomas stayed in the United States army when the Civil War broke out and was effectively disowned. By the end of the war, he was an advocate of African American rights. Not everyone made the same choices as Lee (see also Winfield Scott, Philip St. George Cooke, John Newton, Jesse L. Reno, and William R. Terrill).
Versions of this post were published on March 28, 2012, and March 28, 2011.
IMAGES: Floyd and Claude Allen (Library of Virginia)