From the Richmond Dispatch, 12/12/1865, p. 3, c. 2
SINGULAR CASE – WHITE MEN CONSPIRING WITH A NEGRO. – A very singular case has been pending for some days past before Judge McEntee, in the Provost Court of this city. Two young men, named John and Alonzo Duke, were arrested about a week ago, charged with inducing a negro girl, named Lizzie Seals, to steal eight hundred dollars in gold and one hundred dollars in silver from J. E. Batkins, and receiving the same, knowing it to have been stolen. The parties were twice before the Court last week, and a mass of testimony was elicited, much of which was not very creditable to the accused. They were again arraigned yesterday, when the following additional evidence was heard:
Sergeant David Dennison, Twenty-fourth Massachusetts regiment, being sworn, testified.—I have been within the last month at a ball at Chimborazo Hospital. On the bridge near Chimborazo I met John Duke, on horseback. At the door of the ball-room I saw Lizzie Seals hand John Duke something. I do not know what it was. John Duke paid our entrance fee at the ball—two half-dollars and two quarter-dollars — all in silver. Our party consisted of six persons in all. At the dance, John Duke danced with Lizzie Seals, and I danced with Mary Nixon. We danced in the same set. Duke left the dance before I did — probably about 10 P. M.
Cross-examined by counsel for defence.—I have known Mary Nixon for some time. I met her and three other girls, the night of the dance, on Broad street. I did not meet them by appointment.
Fleming Razor sworn.—I am acquainted with the prisoners. John and Alonzo Duke. I am employed in the market as a huckster. I saw Alonzo Duke have two gold pieces, about two or three weeks ago, in a barber shop in this city. I saw him throwing the pieces up and playing with them.
Cross-examined by defence.—Mr. Duke has borne a good character since I have known him.
T. C. Baptist sworn.—I have been acquainted with the two prisoners for some time past — ever since they were born. On the day before their arrest, as I was passing down Franklin street, about 5 o'clock in the afternoon, I saw Alonzo Duke standing on the sidewalk tossing up a twenty-dollar gold piece.
In his cross-examination Mr. Baptist stated that, so far as he knew, the prisoners bore a good character. He had seen the girls, Lizzie Seals and Mary Nixon, nearly every night at the alley leading to Mr. Batkins's house. Mr. Duke, the father of the prisoners, had always been an indulgent parent. He never knew Alonzo Duke to be a gambler.
Daniel L. Murphy testified that, a week ago, he met Lawrence Duke (a brother of the prisoners) at Quimby's. Duke asked him to treat, and witness asked Duke to treat. He remarked (holding up a twenty-dollar gold piece) that was all the money he had.
Virginia A. Cheatham testified that she saw John Duke four or five times in Philadelphia, and that he never gave her any presents or money there, or since her return to Richmond.
Some further testimony was elicited in regard to the character of the prisoners, after which the case was adjourned over until Friday next.