Richmond, VA Court Room Floor Collapse, Apr 1870

APPALLING CATASTROPHE !

Slaughter in the Richmond Capitol

A COURT-ROOM FLOOR GIVES WAY

Hundreds Precipitated Thirty feet

FIFTY-EIGHT PERSONS KILLED

Two Hundred More of Less Injured

TWENTY LEGISLATORS KILLED OR WOUNDED

Terrible Scene in the Park

A WHOLE CITY IN MOURNING

Particulars of the Victims

RICHMOND, April 27.----A terrible calamity occurred here this morning. The floor of the Court of Appeals, in the State Capitol, gave way and precipitated the hundreds therein assembled to hear the decision in the Mayoralty case of Ellison and Cahoon, upon the Conservative caucus then sitting in the Hall of the House of Delegates below. It is impossible to ascertain the extent of the injuries at this hour.

Among the killed are P. H. Aylett, a distinguished lawyer; Dr. J. B. Brock, reporter for the Enquirer and Examiner; Samuel Eaton, Clerk of Mayor Cahoon; Captain William A. Chartere, Chief of the Fire Department; N. P. Howard, a lawyer; Ash Levy, a Richmond merchant; Charles Watson, of the Danville Railroad; Hugh Hutcheson, Lewis N. Webb. of this city; Wheeler Schofield, brother of General Schofield; R. H. Maury, Jr., Senator Bland (colored), and Powhattan Roberts.

It is supposed that twenty members of the State Legislature are killed or wounded. The Judges of the Court of Appeals all escaped unhurt. Ex-Governor Wells was badly injured. L. H. Chandler, counsel for Cahoon in the Mayoralty case, was injured. James Mason and Judge Meredith, counsel for Ellison, were also badly hurt.

About two hundred persons were hurt by the accident. The greatest excitement prevails, and hundreds of persons in the Capitol Square are weeping and wailing as the dead and dying are brought out of the building. Governor Walker escaped unhurt, though on the floor of the Court room at the time.

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