1829-06-24, Unnamed enslaved woman, Physical violence: Sexual assault

Item

Title

1829-06-24, Unnamed enslaved woman, Physical violence: Sexual assault

Description

An unnamed enslaved woman owned by University of Virginia professor Gessner Harrison was the attempted target of sexual assault by University of Virginia student William Garland Carr. Carr and two other students, Robert W. Walton and William K. Morgan, were out at night and very intoxicated. They stopped at Harrison’s home, and Harrison overheard Carr knocking at the cellar door and making indecent propositions to the unnamed woman. Carr asserts that he was just trying to get her to give him some supper. The faculty resolves that Carr should be dismissed from the University, but his application for readmission is accepted on September 7, 1829.

Transcript:

“Dr. Harrison then informed the Faculty that a disturbing noise was made last night by a number of persons who appeared to be returning from Charlottesville...It was after 12 oclock - there was a knocking at his cellar door & heard indecent propositions made to a female servant...Wm. G. Carr next appeared before the Faculty. Being informed by the Chairman of the charges alledged against him; says he has nothing to say; made no disturbing noise, struck no door - went to Dr. Harrison's house to get something to eat; had another reason for going there which he will not disclose; by knocking at the door he wished to call the attention of a female residing there, who had been in the habit of furnishing him with suppers. Will not say he had been drinking, nor answer any question put to him with regard to drinking, nor will he say whether or not he was intoxicated - Being asked if he had any thing to say in explanation of the charge of intoxication - will not answer the question, not admitting at the same time the truth of the charges; it was between 12 and 1 when ** he knocked at Dr. Harrison's door - admits he made some noise. did sing was not intoxicated when Dr. H. saw him - retired to rest soon after...

It appearing from the admission of Wm G. Carr & other evidence, that he had been drinking last night at a tavern in Charlottesville, that he was one of a riotous party, and was himself disorderly; that he was further guilty of indecent conduct in endeavoring to get access to a female servant in a pavilion of one of the professors -
Resolved, therefore, that the said Wm. G. Carr be dismissed from the University”

Event Type

Violence: Sexual assault

Action Status

Failed

Date

June 24, 1829

Location

Pavilion VI, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Source

June 25, 1829 Minutes of the Faculty of the University of Virginia, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia

Primary Participant

Unnamed woman

Freedom Status

Enslaved

Enslaver

Author

Witness

Perpetrator

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