From the Richmond Dispatch, 7/15/1864, p.1, c 6 and 7
Mayor’s Court. – Yesterday’s operations in this Court are embraced in the following summary:
Joseph Gussen was charged with feloniously stealing a set of chamber furniture, valued at $4000, the property of Smith & Harwood, and H L Wygand with receiving the same knowing it to have been stolen. The furniture was taken from a store on Franklin street, carried on under the name of “J Gussen,” but which is solely the property of Smith & Harwood. The business was conducted by Rober Werne, with money which had been advanced by Messrs S & W. J Gussen’s name was used in consequence of his well know reputation as a cabinet maker, but no money had been contributed by him, and half the profits were to be paid to the parties who advanced the capital while Werne and Gussen were to have the other half. Each of the latter carried a key to the store and for while everything went on well; but on Wednesday morning, when Werne went down, he found the store closed and the door to which he carried the key nailed up inside, so that he could not get in. Suspecting that something was wrong, he made inquiries among the neighbors, when he was informed that about five o’clock that morning three loads of furniture had been taken away. By diligent inquires he afterwards ascertained that it had been carried to H L Wygnad’s store on Broad street, where he found it, and had it removed to the Mayor’s court room till the matter could be decided. Gussen claims to be an equal partner in the business, and by right was entitled to the furniture he had taken; while on the other hand it is contended that he was simply an employee, interested only so far as a quarter’s profit was involved, and therefore he had no right to any of the stock on hand. Wygand produced a receipt, showing that he had purchased the furniture from Gussen for $3000, a part of which was in an unfinished state. In W’s cellar were also found a lot of tools, carved wood, sand paper, and the books of the concern, indicating that preparations were being made for carrying on the business at that place. The case was continue till this morning. Gussen was remanded to jail, but Wygand was bailed for his appearance in the sum of $5000.
Thomas Walker, a free negro, charged with breaking into the house of Mrs Mary Harris, and stealing therefrom two ladies’ dresses valued at $200 was sent on to the Husting Court for examination. It will be recollected that some two of three weeks since, in the night time, three negroes entered Mrs Harris’s house, and after stealing the dresses in question, Mrs H being aroused and going to the head of the steps frightened them off, leaving behind their shoes, a hat, one musket, a sword, and a ladder outside. In a day or two afterwards the same three fellows were discovered in Mrs H’s neighborhood, were recognized, pursued and two of them captured, the third escaping. Thomas was fully identified as the one who was seen in company with the other two.
James, slave of Charles Anderson, was ordered to be whipped for stealing a couple of pounds of fresh meat from Samuel Schwartz, in the Second Market. The accused acknowledged the theft but stated that he was impelled to it from hunger, and had first tried to beg something to eat. Two other negros named Mary and Anna, slaves respectively of William (?) and Albert Bell, were whipped for committing petty thefts.
The charge preferred against Alfred Moss of stealing sixteen dollars’ worth of thread from C. S. clothing store, was continued till this morning. This case was formerly before the Mayor, and by him sent on to the Hustings Court, but when it was brought up for examination on Wednesday the Justices deemed it too insignificant a matter to receive their attention, where upon it was referred back to His Honor for settlement. The grounds of its continuance were not made known.