Williams v. Jacksonville, T. & K.w. Ry. Co.

Citation26 Fla. 533,8 So. 446
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Decision Date23 December 1890
PartiesWILLIAMS et al. v. JACKSONVILLE, T. & K. W. RY. CO.

8 So. 446

26 Fla. 533


Florida Supreme Court

December 23, 1890

Error to circuit court, Duval county; JAMES M. BAKER, Judge.

Syllabus by the Court


A wife is, under the statutes of Florida, a competent witness as to her own interests in an action brought in her own right by herself and her husband.

COUNSEL [26 Fla. 535] R. B. Hilton, for plaintiffs in error.

Fletcher & Wurtz, for defendant in error.


[26 Fla. 533] The plaintiffs in error, Alice Williams and her husband, sue the defendant in error, alleging inter alia, in the declaration, that the wife was, at a time stated, a passenger for hire on its railroad, and was in a passenger coach, holding a ticker of said company, which she had paid for, and which entitled her to ride in a first-class passenger car; and that under these circumstances, she being decently and becomingly dressed, and behaving in a modest, decent, and lady-like manner, the conductor illegally, wrongfully, and willfully ordered her, on account of her color,--she being a woman [26 Fla. 534] of color,--to leave this car fitted up and set apart for the use of ladies and gentlemen traveling on the railroad, and to go into and ride in another, and inferior, less comfortable and less decent, car, a second-class car, set apart for negroes and persons of color; and upon her failing to do so, as commanded by said conductor, he, with the aid of another servant of the company, willfully, violently, ruthlessly, wrongfully, and illegally, with force and arms, made an assault and battery upon her, seized, pulled, and dragged her, and cast her down from her seat to the floor of the car, and prostrated her thereon, and, while she was thus prostrate, pulled and dragged her in like manner, and with great violence and indignity, across the platform dividing the two cars, and into the second class car,--the smoking-car of the train,--and left her there prostrate, sore, wounded, bruised, and disabled. By all of which the declaration alleges, (reading to its conclusion as follows:) 'She was grievously wounded, hurt, and injured, and subjected to great shame, indignity, mortigication, and disgrace, and from said violence, dragging, and assault and battery, received great injury and hurt to her womb, by which it became inflamed, irritated, displaced, and diseased, by reason whereof she suffered and continued to suffer great pain and agony, and was disabled...

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