Exploring History and Healing: ‘Condemned for Love in Old Virginia’ Event in Leesburg

The Thomas Balch Library in Leesburg, Virginia, is set to host an enlightening and poignant event on Sunday, February 25, at 2 p.m., featuring Jim Hall, an award-winning journalist and author known for his compelling work on Virginia’s lynching history. Hall will discuss his latest book, “Condemned for Love in Old Virginia: The Lynching of Arthur Jordan,” a narrative that delves into the tragic and heart-wrenching story of Arthur Jordan and Elvira Corder. Their tale is a testament to the brutal realities of interracial love in the postbellum South, particularly in 1880 Virginia, where their union was met with the ultimate sacrifice.

Arthur, a black man, and Elvira, a white woman, dared to defy the societal norms of their time, seeking refuge in Maryland after Elvira’s pregnancy became known. However, the couple’s attempt to escape the clutches of prejudice ended in tragedy. Elvira’s father, with the help of neighbors, orchestrated their kidnapping, leading to Arthur’s lynching by a mob in Warrenton, Virginia, and Elvira’s disappearance after being taken to a hotel in Williamsport, Maryland.

Hall’s discussion promises to shed light on this dark chapter of Virginia’s history, illustrating the grave consequences faced by those who challenged racial boundaries. His book, available for purchase at the event, aims to honor the memory of Arthur and Elvira by telling their story, a narrative of love overshadowed by hate. This event is not only an opportunity for community members to engage with our local history but also a call to reflect on the lessons it teaches us today.

Pre-registration for this event is necessary, and interested individuals can secure their spot by calling 703-737-7195, emailing balchlib@leesburgva.gov, or registering online. Jim Hall’s expertise and dedication to uncovering the truths of Virginia’s lynching history make this an event not to be missed by those who value history, justice, and the power of love to challenge societal norms.