James Tompkins Williams (1829-1900)
During the 1850s and 1860s, James T. Williams and his partner, Samuel C. Tardy, owned the successful business of Tardy & Williams, auctioneers and commission merchants, located in Richmond, Virginia at 13th and Cary Streets. James and Samuel provided goods and services to the Confederacy during the war, including the military hospitals in Richmond.
Margaret Ann Hutter, a slave belonging to the Butts family, was employed by Sam Tardy as nurse for his youngest child, Frances Deane. A tragic incident took place in the Tardy household in December 1862. Because of Mr. Tardy's prominence in the city, the case made headlines in the Richmond Daily Dispatch for more than a month. The fate that befell Margaret was described in great detail: