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Report of the trial of Michael Rock on an indictment for the rape of Elizabeth Black

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-0174

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of one notebook containing newspaper clippings and comments describing the trial of Michael Rock who was tried for the alleged rape of Elizabeth Black, August 13, 1852. The week long trial was conducted in the criminal court of Baltimore City in November 1852. The clippings include testimony of all witnesses including those who were called by defense to give opinions of Elizabeth Black's character.


  • Creation: 1852


Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical Note

Elizabeth Black was a seamstress residing in Baltimore, MD in 1852. She was the daughter of Elizabeth Buhre and the widow of David Black. After working late on the evening of August 13, 1852, Black called for a carriage. She later accused the driver, Michael Rock, of assaulting her. Michael Rock was charged with rape and brought to trial in the Criminal Court of Baltimore, November 1852. Charles J.M. Gwinn was the attorney for the State, and William P. Preston for the defense. During the week long trial, the defense questioned Black's character and earlier life. Michael Rock was found not guilty by the jury.


0.167 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Related Materials

Materials related to other Maryland trials in which William P. Preston acted as defense attorney are available in Special Collections. See MS.0175 and MS.0176.

Processing Information

This is no known processing information for this collection.

This finding aid is currently being updated to align with Johns Hopkins guidelines for inclusive and conscientious description (2023). In particular, we are addressing language describing sexual assault. Contact Special Collections for additional information.

Guide to the Report of the trial of Michael Rock on an indictment for the rape of Elizabeth Black
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA