A strange coincidence.

by Lisa Y. Henderson

A WELL-AIMED SHOT – Ends the Career of William G. Whitney – The Shot Fired by Jas. Y. Christmas — Particulars to the Affair – What a Family Feud Lead to – Testimony at the Coroner’s Inquest – Christmas Sent to Jail.

Saturday afternoon, at 5 o’clock, James Y. Christmas shot and instantly killed Wm. G. Whitney, at No. 1326 I street northwest, in the building known as the Catacazy Mansion, and now occupied by the Misses Harrover, as a boarding-house. Here Mrs. Myra Clark Gaines had been living with her son and his wife and their three children and her son-in-law, Mr. Christmas and his three motherless children. The men had been in the hair-mattress business as partners, but, owing to some disagreements, the partnership was dissolved. Whitney then went into business with H.A. Linger & Co., 1117 Nineteenth street.

A STRANGE COINCIDENCE, associated with this homicide, is the fact that many years ago, previous to the war, the father of Mr. Christmas shot and killed a free negro in North Carolina, and was tried and hanged for the crime. A cousin of Christmas was also hanged for murder.

Evening Critic, Washington DC, 27 June 1881.