Monday, June 30, 2014

June 30, 1903: Ruben Elrod

To start, I'd like to point out that I spelled the name Ruben instead of Reuben because I found three articles about this lynching and his name was spelled Ruben in two.  This following article from The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated July 2, 1903 gave good details, but spelled his name Reuben:


White Cappers Do Bloody Work in South Carolina,

Reuben Elrod, Negro, Shot to Death and Three Women, Occupants of House With Him, Severely Whipped—No Arrests Made.

Columbia, S. C., July 1.—(Special.)—Reuben Elrod , a respectable old negro living near Piedmont, Anderson county, was shot to death in his home last night and three negro women occupants of the same house, were taken out and given severe whippings.  The women who testified at the inquest today, said that fifty white men came to the house and after killing Elrod, flogged them, warning them to leave the state.  The crime is deplored in the community.  The supposition is that the women, probably relatives of Elrod, were objectionable in the community and when the mob went to whip them  the old man interfered, and was killed.  No one has been apprehended. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

June 29, 1894: Ulysses Hayden

The Belleville Telescope (Belleville, Kansas) reports on July 6, 1894 the following:


A Negro Murderer Lynched by a Mob Near Monet, Mo.t. [SIC]

MONETT, Mo., June 30.—Ulysses Hayden, a negro, was taken from the sheriff of Newton county at this place and hanged to a telegraph pole half a mile south of town at 9 o'clock last night by a mob.

Hayden was arrested for shooting Bots Greenwood, a brakeman at this place June 20 and was being taken to Cassville jail for safe keeping.

The sheriff and prisoner were on the south bound train, which was stopped by the mob.

For your interest, a small article from the Lawrence Weekly World (Lawrence, Kansas) dated July 16, 1903.

Lynching might be justified if there was any record of its doing good.  lynching has never prevented the committing of the same crime for which one life is taken.  What we want in this country is wholesome regard for law.  A mob is a violater of law, it teaches disrespect of law.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

June 28, 1908: Walter Wilkins and Albert Baker

This article is from The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) dated June 28, 1908:


Mob of Thousand at Waycross, Ga., 

Taken Them From Officers

WAYCROSS, Ga., June 28.—At sundown tonight two negroes were lynched by a mob of at least 1,000 persons.  The lynching occurred on the eastern outskirts of the city.  The negroes were Walter Wilkins and Albert Baker, who were brought here this morning from Wayne county, one of the charged with outraging the fourteen-year-old daughter of Wiley Wainwright Thursday evening.  The negroes were lodged in the Ware county jail during the day and late this afternoon were taken out by Wayne county officers for the purpose of carrying them to Jessup for safe-keeping.

The negroes were jerked from the officers and a hundred persons pounced upon then, others holding the guards.  The negroes were started on a run across College hill.  For nearly half a mile the mob dragged them to the first oak tree in the old Chorkee[sic] nursery.  Here an attempt was made to break the handcuffs which held the negroes together, but without avail.  No one had a rope, but a heavy trace chain which was locked around one of the negroes was broken apart and a loop was soon made around the neck.  Some one mounted the tree and from the limb caught the end of the chain, tying it around the limb, while others held the negro up from the ground.  He was then turned loose, his feet about two feet from the ground.

The other negro, still handcuffed to the body of the hanging man stood with hands clasped around the tree. The mob, stepping back about ten paces, opened fire on the men, hundreds of shots being fired into their bodies.  Many tried to prevent the killing of the negro who was clasping the tree, there being much doubt of his connection with the outrage.  The negro Albert Baker was arrested yesterday morning and carried before the girl for identification.  He was with several other negroes at the time and she readily pointed him out.

Poor Walter Wilkins, lynched for no other reason than being handcuffed to another man.  It seems that if they really didn't want to lynch Wilkins, they would have stopped once they hanged Baker.  The Sheriff should have been able to release Wilkins from his handcuffs.  

Friday, June 27, 2014

June 27, 1883: Douglass

The Independent Record (Helena, Montana) had this to say on June 28, 1883:

Hanged by a Mob.

GALVESTON, June 27.— A New's Jefferson special says:  Late last night a column of one hundred and fifty horsemen suddenly galloped up and surrounded the jail containing the negro Douglass, guilty of raping the white woman, Mrs. Rogers, for which his companion, a negro names Lacy, was lynched yesterday morning.  The deputy sheriff with guards attempted resistance, but were instantly covered by the assailants and secured.  The cell was unlocked and Douglass was pinioned and placed on a horse.  The band then quickly disappeared as quickly and mysteriously as it had arrived.  This morning, two miles from the city, Douglass was found hanging from a tree with four bullet holes in his head.

 The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) had this small bit about the affair on June 28, 1883:

JUDGE LYNCH is doing extensive business in the neighborhood  of Jefferson, Texas.  DOUGLASS, another of the negroes who outraged Mrs. ROGERS, took the same route yesterday as did LACEY, his companion in the crime.  A mob removed him from jail, strung him up to a tree and left him with four bullets in his head.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

June 26, 1903: George McKinney, Garfield McCoy, Wiley Anette

Today's article is from The Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois) dated June 27, 1903.


Newton (Ga.) Mob Wreaks Summary Vengeance on Murderers of A. S. Bullard, a Country Planter—Willy[sic] Anette, Garfield McCoy, and George McKinney the Victims.


Dead Men's Friends Forbidden to Touch Bodies—Jailer Makes Small Resistance When Prisoners Are Demanded—Race War Threatens Wilmington—Blacks Driven from Southern Towns.

Special Dispatch to The Inter Ocean.

NEWTON, Ga., June 26.—Three negro murderers were hanged to the same tree by an infuriated mob here early this morning.  The bodies were so riddled with bullets that the clothing was all shot away.  Then the corpses were left dangling, as a warning for the rest of the colored population in the vicinity.  Friends of the dead men have begged the privilege of cutting them down and burying them, but permission to do so has been sternly refused, and not a negro dares to touch them until given permission by the white residents of the place.

The mob's victims—Wiley Anette, Garfield McCoy, and George McKinney—were awaiting trial in the Baker county jail for killing A. S. Bullard, June 20, on the latter's plantation near Peace, a small town near Newton.  Anette, McCoy and McKinney are from Miller county, but had been invited to join in a frolic given by one of the hands of the Bullard place.  Being intoxicated, they soon started trouble, which Bullard attempted to stop.

White Man Shot Dead.

As soon as he did so the Miller county negroes drew revolvers and opened fire on the white man, inflicting wounds from which he died Tuesday morning.

The men were brought to jail here, and until midnight last night no hint was given that mob violence was intended.  About 12 o'clock, however, Jailer Screws was called up by telephone by a bailiff from an outlying township and informed that the latter had a prisoner whom he wished to lock up.  Screws at once went to the jail and had just opened the outer door when several men closed in about him, a revolver was thrust into his face, and the command was given him to open the cell which the three negroes were confined.

A crowd gathered so quickly that it was evident the plan must have been prearranged.  Under pressure, Screws opened the cell door, and the prisoners, weeping, and begging for mercy and protesting their innocence, were dragged out and the march commenced to a spot, less than a mile from town, chosen for the execution.''

Jeer Prisoners' Prayers.

To the negroes' prayers for mercy only jeers, blows, and kicks replied.  When the fatal tree was reached no time given for any statement from the prisoners.  Three ropes were thrown over the same limb, the nooses were adjusted, and the doomed men jerked into the air.

While they were still struggling in their death agony someone fired a revolver into one of the bodies.  Instantly a fusillade commenced with pistols, rifles, and shotguns.  The corpses were fairly blown to pieces, and even to identify them would now be impossible.

The lynching over, the mob dispersed as quietly as it had gathered.  Screws, who is coroner as well as jailer, impaneled a jury for an inquest today.  He confesses himself unable to identify any of those in the crowd, and the general opinion is that the lynchers are not residents here, but probably neighbors of Bullard.


Special Dispatch to The Inter Ocean.

WILMINGTON, Del., June 26.—A resumption of the lawlessness resulting from the recent burning of George White, near here, faced the local authorities.  While there is no visible evidence of another outbreak, there is a feeling of uneasiness among the police, which has caused them to take extreme measures of a precautionary character.

Late this afternoon every saloon-keeper in the city was ordered to suspend business until tomorrow. In addition to this, all other public places, such as billiard, pool, and bowling alleys, and the public library, were requested to close up tonight. Mayor Fisher has also requested parents to keep their boys off the streets at night. 

Crowds Are Prevented.

Though the streets in the central portion of the city late tonight were filled with pedestrians, the police are preventing the congregation of crowds by keeping every one moving. 

The lawless element among the colored people is largely blamed for the disorder of the last two nights. It is claimed that in certain parts of the town they marched through the streets and roughly handled any white person that dared stand in their way. On the other hand, the whites, and some of them of the better class, are not held blameless. 

There were no arrests today in direct connection with the lynching and the police give no intimation that they contemplate making any. There is a feeling among the citizens that the authorities will let the matter drop in order to bring about peace and quiet in the community. It is known that certain prominent citizens have suggested to the police that further arrests for the burning of White would be inadvisable, in view of the excitement and disorder caused by the arrest of Arthur Cornell of Hartford City, Ind., in connection with the lynching. 

Cornell Is Released.

Cornell was released from custody today, after a lengthy hearing before Magistrate George H. Hollis. Warden A. S. Meserve of the New Castle county workhouse, Chief of Police Black, and State Detective Theodore Francis testified that they saw him in the front ranks of the mob. 

In opposition to this members of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, of which Cornell is a member, testified that Cornell was at the carnival given by the Eagles, and that he did not get back to Wilmington until after midnight. When the magistrate released Cornell he was taken in charge by members of the order of Eagles. He was supplied with funds, and this afternoon he left for the West. 

He was represented at the hearing by ex-congressman L. Irving Handy and Sylvester Townsend, Jr., and Attorney General Ward represented the state. 

Negro Killed in Quarrel.

William Cramer, the colored man who was shot last night, died today. Contrary to police reports last night, Cramer was shot by William Simms, a man of his own color. The two got into an argument in a restaurant over the lynching of White. Simms was given a hearing today, and held without bail to await the action of the coroner. 

The courts acted promptly on several cases growing out of last night's disturbances, and some of those under arrest were "railroaded." Leander Moore, colored, who was one of the crowd of rioters at Ninth and King streets last night, was sentenced to one year's imprisonment in the workhouse. 

Eugene Johnson, colored, who was arrested for carrying concealed weapons, was held in $200 bail for the upper court. 

Joseph Shockley, colored, who was arrested for firing a pistol in a crowd last night, was fined $50 and costs. 

John Joyce who assaulted a colored woman, was sentenced to six months' imprisonment. 

If there is any further rioting tonight, the police authorities say the militia will be asked for. 


Special Dispatch to The Inter Ocean. 
NEW ORLEANS, La., June 26. —The movement started in several parts of the South to get rid of the disorderly negro element responsible for most of the recent crimes in this section is gaining strength, and it is likely to become general, instead of spasmodic, as formerly, and unload a large number of negro gamblers, confidence men, and other criminals on the North. 

The towns in southern Mississippi are following the example of Ellisville and Laurel in this matter, and ordering out all negro criminals, tramps, and dangerous characters. Cooper, in Delta county, has started the movement in Texas. The negro loafers, sneak thieves, and petty-criminals of that town have been taken out by the regulars, whipped, and ordered to leave town. 

Taking advantage of the excitement caused by the whipping, the houses of some of the better-class negroes were placarded with notices to leave. They complained to the authorities, and at a joint meeting held at the courthouse the whites pledged their support to do all in their power to keep down the lawless element, and to report all violators of the law among the negroes to the authorities. An investigation disclosed by the fact that the warnings on the houses of the negroes were placed there by mischievous boys. 

The name of the plantation owner in other articles is F. S. Bullard. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 25, 1903: Jack Harris

 This article comes from the Chicago Eagle (Chicago, Illinois) dated July 4, 1903.


Colored Man Who Attacked White Landlord is Lynched.

Clarendon, Ark., was the scene of a lynching.  Jack Harris, a negro, was hanged to the rafters of the porch to the American Cotton Company's office by about fifteen masked men.  No disturbance was created.  Last Sunday night the negro viciously assaulted his landlord, John Coburn, a white planter, living eight miles east of Clarendon, breaking one of his arms and inflicting numerous other wounds about his body with a beam of wood having a spike driven through it.  Coburn's wife appeared with a gun and Harris fled.  Coburn had  rebuked the negro for using a mule without permission.  Harris was captured the next day and taken to Clarendon.  Sheriff Milwee hid Harris outside the jail.  When the demand was made on him for the keys he  took the mob through the jail, but Harris was found and hanged.

I found similar articles in many papers on this lynching.  Some were shorter than this and most of them agreed with the details except one, about half told of the mob being 50 men and the other half told of 15 men.

An article of interest from The New York Times (New York, N.Y.) dated June 26, 1903:

NEGROES ASK $100,000,000.

Their Commercial Association Wants Government to Transport Colored People to Liberia.

MONTGOMERY, Ala., June 25—At today's session of the National Colored Immigration and Commercial Association the Committee on Resolutions adopted a resolution recommending the chartering of vessels during the year 1904 for carrying colonists to the Republic of Liberia, Africa.

A petition to President Roosevelt and the National Congress, citing the wrongs from which the colored race is said to suffer, was adopted.  An appropriation of $100,000,000 was asked from Congress to be used for securing the transportation of members of the race who desire to settle in Liberia.  The petition, it is explained, does not recommend a wholesale deportation.


They Tell the Legislature It is the State's Duty to Send Them to Africa.

Special to The New York Times.

ATLANTA, Ga., June 25.—Many negroes in Georgia are anxious to emigrate to Africa, it appears from a petition which was to-day presented to the Georgia Legislature.  The petition is signed by negroes of Savannah and territory adjacent to that city.  The petitioners ask the Legislature to appropriate money to send them "back to Africa, the land of our fathers."

The petition goes on to recite that the negroes were forcibly brought to America and held as slaves, and it is the duty of the State to send them to Africa if they decide to emigrate.  The document says that there is no future for the negroes here and that it would be merciful to send them to Africa, where they can develop.

 The petitioners state that their "children are running after strange gods in this land," and that they want to take their offspring to Africa, where they "can raise them in the way they should go."

The petition, which was referred to the Immigration Committee, is one of the fruits of Bishop H. M. Tarner's crusade for the return of the negroes to Africa.  It is said that scores of similar petitions will be presented.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 24, 1903: Case Jones

The Wilmington Messenger (Wilmington, N.C.) dated June 25, 1903 writes the following:

A Tennessee Lynching.

Elk Valley, Tenn., June 24.—Case Jones, the negro accused of assaulting twelve-year-old Margaret Bruce yesterday, was caught during the night and immediately taken before his little victim, who identified him.  Jones broke down and confessed his crime.  He was promptly strung up at daylight and his body riddled with bullets.

Monday, June 23, 2014

“Lynching is the method of vulgar men! He who is deprived of compassion is deprived of everything!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

June 23, 1886: William Kahlihen

This article comes from The Daily Journal (Freeport, Illinois) dated June 25, 1886:



Promptly Followed by Lynching Proceedings—The Assassin Strung Up In Front of the Bawdy House He Served, His Body Riddled and the House Burned to the Ground. 

DETROIT CITY, Minn., June 24.—Marshal J. Convey, of this village, was murdered in cold blood at 1 o'clock Wednesday morning by William Kahlihen, alias Big Red, a gambler, also a pimp for a bagnio on the outskirts of the village. The murdered and another fellow of the same stamp, Frank Bennett, were quarreling over one of the prostitutes and at the hour mentioned they were talking loudly and creating a disturbance in front of the Masonic block. The marshal tried to quiet them, but instead Big Red drew a heavy revolver and fired one shot at Bennett, missing his mark. Mr. Convey stepped forward, when Big Red fired the second shot at him, hitting him squarely in the heart. Talk of lynching was immediately began and at 10 o'clock p.m. the fire-bell struck Kahlihen's death knell, and at the first tap of the bell fierce yells were heard in the vicinity and a rush was made for the court-house, in which the murderer was confined. That the mob was well organized and determined there was no doubt. Battering-rams were used up on the outside doors, and they were brushed away as mere cobwebs. The men, who were masked entered the jailer's residence, occupied by George W. Taylor, deputy sheriff, seized Mr. Taylor and took the keys from his person, and in a few moments had secured the prisoner. A cry for a rope went up, and the cry was not in vain for in less than a minute a noose was about his neck and he was being hurried down the street as fast as the wild and furious mob could run. He was taken to a tree in front of the bagnio of which he had been bouncer, hauled up, and amid the fiendish yells of the mob, a volley of bullets was fired into the body. Every man who took part in the hanging was masked and disguised, thoroughly armed, and prepared to meet any resistance that might be offered. There is very little sympathy for the brute in Detroit, though many were earnestly in favor of allowing the law to take its course. 

The citizens of Detroit, after the lynching, burned down the house of ill-fame and all the furniture in it. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

June 22, 1903: George White

This first article is from The North Carolinian (Raleigh, N.C.) dated June 25, 1903:


Burst Into Workhouse and Drag Him Forth.


The Crime for Which the Negro Dies at the Stake Was the Assaulting and Murdering of Miss Helen Bishop.

(By the Associated Press.)

Wilmington Del., June 22.—A northern mob, led by a Virginian burned a negro at the stake tonight within a few miles of Mason and Dixon line.  The victim was George F. White, a negro just out of the work house who was accused of having feloniously assaulted and stabbed to death Miss Helen S. Bishop, the 17-year-old daughter of the Rev. Dr. E. A. Bishop.  The crime was committed last Monday afternoon and ever since then there have been mutterings of lynching the man.

An effort was made last night to get white but it failed.  Tonight, however, as a result of the laws slowness and much agitation on the part of those who cried for vengeance a mob that was estimated at four thousand men and boys gathered in the neighborhood of Price's corner four miles from here.  They came from everywhere including Wilmington and the small towns to the south of Price's corner.  Last night's lack of a leader was supplied by a Virginian, whose identity in the confusion and excitement could not be learned.  The police of Wilmington and the constables tried to disperse the growing crowd but without avail.  It was evident that hundreds came from mere curiosity, but once in the mob they were inflamed with the spirit pervading the throng and then actively joined it.  The real leaders were few in numbers, but they did their work well.  It was after ten o'clock when the march to the work-house, a mile away, was taken up.  The chief warden of the work-house and his guards, who have been on almost constant duty since the negro was landed in the prison had been warned of the coming of the mob and prepared to defend the man at all costs.

Armed with pistols, shotguns, and other weapons the mob soon reached the jail.

A battery of railroad ties soon carried away the great outer door of the work-house.  What was going on inside the lockup was not known to the mob, nor did it seem to care.  The second, third and fourth doors were battered down by the forward leaders in the attacking party amid the yells and cheers of those who were pressing forward from the rear.  Then the would-be lynchers were momentarily halted by a hand bullets [sic] from the inside.  A great howl went up from the leaders but they were pressed forward by those in the rear.  More shots were fired and there was a scramble to get out but the braver ones in the attacking party stood their ground.  In the fusillade that followed four persons fell, all members of the mob.  They were quickly carried to the rear and attended by those who were not brave enough to be at the front.  The of the wounded men were men and the other was a boy.  None of them in the confusion could be identified except the boy who is said to be Peter Smith, aged 17 years.

It was evident that the warden did not wish to slaughter the mob in the prison corridor, so he directed that the fire hose be turned on the crowd.  This also held the mob for a time but not for long.  A general rush was made, the guards were brushed aside and a man hunt in the jail was made for the negro..  There are many negroes confined in the prison but with the aid of man who knew White he was quickly found.  The cell doors were quickly battered open and the cowering ered [sic]  at the scene awaiting developments.  The failure of the county court to give White a speedy trial is in a great measure responsible for tonight's tragedy.  The citizens of Wilmington and those in the vicinity of the scene of the crime wanted an immediate trial and Attorney General H. H. Ward laid the matter before the court on Thursday with that end in view.  The court, however, did not consider haste expedient and the trial was set for the September term of court.  With this decision of the court murmurings of mob violence became louder, and the indignation of the people grew hourly.  Sunday night two small crowds gathered in the vicinity of the jail, but they were soon dispersed.

The coroner's inquest was held today but the authorities fearing that harm would befall the negro he was not taken from the workhouse, and the inquest was proceeded without his presence.  The verdict of the jury was that Miss Bishop came to her death "from the effects of an assault committed upon her by one George White a negro."


The crime for which White was lynched was one of the most revolting in the accused man begging for mercy was dragged from the cell and prison.  When the crowd outside heard that success had crowded their efforts of the lynchers a great cheer was set up.  Attempts were made to shoot White the[?] spot but the leaders of the crowd would have nothing but his life at the stake.  Resistance on the part of the negro was useless.  His hands were tied behind him.  Then the march to the place of execution was taken up.

It then became evident that a plan of execution had been previously arranged.  With torches to lead the way and with four thousands persons following the negro he was lead to the road and to almost the very same spot where the assault took place.  White was given a last chance to speak and he confessed to the murder of the girl.  A stake had been arranged by advance guard.  White was quickly chained to the spot and the dry underbrush soaked with oil was ignited, and the horrible execution was on.  White, suffering intense agony, fainted and his body hung limp.  Shots were fired into his body and the victim of the mob was soon dead.

Satisfied with its night's work the greater number of the lynchers immediately left the neighborhood, many of them fearing arrest.  However, a large number of persons loit[SIC] criminal annals of Delaware.  The victim, Miss Helen S. Bishop, daughter of Rev. E. A. Bishop, D. D., superintendent of the Ferris Industrial School, would have been 18 years old next October.  She was a student of the Wilmington High School and was on her way home from the school last Monday afternoon when she was attacked.  The industrial school, which is four miles from here, where her parents made their home, is about three-quarters of a mile from Price's Corner, where the girl usually left the trolley car when she came to school.

Late Monday afternoon a farmer working in the field saw a young woman stagger and fall in the road.  She got up and fell again, and then she tried to crawl.  The farmer and his sons went to her assistance, but when they reached the girl she was lying unconscious in the road.  They found her to be Miss Bishop.  She had three ugly gashes in her throat, her body was badly scratched and her clothing was torn in many places.  In on hand she clutched a small penknife, which she used at school in sharpening pencils.  The was every evidence that Miss Bishop had made a desperate resistance in defense of her honor, and her life.  The wounded girl was taken home died the next afternoon without regaining consciousness.

The entire neighborhood was almost instantly aroused and a man hunt was immediately instituted.  Suspicion was soon fastened on George F. White, a negro, just out of the work house, who was engaged as a laborer on the farm of Edward Woodward, near the scene of that assault.  White was found in bed that same night, and when taken into custody denied all knowledge of the crime.  He was identified by sever persons who said they saw him in the vicinity.
A knife which Mr. Woodward said belonged to him, was found where the girl was assaulted.  White was brought to Wilmington, but later was transferred to the county work house, where the police officials thought he would be safe from mob violence.

The negro was taken to the scene of the crime.  He there confessed to having assaulted the girl.  He was then burned at the stake and his body riddled with bullets. 


No One Knows Yet What Actions the Authorities Will Take.

Wilmington, Del., June 23.—The excitement attending the gruesome tragedy enacted last night  outside the city limits when George F. White, the negro murderer ravisher and murderer of 17-year-old Helen S. Bishop, was burned at the stake, has subsided. Public sentiment appears to deplore the resort mob violence, but the concensus of opinion is that summary vengeance alone could atone for the brutal outrage upon the life and honor of the young girl.  It is generally believed that had the courts brought the murderer to speedy trial last night's tragedy would have been averted.

It is not known as yet what action the State authorities will take.  Governor Hunn says he will confer with Attorney General H. H. Ward.  The latter made a brief statement tonight in which he said that the State will await the result of the coroner's inquest and that every effort would be exerted to ascertain the names of the leaders.  Coroner McCormick has not fixed the date of the inquest.

Deputy Coroner Killmer, who, today visited Prices Corner, the scene of the lynching, found little to view.  All semblances of the human form in White's body had been obliterated by the avenging fire and the morbidly curious relic hunters.  A small portion of the trunk and one or two charred bones were recovered and taken to the morgue.  Of the hundreds of persons who today visited the spot where the funeral pyre was lighted scarcely one left without  some ghastly memento.  One man carried away a foot that had been consumed.  Fragments of clothing, pieces of wood, cinders and any article that bore mute testimony of the mob's work were eagerly sought.

One arrest was made tonight by State Detective Francis.  The prisoner's name was not divulged to the police, but it is said he is charged with having been a party to the lynching.  The police officials have little to say regarding the affair.  It is said that State and city detectives were in the crowd last night and recognized some of those who participated in the burning.  Other arrests, it is believed, will follow.

During the show of resistance made by the police and jail officials when the mob attacked the New Castle county work house, Peter Smith, a 12-year-old boy, was shot in the back.  The bullet which struck him evidently came from a pistol in the crowd as it is claimed by the prison warden that his guards fired over the heads of the lynchers.  Smith's condition is critical and he is not expected to live.  Another young man, whose name is unknown was slightly hurt.

Mrs. Bishop, mother of the murdered girl, is in a state of extreme nervousness.  White was put to death within a few hundred yards of the Bishop's home and the glare of the fire and howls of the mob could be plainly seen and heard at the house.

This last piece I am adding comes from the Altoona Tribune (Altoona, Pennsylvania) dated September 22, 1903.  I am not adding the entire article, rather a quote from Chief Justice Lore to the grand jury of New Castle county.

"  Lynching is a crime against the law, both of God and man.  We can conceive no more dangerous social or civic condition than mob rule.  The mob in its madness makes no distinction in the subject of its wrath.  Its excuse may be a brutal crime or it may be a difference in religious or political sentiment, or any other fancy or whim that the caprice, humor or passion of the moment may suggest.  Recklessly human life is taken, property destroyed and law and order overthrown.  In such scenes the innocent suffer alike with the guilty; ruin and devastation mark the track of the mob.  There is no rule or reason in the onsweep of the maddened masses.  There is no gauge by which the ravages of the mob may be measured.

"Once admit that the law may be defied with impunity there is an end to civil government.  There is no room for mob law and tribunals of justice in self-governing communities.  The domination of one involve the extinction of the other.  Either the mob must submit to the law or the law must submit to the will of the mob.

"Under the law we know what our rights are and in the main we find that they are fairly attained and enforced.  No human laws or institutions are perfect.  This no reasonable man will expect.

"Lynching and mob law, their promoters and encouragers, whether they be of high or low degree, should receive no favor at the hands of thoughtful or patriotic men.

"There must be government or no government.  The line of cleavage is clear.  On the one hand, we have liberty regulated by law, with fixed rules and established tribunals for the preservation of life, liberty and property; on the other hand we have anarchy and social chaos with no rule or guide, save the fickle rule of enraged men, who in lawless wrath recklessly and indiscriminately sweep away every barrier of safety in civic, social and political life.  On the one hand is law, order and security; on the other is lawlessness, disorder and ruin, in which no interest is safe and in which no one can predict what a day may bring forth.

"All history teaches that the prevalence of mob law is the end of free government.  Obedience to law is the life breath of our republic.

"Gentlemen, you are every one of you conservators of peace.  It is not only your duty to act fearlessly and honestly upon all such matters as may be laid before you on the part of the state, but it is your duty to impart to the attorney general and to your fellow members all such knowledge as may have come to you touching the violations of law within your jurisdiction.

"In the oath you have just taken you have sworn that "You shall diligently inquire and true presentment make of all such matters and things as shall be given you in charge or otherwise come to your knowledge touching this present service.  You shall present no person for envy, hatred or malice, nor shall you leave any person unrepresented for fear, favor,affection, reward or the hope of reward, but shall present all things truly as they come to your knowledge according to the best of your understanding.

"In obedience to that oath and to your duty to your state we ask you to so act that the crime of lynching may be suppressed in this state, so far as by your action that end may be attained and that the perpetrators of this crime and the authors of the disgrace that has come upon us through their crime will be dealt with according to their just merits.

"To you, the people look for the faithful, fearless and honest discharge of your duties."  

Saturday, June 21, 2014

June 21, 1913: William Redding

This article comes from The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, N.C.) dated June 22, 1913.


Police Slayer Suffers Death at the Hands of Mob.

Americus, Ga., June 21.—William Redding, a negro who shot and perhaps fatally wounded Chief of Police William C. Barrow here tonight while the officer was taking his [sic] to prison, was taken shortly afterwards by a mob of 500 men and hanged to a cable at a street corner near the scene of his crime.

The mob was unmoved by the pleadings of a local pastor in Redding's behalf, and after swinging the negro's body in the air, they riddled it with bullets.

Early in the night Redding, after being arrested by Chief Barrow, suddenly wrenched himself loose from the officer, pulled a pistol from his pocket and fired at close range.  The bullet passed entirely through the officer's body and wounded a negro bystander. Chief Barrow, although badly wounded, fired several times at Redding, three other negroes receiving slight injuries.  Redding was placed in jail, but a mob quickly formed, overpowered the sheriff and deputies, tied a rope about the prisoner's neck and led him through the streets to a prominent corner, where he was strung up.  After firing at the swinging body for about half an hour, the mob dispersed, and at a late hour tonight the body had not been taken down.

Barrow has been the local chief of police for about 25 years.

In case you are wondering, Chief Barrow did indeed die from his injuries. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

June 20, 1934: John Griggs

This first article is from The Mexia Weekly Herald (Mexia, Texas) dated June 22, 1934



Attempt Evade Mob Futile as Armed Mob Gathers


Southeast Texas Is Scene Lynching by Mobsters

NEW TON [SIC], Texas (U.P.)—A 38-year old negro charged with attacking a young white girl here was lynched last night by a mob of 200 armed men who over-powered two deputy sheriffs taking the victim to Orange, Texas, for safe keeping.

The nude body of the negro, John Griggs, was found at 2 a.m. today in front of a box factory where he worked.  He had been hanged.

The deputies were halted on the highway 27 miles south of here.  The officers were disarmed and a noose was thrown around the negro's neck as he sat in the officer's car.

Jerked From Car

The negro was jerked from the car.  The officers were to "get going."  They said the[sic] drove away immediately.

Deputy Sheriffs W. D. Smith and W. E. Davison were ordered by Sheriff T. S. Hughes to spirit the negro from the old Newton county jail last night when a howling mob of men and women gathered outside.

"We told the negro the jail was about to be stormed and that we were helpless,"  Smith said.  "We asked him if he wanted to attempt to slip away and go to Orange with us.

"He accepted gladly."

The negro, crying frantically, was given a coat and hastened out the rear door of the jail to an awaiting automobile.

Smith said that about 27 miles from Newton the road was blocked by a mob of men standing in eight men deep.

They were all armed with shotguns, rifles and pistols, Smith said.

Admitted Attack

As soon as the auto was stopped, Smith said other men came from the side of the road and the car was surrounded.

"I tried to plea with the men not to take the negro," Smith said, "but they jerked me from the car and took my gun.  Davison got the same treatment.

"After they took the negro from the car they told us to get moving.  There was nothing else for us to do."

Smith said the negro had admitted attacking the white girl, who is 17 years old.

The negro said he had been drinking and did not realize what he was doing, Smith said.  The attack occurred Tuesday nihgt [sic].

The girl told officers she thought she had been drugged and did not know what had happened.

Officers found the negro with the girl near the box factory.

This article fleshes out some of the details.  It comes from The Fresno Bee The Republican dated June 21, 1934.

Assailant Of Texas White Girl Lynched

(By the United Press)

NEWTON (Texas), June 21.—John Griggs, Negro, 38, charged with attacking a 17-year-old white girl, was taken from two deputy sheriffs last night and lynched.

Griggs was being taken to Orange for safe keeping when a band of 200 men overtook the deputies' car.  They overpowered the officers, placed a noose about Griggs' neck and dragged him to the pavement.  The scene was near Kirbyville twenty-seven miles south of here.

Deputies Drive Away

D. W. Smith and W. E. Davison were the deputies.  As Griggs was jerked to the pavement they were told to "get going."  They drove away immediately.

Smith said the decision to take Griggs to Orange was made when a mob gathered outside the old Newton jail.

"We told Griggs we could not protect him when the mob stormed the building and asked him if he wanted to attempt to slip away to Orange,"  Smith said.  "He was glad to make the try.  We put an old coat on him and got started."

The men who took Griggs from the officers car were armed with shotguns, rifles and pistols.

Fire Bullets Into Body

They threw a rope around Griggs' neck and hanged him from a tree.

Seventeen shots struck him as he dangled in the air.  The crowd cut the body down and dragged it over the country behind an automobile then dumped it, nude and mangled, near the door of a box factory commissary.

I believe this article probably gets to the truth of it.  It is from The Eagle (Bryan, Texas) dated June 25, 1934.

No Charges Filed Yet in Lynching of Newton Negro

NEWTON, June 25.—(AP)—No charges have yet been filed here in connection with the lynching last week of John Griggs, negro, who was wrested from officers after being held for vagrancy, keeping a house of disorderly conduct and associating with a white woman.

D. W. Smith, deputy sheriff of Newton county, said Sunday afternoon that District Attorney Hollis Kinard of Orange was continuing investigations, but that filing of any charges appeared unlikely before she was found with the negro is still being held, but no other arrests have been made. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

June 19, 1901: "Prophet" Smith and F. D. McLand

Today's is a very long one with lots of different articles.  The information trickles out and so I am sharing articles that I believe will help give a fuller picture.   I'm going to start with an article that was written  in March about "Prophet" Smith, but not connected with his lynching. This small article comes from the Lawrence Daily Journal (Lawrence, Kansas) dated March 1, 1901:


Negro "Prophet" at Houston Takes 200 of His Followers to Shreveport to Escape a Great Flood.

Houston, Tex., March 1.—"Prophet" Smith, a negro preacher of this city, who has been foretelling dire events for two or three years, all of which, he claims, have come to pass, created a sensation here when, with 200 of his flock marching behind him, he led the way to the Grand Central depot, where he and the members of his church took a train to Shreveport, to escape a terrible flood, which, according to Smith, is to destroy Houston and Galveston within a short time.  In the party were men, women and children, several of the latter being infants from one to eight months old.

This next article is from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, N.Y.) dated June 13, 1901:


Anxious to Capture Murderer of Prominent White Man Before Killing Them.


Every Avenue of Escape Is Cut Off by Armed Louisiana Crowd.

Shreveport, La., June 13—Later reports from the Foster Plantation, where John Gray Foster was murdered yesterday, say a dozen or more frightened negroes are still cowering in the Kinnebrew store, surrounded by a big mob, which threatens to lynch the whole party.

Prince Edwards, the negro who is charged with firing the fatal shot, has not yet been apprehended, and it is the desire to get him that has restrained the mob thus far.  Bloodhounds are being used on his trail, but so far as known he has eluded pursuit.

The mob includes every man and boy for miles around.  Most of them are armed.  Rifles, pistols, shotguns, guns that saw service in the Civil War, and even pitchforks, make up the array of weapons.

The negroes imprisoned in the store are frantic with fright.  They are "officially" in the hands of the authorities, but they realize that their real captors are members of the white mob which has guarded every avenue of escape since yesterday.

Foster was a young man, well known, a brother-in-law of Governor McMillin of Tennessee, and a member of one of the leading families of Louisiana.

The negroes were placed in the store at 9 o'clock last night, and, although some members of the mob went home during the night, every avenue of escape was still doubly guarded at sunrise to-day.  It is said that several times the mob came near throwing off all restraint and lynching the prisoners.  Other counsel, advising a delay until Edwards shall be caught, prevailed however.

Mrs. Edwards is among those arrested.  She had in her possession a shotgun with which her husband is said to have killed Foster.  She is quoted as having said:

"Prince told the other men to stand back and he would settle the business.  Then he went in front of them and fired and Foster fell."

Foster Plantation is five miles east of this city on the Vicksburg, Shreveport and Pacific Railroad.  Trouble had been brewing for some time between the negroes and the overseers.  Foster, thinking he could succeed where the overseers had failed, started for the negro quarters yesterday.  The negroes were gathered in a cabin, and he was some distance away when the shot which killed him was fired.  The negroes immediately scattered.  All but Edwards were quickly captured.

Up to 10 A. M. no news has reached this city which would indicate that the mob has carried out the threats of summary justice.

Early in the day sixty men from Shreveport returned to their homes, declaring that they did not wish to witness the scenes of bloodshed which they considered certain to develop.

It was considered remarkable to-day that night passed without a shot  being fired.  Armed men were and still are in evidence and the scenes brought to mind the days of reconstruction, when Shreveport was the "head center" of the White League movement.

"Prophet Smith," the negro exhorter, is generally believed to have been largely responsible for the murder on the Foster plantation and he is marked for particular vengeance by the members of the mob should they decide upon extreme measures.

Edwards is supposed to be hiding on a plantation.  A negro named Washington, who is charged with having assisted Edwards to escape, together with Edward's wife, will, it is declared, be lynched, no matter what fate befalls the others.

Later in the day it was reported that Edwards has been surrounded in the swamps near Belcher, by a posse under command of Jacob Foster, brother of the murdered man.

Houston, Tex., June 13—The negroes who are corralled at Shreveport were taken from Houston during the winter by a negro preacher calling himself "Elijah the Prophet."  He created a great furor among ignorant blacks by predicting dire disaster and finally persuaded about 200 of them to go to Louisiana in order to avoid death in the prophesied destruction of Houston.

It was ascertained afterward that Smith, the name of the self styled prophet, who is among those who are under arrest, was acting as an agent for planters who were short of help and that he used his influence as an exhorter to get the negroes to go with him.

Fort Scott Daily Monitor (Fort Scott, Kansas) dated June 13, 1901:


Seventeen of them Implicated in Killing of a White Man. 


Others are Surrounded by an Armed Mob at a Country Store. 


Intense Excitement Prevails and Mob Violence is Likely to Follow, Especially if Edwards is Captured. 

Shreveport, La., June 13.—John Foster, brother-in-law of Governor McMillen of Tennessee, was murdered yesterday by plantation hands at Foster five miles east of here. 

The fatal shot was fired by a negro named Prince Edwards but there were seventeen implicated in the killing. Edwards escaped and has not yet been captured. The others were captured and are now nominally in the hands of the officers of the law although they are surrounded by an armed mob that threatens to lynch the entire party. 

Foster was shot without warning while approaching the negro quarters on the plantation for the purpose of talking with the hands who had become dissatisffed [SIC] with the overseer. 

Later—It has been learned that at a conference last night the mob decided to put all the negroes to death but would wait until Edwards had been captured. 

The accused are all followers of "Prophet" Smith, who lately came here from Texas and has been causing much trouble among the plantation negroes. 

All roads approaching Shreveport are guarded by armed men and none but friends of the mob are allowed to enter. A lynching is almost certain and is liable to occur at any moment. 

A special just received from New Orleans says Prince Edwards has been captured and will be returned here. 

With present feeling he will undoubtedly be burned at the stake if he is brought here. 

This city and the entire country are aroused over the killing of young Foster. A reward of $500 is offered for the capture of Edwards. 

John G. Foster, who was twenty-one years old, was the youngest son of the late Capt. J. M. Foster, of this city, a brother of Hon. W. L. Foster, member of the state railroad commission, and of Mrs. Benton McMillin, wife of Gov. McMillin, of Tennessee. He enjoyed high social distinction as a member of one of the foremost families of the state. 

From what can be learned it seems that Mr. Vickers, overseer of the plantation, had trouble with the negro Edwards early yesterday morning, and the negro drew a pistol on the overseer. Shortly after the trouble Mr. Foster reprimanded the negro while in the field, when the negro struck him with a hoe. Mr. Foster then went back to the house and asked the physician, Dr. Botts, if he was seriously hurt. 

Insulted and in pain, he mounted his horse and with his overseer and another, went to the negro's cabin to discharge him. As soon as he drove up to the door Edwards opened it and fired at him twice with a shotgun. He was taken from his horse, and when asked by Mr. Vickers if he could walk replied, "I think not," so they procured a buggy and the two men pulled it, but he expired just as they reached his store. He was shot in the breast and in the shoulder. 

The alarm was given and Edwards and his friends scattered to the woods. As soon as the telephone message was received here doctors hastened to go to the young man's assistance, but death came before they reached him. 

This next bit is an excerpt from an article titled Excitement at Shreveport, La.  I only am doing this small articles within the larger one because the first part has the same details as the above article.  This comes from The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, N.C.) dated June 14, 1901.

SHREVEPORT, LA., June 13—Governor Heard wired to night to Sheriff Ward, of Caddo parish, and Sheriff Thompson, of Bossier, instructing them to protect the negroes at all hazards.  The Governor commanded these officers to call upon the citizens for aid if necessary, and promised help if the officers required it.

The attempt made to move the negroes from the Kennebews' store to Benton proved a failure.  The guards and their prisoners had proceeded about a mile when darkness overtook them, and they decided to return the prisoners to the store.  The negroes preferred to take their  chances at Kennebews' place rather than face the danger of a mob on the way to Benton.

Shortly after midnight the guards again started for Benton with their prisoners.  They hope to make the place by daylight and thus prevent a possible lynching.  There is fear, however, that a mob will waylay the guards and take forcible possession of the negroes.

This article is from The Morning Post (Raleigh, N.C.) dated June 14, 1901.


Excitement Runs High in Two Louisiana Parishes


Negro Men, Women and Children in the Hands of Angry Men Who May Hang Them All

New Orleans, June 13.—All day there has been excitement, confusion and constant danger of an anti-negro explosion in Caddo and Bossier Parishes, La., as a result of the murder of J. M. Foster.  Interest has centered in Kinnabrew's store, a cross roads settlement in Bossier Parish.  All night and today a dozen prisoners, men and women, who were corralled in the store yard under heavy guard.  Peter Edwards, the principal in the crime, was still uncaptured and posses were scouring the entire section of country and every store, station and farm house was given the man's description.  It was learned that Edwards swam the river, thereby gaining several hours on his pursuers.  There was some talk of lynching "Prophet" Smith, F. G. McLand and the woman Manda Edwards who was the first cause of the killing.

The sight at Kinnabrew's store was a gruesome one, as the men had a noose ready formed lying on the floor. and the prisoners, coming and going, had to step over that instrument of execution which a breath of anger might bring them death.

The crowd of prisoners included three men, eight women and their children.  They were "Prophet" Smith, F. G. McLand, Fred Johnson, Amanda Edwards, Ada Washington, Ella Edwards, Annie Edwards, Adlee Allen, Sue Norton, Crecy Johnson and Phyllis Hamilton.  "Prophet" Smith is the central figure in the absence of Edwards.  He was in the cabin when Edwards fired on Foster.  He is a big negro, weighing 180 pounds.  He is hoarse, with bloodshot eyes and is a repulsive looking creature.

About six o'clock this evening the prisoners were taken charge of by a posse of 25 armed men and were taken to Benton to be placed in jail.  If they reach the jail their immediate danger will be over, but it is reported that they will not be taken that fat, but held in the woods to await developments.

The Sumner Press (Sumner, Illinois) dated June 27, 1901: 


Two Negroes Hanged for the John Gray Foster Murder.

New Orleans. La., June 21. — "Prophet" Smith and F. D. McLand, two of the negroes arrested in connection with the death of John Gray Foster, the wealthy planter, was hanged by a large, but orderly mob. The mob, probably 300 strong, broke into the courthouse, where Sheriff Thompson and Jailer Fort Edwards were stationed. The two men were easily overpowered. 

There was an armed guard around the jail, but upon the approach of the mob it melted rapidly. No time was lost in opening the doors of the prison and entering the place. Smith and McLand were soon in the hands of the lynchers. 

The prophet was the picture of abject terror, but his religious fervor did not desert him, even in the face of death. As he was being led from the jail he was heard to say: "Lord, you promised to be with me, be with me now." 

The tree to which the men hung was a large hickory, distant about one and a half miles from the jail. 

This article comes from The Weekly Economist (Elizabeth City, N.C.) dated June 28, 1901.  This goes into a little more depth about the cult formed by "Prophet" Smith.


Death of Two Men Essential to Order.


Two Negroes Are Found to be Dangerous Elements and Are Executed by Citizens Sheriff Witnessed Lynching.

New Orleans, June 20.—Quiet prevailed today at Shreveport, where two negroes arrested in connection with the murder of John Gray Foster, the planter—"Prophet Smith and F. D. McLand—were lynched during the night.

Telegrams from Shreveport today state that evidence was discovered so clearly establishing the identity of Smith and McLand as enemies of the white race and dangerous elements among the negroes that their extinction came to be regarded as essential to the preservation of order in the the parish.

As it became the general belief that Prince Edwards, the negro accused of killing Foster, will never be captured, the mob determined to act without further delay.

Smith confessed just before he was lynched that he loaded the gun with which Foster was killed. 

May letters of incendiary tenor, written by Smith and his fellows, were found. Indications of conspiracies against Chief Lake, of the Shreveport police, Foster and others, ran through the missives, and, in connection with the minutes of a meeting of the "Church of the Liv [SIC] God," of which Smith was the head, precipitated the lynching. 

"Prophet" Smith founded the organization previously mentioned at Houston. Later he went to Shreveport and immediately set obout [SIC] organizing there. Chief of Police Lake declared him to be a dangerous person and ordered him to leave, but he went no further than the Foster plantation. 

After the shooting of Foster a search revealed the so-called Ark of the Covenant. It was a rudely constructed box, bearing, within and without, mystic symbols. When the officials laid hold of the box the negroes were panic stricken. 

Further search revealed the minutes of the meeting of the society. Its members were denominated as princes and Smith as the king. Following is a copy of the minutes of a meeting on the Foster place:

"The royal archive of the kingdom of God met in supreme council. Sang, 'Dark Was the Night.' Opened by reading the thirty-second chapter of Isaiah. After F. K. Smith, the king, announced the meeting, he stated that he was advised of God to call the princes together in council to decide what should be done with the chief of police and his force for interfering with the king of the Church of God in Shreveport.

"Prince Webb was in favor of demanding six months' affliction upon the chief. Prince Hicks said he was in favor of the same. Also Prince McLand. Also Prince Johnson. Also Prince Edwards. All concurred in demanding six months' affliction on Chief Lake of Shreveport. 

"Next case was the 'rockers' of the building. The case was decided: 'All that rock the building must be punished with death within four days.' 

"A complaint was taken against J. G. Foster that he should be tormented until he give consent that all saints leave the place." 


Benton, La., June 20.—There is little excitement here over the lynching of the two negroes, Smith and McLand, last night. It is claimed that the two men were leaders of a secret order and had entered many conspiracies against the whites. A mob, composed of about 200 men, quietly surrounded the parish jail at midnight last night, and securing admittance, led the two negroes out into the jail yard. Smith was given five minutes in which to pray. The two men were then swung up to a nearby tree. McLand met his fate stoically. 

Prince Edwards, the negro who is alleged to killed John Gray Foster, is still at large. Unless Edwards is caught it is believed that there will be no further violence offered the dozen or more negro prisoners who are confined in jail here charged with complicity in the murder of Foster. 

Excerpt from The Scranton Republican (Scranton, Pennsylvania) dated June 21, 1901:

The last paragraph is believed to have foreshadowed the killing of Foster. The religion preached by Prophet Smith was a wild fantastical one based on the Book of Revelations as the following, the last warning, will show:

"Feeling myself moved by the Holy Ghost to write unto you this epistle to acquaint with you a mystery that has been kept secret since the days of Moses was only made known to the Apostle Peter. For the prophet to be like Moses he must be a meek and quiet man, born a slave, then set free, a leader of a poor and oppressed and rejected race of ex-slaves. I have many other things to say unto you, but I am afraid the world cannot hear them now. The seven seals are being opened, and the seven vials of wrath are being poured out and the seven trumpets are sounding, sir, will you hear the first seal was opened in 1898, the second in 1899, the third in 1900, the fourth will open in 1901, the fifth in 1902, the sixth in 1903, the seventh in 1904 or 1905. Watch the prophecy. This year is a pale horse year, people are going to be killed so fast with plagues, storms, floods, famines and wars." 

Albert Medore, the secretary of the meeting, and Nathan Lewis and Mose Littleton, two "princes," are now in the Caddo Parish jail held for developments. It is not likely that anything will be done with them, but the Church of the Living God is most likely to be closed permanently. It is thought that the lynching of the prophet and Prince McLand and the disappearance of Prince Edwards will disperse the flock and render any more trouble from the church improbable.

The Chanute Daily Tribune (Chanute, Kansas) dated June 20, 1901:


Two Negroes Strung Up to a Tree at Shreveport, La. 


Lynchers Claimed That the Act Was Necessary to Preserve the Lives of White Men —Negro Preacher Lynched Near Lagrange, S. C.

Shreveport, La., June 20.—Frank Smith, better known as "Prophet" Smith, and F. D. McLand, held at Benton for complicity in the murder of John Gray Foster, were taken out of jail by a mob last night and strung up to a tree. They were left dangling side by side. The lynching occurred on the Arkansas road about one mile from the jail. Both negroes made a statement before death, denying that they had anything to do with the killing. Smith, who was the head of the "Church of God" movement in that section, and was blamed as being responsible for the sentiment against the whites which led to the death of Foster, died praying. McLand was silent as he was strung up. 

As Smith was being led from the jail prior to the execution he was heard to say: "Lord, you promised to be with me now." 

There were about 200 armed men in the mob and they overpowered the sheriff and jailer, taking the keys away from them. The lynchers claimed that the execution of these negroes was necessary to the preservation of the lives of the white men in this locality.

A Negro Preacher Lynched. 

Lagrange. N. C., June 20.—D. B. Jones, the negro preacher, who, it is alleged, attempted to commit an assault on Mrs. Noah Davis near Lagrange Monday, was taken from the guard house here Tuesday night and lynched. 

Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, Virginia) dated June 21, 1901:

At Shreveport, La., two negroes arrested in connection with the murder of John Gray Foster, the planter - "Prophet" Smith and F. D. McLand - were lynched on Wednesday night. The explanation for the lynching of the men is that they were leaders of a negro Mafia, a fanatical, semi-religious society which had in view the murder of whites, and that Foster, who was killed by Prince Edwards, was formally and officially selected by the society to be murdered. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

June 18, 1921: John Henry Williams

This first newspaper has two small articles concerning John Henry Williams.  The Concord Daily Tribune (Concord, N.C.) dated June 14, 1921:


Left in Automobile Closely Pressed by Mob Intent on Lynching.

(By the Associated Press.)

Albany, GA., June 14.—The whereabouts of Sheriff Beard and his prisoner, John Henry Williams, the negro accused of the murder of Lorena Wilkes, 12 year old white girl near Autryville yesterday, were unknown this morning after a flight from the scene of the crime in an automobile closely pursued by a mob intent on lynching Williams.

Judge Thomas, of the southern circuit, will convene Colquitt court in extraordinary session so that the negro can be tried at once.

A Later Dispatch.

Albany, GA., June 14—Word was received here today from Autryville near where Lorena Wilkes, 12 year old white girl was murdered yesterday morning that a negro church was burned and two negro women severely beaten last night while the parties of white men searching for the wife of John Henry Williams, the negro accused of the crime.  The woman was not found.

The Robesonian (Lumberton, N.C.) dated June 20, 1921:

Negro Burned At Stake By Georgia Mob.

A Moultrie, Ga., dispatch of June 18 says:  John Henry Williams, negro slayer of Lorena Wilkes, 12-year old white girl, was burned at the stake today by a mob after he had been convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to be hanged July 8.  The prisoner was taken from the officers as he was being escorted from the court room and rushed to the scene of his crime where he was tied to the stump of a tree.

Williams calmly smoked a cigarette as the match was applied to the fuel around him and he made but little outcry as the flames slowly burned him to death.  It was reported that he made a full confession.

The mob quietly dispersed after the lynching and thus far no arrests have been made.

This last article comes from The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated January 11, 1922:

Serious Charges Brought Against County Officer

Removal of Chief of Colquitt Police Asked in Petition.

Moultrie, Ga., January 10.—(Special.)—A petition bearing the names of a number of Colquitt county taxpayers was filed with the sheriff and clerk of the board of county commissioners this afternoon, urging the removal of County Policeman Stewart on a charge of malfeasance in office.

The petition sets out two alleged instances in which it is claimed that Stewart perjured himself, and also alleges that he was an active participant in the lynching of John Henry Williams, a negro, who was burned at the stake near Autreyville last summer.  Stewart was one of the special guards appointed by Judge Thomas to help protect Williams while on trial.  It was after he was tried, convicted and sentenced to hang for the murder of little Lorena Wilkes, Williams was taken from the officers at the courthouse steps as he was being carried to prison.

One of the instances of alleged perjury, the petitioners claim, is when Stewart swore at the trial of a case here that he had never used a search warrant in blank, filling out the name himself of the person's residence that he wanted to search. 

The petition says that the Georgia code provides that before a person can be appointed or elected a county policeman he must be 21 years old and a man of good character, and contends that for the reasons set forth above that Stewart is disqualified. 

Stewart has been under fire nearly ever since he was made chief of the Colquitt county police force and gave instructions to make Colquitt as dry as the Sahara. The grand jury has been appealed to twice, but in both cases declined to recommend his removal. 

The date of the hearing in the latest move has not been named, but it is believed that because of the gravity of the charges embodied in the petition the commissioners will hold a special meeting at an early date. Stewart could not be seen tonight for a statement. 

June 17, 1883: Raphael Maraveles

The Chicago Daily Tribune, in its list of lynchings for the year, dated December 30, 1883 lists:

June 17—Raphael Maraveles, Mexican, murder, Los Campos, Cal.

Since today's is so short, I will also include an article from The Virginia Enterprise (Virginia, Minnesota) date March 20, 1903:

We are, and always have been, in favor of law and order, but honestly opine that a lynching or two in St. Louis county would have a more wholesome effect towards diminishing murders that a dozen legal executions.  Ten to one the parties in the brawl at Hibbing Sunday, the victim of which was buried here yesterday, never heard of the fate of Henderson, whereas a lynching on the spot would have been an object lesson long to be remembered.  In our opinion a long, tedious legal killing is more brutal than a quick and snappy exit into kingdom come at the hands of a determined people of a crime ridden community.  It is much less expensive, at any rate.—Ely Miner.

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16, 1943: Cellos Harrison

This first article is from The Times Recorder (Zanesville, Ohio) dated June 16, 1943.

Accused Florida Slayer Lynched

MARIANNA, FLA.—(AP)—Cellos Harrison, 31-year-old charged with killing a white man, was taken from the Jackson county jail early today by four masked men and apparently clubbed to death.

Harrison's body was found at daylight on a road five miles south of Marianna.

Deputy Sheriff A. J. McMullen said Harrison had been killed by blows on his head.

Harrison once was convicted for the 1940 killing of Johnnie Mayo, filling station operator, in a robbery attempt.  His conviction was affirmed by the supreme court, and then, on a rehearing of the court, it was reversed on the ground that a confession was not properly admissible as evidence.

The indictment against Harrison then was not pressed by circuit court, and Harrison was released.  A new indictment was returned by the Jackson county grand jury a few weeks ago, and Harrison was being held in jail awaiting trial.

This second article is from the El Paso Herald-Post (El Paso, Texas) dated June 16, 1943.

Florida Negro Taken From Jail, Lynched

International News Service

MARIANNA, Fla., June 16—Cellos Harrison, 26-year-old Negro who twice had been convicted of the murder of Johnnie Mayo, filling station operator, was seized from the jail in Marianna early today and lynched.

The body of the Negro, who had been killed by a blow on the head, was found lying beside a highway five miles south of Marianna.  The body was discovered several hours after Night Jailer Tom Belcher was overpowered and the Negro carried away by a small group of men.