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.  

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