Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 31, 1909: Sims Anderson

Greensboro Daily News (Greensboro, N. C.) dated August 1, 1909:



Macon, Ga., July 31.—A special to the Telegraph from Wellston, a town sixteen miles from Macon, in Houston county, says:  Tonight at 6:30 o'clock, Sim Anderson, negro was taken from a deputy sheriff just outside this place and shot to death by a posse of citizens.

Last night the negro was caught peeping into the room occupied by daughters of W. P. Bell.  Bell took a shot at the intruder, inflicting a slight wound.  He was caught this morning and carried to Wellston.

An officer was on his way to Perry with the negro when he was overpowered by the posse.

The Washington Herald (Washington, D. C.) dated August 2, 1909:


Mob Pins Placard of Warning to Breast of Negro.

Fort Valley, Ga., Aug. 1—Sim Anderson a negro, has been lynched for playing "Peeping Tom."  He was seen peeping into the bedroom of Miss Lena Brown, a daughter of a wealthy planter.  the girl screamed and he ran.

The sheriff and his deputies pursued him last night.  As officers were taking him to jail they were overpowered by a mob of fifty men.  The mob tied the officers so they could not interfere and then hanged the negro to a tree by the roadside.  On the negro's breast was pinned a placard bearing the inscription:

"Let this be a warning to all black peepers."

There seems to be a bit of discrepancy between the two articles on how the mob put Anderson to death.  Perhaps he was shot and then hanged.
"In slave times the Negro was kept subservient and submissive by the frequency and severity of the scourging, but, with freedom, a new system of intimidation came into vogue; the Negro was not only whipped and scourged; he was killed."—  Ida B. Wells

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 30, 1893: Will Thompson and Tom Preston

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated July 31, 1893:


Torture and Lynching of Two Negroes Yesterday at Gaston.


Captured, Stripped, and the Lash Heavily Applied,


Will Thompson on the Scaffold Implicates Tom Preston, and Both Are Whipped and Put to Death.

Columbia, S. C., July 30.—(Special.)—Will Thompson, one of the three black fiends who committed under such revolting and diabolical circumstances as assault on Mrs. Arch Sightler last Monday night, got it "in the neck," arms, legs and in fact, all over his wretched body on this, Sunday morning.  As was told in these dispatches, he was lynched at Gaston.

He met death under the most horrible circumstances, his torture being long drawn out.  After being almost flayed alive with a leather strap in the hands of the husband of the outraged woman, he was kicked and beaten and then suspended from a limb until he was strangled, after which the determined yeomanry filled his body with lead, until the white-robed figure was polka-dotted with hundreds of carmine spots.

The lynching was one of the most horrible on record.  The wretch came very near being placed on the railroad track so that the train would run over him, and a proposition was also made to " burn him slowly," which many of the crowd would have assented to, but which was finally overcome.

The Night Ride to Death.

After being captured near here last night Thompson,who was a small sixteen-year-old negro, was taken through the country by his captors, H. T. Griffin, J. W. Connor and Fred A. Jacobs, of Lexington, to his doom.  At 3 o'clock this morning, after much telegraphing, the newspaper men succeeded in procuring a special train over the Southbound railroad to Gaston, through the kindness of Master of Transportation V. P. Walker,of Savannah.  They were joined by about fifty Columbians.  The train reached Gaston before 4 o'clock, taking with them the news of Thompson's capture to the country people, at least to such as were not then on the hunt for him.  Couriers were dispatched through the country to apprise the hunters of the welcome news and to locate Arch Sightler, who had begged them, as his right, not to lynch the boy until he could be present and take the first whack at him.

The Columbia crowd approved of Mr. Sightler's proposition and made it known that all they came for was to see that the proper parties were allowed to do as they pleased, and that the boy should not be rescued by negroes.

It was reported that a church near by was filled with negroes, who were to rescue Thompson, but they did not show themselves.

Shortly after the arrival of the train, one of Thompson's captors appeared on the scene and stated the boy would not be delivered until a reward of $100 was paid for him.  A long parley was held and after a Columbian had agreed to stand good for the amount, the boy was produced and was marched into the village, where by this time the hunters had began to gather.

Thompson's Confession.

All kinds of questions were asked and remarks made by the crowd, some of whom would point their guns in his face, and ask him how he liked it.

In the course of his confession, he stated that a negro named Gabriel Guignard given him another shirt and hat with which to disguise himself, and a razor for defense.

The crowd grew hot, and if Gabriel Guignard could have been found he would have probably have shared the same fate as Thompson.

At fifteen minutes to 8 o'clock a crowd of hunters came in armed with double-barreled breechloaders, among them being Arch Sightler, who was as cool as an iceberg.

"Let me see him, boys," said he, and going up to the negro, he said, "Now, tell it."

Thompson went through the same confession he had made last night, until he got to where he and the others were about to commit the crime, when Sightler, with a wave of his hand, stopped him and said:

"Take him out.  No use to go any further."
A voice from the crowd:  "Yes, and let him burn low."

This met with a hearty assent, and it might have been put into effect but for the urgent entreaties of several persons.

The death march then began.  The negro was led in front with a rope around his neck, and the crowd of about 125 persons came rushing behind, guns and pistols in hand.  A tree about twenty-five feet from the railroad track was selected and the gruesome preparations for his horrible taking off began.

A Husband's Vengeance.

The ordinary hanging was too quick a death.  There must be some preliminary torture.  Accordingly his back was bared and with powerful blows Arch Sightler applied the lash to him with a merciless hand.  Some fifty blows were laid on with herculean strength, while the boy was held down, on the ground at full length, a rope being held around his neck so he could not make too much noise.  His moans and sputterings were pitiful.

When Sightler was exhausted, a relative of Mrs. Sightler took his place, and kept up the awful scourging.  After that Sightler gave the boy several kicks in the head and face, one of them knocking out an eyeball.  After a plowline, furnished by a woman, had been thrown over a limb, a sort of platform was made with crossties, and the rope was thrown around Thompson's neck.

Mounting the Scaffold.

It was simply impossible for him to arise from the ground after his terrible scourging, but he did so.  His arms were tied and he was -- to mount the scaffold, which he did hurriedly and with apparent gladness as if to get sure ease from suffering.

It was found that the platform was not high enough, so he was ordered down until it was rearranged, after which the boy again scrambled up in haste.  The noose was put over his neck and the hangman asked, "Boys, is that all right?"

"The knot down on his ear," and "see what he has to say," replied the crowd.

Implicating Others.

The boy was accordingly asked if he was guilty, and he replied:

"Yes, sir; me and Tom Preston and Handy Kaigler."

Some one told him not to include the others if they were not guilty, and he replied:

"Before God they were with me and they were in it."

One by one the ties were removed and the boy let gradually down so that there would be no neck-breaking and that he could hang there and strangle some, Thompson made efforts to seize the rope and he finally clutched it in one hand.

"We don't want his neck broken," shouted the crowd, and the boy swung there several minutes before strangling.

The shooting party, consisting of about forty persons, armed with guns, and about thirty with pistols, then ranged themselves in line about forty feet from the body, while those of the spectators who were not to shoot drew further back.

Riddled with Bullets.

Sightler was given the first shot and he sent a bullet crashing into the swinging body.  It was three minutes past 8 o'clock as he shot.  This was followed by a shower of bullets until the body was punctured at every square inch.  About 250 shots were fired and several thousand leaden pellets must have gone into the body, for in some cases the farmers had as much as thirty-five buckshot in each barrel.  They used breechloaders and reloaded a half dozen times.  The last shot cut the rope and the body fell to the ground.  

The Columbia crowd then rushed for the train and within a few minutes they came past the spot only to find that the body had been tied up again in a semi-nude condition, while Sightler was still firing into it.


Tom Preston Shares the Same Fate as Will Thompson.

Columbia, S. C., July 30.—The second act in the Gaston lynching was completed at 1:30 o'clock today when Tom Preston, whom Thompson implicated in the crime was hung and shot.  After hanging Thompson the crowd became even more savage.  the whole country was scoured and about 11 o'clock Preston was captured five miles from the scene of the morning lynching.  He was taken to Gaston and the same brutal treatment was accorded him before he was finally killed.  Preston denied his guilt, but that had no effect.  he was stripped and stretched across a log and a hundred lashes with a buggy trace were laid upon his person. He yelled and screamed at a terrific rate and most piteously begged for mercy, but the more he begged the harder the lashes were laid upon him.  At last he was taken to the same tree upon which the bloody, bullet-riddled body of Thompson still hung.  A platform of crossties was made and the rope was put around the same limb.  The platform was pushed away by degrees and the wretch was slowly strangled.  the crowd did not shoot until he had hung several minutes.  His body was riddled with thousands of bullets, more than were given Thompson.

The two ghastly bodies were left hanging while the mob proceeded to arrange for the third man, who is in jail at Lexington courthouse.

The Freeborn County Standard (Albert Lea, Minnesota) dated August 9, 1893 informs us of the fate of the third man:

A mob lynched Handy Kaigler, the third and last of the negroes who assaulted the young wife of Archie Sightler at Gaston, S. C.

July 29, 1908: Leander Shaw

The Pensacola Journal (Pensacola, Florida) dated July 30, 1908:



Two Attacks Were Made Upon Jail, the Mob Being Repulsed at First.


"Bud" Nicholls and H. C. Kellum, a Street Car Conductor, Were Killed, While Charlie Turner, Jailor Eaton and "Bud" Knowles Were Seriously Wounded.

Shortly before the hour of midnight, Leander A. Shaw, the negro who so brutally assaulted Mrs. Lillian Davis yesterday morning, was taken from the county jail by an infuriated mob, estimated at fully one thousand, and after being dragged about the streets for five or ten minutes, hanged to an electric light pole in the center of the Plaza.  There the body of the negro was riddled with bullets, fully five hundred shots being fired within the course of five minutes.


Before the negro paid the penalty of his crime, two men had lost their lives, one "Bud" Nicholls, shot in the first attack on the county jail, while young H. C. Kellum, a street car conductor, was shot through the heart accidentally, when the revolver of Sheriff Van Pelt was discharged while in his pocket.  The dead and wounded so far as could be learned in the excitement last night, are as follows:


"Bud" Nichols, shot in the head.
Henry C. Kellum, shot through heart.


Charlie Turner, shot in abdomen, probably fatally.

Jailor B. H. Eaton, shot in head, serious.

"Bud" Knowles, shot in the body, serious.

Fred Humphreys, slightly wounded.

John Van Pelt, wounded in side, head and arm.

James Byliss, slightly wounded.

W. P. Brownson, was shot through ear. 

Sheriff Van Pelt, injury to right elbow.

Joe Brewton, shot in the stomach.

-- is probable that more than half a dozen others were wounded, many of them receiving their injuries at the time the negro was hanged in the Plaza.


Crowds, restless and threatening, began to assemble in the vicinity of the county jail as early as 7 o'clock in the night.  That something was to be done during the night could plainly be seen late in the afternoon by the manner in which men and boys thronged Palafox street, though there were few open threats of lynching.

It was 8:45 o'clock that the first rush was made upon the jail.  Sheriff Van Pelt had talked for fully thirty minutes before the firing began.  He pleaded with the mob, which by this hour had grown to possibly five hundred though many on the outskirts were only onlookers and had no intention of participating in the trouble.  The sheriff talked as he had never done before requesting, pleading and ordering the mob to disperse, as he was -n honor bound to give protection to everyone in the county jail, and this protection would be afforded the negro Shaw.

Broke Down Gate.

The talk of the sheriff had no effect upon the mob, and the cries of "Lynch him, Lynch him," could be heard for blocks.  Some of the more determined secured one of the rails from the track of the bay shore line of the Pensacola Electric Co. and with this an assault was commenced upon the jail yard gate.  The sheriff continued to plead and threaten, but there was no response.

Then he told the mob that the first man to enter the jail yard would be killed.

Firing Commences.

The mob carried the gate down with a rush and when they did there was a volley from the second story windows of the jail building, where several deputies were stationed.  "Bud" Nicholls fell dead, a bullet entering the brain, while others were wounded.

The mob responded with a volley in which probably a dozen participated, and this was answered by the deputies.  For the space of two minutes the fight was a spirited one, but the mob finally withdrew and ceased firing, while several wounded men were taken into the police station and later to their homes and the hospital.  Among the men wounded in this engagement were John Van Pelt, a brother of the sheriff, and Jailor Eaton, of the sheriff's office.  Outsiders to be wounded were Charlie Turner, A. N. Knowles, James Bayliss, and Fred. Humphreys.

Overpowered the Officers.

Although firing ceased the mob remained around the jail building for several hours, being constantly added to, a large number of countrymen reaching the city late in the night and joining those already on hand, determined to lynch the negro.

Threats innumerable were made by the mob, but the sheriff with his forces stationed in front of the building held the crowd at bay.

It was about 11:30 o'clock when probably a dozen members of the mob scaled the rear wall of the jail an entered the back yard.  Proceeding quietly they unfastened the rear door of the hallway, and while the officers were busily engaged with the mob in front, the dozen men leaped upon them, bore a number of them to the floor, while others with drawn revolvers kept other deputies at bay.

The Negro Secured.

Quickly the keys of the jail were taken from Deputy Cusachs, and within one minute after entering, the mob was passing through the front gate with Leander Shaw.  Ropes had been secured, and while on the run a noose was placed about his neck.  Then he was dragged east on Zarragossa street to Tarragona, and then back again to the Plaza.  Up one of the electric light poles went a member of the mob and the rope was passed over a cross arm.A dozen hands gave the rope a jerk and the body of Leander Shaw was dangling thirty feet above the ground, the man wrighting [sic] in death agonies.

Five Hundred Shots.

No sooner had the rope been fastened than a fusillade of shots began, which continued for a full five minutes.  More than five hundred shots were fired at the body of the negro, which was riddled with bullets, amid the cheering of the infuriated men who had gathered from all sections of the city and who were loath to depart from the scene.

Another Man Killed.

In the last attack H. C. Kellum was killed, while a number received slight wounds, although the officers fired no shots.  It is believed that Kellum received his death wound when a crowd of four or five men were engaged in overpowering Sheriff Van Pelt.  The later [sic] was in the doorway with one revolver in his hand and another in the scabbard.  When he fell the revolver in the scabbard discharged, and it is believed that the bullet struck Kellum.

The shooting in the Plaza at the negro by the excited men was where the other men received their injuries.


"I was in duty bound to give protection to the prisoner," said Sheriff Van Pelt to a Journal representative this morning. "I pleaded with the mob as I never had before, and told them that I must protect the prisoner at any cost. I did not want to see anyone hurt, and am sorry that such occurred.

"I and my force were overpowered by the crowd that got in the back way. My entire attention was directed to keeping back the men who were in front of the jail and I did not know that anyone was in the jail until after I was on the floor with half a dozen men on me. 

Last night's lynching was the first to occur in Pensacola in many years, and probably the first ever to occur in the Plaza. Nothing, however, could have prevented the mob from lynching the negro. The spirit was aroused and even the shots poured into the crowd upon the first attack did not seem to have any effect upon the crowd, but made it more determined to hand the negro, no matter what might be the consequences.


Mrs. Will Davis' Throat Cut and Then Beaten Into Insensibility. 


Lady Attacked at Her Home About Six Miles From the City During the Absence of Her Husband — The Negro, Leander Shaw Identified by Her. 

Possibly the most brutal assault ever to be recorded in the annals of Escambia county, was that of yesterday morning, when Mrs. Lillian Davis, wife of Wiley Davis, defenseless and alone, was beaten into insensibility, her throat cut almost from ear to ear and left on the railroad track to die. This was committed by Leander A. Shaw, a burly black negro, who had been seen near the premises for several days, and who entered the yard on the pretext of desiring to buy some sardines. The brutal crime was committed at the home of Mr. Davis, which is six miles east of the city, near what is known as Gull Point. The negro was captured two hours later, but only after a desperate fight between him and Deputy Sheriff Johnsen, who finally overpowered the negro with the assistance of John Touart and others near the county bridge spanning Bayou Texar. 

Story of Assault.

Lying in a ward at St. Anthony's hospital yesterday afternoon, Mrs. Davis, who is in a very critical condition told of the assault to a friend who had called to see her. 

She said for several days past she has seen the negro occasionally in the bushes or passing her hoe, and on Tuesday Mr. Gunter, who resides near, came near shooting the man whom he saw in the bushes. 

Yesterday morning, she said about 7 o'clock, she noticed the negro pass the house shortly after her husband who is section foreman on the L. & N. had left home. The negro, after passing, retraced his steps and coming to the front door stated that he wanted to buy a box of sardines. Mrs. Davis keeps a small store adjoining the house, and she went there and procured the sardines. The negro gave her a dollar and having no change she told him to wait and she would go into the house and procure the change. This she did, but upon reaching her room she found the negro following her. She turned and ordered him from the house but the only response was a surly grin which overspread the feature of the man. A big Colt's revolver was lying on her dresser and this she reached for, but not in time for the negro had grasped her before she had an opportunity of using it... (Continued on page 3, but the page is missing)

The Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) dated July 31, 1908:


Verdict Saya "Unknown Men" Killed Shaw and Jury Proceeds to Sit on Other Victims.

Pensacola, Fla., July 30.—[Special.]—The coroner's jury which today investigated the death of the negro, Leander Shaw, who was lynched last night after a mob of 2,000 citizens fought with the sheriff at the jail, found that "Shaw  came to his death at the hands of unknown men."

The jury proceeded at once to investigate the death of Henry C. Kellum, a street car conductor, and "Bud" Nichols, a planter, who were killed when the lynching party stormed the prison.  Four members of the citizenry were so badly wounded that they are dying.  Five were seriously injured and at least a dozen were slightly wounded by bullets from the jail.

Shaw's body was cut down this morning by order of the authorities.

Mrs. William Davis, whose throat was cut by the negro, is still alive, but it is said she cannot recover.  The baby, who was struck by the negro at the time he tried to kill the mother, it is said, will recover.

Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 1907: James Reed

The Washington Post (Washington, D. C.) dated July 29, 1907:


Colored Murderer Beaten to Death at Crisfield.


James Reed Shot Policeman Who Had Arrested One of Reed's Friends—Captured on Tangier Sound, He Confessed.  Taken Ashore, Mob Set Upon Him and Beat and Kicked Him to Death.

Crisfield, Md., July 28.—James Reed, colored, was lynched here this morning.  Little more than a dozen hours before he had crept up behind John H. Daugherty, a policeman, and fired a bullet into the latter's brain.  Daugherty died instantly.

Shortly after 8 o'clock on Saturday night Daugherty arrested on a warrant a negro named Hillery Jones, a companion of Reed's and was taking him to jail.  Reed borrowed a revolver and, catching up with his friend and the officer, fired the fatal shot into the back of his victim's head.

The two negroes fled.  Reed taking possession of a bicycle he found near by.  Pursued and fired upon, he soon abandoned the wheel and took to a small sailboat, in which he headed for Tangier Sound, with the hope, it is presumed, of reaching Virginia.  Early this morning he was becalmed in the sound, however, and pursuers, learning that he was afloat, followed him in power boats.

Confessed to Murder.

One of these, on which were Capt. John Shelton and a number of armed men, overhauled Reed about 9 o'clock.  The negro, seeing Capt. Shelton's vessel approaching, jumped overboard and endeavored to escape by swimming, but was finally captured.  He at first denied his identity, but afterward made a full confession and acknowledged that he was not under the influence of liquor when he killed Daugherty.

As the boat bearing the prisoner approached the wharf here a crowd gathered rapidly.  There were angry exclamations, and soon some one struck Reed a blow with his fist that knocked Reed senseless.  Immediately those in the crowd pounced upon the prostrate man and beat and kicked him to death.  A rope was tied to the body and it was then dragged to the scene of the shooting, and in a moment was dangling from a telegraph pole.  There it remained, viewed by hundreds of people, many of whom drove in from miles outside of town when the fact of the lynching became known.

Body Buried in Swamp.

About 2 o'clock in the afternoon the body was cut down and dragged to the office of a justice of the peace, by whom an inquest was held and a verdict was rendered in accordance with the facts.  While the funeral services over the body of his victim was being held, the disfigured corpse of the negro was given hurried burial in a swamp just outside the town.

Reed, who was about twenty-two years old, and, it is said, a half-breed native of Indian Territory, came here on the United States Geodetic Survey vessel Endeavor, on which he served as a waiter.

Jones, whose arrest led to the shooting of Daugherty, had not been captured up to a late hour to-night.  Feeling is bitter, and it is feared that should he be taken and brought here he would share the fate of Reed.

Six Recent Lynchings.

To-day's lynching makes the sixth in Somerset County within the past few years.  No word of condemnation for the lynching is heard.

Officer Daugherty was fifty years old and is survived by a wife and four children.  His wife and several daughters were shopping in the neighborhood of the tragedy at the time of the murder.  Mrs. Daugherty was prostrated. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 27, 1895: Charlie Burwell

The following article comes from the Decatur Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) dated July 29, 1895:


By the Real Perpetrators of Crimes of Which He was Suspected.

MEMPHIS, Tenn., July 29.—Charlie Burwell, an aged negro, was lynched near Meridian, Miss., Saturday night about 10 o'clock.  It was at first supposed that he had been hanged for complicity in some of the hold-ups and attempted murders in that vicinity, which recently stirred the people to fever heat, or for living in adultery with a white woman, one Lizzie Hart, a loose character.  It was thought that he was concerned in the Farmer outrage, which occurred within a stone's throw of where he was hanged.

On the night of July 4, Lewis Farmer and his wife, who ran a small store about two miles from here, were murderously assaulted and left for dead, after which their store was robbed.  The perpetrators escaped, and several suspects are now confined in jail.  As already stated that he was one of the parties to the crime.

Later developments seem to fasten the lynching on the real culprits, since it is learned that the old negro, Charles Burwell, was promised a reward of $250 to ferret out the guilty parties, and this becoming known to them they went to his house, dragged him to Sowashee bridge and strung him from a beam.  A coroner's jury rendered a verdict that he came to his death at the hands of unknown parties.

I would like to add that according to another article, Charlie Burwell was around 65 years of age.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

July 26, 1909: King Green

The Manning Times (Manning, S. C.) dated July 28, 1909:


Ordered Two Young Ladies to Get Out of Buggy.

King Green, a would-be negro fiend, was lynched and his body riddled with bullets at Gum Branch four miles out from Eastman, Ga., Monday morning.

The Misses Nicholson, daughters of Sam Nicholson, one of Eastman's prominent citizens, while four miles out from Eastman, were met in the road by the negro, who caught their horse by the rein and told them to get out, that it was his horse and he was going to have it.

The young ladies whipped up their horse and tried to get away from him but he held on until frightened by their screams.

Dogs were sent from the county convict camp and placed on his trail, and after a run of several hours the negro was captured.

The Sheriff and his deputies, while on their way to town, were met at Gum Swamp by a posse of 175 men, who took him away from the offivers [sic] and strung him up to a sapling, after which the crowd dispersed.

A little snippet from The Gazette (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) on July 28, 1909:

Kentucky and Georgia have each lynched a negro, the march of prohibition having deprived them of their lighter pastime.

Friday, July 25, 2014

July 25, 1903: Jennie Steer

The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio) dated July 27, 1903:


Lynched in the South.

Jennie Steer Was Charged With Poisoning a White Girl

And Suspected of Murdering Mrs. Frank Matthews.

Men Who Took the Law in Their Own Hands Fired Bullets Into the Dangling Body.


New Orleans, La., July 26.—News has just reached here that Jennie Steer, who gave poison in a glass of lemonade to beautiful sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Dolan, causing a frightful death, was lynched by an infuriated mob about sundown last night.  The lynching occurred on the Beard plantation, near the spot where the woman's crime was committed.

Jennie Steer was stubborn to the last, denying her crime, but the proof against her was direct and precluded the possibility of establishing her innocence.  It is said that the negress fled from the Dolan as soon as she discovered her crime was known.  She was pursued by a posse, who found her crouching in a hayloft.  She refused to come out, and had to be dragged from the place.


She was taken to the Dolan homestead and fully identified as the woman who had placed the poison in the lemonade.  The mob then took her to a nearby tree, placed a rope around her neck and again asked her to confess.  She refused.  While the body was dangling in midair several bullets were fired into it by enraged citizens.

The poisoning of Miss Dolan created intense excitement in the neighborhood of the crime.  The victim of poison was a girl who was not known to have an enemy in the world.  She died in horrible agony, a fact which accentuated the rage of the mob.  The funeral of Miss Dolan was held this morning, and it was attended by many people.  Rev. Dr. Alfred conducted the funeral services.

There is a growing suspicion that the negress lynched had been connected with the murder of Mrs. Frank Matthews, whose horrible death startled the people of this section several months ago.  She was a negress of forbidding aspect, but a good servant, and Mrs. Matthews kept her against the protests of her son and daughter.  On the morning of the murder she was the first to notify the inmates of the house of the commission of the crime.  However, suspicion was not directed to her, as it was believed at the time that Mrs. Matthews had been assaulted, and crime was placed at the door of a man.


Porter Matthew, son of Mrs. Matthews, said to-day that subsequent developments inclined his sister and himself to the belief that his mother was murdered by a woman and that robbery was the motive for the crime.  Thirty dollars that Mrs. Matthews had in the house at the time was missing after the murder, and the condition of Mrs. Matthews body indicated that she had been struck by a woman, as the gashes were not so deep as any that a man would have been able to make.  Neither Mrs. Matthews nor her daughter was assaulted.  The arrest of Jennie Steer for deliberately poisoning a young girl, inclines the Matthewses to the belief that if she did not commit the Shreveport crime she certainly knew something about it.

It is a source of some regret that the woman was not interrogated on this matter before her death.  The chances are, however, that she would have refused to talk.

Everything is quiet in the vicinity of Bayou Lachutte to-day.  There is no apparent sympathy for the negress, Jennie Steer, among the law-abiding blacks of that section.

So far as is known this was the first negress ever lynched in this state. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

July 24, 1899: Chick Davis

The Times (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) dated July 25, 1899:

Chick Davis Escapes the Rope, But is Shot to Death.

Wilmot, Ark., July 24.—Chick Davis, the negro murderer of Will Grin, a respected farmer, was lynched here early to-day.  He was overtaken in a corn field and snapped both barrels of his gun at the pursuing party, and was then fired upon by them and killed instantly.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 23, 1899: Louis Sammins

Today's article comes from The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, N. C.) dated July 25, 1899:


Perpetrators of the Ogletree Outrage Pay the Penalty of Their Crime.


Two More Captured and Will be Lynched Early This Morning—Posse in Pursuit of Another Negro Concerned in the Affair at Saffold.

BAINBRIDGE, Ga., July 23.—One negro lynched by hanging after being tortured, two found dead, who were possibly lynched, and an excited mob chasing five other negroes is the situation regarding the Ogletree outrage to-day.  There is the wildest excitement throughout this section of the State, and it is feared by the law-abiding citizens that others will be put to death by those who are searching for the negroes implicated in the assault of Mrs. Ogletree at Saffold, Ga. Thursday night.

Late last night Louis Sammins, a big, yellow negro, who answered to the description of one of the men who committed the assault, was captured near Brinson, Ga., and at midnight he was taken to Saffold, and Mrs. Ogletree positively identified him.  He then made a full confession, swearing that he belonged to a band of seven other negroes who recently broke jail at Augusta, Ga., and who had been in hiding in the Chattahoochee river bottoms near Saffold for several weeks.

Intended to Rob.

He said that he and another of the gang were selected to rob Ogletree's store and divide the spoils with their pals in the swamp.  No assault on the woman was contemplated until the two negroes saw her.  Sammins gave the name of his companions in the crime and described them.

This morning at sunrise Sammins was taken to an oak tree near the Ogletree house.  He was chained to the tree and parts of his body were cut off.  A stout rope was tied around his neck and he was told that he could pray if he wanted to before being hanged.

"Oh, Lord, have mercy on my soul," was all that he could say.  While a great shout arose from 200 men, 50 of them pulled away on the rope and up shot Sammins' body through the air.  He kicked and swayed for ten minutes and then life became extinct.  his body was riddled with bullets by the mob as it dispersed.  The body was left hanging to the limb to-day as an object lesson to the negroes of the community.

Unknown Bodies Found.

Early this morning the bodies of two unknown negroes were found on the railroad embankment near Bainbridge.  A big crowd examined the bodies.  It was believed by some that the men had been accidentally killed by a train, but others asserted that they had been hanged by a mob, and their bodies placed on the tracks to be run over by a train.  The heads of both had been neatly scalped.

The officers of the law are powerless to check the fury of the people.  The man who was with Sammins has not yet been captured.  He is regarded as the more guilty of the two, as he proposed the assault on the woman and first committed the crime.  Several negroes have been captured and taken before Mr. and Mrs. Ogletree, who have declared them innocent.

Two More of the Gang Captured.

BAINBRIDGE, Ga., July 24.—There will be a double lynching in Bainbridge early to-morrow morning unless something unforeseen occurs.  Two more members of the band of robbers, murderers and rapists are in the hands of a determined posse of whites.

One of the captives is Charles Mack, the companion in crime of Louis Sammins, who was lynched yesterday.  It was Sammins and Mack who outraged Mrs. Ogletree in the presence of her husband at Saffold, one holding a pistol at the head of the husband to prevent his interference.

Mack was captured at Iron City by a white man named Cardell.  Cardell tried to get his prisoner through to the jail and secreted him.  A mob of several hundred country people met Cardell and asked the whereabouts of his prisoner.  He declined to say.  A rope was quickly put about his neck and he was given ten minutes in which to give up the rapist or his life.  He then told where the negro was.  In a short while the crowd had Mack.  While arrangements were in progress for the lynching a telegram was received from Iron City that another member of the gang had been captured.

Will be Hanged To-day.

It would require several hours to get the new prisoner to the scene, so it was determined to postpone the execution of Mack until to-morrow, at which time it is proposed to have a double hanging for the purpose of impressing other possible members of the gang who are not yet known.

Before Sammins was lynched he confessed, and said that he and Mack had robbed the Ogletrees, and that both had outraged the woman.  While they were committing their crimes, he said, six others, whose names he gave, were on watch outside.  Mack is said to have confessed, corroborating Sammins' statement.  The men, he said, were banded together for murder, robbery and rape.  Five of the negroes named, including Sammins, are now dead, and every indication favors the death of two more to-morrow.

The information is that the prisoner from Iron City will arrive at about 2:50 A. M. and the lynching will probably occur shortly thereafter.

MACON, Ga., July 24.—The Telegraph has a special from Leesburg, Gs., saying a negro supposed to be one of the Saffold ravishers was killed by citizens to-night while resisting arrest.

Here is an article that keeps us informed on the story from the Richmond Planet (Richmond, Virginia) dated July 29. 1899:



The Sheriffs are Helpless, the Governors are Impotent and the President of the United States Silent.


A Terrible Scene of Carnage—Some Nation Might Well Interfere "in the Interest of Humanity."

ATLANTA, Ga., July 25.—Governor Candler to-night received the following message from Sheriff Patterson of Decatur county, at Bainbridge, Ga:  "Town in the hands of a mob.  Send aid quick."

Governor Candler at once ordered the State militia stationed at Valdosta and Thomasville to proceed with all haste to Bainbridge.

Savannah, Ga., July 25.—Telegraphic orders were received here to-night from Governor Candler, addressed to Captain Middleton, of the State militia at Valdosta, and Captain Smith of Thomasville, to report to Bainbridge with all your available men at once," and to "act strictly under his orders."


The Governor's message is mandatory.  It says:  "Go at once."  The commercial wires have closed, these messages were transmitted over railroad wires from here, and arrangements were immediately made for special cars on the Plant System to take the troops.  The train will arrive at Bainbridge at 8 a. m.

The troops are wanted to protect the Sheriff and the jail against the attack of a mob that is after John Williams, (colored) who is charged with assault and attempt to rape upon two white girls.  Williams entered their room while they were asleep, and had seized one of the girls when he was frightened away.  A large crowd of country people are in town, and swear they will have Williams if they have to dynamite the jail.  the Decatur jail is one of the strongest in the State.  Should an attack upon it be made before the arrival of the troops, there would probably be bloodshed.


Brinson, Ga., July 25—Charles Mack leader of the gang that has been robbing and raping in this vicinity, was lynched at Saffold to-day, and his body cut into hundreds of pieces.  Mack, after being identified, was taken to the big oak tree near the Ogletree home on which Sammins met his death, and strung up.  As his feet left the ground hundreds of shots from the mob were fired into his body.  After he was dead he was taken down and the body cut into small pieces and distributed among the mob, which numbered from two to five hundred.

Mack and Sammins entered the Ogletree home, and after robbing the house assaulted Mrs. Ogletree in her husband's presence.


Bainbridge, Ga., July 25—The mob which has lynched several Negroes within the last few days for complicity in the Saffold outrage is still abroad looking for the remaining members of the gang.  They located "Kid Jim," one of the culprits, in a house near Pinckard, but he made his escape.  Sam Thompson, an old colored man, who harbored him, was severely whipped.

Leesburg, Ga.; July 25—An unknown colored man, was shot and killed in a remote part of this county yesterday by a posse composed of three men.  There were two colored men in hiding in that vicinity, and they were thought to be members of the Bainbridge gang.


G. A. McDonald, who discovered the colored men, came to town and reported the matter.  Both the Sheriff and his deputy being out of town, Mr. McDonald was advised to get up a posse and arrest the colored men.  He succeeded in getting W. A. Smith and H. D. Sanders to accompany him on the mission.  When the Negroes were approached they showed fight and one of them was killed, the other getting away.

The Coroner's jury has returned a verdict that the man killed, by shots fired by the three men named in self-defense.

Atlanta, Ga., July 25—Will Wright, a colored man, identified by J. E. Ogletree as one of his wife's assaulters, was arrested yesterday at Troy, Ala., and brought to Montgomery for safe keeping.  As a further safeguard Gov. Candler to night ordered that the prisoner be brought to Atlanta on the train leaving Montgomery at 6 o'clock to-morrow morning.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July 22, 1898: Joe Williams

Today's article comes from the pages of The Commonwealth (Scotland Neck, N. C.) dated July 28, 1898.


Tied to a Pine Tree and Shot.


Last Saturday morning, the people of Scotland Neck were greatly surprised and shocked to hear that a lynching had occurred near town the night before.  Some one reported early in the morning that a negro was seen tied to a tree dead about a mile from town near the road between town and Joyner's bridge.  Upon investigation it was found that the man was Joe Williams, and that he was tied to a pine tree with a strong rope, his face towards the tree and his arms between his body and the tree and three bullet holes in him—one in the back of the head, one in his shoulders and one lower down in his back.

Large numbers of persons went from town and passed during the day to view the body, but it was left untouched until late in the afternoon when county coroner George A. Branch came to hold an inquest.

The jurors who examined the body and reported upon it were three white men, Julian Pendleton, John L. Whitehead and J. H. Branch; and three colored men—Isreal Little, Isham Smith and Thad Shields.  Their verdict was that Joseph Williams came to his death by means of pistol shots from the hands of persons unknown.

The coroner instructed deputy sheriff C. W. Dunn to bury the body near the roadside, which he did.  There were perhaps more than 200 persons at the inquest.


Mr. H. V. Davis, who farmed on the lands of Mr. W. T. Vaughan last year, brought Joe Williams from near Henderson and employed him in a tobacco crop.  He had some difficulty while working on Mr. Vaughan's farm, which was settled before Mayor Perry, of Scotland Neck.  Williams worked for others in the community, and late in the year, about November, while he was working for Mr. Joyner, he claimed that he was taken out at night and severely whipped.  He came to town to consult a lawyer, who advised him to leave the community.  Some good white people furnished the money on which to leave and he left for a time.  While he was gone to Vance or Warren county he shot a man, according to his own report when he returned.  It seems that upon his return to the community he was advised to go away again, which he did, but returned again and had been here only about a week before the occurrence last Friday night.  He had tried to secure work in that community from some persons who would not hire him.  It has been reported he killed a man before he came to this community, and he was said to be unpopular even with the colored people.  Reports say that he had two brothers who were desperate characters.

All circumstances point to the fact that Joe Williams was a desperate character.  He had been warned more than once to leave the community.  Good, conservative white men had counseled him that he would better not remain in the community; but he defiantly declared that he would not go, that he was not afraid of any one.  He remained, with the results as given.

When he was taken for execution Friday night he was curing tobacco for Mr. W. A. Dortch across the creek from town.  Another colored man was with him.  The colored man has made some incoherent statements about the seizure.  He told someone that Joe Williams had a pistol lying by him and was asleep when some persons laid hold upon him and hurried him away from the tobacco barn.

It has been impossible to get a clear idea of how he was seized, and the whole thing seems shrouded in mystery.

THE COMMONWEALTH speaks for the best people of the community in deploring the tragic occurrence.

This community has long been known for its virtue, morality and high regard for law and right, and it goes without saying that our good people unequivocally condemn lawlessness of any kind and especially such a crime as has blotted the fair name of our community in the lynching of Joe Williams.  While he may have been, and undoubtedly was, a desperate character, few people, if any, would say that any offense of his thus far known justified the lynching.

Only one such occurrence has approached it in this community in many years, or so far as we know in the history of the town, and that was the death of John Odom, a colored man who was found dead in a furnace some years ago.  And it was established that he was known to be drinking before and may have crawled in to warm himself.  It was generally believed, however, that he was murdered, and the persons suspected left and have not been seen here since.

The good people of the community are shocked and pained at the lynching of Joe Williams and it is to be hoped that henceforth we shall be spared another such shocking occurrence.

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21, 1889: James Averill and Kate Maxwell

The following article comes from The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio) dated July 23, 1889:


They Stole Cattle From the Ranges,

And the Wyoming Cow-Boys Put Them Out of the Way.

Postmaster Averill and Kate Maxwell, the Cattle Queen,

Kate Goes to Her Final Account Cursing Like a Trooper,

But Her Partner Whines and Begs To Be Allowed to Name His Successor in the Post-Office

CHEYENNE, Wy., July 22.—James Averill and the notorious Cattle Queen, Kate Maxwell, were lynched by cow-boys last night.  The bodies of the "Rustler" and Range Queen dangled from the same limb of a big cottonwood this morning.  The scene of the lawless but justifiable deed of the midnight riders is on the Sweetwater River, in Carbon County, near Independence Rock, a landmark made historical during the rush overland to the California gold fields.  Averill was Postmaster at Sweetwater.  Kate Maxwell was the heroine of a sensational story which appeared in the newspapers throughout the country three months ago, when she raided a gambling house and recovered a large sum of money won from her employes [sic].

Stockmen of the Sweetwater region have been the victims of cattle thieves for years.  On account of prejudice against the large outfits it has been impossible to convict on this charge, and the "rustlers" have become very bold.  Averill and his remarkable partner have been


The woman could hold her own on the range, riding like a demon, shooting on the slightest pretext, and handling the lariat and branding-iron with the skill of the most expert vaquero.  Fifty freshly-branded yearling steers were counted in the Averill & Maxwell herds Saturday morning.  A stock detective whose suspicions were aroused was driven from this place when he was noticed viewing the stolen property.  The circumstance was reported to the ranchmen, who determined to rid the country of the desperate pair.

Averill and the woman have several times been ordered to emigrate or cease appropriating mavericks, but had disregarded all warnings.  After her celebrated gambling-house escapade Mrs. Maxwell degenerated from a picturesque Western character into a reckless prairie virago of loose morals, and lost most of her following, but continued partnership with the Postmaster.  Word was passed along the river, and fifteen to twenty men gathered at a designated place and galloped to the cabin of Averill and Cattle Kate without unnecessary noise.


And a peep through a window disclosed the thieves and a boy in their employ sitting beside a rude fire-place smoking cigarettes.  As half a dozen men rushed into the room a Winchester was poked through each window and a command to throw up their hands given with unmistakable earnestness.  The trio sprang for their weapons, but were quickly overpowered.  Averill begged and whined, protesting his innocence.  Kate cursed.  Her execration of the lynchers was something terrible in its way.  She cursed everything, and repeatedly challenged the Deity to harm her if He possessed the power.  An attempt was made to gag her, but


That this was abandoned.  She called for her own horse to ride to the tree selected for a scaffold, and vaulted astride the animal's back from the ground.  Averill did not resist, and the boy, who had been told that he would not be harmed, followed.  Either end of the same rope was fastened about the necks of the Rustlers as they sat in their saddles.  The boy made a pass with a knife at the man who was preparing Kate for hanging.  He was knocked insensible from a blow with the butt of a revolver.  The boy was a nephew of the Bandit Queen.  When preparations for the execution had been completed Averill and the woman were asked to speak.  The man spoke only of his office, saying that he did not wish a certain man to be his successor.  He was promised the influence of the party for another candidate.


She wished the affair kept as quiet as possible, desiring that her mother be kept in ignorance of her disgraceful career and tragic death.  It was useless to deny that their herd had been stolen from the ranchmen in the section, but if they did not wish to divide it among themselves she would like to have it sold and the money given to a home for wayward girls.  Kate bade her nephew good-by and commenced to deliver a blasphemous harangue.  The horses were led from under the pair while


Both kicked in a lively style for ten or fifteen minutes.  A few bullets were fired into Averill's body, and the lynchers rode away.  It is doubtful if an inquest will be held.  The executions [sic] have no fear of being punished.  The cattlemen have been forced to this.  More hangings will follow unless there is less thieving.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

July 20, 1899: Lon French

The Humboldt Republican (Humboldt, Iowa) on July 28, 1899 gives us just a small bit of information in the following:

Lon French, a desperado,was shot to death by a crowd of angry citizens at Freelandsville, Ind.

There is no date given in the article, but looking at the January 1, 1900 list of lynchings for 1899, the date is given as July 20. 

This next article is interesting to me. It is found in the San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, California) on July 21, 1887:


Alleged Confessions Shown to Be False.

A dispatch from Chico states that Hong Di, the lately lynched murderer of Mrs. Billou, said that Marshal Burns told him to tell the story about Weaver, and also promises the confessions made to Cottle, the cell-mate of the Chinese.  At a late hour last night Marshal Burns was seen at his residence on Seventeenth, near Mission street.  He said that he left Colusa on May 11th and never even saw Hong Di, so that it was impossible for him to have imparted the alleged instructions about Weaver.  Referring to the confession that Hong Di proposed wiping out Weaver and the Billou family and then, after ravishing and killing Maud Billou, committing suicide, Marshal Burns said that the story was absurd, and believed to be so by Mr. Billou as well as by the daughters.  The general opinion he found prevalent in Colusa was that Weaver cowhided the Chinese for some offense and then Hong Di took the horrible revenge, with the details of which all are familiar.  Hong Di, Mr. Burns said, was an unusually smart Chinese and could evidently lie glibly.

The details are not so familiar 127 years later.  To get an idea of what happened, I am using an excerpt of an article from The Marion Star (Marion, Ohio) dated July 12, 1887.

...Hong Di had been reprimanded by Mrs. Billion for some shortcoming and became surly.  A day or two after, while Mr. Billion, a wealthy rancher, was absent, and Mrs. Billion, her two daughters, and William Weaver were sitting at sitting at supper, Hong Di suddenly rushed into the room with a rifle and shot Weaver through the shoulder.  A second shot went through Mrs. Billion's heart.  Both daughters fled and escaped uninjured. The murderer was found some time after on the banks of the Sacramento river, nearly starved.

In case anyone was wondering, Hong Di was the cook for the family.  Also, I am not sure if the family was named Billou or Billion.  Different articles write the name different ways, I lean towards Billou, though.  Before being lynched, Hon Di was asked why he attacked, he responded he was drunk. More on this lynching can be found in this post.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

July 19, 1884: Henry Burke

The Daily Commonwealth (Topeka, Kansas) dated July 20, 1884:


Chicago, Ill., July 19.—A special to the Daily News from Tuscaloosa, Ala., says:  Henry Burke, colored, who attempted to outrage a little white girl, was captured last night in the garret of an old house.  A mob at midnight took him from the jail and hanged him to a tree in the street.  They first put two bullets in him.

The Waterloo Press (Waterloo, Indiana) in the article titled The News Condensed, July 19, 1883, had this to say for the news from the south:


Two men named Brown and Mayer were arrested for an attempted outrage on the daughter of a wealthy citizen of Sunbright, Tenn.  They confessed, and were summarily lynched...Henderson Lee, colored, was lynched at Monroe, La., for stealing...Portions of Garland, Yell, and Montgomery counties, Ark., have for some time been under the control of outlaws, who defy the local authorities.  The other day Gov. Berry wrote a letter to the Sheriff of each county saying he had been urged to call out the militia, but saw no necessity for doing so, and urging the Sheriffs to call out large posses to hunt the outlaws down.

The Mississippi Board of Health have ordered that all boats from points below the State must stop for inspection at the Fort Adams station, and will not be allowed to land at ports in the State unless possessed of the necessary papers.

Friday, July 18, 2014

July 18, 1891: Frank Dyce

Lawrence Daily Journal (Lawrence, Kansas) dated July 18, 1891.

Short Work.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., July 18.—At 8 o'clock this morning fifty unknown men entered the jail at Spencer, Indiana, and lynched Frank Dyce, awaiting trial for the murder of Chaney.  They hanged him to the cell door.

The Harrisburg Telegraph from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania gives the victim's name as Frank Dice.

Lynching is color line murder-Ida B. Wells

Thursday, July 17, 2014

July 17, 1910: Three Negroes

The Raleigh Times (Raleigh, N. C.) July 18, 1910:


(By Leased Wire to The Times)

Franklinton, La., July 18—A race war has broken out at Rio Junction, La., and as a result one negro has been lynched and two others fatally shot.  One escaped to the woods and is being hunted by bloodhounds.  The negroes there are arming today and a posse has been sent from here.  The trouble started last night, when, according to the negroes, a drunken white man hit a negro.

Four negroes, the first attacked, were in charge of officers when they were set upon by a mob of white men.  The negroes had been arrested on trivial charges after the trouble caused by the alleged blow struck by the drunken white man.

The mob advanced on the four prisoners, already determined to show no mercy.  As it neared, the leaders cried to the officers to stand back.  A moment later the demand was forced by the crowd.

As the negroes sought to escape the crowd let loose its fury, and the popping of guns startled the entire town, bringing more negroes and whites.  The former were pursued and, when captured, beaten.

At the first volley, the four prisoners surrounded by the crowd dropped.  While they begged for mercy the whites continued to fire, emptying revolvers and shotguns into the victims.

Then a rope was brought, and one of the four strung up while the mob fired into his body.

In the excitement a negro escaped, taking to the heavy timber outside of town, where he eluded his pursuers.

The sight of the victims bodies startled all the negroes to arming.  Whenever found to have weapons on them they were disarmed, but the situation grew steadily worse and a call for aid was sent here. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 16, 1887: John Thomas

From The Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) on July 18, 1887:


John Thomas was Hung by a Mob for Assaulting a Little White Girl—Cool Proceeding After Identification.

CHICAGO, Ill., July 17.—A special from Evansville, Ind., says:  A lynching occurred at Union City, Ky., yesterday.  Early in the week a negro named John Thomas committed a brutal assault on a little white girl.  A posse was organized, and after a long search he was found at Humboldt and brought back.  His preliminary trial was held yesterday.

A large, angry and determined crowd filled the court room.  He was positively identified by his victim.

At this point some one in the crowd shouted, "That's enough; let's put him where he will do no more of the devil's work."  Then the entire court-room of men, numbering perhaps 200 enraged citizens, rose to their feet and with an impulsive rush surged over the posse of officers, sweeping them aside as if though a mere bundle of chaff, and despite their desperate but futile efforts to save Thomas, the maddened throng seized the now trembling and panic stricken wretch, and in an instant a good rope was produced and a noose prepared and slipped about the prisoner's neck.  Willing hands threw the end of the rope over a beam in the courthouse, and then the crowd walked away leaving the body swinging. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

July 15, 1919: Young Negro

Printed in The High Point Enterprise (High Point, N. C.) on July 17, 1919:

Negro Lynched in Mississippi.

Memphis, Tenn., July 17—A young negro, recently discharged from the army, was lynched at Louise, Miss., Tuesday night for having made indecent proposals to a white woman, according to reports received here yesterday.  The man's name was not given.

This article of interest was printed in the Dunkirk Evening Observer (Dunkirk, N. Y.) on April 6, 1885:

Anti-Chinese Societies.

PORTLAND, Ore., April 6.—Strong efforts are being made at Tacoma, W. T., to organize anti-Chinese societies for the purpose of compelling all Celestials to leave the city and of preventing any more from coming there, and violence is apprehended.  Thursday night, masked men went to the farm of Walter McLeod, an old and respected citizen, living near Tacoma, took him from his house and threatened to lynch him and burn his property if he did not discharge all his help.  McLeod has been employing Chinese help on his farm for some time.  After repeating their threats, the men rode away.  McLeod immediately informed the authorities and asked for warrants against the ringleaders.

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 1891: Samuel Gillespie

The articles list Samuel Gillespie as being lynched on the 13th, while the Chicago Daily Tribune has him listed as being lynched on the 14th in their annual lynching lists.  I tend to agree with the Chicago Daily Tribune since all the articles mention him being taken out of jail around midnight, which would technically make the lynching occur early on the 14th.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated July 15, 1891 has an article of the account.


a Negro Lynched in Mississippi For a Slight Offense.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 14.—A lynching, without any apparent adequate cause, occurred last night at Love, a small station on the Illinois Central railroad in DeSoto county, Mississippi.  The victim was a negro named Samuel Gillespie.  Gillespie was arrested yesterday afternoon for rescuing another negro, charged with larceny, from an officer.  Instead of taking Gillespie to Hernando county seat and lodging him in jail, Deputy Sheriff Elder, who had charge of him, concluded to keep him confined in a room at Love until this morning.

About midnight a mob of masked men forced an entrance into the room and took charge of the negro, marched him to a tree a short distance away, tied him and shot him to death.  The corpse was found with twenty-one bullet holes in it.  The coroner held an inquest, the result of which was a verdict that the deceased was shot and killed by persons unknown.  Gillespie was regarded as a bad negro.  He had a fight with a white man about six months ago, and won the battle.

All the other articles gave the same details almost verbatim.  The Waukesha Journal (Waukesha, Wisconsin) dated July 18, 1891 did not think it even worth a whole article.  Instead they wrote only this to say:

Lynched by a Midnight Mob.

—A negro named Samuel Gillespie was lynched at Love, Miss. for rescuing another negro charged with larceny from an officer.

Interestingly, the Chicago Daily Tribune listed the accusation for the lynching of Samuel Gillespie as race prejudice.