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.

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