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. 

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