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. 

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