Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 20, 1881: William Fenton

Today's lynching comes from The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana) dated August 21, 1881:


A Murderer Lynched.

Last Friday night, about 10 o'clock, the citizens of Vermilion were aroused from their peaceful slumber by the intelligence of a most revolting crime.  The unfortunate victims were a colored woman and her daughter, aged 14 years, wife and child of Pine Henderson, colored, and the murderer a negro named William Fenton.  The particulars of the crime, near as we have been able to learn, are as follows:  At about half-past 9 Friday night Fenton was at the colored Baptist church, and upon being offered a seat by Henderson he thanked him and departed, proceeding directly to Henderson's house, situated a short distance from the church, on Mrs. O'Brien's plantation.  What transpired in the house, remains a mystery; but stern reality is that the body of Henderson's wife was found about 20 yards from the house in a horribly mutilated condition, she having received six strokes from an ax, one hand being cut off, a side cut in her right leg, one over the shoulder, the back of her head split open, a fearful blow in her left breast, cutting her heart in two, and finally, the head almost severed from her body by a cut across the throat.  The girl's body was found about three-fourths of a mile from the house, her head having been smashed and her person bearing evident signs that she had been raped.  Suspicion pointed strongly towards Fenton, he was arrested that night and put in the Abbeville jail.  Upon being interviewed the next morning, he confessed his guilt, and about 10 o'clock he was taken out of the jail by the white and colored citizens of the parish and lynched to a tree.—Sugar Bowl.

The Italics are the paper's and not mine.  I have no idea what Sugar Bowl means in this context, perhaps someone can enlighten me.

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