Thursday, August 28, 2014

August 28, 1891: James Dudley

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated August 29, 1891:


A Negro Murderer Taken from Jail and Hanged.

LEXINGTON, Ky., August 28.—A special to The Transcript from Georgetown, Ky., says:  At 8 o'clock this morning a mob of 150 men came into town and taking the negro murderer of Frank Hughes out of jail hung him to a tree.  The mob came in from the direction of the Peak's mill neighborhood.  They came on horses and in vehicles.  they hitched at the outskirts of the town and walked into the jail.

They knocked on the door and demanded admission.  The jailer finally came down and was immediately seized and the keys taken from him.  They then made him show them Dudley's cell, and at once proceeded to take Dudley out.   A shot was fired in the jail, which greatly terrified the Kendals, [sic] who supposed the mob had come for them.  Dudley was taken out Frankfort pike and stood on a stone wall, under a tree with a limb extending over the pike.  He was asked if he had anything to say, and replied that he was sorry he had killed Hughes, as he was a friend of his, and that he shot him accidentally.  Some one in the crowd yelled, "We will now hang you accidentally," and it was immediately done.  The crowd then fired a fusillade of shots and went away in the direction whence they came.

A great crowd of negroes went out to the scene and made many threats of vengeance, but the authorities are prepared to preserve order at any hazard.  The women were particularly demonstrative, some declaring that their husbands had no spunk and that they ought to burn every house in town and kill every white person.

The story of the murder is found in The Journal News (Hamilton, Ohio) on August 26, 1891:

Kentucky Farmer Murdered.

LOUISVILLE, Aug. 26.—Frank Hughes, a wealthy Kentucky farmer at Woodlake, Ky., was murdered in a brutal manner by one of his farm hands, named John Dudley, last night.  The latter suspected Hughes of being too intimate with his wife.  Thinking the latter was in Hughes' room he broke open the door and, without waiting to verify his suspicions, emptied a shotgun into his victim's body, killing him instantly.  Finding that he had made a fatal mistake, he surrendered to the authorities and coolly pleaded self-defense.  The murdered man is connected with many of the best families in Kentucky.  The murderer will probably be lynched.

In case you were wondering why the Kendalls were worried that the mob was coming for them, it is because they were involved in a feud with the Jarvis family.  The feud ended in 1908 when the last surviving member of the Jarvis family died.  I don't know what year it started.

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