Saturday, August 9, 2014

August 8, 1903: Amos Jones

The Bisbee Daily Review (Bisbee, Arizona) dated August 9, 1903:


Mortally Wounded Jailer After the Latter Was Disarmed.

Hattiesburg, Miss., Aug. 8.—A negro, Amos Jones, was hanged by a mob here tonight for shooting and mortally wounding Jailer M. W. Sexton.  Jones and another negro, names McElroy, who were prisoners, seized Sexton, intending to break from jail.  McElroy threw Sexton down and two white youths, also prisoners, held him.  The negroes then disarmed Sexton and Jones shot him, inflicting three wounds that are said to be fatal.

A crowd gathered outside the jail, while a deputy and several others entered and overpower three of the prisoners.  In the confusion McElroy escaped.

The mob then broke into the jail and cut the negro out of his cell with chisels.  He was brought out, a rope was tied around his neck and he was dragged through town to the Gordon creek bridge, where he was hanged to a telegraph pole and bullets were fired into his body.  While the mob was forming and threatening to lynch the white prisoners also, the sheriff spirited them out of the town.

The Topeka Daily Capital (Topeka, Kansas) printed the following article on August 9, 1903:


If Rape Is Stopped There Will Be No More Lynching Bees.

[From Law Notes, New York.]

The tendency to resort to lynching may be partially met by a stern and swift enforcement of the law, and by special legislation directed against this evil, such as the statutes which exist in some states rendering the community or the sheriff liable in damages in cases of lynching.  All these remedies deserve trial, and each will contribute its quota to render lynchings less numerous.  As to the lynchings of negroes, one thing is more important than all the others.  Can moral instruction be so diffused in this race that its bestial members may be taught to shun that crime of crimes before whose perpetration all common sentiments of order and humanity are lost in feelings of outrage and desire for revenge?  We frequently hear it said that rape is the crime for which negroes are lynched at the South, and the suggestion tossed contemptuously aside when bare murders and less offenses are revenged in the same way.  Yet this is the crime for which lynching originated and in certain sections is lauded.  Only the lessened respect for the legal administration of justice caused by the lynching of ravishers leads to lynching for other offenses, and it is probably true that if all semblance of justification for lynching were wiped out by the stopping of unnatural rapes, lynching would cease.  Now when so many offenses of this kind are being reported, it is significant to find in a paper of the Pacific coast, the Portland Oregonian, these editorial utterances:  "There is one remedy for lynching that is little discussed, but which would prove effective, and that is for these negro ravishers to let white women and girls alone.  If they will stop this one crime, justice will be permitted to take its measured way with other offenses.  This it is which sets every woman in the country against them, and is rapidly losing for them the sympathy and forbearance of erstwhile denunciators of the lynching-bee.  The negro can stop lynching tomorrow.  Let him let white girls alone.   . . . It is the only way.  We have heard enough of pleas for the poor negro burnt at the stake.  Let us hear something now for these helpless children, in virgin innocence and the beautiful freshness of youth, in whose thoughts nothing ever came but prayer that God would bless 'all the world,' who are condemned to a fate infinitely worse than death by one whom they have never wronged.  Lynch law is irregular and burning is unnatural, but neither is more irregular and unnatural than the crime avenged."  Here a thought arises.  Rape is not a capital crime in many states, but popular sentiment in cases where it is unprovoked approves of the death penalty for it.  A law which punishes rape with a mere term of imprisonment is an invitation to lynch the vile perpetrator of this offense.

What pray tell is a natural rape?  Is it one within your own race or one committed against any race but Caucasian?  

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