Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September 30, 1888: Sam Cornwell

Join me for a journey into our not always pleasant history.  Today we make two stops for our lynching articles.  Our first stop is The Topeka Daily Capital (Topeka, Kansas) dated October 2, 1888:

Colored Man Lynched for Quarrelling.

COLUMBIA, S. C., October 1.—Sam Cornwell (colored) was lynched last night by whites for quarrelling with Tom White, a white man.

I only found two articles for our journey, the first one I thought was concise and to the point.  The second one gives us more detail and is found in The Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) on October 2, 1888:


A Negro Brutally Shot while in the Custody of a Constable.

ST. LOUIS, Mo., October 1.—A special from Columbia, S. C., says Sam Cornwell, colored, was brutally lynched in Chester county last night. Cornwell and a white man named Tom Smith had a quarrel. A peace warrant was made out against the negro and was given to Constable Lippard to execute. The constable, accompanied by three other white men, among them Tom Smith, arrested Cornwell and started for the courthouse with the prisoner. This morning the body of Cornwell with fifteen bullets through it was found by the roadside.

That is all I could find on the lynching of Sam Cornwell.  I hope you will continue this journey through history with me to an interesting article found in The New York Age (New York, N. Y.) on June 22, 1916:


Southerner Specifies What Must Be Done to End Defiance of Law.


One Everlasting, Fundamental and Eternal Gospel to be Preached, Then There will be No Justification for Race Hatred.


Declared that White Men Must Start a Crusade Against White Vultures who Prey on Colored Girls—Many Times Fifty Colored Girls Seduced by Lowdown White Men—Few Lynchings Due to Rapings.

A strong and noteworthy expression on the lynching problem was recently made by a Southern white man, W. D. Weatherford author of "Negro Life in the South" and "Present Forces in Negro Progress." Mr. Weatherford was addressing the Southern Sociological Congress, which was holding a session at New Orleans. He stated at the outset that lynching was only common in those countries where the government was weak or poorly established.

Mr. Weatherford disagrees with those who attribute attacks on women as a cause for lynchings. He cites the record made by the slave coachmen during the war in controversion of this charge. Entering into a detailed discussion of lynching, its causes and its effects, Mr. Weatherford spoke as follows:

"Whatever the explanation of the origin of this horrible crime, there can be no doubt that it is greatly increased by the racial antagonisms which have grown up since the war, and as we shall see later, one means of prevention must of necessity be the removal of race hatred and social injustice.

The Causes of Lynching.

"Viewed from the standpoint of those who compose the mob, the causes of lynching have been variously stated. Some have thought that lynching was simply a perverted instinct; that it is a survival of the instinct of the chase, and has in it an element of bloodthirstiness which is satisfied in war and the killing of game. This may have some justification, but to me it does not seem a sufficient explanation.

"Others have supposed that it is the appeal to brute force as the only means which men have found adequate and drastic enough to awaken hardened and brutal men. Still others have defended it on the basis that it is the only punishment that will strike terror to the heart of the criminal classes and thus prevent further crimes. Again, it has been defended on the ground that it is the only way to punish the criminal and at the same time shield from public attention the one against whom the crime has been committed. Some have even been willing to defend lynching on the ground that it is the only form of vengeance which will bring any degree of relief to the male relatives of the wronged person.

"However plausible these arguments in favor of lynching may seem to the inflamed mind, not one of them will stand the scrutiny of a sober mind.

Lynching Does Not Prevent Crime.

"It is a well-known fact that lynching does not prevent crime. It is a well-established fact that lynchings tend to repeat themselves in certain localities. The hardening effect of one lynching tends definitely to the increase of the most horrible of crimes.

"It should be noticed first of all that all persons lynched have not been men, and all men lynched have not been Negroes. The first lynchings in this country were perpetrated on Indians, later on desperate white men, then later on Negroes, and recently on white men and women who have committed such crimes as to arouse violent popular hatred. According to Mr. Cutler (Lynch Law), of the 3,337 lynchings between 1882 and 1903, 2,060 were Negroes, 1,169 were whites, 108 were foreigners and Indians. Forty of the colored and twenty-three of the whites were women.

"It should next be noted that the overwhelming majority of colored lynchings (66 per cent.) are not for criminal assault at all. Of all the colored men lynched, only 34 per cent. of them were lynched for the one awful crime of assault on white women. Thirty-eight per cent. were lynched for murder, 10 per cent. for minor offences, 5 per cent. for arson, and in the remaining 8 per cent. for unclassified or petty crimes, and, indeed, in some cases, for no crimes at all. Of those lynched for minor offences, there were ninety-one different causes given, varying from jilting a girl and throwing stones, up to kidnapping.

What Must Be Done.

"Six specific things must be done if we are to remove the stigma of lynching from the South.

"First, we must have such changes in court procedure as will insure prompt and just punishment of criminals, particularly in cases of criminal assault. There is no particle of doubt that many lynchings take place because of apprehension on the part of the people that the courts will dally with the case until the lesson taught from prompt administration of justice will be lost.

"Second, we white men must start a crusade against the white vultures who prey on colored girls. If there were fifty white women assaulted by Negroes in 1916, I have no doubt there were many times that many colored girls seduced by low-down white men.

"Third, the leaders of the Negro race must begin to preach a crusade against Negro brutes who commit this terrible crime.

"Fourth, white and colored alike must unite in uncovering every criminal and bringing every offender to justice promptly and without evasion. White men must guarantee safety to every man who is waiting trial, and color men must cease to defend every scalawag by saying it is a case of race prejudice. The white man is criminally guilty of neglecting to give every man a due trial, and not a few colored men are guilty of trying to make martyrs of every Negro charged with criminal assault.

"Fifth, we must inspire new respect for law in the hearts of our younger generation. Every case of lynching is a direct blow at stable government. No nation can continue as a law-abiding commonwealth when its laws are constantly defied by those who claim to be the defenders of justice. When any group undertakes to administer justice unlawfully, it soon results that the lawless element of that group gets into control, and we have a reign of anarchy. This is the present situation in regard to lynching.

"Sixth, we must inculcate a deep respect for personality if we are to remove the cause of lynching. We lynched Negroes first because we thought we respected womanhood, but the hideous scenes of lynching so hardened our hearts as to make us bold to lynch women, even white women, in whose defence we first practiced this horrible cruelty. Lynching has brutalized every community where it has been practiced, and has sowed the dragon teeth for a new harvest of crime.

Sacredness of the Person.

"If we are to remove lynching, the one everlasting , fundamental and eternal gospel we must preach is the sacredness of the person. That means that, since the person is sacred, we cannot despise any, and there can be no justification for race hatred. On the peril of losing all my respects for rights, privileges and law, I, as a white man, dare not hate a Negro, and, what is just as much to the point, the Negro, on the same penalty, dare not hate a white man.

"Lynching does not strike terror to the heart of any race; it rather arouses the devil in them to do their worst. Lynching never shields the victim of assault from public notice; it rather throws her into the most lurid limelight.

"Lynching does not prevent crime, because it brutalizes all who take part, and arouses bitter resentment in the hearts of the class to whom the victim belongs. Lynching is not lawful punishment of individual crime; it is criminal procedure against the stability of the State and the safety of the whole public. All revengeful dealing is answered by new revenge, and every lynching sows the seeds for a dozen or more murders and assaults.

"Prompt administration of justice, a deeper respect for law, a fundamental respect for personality, and the eradication for all class and race prejudices; these will bring about a new public sentiment, which will make lynching impossible. To the propagation of these great issues every law-abiding citizen should give himself."

Mr. Weatherford's address made such a deep impression that the delegates voted unanimously to give it the widest publicity in the press and to publish it in pamphlet form.

Thank you for joining me on this journey to the past, and as always I hope I leave you with something to ponder.   

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 1919: Robert Croskey and Miles Phifer

Join me for a jaunt to the past where we will learn about a lynching from several newspaper accounts.  Today we travel to The New York Times (New York, N. Y.) on September 30, 1919:

2 Alabama Negroes Lynched; Mob Takes Them from Officials

MONTGOMERY, Ala., Sept. 29.—Two negroes, Miles Phifer and Robert Croskey, the latter a discharged soldier, were taken from county officials about five miles from Montgomery late today and shot to death by a mob of about twenty-five masked men. The negroes were charged with having assaulted white women.

The negroes were being taken to the State prison at Wetumpka for safekeeping when the mob held up the automobile carrying them. The mob forced the county officials to surrender their prisoner.

The mob took the negroes into a wood, released them and told them to run. The frightened negroes made little effort and were only a few yards distant when the mob opened fire. Phifer was instantly killed, but Crosky lived several hours.

The previous article was the longest I found detailing the lynching. The following was the second longest, others were just a few lines reporting that they were lynched and no more. All the articles used the name Miles for Phifer except the following article from The Huntington Herald (Huntington, Indiana) dated September 30, 1919:

Robert Croskey and Relius Phifer, negroes who were committed to the circuit court in a preliminary hearing Monday morning on charges of criminal assault on white women were dragged from an automobile at Hughes Ferry Monday afternoon at 3:30 by a masked mob of more than fifty men and riddled with bullets. Croskey lived five hours, however, the mob leaving him on the ground in a dying condition.

Our final leg of this journey is a list of negro soldiers who were lynched in 1919. It is a shame that after serving their country in WWI this is the legacy remaining. The following article was published on May 22, 1920 in The Muskogee Cimeter (Muskogee, Oklahoma):


The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 70 Fifth avenue, New York, today published a statement showing that nine colored ex-soldiers had been lynched in the United States during 1919. Of the nine, two were burned to death, two were hanged, four were shot and one was beaten.

One of the colored soldiers was shot to death because he did not turn out of the road soon enough for passing white men. The list follows:

Colored Soldiers Lynched During 1919.

March 14—Castlebury, Fla., Bud Johnson, burned to death. Said to have confessed to attack on white woman.

April 9—Pickens, Miss., admitted he had hired a woman to write an insulting note to a white woman.

May 21—Eldorado, Ark., Frank Livingston, charged with killing his employer and the latter's wife; burned to death.

July 15—Louise, Miss., Robert Truett, lynched for having made indecent proposals to a white woman. Hanged.

August—Fayette County, Ga., Charles Kelly, shot to death by white man because he did not turn out of the road soon enough.

August 14—Pope City, Ga., Jim Grant, alleged to have shot a white man and his son. Hanged.

Sept. 29—Montgomery, Ala., Robert Croskey, charged with having assaulted a white woman. Shot.

Sept. 3.—Star City, Ark., Flinton Briggs, accused of having insulted white woman. Shot.

Dec. 21.—Smithville, Ga., Charles West, accused of murder of white man. Shot.

Thank you for joining me on this journey to the past. As always I hope I have given you something to ponder.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

September 28, 1885: Jerry Finch, his wife, Lee Tyson and John Pattishill

Today's lynching is found in the Lawrence Daily Journal (Lawrence, Kansas) dated September 30, 1885:

A Quadruple Murder.

RALEIGH, N. C., Sept. 29.—Last night, four negroes, Jerry Finch, his wife, Lee Tyson and John Pattishill, were lynched one mile from Pittsboro, Chatham county. They were taken from the jail, and their bodies were found this morning suspended from a tree near the public road. This is a sequel to the triple murder of the Finch family on the night of the 4th of last July, and the murder of the Gunter family some eighteen months ago. There were two of the Finch family:  Edward, aged 79, and his sister, aged 81. They were found on the morning of Sunday, July 5th, lying on the floor with their throats cut. Near them lay their servant, a negro boy, aged 16. All had been knocked on the head with an ax.

Suspicion rested early on a negro, Jerry Finch, and he was arrested. It was a great task from the first to prevent a lynching of these parties. Lee Tryon [sic] was afterwards arrested, and some time later John Pattishill was taken on a charge of being concerned in the Gunter murder, and possibly in the Finch murder.

The verdict of the coroner's jury was long delayed, they feeling that if it was adverse to the prisoners they would be promptly lynched. The verdict, when rendered, was against the prisoners. The majority of the people appear to be satisfied that these people were guilty of both murders, for the two were mysteriously connected.

Thank you for joining me today and as always, I hope I have given you something to ponder.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

September 27, 1896: Harris Boone

Today in our journey to the past we have two stops. One for today's lynching and another for an article of interest. Our first stop is found in the Murfreesboro Index (Murfreesboro, N. C.) on October 2, 1896:

Made Short Work of Him.

A special to the Morning News from Sparta, Ga., says:  "Harris Boone, colored, was shot to death by a party of citizens at this place early Sunday morning. Harris had raised a disturbance, and when Town Marshal Bowen ordered him to desist the negro shot the officer. Citizens enraged at the assassination of David Silver a few hours before by a negro riddled Boone's body with bullets. Parties are scouring the country for the assassin of Silver. If caught, he will be lynched."

Our next stop is The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) on September 30, 1890 where we find this gem:


Cowardly Deed of Masked Men in Alabama.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Sept. 29.—[Special.]—News was received here today of a horrible white cap outrage which occurred in Calhoun county on Saturday night. A band of masked men went to the house of Mrs. Jane Cody, a widow, and dragged her from bed with the intention of flogging her. They started to the woods, but she broke away and started to run. She had gone only a short distance when a volley was fired, and a load of buckshot took effect in her side, inflicting a fatal wound. The white caps fled when the woman fell, and she lay there until morning when she was found. She was unable to describe her murderous assailants. So far as known, Mrs. Cody's only offense was that the gossips of the neighborhood reported that men visited her house at night. A secret band of regulators had been organized to rid the neighborhood of worthless and immoral characters. This was their first work, and will probably be their last, as the sheriff is making every effort to have them identified and arrested.

Thank you for joining me on this journey to the past, and as always I hope I have left you with something to ponder.

Friday, September 26, 2014

September 26, 1897: Raymond Bushrod

Join me in a look at the past through a column in the Daily News-Democrat printed September 27, 1897:


It Culminates at the End of a Rope at Hawesville, Ky.


Negro Ravisher is Hanged, After Making a Revolting Confession—Women Witness the Act and Cheer for the Lynchers.

Hawesville, Ky., Sept. 27.—at five  a.m. Sunday, in the presence of 800 infuriated people, Raymond Bushrod, a negro, was lynched as a penalty for a hellish assault upon the person of 14-year-old Maggie Roberts on Saturday. He was hanged from a limb of a tree in the courthouse yard. Bushrod was from Rockport, Ind., and had just served a term in the county jail for theft. Saturday afternoon near Petri, three miles from this place, he met the little Roberts girl, and after outraging her beat  and bruised her with an iron coupling pin and left her on the railroad grade to die.

The news of the revolting outrage spread and searching parties were sent in every direction. He was captured in hiding under the waiting station at Falcon, a mining town four miles below the scene of the crime. Bushrod fell in with a fortunate crowd of four who brought him quietly to Hawesville and surrendered him to the jailer while the town was deserted searching for him. In the meantime the officers got wind of a mob and he was secretly guarded in the graveyard on the hill until morning, when he was again locked up. But the people had been determined all day. Early they came, afoot, on horseback, in wagons and in trains. They were impatient for darkness to cover the ground. It was rumored that the militia would arrive at 4:40 from Owensboro for his protection. The angry crowd would not stand this and they placed trusty sentinels on the hill overlooking to give a sign if the train bore such protection. They failed to come, but at this time the officers thought it opportune to play a ruse, and the mob, now already furious, were led to believe that he had escaped from behind and a hot pursuit followed.

The trail was followed only a square when the broad, open attempt to spirit Bushrod over the hills and out of town was discovered. A few well-chosen guards, however, stayed at the jail, and as he was brought out the mob formed in front and the officers were made to yield. The excitement at this time was intense. At five o'clock the march to the court square, but a few steps away, was begun. Halting in front of a great, shady poplar, with limbs and twigs overhanging the most public street in town, a selection was made. Some delay was caused for want of a rope, but directly a bran [sic] new half inch plow line was furnished and everything was in readiness for the first lynching in Hancock county.

A Revolting Confession.

In the meantime Bushrod was given an opportunity for confession and prayer, His confession was complete. He stated that he was guilty and this was the third offenses, one successful effort having been made upon his 60-year-old aunt. After offering up his last supplication, a long and fervent prayer on bended knee, the signal to haul away was given, and, with pinioned arms behind and legs beneath,  he was dangled between brick and tree. The applause as he went up deafening. It only showed the determination of the people. In about four minutes he was pronounced dead and Coroner Mitchell, viewing the body, cut it down and summoned a jury, whose verdict was that Bushrod came to his death at the hands of unknown parties.

Mob Cheered by Women.

After a great deal of idle curiosity was gratified the crowd and mob quietly dispersed, and there not three men in Hancock county that are ready to say that a wrong has been done. No action by the authorities against any member of the mob is likely. During the entire time of the lynching not less than 200 women were on the hill and hillside overlooking the public square, and when his dangling form went up cheers upon top of cheers from them rent the air. In fact, the women gave a double reassurance to the ones engaged that the proper punishment was being meted out.

Thank you for joining me, and always I hope I've given you something to ponder. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

September 25, 1896: Jim Hawkins

I feel a need to warn of graphic descriptions in the following article. Lynching is never a pleasant subject, but this is the most graphic description of a lynched body that I have so far reported. 

Today's lynching comes from The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana) dated September 28, 1896:


And the Gretna Officials Know Now That Jim Hawkins

Was Taken from Jail, Beaten, Lynched and Drowned.

A Hundred Pounds of Iron Failed to Keep the Secret.

The Body is Buried on the Batture at the Expense of the Disgraced Parish. 

The body of Jim Hawkins, who was lynched a few nights ago near Gretna by  a Jefferson parish mob, came to the surface of the river near Harvey's canal and was buried on the batture, after an inquest by the coroner.

The arrest of the negro, the lynching which followed and the discovery of the disgusting object yesterday makes up a story  of crime which surpasses any act of lawlessness committed in years.

Jim Hawkins last Tuesday struck a child at McDonoghville, a town some three miles below Gretna, and when he was about to be arrested by the police he attempted to use a hatchet he had been working with. An Affidavit was sworn to and that night a search was made for the negro. The police received information that Hawkins had taken refuge in the cabin occupied by Alex Green, an aged negro, and they surrounded the house. Green was requested to come outside and tell what he knew of Hawkins, but he refused, and, instead, walked out of a rear door towards a stable. It was his intention to give an old man living in the stable a gun and together fight off the police. He claimed, after he was arrested, that he thought it was a mob come to take him out and kill him. When the police entered his rear yard Green fired two shots, and, in return, received a flesh wound about the abdomen. His son, Arthur Green, a 16-year-old boy, seeing that his father was wounded, ran to his rescue, and, picking up a musket, was about to fire a shot, when he received a bullet through the lungs.

Hawkins had disappeared, but the following day was arrested in Algiers. It was about sundown when he arrived at Gretna, and was locked in the police jail pending his arraignment before the police judge. It is the custom in the town to confine all prisoners charged with light offenses in this prison. That night the jail was broken open and the negro lynched.

A police officer found the broken lock on the gallery of the prison and reported the occurrence to several residents in the town.

The mob must have worked very quietly, for the residents on the other side of the street, only fifty feet away, knew nothing of the affair until the following morning.

From the fact that Hawkins' body was found in the river, weighted down with all manner of old iron, the public and police are led to believe that he was taken up the river about a mile or two from Harvey's canal and hung to a tree on the batture or on the roadside.

It was about 6 o'clock yesterday when the body was discovered floating in the river just a few yards from Harvey's canal. The Louisiana avenue ferry was just crossing the river, and was about to land at the canal, when John Scully, one of the deck hands, noticed an object floating just above the water. As the boat approached he made out the outlines of the body. A boat hook was secured and the remains, bloated and eaten by the fish, were pushed to a point where there is a cut in the batture. There it was made fast and a message sent to Gretna for the police. Dr. George Rossner, the coroner of the parish, was also notified, and about 8 o'clock he arrived to view the remains. A jury composed of Messrs. Alphonse Deley, E. P./ Scott, Thomas Lane and Steve Miller was impaneled, and efforts were at once made to have the body removed to shore. The weights had not been discovered, and it was not until several unsuccessful attempts to lift the body out of the water were made that the jury saw that not only had the mob performed their horrible work, but they had attempted to hide their crime by burying the body in the bottom of the river.

A short way from the point where the body was first brought to shore there is a run used to haul logs from the river for a barrel factory. The rotting remains were hauled to this point and then brought to the batture for inspection. The sight was a horrible one. The feet had been firmly bound and the hands tied behind the back, while several rags bound the negro's mouth tight, and between his teeth was jammed another cloth. Around the broken neck was a long new rope, and the ends of the rope made fast to the body several large pieces of iron, weighing about 100 pounds.

The clothes had almost been torn off, and the eyes half eaten out, while the tongue hung from the bruised and swollen lips, showing that the miserable creature suffered horribly.

Crowds had come to see the remains, and they were sickened by the disgusting sight. When the body reached the shore it was found that the bottom of a large stove had been bound to the back, while on one leg was the top of an old-style sewing machine, and a half cogwheel  on the other. The body was swollen terribly , and even the mother of the wretch could not recognize the remains. The mob, after hanging the negro, had evidently taken off the rope, knotted it in the middle and tied it around the neck so as to use the ends in making the irons secure.

The jury, after its brief investigation, brought in a verdict of death at the hands of an unknown mob of men. There was but one mark about the body, besides the bruised lips, which showed that violence had been used in binding the negro. There was a dent in the back of the negro's head, which showed that he had been struck with some hard and round object, possibly a hammer.

Chief Martin had arrived previous to the coroner, and began a series of investigations, but after hours of work could learn absolutely nothing. The mob had worked with the utmost quietness, and it was late at night, evidently, for there was no one up when the affair occurred. The chief has not given up the search, however, and will continue until he is satisfied that the hunt for the members of the mob has become hopeless.

The crowd's of people who came both from Gretna and this side of the river to view the remains soon became thoroughly sickened and retired, leaving the corpse with the police and parish officials. The old mother and sister of the negro were notified of the discovery, and they came up in a little wagon. At first there was a hope on the old woman's face that the police had been mistaken, for it was utterly impossible to identify the remains, so far had the decomposition advanced. However, the clothing and shoes of the negro were at once recognized, and the remains were turned over to the parish for burial. Nearby, on the batture, a deep hole was dug, and here the body was buried.

Sheriff Morrero learned of the affair shortly after the discovery, and, together with the police, will attempt an investigation, However, affairs of that kind are generally well planned and executed, and there is but little hope of a discovery, or of bringing the guilty mob to justice.

I had never heard the word batture before, and so I looked it up. From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:  


 noun \ba-ˈt(y)r\

Full Definition—the alluvial land between a river at low-water stage and a levee —used especially of such land along the lower Mississippi river

Origin—Louisiana French, from French battre to strike + -ure 

Because I was confused for what crime Jim Hawkins was lynched, I am including another short article to help clear things. This article comes from The Beaver Herald (Beaver, Oklahoma) dated October 1, 1896:

MASKED men broke into the Gretna jail, near New Orleans, and took out Jim Hawkins—a negro who had been confined on a charge of assault and battery on a little white boy—gave him a brief time to pray and then hanged him. The cause of the lynching was his generally bad reputation, the people having a dread of him.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September 24, 1896: John Fitch

Today's article is from the Lawrence Daily Journal (Lawrence, Kansas) dated September 25, 1896:


BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Sept. 25.—John Fitch, colored, was lynched near Chapel Hill, Charleston county. He had broken into the room of Miss Harrington, daughter of Judge Harrington, a few evenings ago, but was driven away. Yesterday he was arrested, and was taken by a masked mob and lynched while en route to jail.

I noticed that several of the articles (which all are pretty much the same) mention it occurred in Charleston county. As I live in Alabama, I was surprised that I had no idea where Charleston county is located. I looked up the counties of Alabama, and sure enough there is no Charleston county.  I read through a few more articles and finally found one in the Vancouver Daily World that places the event of the lynching in Choctaw county.

This interesting tidbit comes from The Seattle Republican (Seattle, Washington) dated August 29, 1902:

Because of the fact that he was severely censured by the Southern Press because of an article written by him in the Atlantic Monthly on the Negro Problem, Andrew Sledd, professor of Latin in Emery College, tendered his resignation to Pres. Jas. E. Dickey. In the article Prof. Sledd stated that the Negro is not given his rights in the South and that the majority of them lynched is not for the crime of assault but for crimes of mostly petty character. He also stated that the white people of the South have a natural born prejudice against the Negro and regard him as the most inferior being when compared with members of other races. For these truthful acts and plain utterances Prof, Sledd was branded as a South hater and such scurrilous articles appeared in Southern journals against him that he decided to resign.—Associated Press from Atlanta, Ga.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September 23, 1892: William Sullivan

After searching for quite a while tonight, and finding several false leads, I finally found a lynching for the 23rd. It is in the Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) dated January 1, 1893 under the title "Work of Judge Lynch" and the month of September:

23.  William Sullivan, colored, rape, Plantersville, Tex.

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22, 1907: Mose Dossett

Today's journey is brought to us through the writings of The Washington Post (Washington, D. C.) printed on September 23, 1907:


Assailant of 90-year-old Woman Taken from Officers.

Negro in Alabama Hanged to Tree Which Had Been Scaffold of Two Others Within Year.

Pritchard Station, Ala. Sept. 22.—Mose Dossett, a negro, was lynched here to-day for an attempted criminal assault upon Mrs. J. Breeder, a white woman, ninety years old. Dossett was hanged to the same tree from which two negroes, Jim Robinson and Will Thompson, were lynched almost exactly one year ago for assaults upon small white girls.

Dossett's alleged assault was committed last night in Whistler, Ala.

Mrs. Breeder identified him as her assailant, and he was then spirited away from Whistler by two deputy sheriffs in a wagon en route for Mobile for safe keeping. About 2 o'clock this morning in a downpour of rain, while the wagon was passing through some woods, masked and armed men sprang out on all sides commanding the deputies to give up the prisoner.

No resistance was made. Dossett confessed the crime, and was immediately hanged, and one shot was fired to hasten his death.

The lynching of Thompson and Robinson last year was very similar, both being en route to Mobile for safe keeping. In their case the cunning of the officers guarding them saved their lives for nearly twenty-four hours against attempts of several mobs. Pritchard Station is within six miles of Mobile.

It all seems very cut and dry, but I'd like us to take another stop on our journey, through the pages of the Belvidere Daily Republican (Belvidere, Illinois) on the date of October 1, 1907:


Brute Seizes Woman at Whistler, Ala., and Is Pursued.

Mobile, Ala., Oct, 1.—Sheriff Casalas and a posse have gone to Whistler to begin pursuit of an unknown negro who seized Mrs. Johnson at her front gate early Monday night. She screamed and the negro fled. A neighbor shot at him several times as he ran. The negro is said to have purchased a ticket and boarded a north-bound train. The sheriff took blood hounds with him. This is the place where an attempt was made on Mrs. Breeder two weeks ago, for which one negro, Mose Dossett, was lynched.

Thank you for traveling through history with me, and as always I hope I have given you something to ponder.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

September 21, 1916: Bert Dudley

Follow me on a journey to the past. Our first stop is The Emporia Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) on September 21, 1916:


Bert Dudley, Convicted of Murder of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Muller, Denied His Guilt.



Mob Supposed To Have Been Made Up of Men From Neighboring Towns—Their Crime Was Committed Early This Morning.

Olathe, Kan., Sept. 21.—Bert Dudley, charged with the murder of Henry Muller, an aged German and his wife, was taken from the Johnson County jail here early this morning by a masked mob and hanged to a telephone pole.

The mob came to Olathe in motor cars, supposedly from near Stilwell, where the Mullers had lived. Sheriff Lon Carroll refused to give up Dudley, and the mob overpowered him. Then they battered down three jail doors. Several shots were fired, but none was injured. The murder of which Dudley was convicted last Tuesday, was committed near Stilwell, seventeen miles southeast of here, August 20. Dudley, who was an ex-convict, was employed as a farm hand, and killed Muller because of an altercation over a team of mules which he wished to borrow to do some road work. Mrs. Muller was killed when she asked Dudley what had become of her husband.

The crime was not discovered for several days. Dudley, after having hidden the bodies in an abandoned cellar, lived at the Muller home with a boy whom he had hired to aid in the farm work. When he endeavored to sell a load of wheat from the farm, an investigation was started that led to the discovery of the murder.

The jury which convicted him was out only fifteen minutes.

The mob was well organized and apparently led by one man. It came into Olathe quietly. The lights of the dozen motor cars were dimmed by coats thrown over them, and the license tags removed. One man went to the jail first and called Sheriff Carroll, whose residence is there, out of bed, with a story that a man had been hurt in a motor car accident. As he came downstairs, he was seized from behind. He fired two or three times with his revolver, but was overpowered and his hands were tied behind his back. Mrs. Carroll ran out a back door of the jail with the keys and threw them in the grass. Members of the mob, unable to find them, broke into a garage opposite the jail and began battering down the doors, three of which separated them from Dudley.

Carroll was taken into the jail by the mob, and was a silent witness of the work. Mrs. Carroll, who was outside the jail, called the fire department, an undersheriff and A. G. Carberry, the city marshal. The fire department threw streams of water upon the men still outside until they were forced to desist by a display of revolvers. The undersheriff and Marshal Carberry were overpowered, tied and taken into the jail. Just as the door to Dudley's cell was broken down, someone struck Carberry on the back of the head with a revolver and rendered him unconscious.

Dudley was taken out and his hands tied. He was asked if he had committed the crime.

"So help me God, I did not do it," he is quoted as having said.

He was taken to the motor cars, a block from the jail, and the mob went to the edge of town on an extension of the road that, coincidently [sic], is known as Dudley street. The convicted man's feet were tied and he was again asked whether he committed the crime. Again he denied it, being quoted as saying:

"No, I did not do it."

A forty-foot rope was thrown over an arm of a telephone pole and he was pulled up, his feet being nearly ten feet from the ground. Then the mob, for the first time it had entered the town nearly an hour before, began yelling and shouting. A number of shots were fired at the body, six of which struck it. The mob, convinced that Dudley was dead, got into the motor cars again and started south, on a road leading toward Stilwell. It is supposed they were neighbors of the murdered couple, although all were masked.

One man seemed to direct all the operations, it is said. At one time, according to rumors, the leader was forced to compel the mob to give up the plan of taking Dudley to the abandoned cellar where the bodies of Muller and his wife were found and burn him there.

A few minutes after the mob had departed Sheriff Carroll, who had been left at the jail, and other officers cut down Dudley's body.

Our next stop is The Wichita Beacon (Wichita, Kansas) on September 22, 1916:


Olathe's Sheriff's Wife Relieves Him of All Night Worries.

Judge Who Sentenced Bert Dudley Forced to See Lynching.

Olathe, Kas., Sept. 22.—The mob spirit, and the mob, for that matter, that lynched Bert Dudley, convicted slayer of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Muller at Stilwell may have originated in Stilwell. But Stilwell didn't know Dudley had been lynched until C. L. Randall, county attorney of Johnson County, and E. Carroll, the suspended sheriff, told the news when they visited Stilwell late yesterday afternoon.

Stilwell was astounded to learn that the rumors it had heard were true. Everybody in the town asked Mr. Carroll and Mr. Randall for the details. After spending two hours trying to find some clew in Stilwell that might lead to the identity of the mob, Mr. Carroll and Mr. Randall returned to Olathe last night.

Heard Mob Southeast.

The first definite information as to where the mob came from was given by M. T. Meredith, treasurer of Johnson County. He heard the procession of motor cars pass his house about midnight. Mr. Meredith lives five miles southeast of Olathe. The motor cars passed his home coming from the southeast.

Mr. Carroll, automatically suspended from office for allowing a prisoner to be taken from him and lynched, late yesterday afternoon sent his application for reinstatement to Governor Capper. The application was drawn up by S. B. Scott, the attorney appointed by Judge A. O. Rankin to defend Dudley in his trial. It will be at least ten days before Carroll can be reinstated, the county attorney said.

Mrs. Carroll Always on Job.

Mrs. Caroll [sic] is her husbands relief watch. She is "Fluffy" to her husband, and relieves him of all worries of his office at night. Mrs. Carroll is tall, slender and wakeful at nights. "I haven't had a good night's sleep since Mr. Carroll became sheriff," she said. Her eyes are blue and her hair blonde.

Judge Rankin of Paola, before whom Dudley was tried, was a helpless witness to the delivery of Dudley. He was aroused from his hotel by the assault of the mob on the jail doors and hurried to the jail. Pushing his way through the crowd, Judge Rankin attempted to enter the jail to plead for the prisoner's life.

Judge Was Warned.

A masked man halted him and pointed a revolver at the judge. "You'd better get out of here," the member of the mob warned him, "or someone is likely to get hurt."

Judge Rankin retired to the spectators circle. He went through the crowd trying to find enough men to form a resisting party. He found the onlookers trembling and not in the mood to offer opposition. He went back to his hotel.

Take Up Investigation.

Investigation by the county officials got under way here today into the mob which yesterday broke into the Johnson County jail and lynched Bert Dudley, slayer of Henry Muller, aged German farmer , and his wife.  A. L. Randall, county attorney, began issuance of subpoenas for witnesses of the mob's work for an inquiry that possibly will be started later today. Preparations were also being made for an inquest, although legal technicalities have held this up, and citizens began agitation for a grand jury.

Mr. Randall's inquiry was expected to be the first to bring forth any results. The coroner's inquest, scheduled for today will not be held at once because of a conflict arising as to the proper authority in calling it. Dr. P. L. Lathrop, who was the coroner, automatically became sheriff yesterday as a successor to E. G. Carroll who was overpowered by the mob and doubts his authority to summon a coroner's jury. It was thought it could be done, however, by a justice of the peace.

Find Some Relatives.

A brother and sister of the victim, Thurman Dudley and Cora Dudley, were found yesterday in Freeman, Mo. They were unable, they said, to provide burial for their brother, and would not come from Freeman to see him.

"Blots Name of Kansas'"

Topeka, Sept. 22.—Governor Capper returned from Hutchinson last night and ordered an investigation into the lynching of Bert Dudley in Olathe early yesterday.

"The act was deplorable and the lynchers will not be allowed to go unpunished," the governor said. "I have directed the attorney general to make an investigation and report to me. Until this is available I do not believe I should discuss the lynching. This is the most serious blot on the fair name of Kansas that has come for many years and every power of the state will be used to erase it."

Feared Was His Turn.

Leavenworth, Kas., Sept. 22.—"I'm glad I'm here!" was the exclamation made by Joseph Smith, a convicted horsethief, when he was received at the prison at Lansing at noon today. Smith breathed a deep sigh of relief as the iron doors closed behind him, shutting him off from the outside world.

Smith was one of the prisoners in the Johnson County jail when the mob took Bert Dudley, convicted slayer, from the jail and hanged him to a telephone pole.

"When the mob stormed the place, each of us thought they would take all of us out and string us up," declared Smith.

Rope May Solve Mystery.

Olathe, Kas., Sept. 22.—Fifty feet of loosely woven hemp rope with a thin black thread running through it may be the means of identifying members of the mob that lynched Bert Dudley.

Sheriff Carroll has the rope with which the murderer was hanged and has begun a hunt through the stores of Johnson County to see if he can match it and find who purchased it. It was a strong, pliable rope, such as is commonly used by cowmen.

The man who tied the noose knew his business. Sheriff Carroll said it was a perfect hangman's noose.

State Will Aid.

Topeka, Kas., Sept. 22.—Following a conference between Governor Capper and Attorney-General S. M. Brewster today, it was announced that the state would give every possible assistance to Johnson County in their efforts to apprehend members of the mob who lynched Bert Dudley, slayer of Henry Muller and wife, yesterday. Attorney-General Brewster was in communication with the local officials today and he stated that he believed the Johnson County officers were acting in good faith in their efforts to find out who were members of the mob. Sheriff E. G. Carroll, who automatically was succeeded by Dr. P. L. Lathrop, probably will be reinstated next week, it was said.

Dudley's Sweetheart Warned?

Olathe, Kas., Sept. 22.—Was the sweetheart of Bert Dudley—the woman who indirectly caused him to be arrested—told in advance of what was to happen to Dudley.

Citizens of Olathe believe she was. The woman left the city early yesterday afternoon and boarded a train and opinion is that members of the mob visited her and told her what was to happen and for her to get out.

Although Dudley had a chance to leave the vicinity after committing his crimes, he stayed so as to be near the woman he hoped to marry.

Again, thank you for joining me on this journey to the past and I hope I've left you with something to ponder. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

September 20, 1916: Henry White

Another short posting. The following article was published in The Allentown Leader (Allentown, Pennsylvania) dated September 21, 1916:

Negro Lynched for Assault.

Durham, Ga., Sept. 21.—Henry White a negro was lynched here for an assault upon a white girl. The negro was taken from officers by the mob and strung up after being identified by his victim. He confessed.

Friday, September 19, 2014

September 19, 1894: Perry Cook

Today's lynching is found in The Davenport Daily Leader published on September 21, 1894:

Horsethief Leader Lynched.

GUTHRIE, O. T., Sept. 21.—News has been received from Lincoln, a small town about 100 miles from here, of the lynching of the leader of a gang of horsethieves. His name was Perry Cook. He had aided in several raids of late and a posse of farmers finally came upon him in a cave. He had in his possession half a dozen stolen horses, which fact so enraged the farmers they hanged him to a tree without giving him time to say a word.

Short and sweet today, and in case you wanted to know, O. T. means Oklahoma Territory.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

September 18, 1893: Asa Youmans

Today's article comes from The Farmers' Vindicator (Valley Falls, Kansas) dated September 23, 1893:


Asa Youmans of Carthage, Mo., Hanged to a Tree by Boomers.

ARKANSAS CITY, Kan., Sept. 20.—Asa Youmans, who formerly lived at Carthage, Mo., came to the strip in company with a lot of Missourians who were regularly organized and paid by a syndicate of real estate men. When the first runners of the boomers reached Chikaska near where Blackwell now stands, they found fifty men holding down claims with no other baggage than their rifles. This man Youmans was holding two, claiming that his friend and partner had gone out on a search for water. The first comers did not attempt to dislodge him, but those who came later, to whom the circumstances had been reported, planted their flags determined to stand by them. Youmans came up to two of them and ordered them off, at the same time presenting the muzzle of his rifle. One of the men asked him for his certificate. He said he had none and did not propose to get one; that he had support enough to make good his claim, at the same time adding:  "I'm a sooner, and I'd like to know what in — you are going to do about it."

The two men, covered as they were, went away, but in less than an hour returned with at least two dozen of their friends, captured Youmans and proceeded to make him ready for a trial by Judge Lynch. In what was probably a spirit of bravado Youmans said he had killed two settlers and would get away with some more. This so exasperated the men that they placed a lariat about his neck and pulled him up to a tree, where they left his body as a warning to sooners.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September 17, 1903: A Chinaman

Join me in a journey to a very confusing past. I found an intriguing lynching listed in The Chicago Daily Tribune on January 1, 1904 stating that a chinaman had been lynched in Tonopah, Nevada on September 17, 1903.  I looked in various newspapers and found some interesting articles. The first article is from the Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) dated September 18, 1903:


One Chinaman Killed and Five Missing. Eighteen Men Are Now in Custody on Charges of Murder

[Special to The Journal]

TONOPAH, September 17.—This camp is all excitement over the onslaught made on Chinese residents early yesterday morning. A mob of armed men invaded the Chinese quarter and captured all the Celestials they could. The victims were marched to the edge of town, robbed of several hundred dollars and warned not to return to the place. 

It is understood that the United States government is investigating the outrage and an appeal has been made to the governor of the state for milita if needed. One of the Chinese died from the injuries received and five others are missing. 

(Another version was received late last night.)

TONOPAH, September 17.—Eighteen men are in jail charged with murder. The mob was composed of labor union men. The miners' union as an organization refused to take any hand in the matter of running the Chinese out. 

The Chinese consul telegraphs to expend all money necessary to prosecute and special counsel has been engaged. 

The inquest of the Chinaman killed will take place tomorrow. The citizens to a man denounce the outrage and money is being raised by citizens to prosecute the perpetrators of the crime. 

The jail is guarded tonight by ten deputies to see that the prisoners do not escape. There is no danger of mob violence. More arrests will take place tomorrow. 

Our journey travels to the the Sioux Valley News (Correctionville, Iowa) September 24, 1903 and finds:


The Celestial Inhabitants of Tonopah, Nev., Driven Out of Town. 


Complaint Has Been Made to Acting Secretary of State at Washington by the Chinese Consul—Action Will Be Taken. 

Washington, Sept. 19.—The Chinese minister laid before Acting Secretary of State Adee a dispatch from the Chinese consul at San Francisco detailing an attack made my union labor men on a number of Chinese at Tonopah, Nev. They drove all the Chinese away, and seven or eight were severely injured, one, an old man, being nearly killed. He also reports that five Chinese are missing and asked for protection. 

Acting Secretary Add wired the governor of Nevada asking for immediate investigation and requesting that he afford every protection in his power to the Chinese residents of Tonopah. 

Tonopah, Nev., Sept. 18—A mob of 1,200 or 1,500 men invaded Chinatown at this place and at the point of guns compelled a number of Chinamen to leave town at once. Several who did not comply were badly beaten, dragged to the outskirts of town and told to take the road to Sodaville. Later on all but one returned to town and notified the officers. A searching party found the body of this one, horribly mutilated. 

The Chinamen also were robbed of several hundred dollars before being run out of town. 

Eighteen men, mostly cooks and waiters, have been arrested and are now in jail. Among the number is F. M. Arandall, president of a labor union. 

A meeting with the citizens of Tonopah was held at which 1,000 or more persons were present, and a committee was appointed to adopt resolutions denunciatory of the action of the mob and calling for their prompt punishment. 

The next stop on our journey is in The Topeka Daily Capital (Topeka, Kansas) September 20, 1903:


American Labor Union Officers Must Stand Trial for Killing a Chinaman.

Tonopah, Nev., Sept 19.—As a result of the verdict of the coroner's jury summoned to inquire into the death of Ping Ling, the Chinaman murdered during the the attack on the Chinese quarter Wednesday morning, the 17 ,em now in the city jail have been charged with murder. They include the president and secretary of the local branch of the American Labor union. 

Nearly all of those under arrest are cooks and waiters. Two men have left camp. The examination of the accused men takes place Monday. The funeral of the murdered Chinaman occurred today. Everything is now quiet. The citizens are raising a fund to prosecute the mob. 

Our next article is from the Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) dated October 14, 1903:

Held for Trial 

Jackson, Lang, Bradshaw, and Sinks have been held to appear before the grand jury of Nye county for complicity in the riot and murder of a Chinaman at Tonopah. A session of the district commenced at Belmont yesterday.

The next article is also from the Nevada State Journal and is dated October 28, 1903:

Tonopah Justice

After a hearing before Justice Lindsay, Edward Schillinberger was dismissed on the charge of complicity in the murder of Chong Bing Lung. The prevailing opinion is that Schillinberger was one of the chief instigators and participants in the recent riot which culminated in the death of the aged Chinaman, and despite his own confession, which was brought out in the testimony, Justice Lindsay held that the evidence was not sufficient.—Tonopah Bonanza. 

 Our final stop on the journey is also from the Nevada State Journal and occurs a few months later on September 18, 1904:

The United States government is now called upon to pay China a cool $40,000 in the way of indemnity for the death of a Chinaman and the destruction of Chinese property by a mob of American citizens at Tonopah several months ago. 

The matter of the demand has been kept a profound secret until yesterday afternoon. Only the officers through which an investigation of the case is being made had any knowledge of an attampt on the part of the Chinese government to compel this government to pay the magnificent sum into its coffers. 

It reached this place through the regular channels of the government and the red-tap attacehed thereto several days ago, but the facts were not ordained until yesterday. The journal announced yesterday morning that United States district attorney Summerfield and his stenographer had returned from a business trip to Tonopah. It did not state what the nature of the business was and the readers doubtless thought the trip had been made on ordinary legal business or on business connected with the gold fields.

But a different story leaked out early yesterday afternoon. It was currently reported on the streets that the district attorney had received notice of the demand of the Chinese government upon this country, and had gone at the insistence of the department of Washington to collect data in reference to the riot at Tonopah and determine that position of the United States government in the matter. When seen last evening, the district attorney admitted this to be a face, and that he had given the matter a thorough investigation. He took evidence at Tonopah concerning the riot and made a full report to the department.

When asked what this was he refused to make a statement. The report has been forwarded to Washington and will b held there until a decision is rendered in the matter. Just what the report is and what the government will do, is an open question.

In reference to the report it was learned, however, that it will show that only one Chinaman died from the results of the riot and that the total property belonging to the Chinese will not exceed the sum of $10,000 in value. The report also shows that the people did all in their power at the time to prevent the riot and bloodshed and later exhausted all means under the law to bring the guilty to justice. It will also be shown that but two of the men who engaged in the riot are still living in the community. Of the vast number engaged at the time, all except two have left for other portions of the country, addresses unknown. The report also shows that all of the Chinamen at Tonopah at the time of the riot are still there. These facts tend to show that as soon as the outbreak was made the civil authorities of the state of Nevada took the matter in hand and did all in their power to right the wrong. The prosecuted the rioters so diligently that they left the county and the Chinamen were so carefully protected that they have remained there unmolested.

The facts of the riot are still fresh in the memory of the people. It will be remembered that a mob attempted to drive the Chinese from Tonopah and destroyed much of their property. Only one death was caused, that of one Chinaman who was found on the desert, supposed to have been killed by the rioters, or died from results of injuries thus received. Whether the Chinese government will declare war against this country should the demand for indemnity be refused, remains to be seen. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September 16, 1886: David Wilkerson

According to the Chicago Daily Tribune's yearly list, the date of the lynching was September 16, 1886. The following article is from The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio) September 23, 1886


He Discovers the Body of a Rapist Who Had Been Lynched. 


Millen, GA., September 22.—Since the lynching of David Wilkerson near this place ten or fifteen days ago for outraging little Miss Brinson, the whereabouts of his remains have been a mystery. To-day while hunting in the woods three miles from here a negro discovered the corpse hanging from a tree, a mile from the roadway. The toes just touched the ground and the putrid flesh hung in strips from the bones. Buzzards had picked out the eyes and completely denuded the head and neck bones of flesh, and worms and vermin had made hideous inroads on the lower portion of the body. The negro has been made almost demented by the spectacle and goes into convulsions whenever he hears it alluded to. It is possible that the Coroner will hold and inquest and endeavor to learn the identity of the lynchers. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15, 1897: Lyle Levi (Levy), Henry Shuler (Schuter), Clifford Gordon, William Jenkins, Jr., and Bert Andrews

Today's journey through history covers the lynching of five men. We start this journey with the El Paso Herald (El Paso, Texas) on September 15, 1897:


They Were Merely Accused of Burglary.


The Spirit of Lawlessness Pervade All Classes.—One of the Victims a Scarred Union Veteran.—Further Trouble Expected.

Five Burglars Lynched.

VERSAILLES, Ind., Sept. 15.—Five men in jail here under charges of burglary were lynched this morning. Three hundred men masked and on horseback rode into town at 1 o'clock and went to the jail. The leader presented a revolver and demanded the keys. The jailer refused, and there-upon the keys were taken by force. Without delay the mob rushed into the cells, after shooting down the five prisoners, placed ropes around their necks and dragged them out. The crowd proceeded to [a] tree, one square away from the jail, and immediately strung up the five wretches. The men lynched are:  Lytle Levy, Henry Shuler, Clifford Gordon, William Jenkins, Jr., and Birt Andrews. Andrews and Gordon had already been wounded, having been shot several times while attempting to rob a store at Correct, last Saturday night. Shuler was in jail for attempted burglary, Levi and Jenkins had just been indicted for robbery, Levi was an old soldier, and bore on his face wounds received while fighting for the union. None of the lynchers are known. All came from a distance, presumably from the neighborhood of Correct, where two men were arrested Saturday night. The greatest excitement prevails.

Andrews and Clifford Gordon Saturday night attempted to rob the postoffice at Correct. They were surprised and a fight ensued. Both were arrested the following day. Lytle Levi and Bill Jenkins were accomplices. Henry Shuler had already been jailed for burglary. It is thought that all are members of a gang systematically engaged in robbing stores and residences in various villages of Ripley, Jennings and Dearborn counties for a number of years. It is claimed that a part of the mob that did the lynching is from Milan and Summan. It is asserted that before the lynching members of the mob patrolled all houses in the vicinity of the jail so as to prevent interference. Members of the band wore masks, and various commands were given in cipher by numbers, suggesting football. Great crowds in sympathy with the relatives of the mob's victims are reported to be collecting at Versailles and further trouble expected.

Continuing along on the same date, the story can also be found in The Wichita Beacon (Wichita, Kansas):


In Indiana a Mob Gets Excited Over Petty Thefts. 

And Hangs Five Men to Trees Who Are


One Old Soldier Who Fought for His Country is Lynched.

Of Course No One Knows Any of the Murderers.

Versailles, Ind., Sept. 15.—A mob of 400 infuriated men last night lynched Lyle Levi, Bert Andrews, Clifford Gordon, William Jenkins and Himey Shuler.

They were taken from the authorities. The men had been arrested for burglary.

Frequent robberies had enraged the citizens of the county and the mob was composed of citizens from Milan, Sunman and other towns.

The mob, on horseback, entered the town an hour after midnight and called out Jailer Kennan, who, upon refusing to give up the keys, was overpowered. The mob soon pushed its way into the cell rooms and in their impatience first fired on the five prisoners and then dragged them to a tree, a square from the jail door, and hung them up.

Andrews and Gordon had already been wounded, having been shot several times while attempting to rob a store at Correct last Saturday night.

Shuler was in jail for attempted burglary, and Levi and Jenkins had just been indicted by the grand jury for robbery. They had failed to give bond and were put in jail last evening.

It is thought that Levi and Shuler were both dead from the shots fired by the mob when taken out of the jail.

The bandages that were on the wounded men were found later this morning along the streets where they had been torn off as the men were dragged along.

Lyle Levi was an old soldier and bore on his face wounds received during the civil war while fighting for the Union.

None of the lynchers are known. They all came from a distance, presumably from the neighborhood of Correct, where the two men were arrested Saturday night.


Indianapolis, Ind., Sept. 15.—Governor Mount has sent the following to the sheriff of Ripley county:

"Wire me at once, the particulars of lynching that has occurred in your county. I further direct that you proceed immediately with all the power you can command, to bring to justice all parties guilty of participating in the murder of the five men alleged to have been lynched. Such lawlessness is intolerable and all the power of the state, if necessary, will be vigorously employed for the arrest and punishment of all parties implicated.


"JAMES A. MOUNT, Governor."


Louisville, KY., Sept. 15.—A special to the Evening Post from Osgood, Ind., says:  Incensed by numerous depredations, repeated burglaries and daylight robberies, the  people of Ripley county, Ind., have taken the law into their own hands and meted out to the perpetrators a punishment greater than provided by the law. Five men, who have long been a terror to the citizens o fthis [sic] county, met their death a tthe [sic] hands of an enraged populace, and when the citizens of Versailles, the county seat arose this morning, it was to find the bodies of five men dangling from as many limbs of an elm tree in the center of the public square.

Stout ropes not over six feet in length, had served to send each to his eternity, and their feet were but a few inches from the ground, while their hands and feet had been securely pinned with strong ropes.

Versailles is a town of some 800 people. It is one of the  oldest in the state, and although it is five miles from a railroad station, and has no telegraphic communication with the outside world, as have more pretentious towns of the county. It is still the county seat. For four or five years, and even longer, the farmers of the county have been the victims of a lawless gang, who apparently lacking in fear, have plied their vocation to the terror of the people, for they seemingly have no visible means for earning a living. Farmers would came [sic] into town with a bunch of cattle or load of farming products and the next morning they would be found along the roadside, suffering from a wound and minus the proceeds of their sales. Old German farmers have been visited and both men and women have been subjected to all the tortures that hardened minds could stand. Aged German women have been made to stand on red hot stoves in an effort to compel them to disclose the hiding place of some treasurers [sic] in the house. These depredations have continued unceasingly. Arrests have been made, but the guilty parties have covered up their lawlessness and it was seldom that conviction followed.

During the past week robberies had increased alarmingly. On last Saturday word was received by the sheriff that the store of Wooley Brothers, at Correct, Ind., ten miles from here, was to be entered. The information had been given by one of the gangs confederates who had been under suspicion. Sheriff Henry Bushing arranged that his informant should accompany them and, securing five deputies, they went to the place. Sheriff Bushing concealed himself in the cellar, while his deputies were stationed at a convenient distance outside. Shortly after midnight the gang reached Wooley Brothers store. Clifford Gordon and the sheriff's informant, were designated to break into the building. Gordon himself effected an entrance and just as he stepped inside the sheriff grabbed him. Both pulled pistols at the same time and began firing. Bert Andrews was with the robbers, and he too joined in the fusilade,[sic] while the deputies came to the assistance of the sehriff. [sic] Some thirty shots were fired, the sheriff was shot through the hand and Gordon was shot several times. Three pistol balls entered his body and he was also shot in the leg. Gordon and Andrews succeeded in escaping and came to Osgood, where they were arrested. The robbers had driven out to the place in a buggy belonging to Lyle Levy and from information subsequently gathered , it was learned that the robbery had been planned at the home of William Jenkins.

A final stop on the same date where I will give only some of the article. The majority of the article in the Decatur Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) gives the same details, but towards the end it gives a few more:

. . . Henry Shuler was in jail there for robbing a barber shop at Osgood. When it became known that they were in jail word was passed around that "justice" would be summarily dealth [sic] out to them. At 1 o'clock this morning the horsemen began to appear from every direction at the rendezvous near Versailles and at 2 o'clock 400 men marched into town, knocked at the jailer's residence, where were Jailer Keenen, Robert Barrett, William Block and Wensett, deputies. When the door was opened they were covered with revolvers and commanded to deliver the jail keys. The command was complied with. The mob with these entered the jail. Levi, Jenkins and Shuler showed fight. The former was shot down and the others were brained with stones, then ropes put around the necks of these three, and with Gordon and Andrews, dragged 200 feet to an elm tree in the court house square and hanged. An inquest was held this morning.

The citizens approve the work of the mob, and threaten to hang three or four more members of the gang. The troops asked for, the citizens say, are not wanted.

The end of journey finds us several months later on February 23, 1898 in the Daily Capital Journal (Salem, Oregon):

Lynchers in Trouble.

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb, 23.—After months of waiting for the local authorities of Ripley county to indict the men who lynched Clifford Gordon, Lyle Levy, Bert Andrews, William Jenkins and Henry Schutter, at Versailles, in September, the state today began the work itself:  Arrests will be made as fast as the accused can be tried.

C. H. Hughes, superintendent of the county infirmary, has been arrested upon information sworn to by Governor Mount. While the state is expected to show that he was in the mob and therefore guilty of murdering the five prisoners, the warrant charges him with the murder of Henry Schuter. Another warrant has been sworn out for the arrest of Archibald Wright, against whose life an attempt was made 10 days ago. He left soon after and is supposed to be in Chicago. It is believed that he has agreed to turn state's evidence.

Thank you for travelling on this journey to the past with me. As always, I hope I've left you with things to ponder.  

Sunday, September 14, 2014

September 14, 1900: W. Brown, Frank Brown, and David Moore

Today's journey will take us through several articles, most short. The beginning of our journey is our longest article found in The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana) dated September 15, 1900:


Taken from Jail by Sixty Masked Men and Hanged.

All Three of Them Were Guilty of Murder—Sheriff Ivy Refuses to Talk.

Tunica, Miss., Sept. 14.—Frank Brown, William Brown and David Moore, three negroes, under indictment for murder, were lynched at an early hour this morning by a mob, composed of about sixty white men. The negroes were indicted for separate offenses and had been in the county jail here for some time. The mob, which was well organized, was orderly and quiet in its movements. The door of the jail was forced and the negroes were securely bound. The prisoners were taken to a large tree only a short distance from the jail and were strung up without ceremony. When asked for a statement of the affair Sheriff Ivy, of Tunica, declined to discuss the matter.

They Were All Murderers.

Memphis, Tenn., Sept. 14.—A masked mob of between 60 and 100 men broke into the jail at Tunica, Miss., to-day and took out three negroes, whom they strung up to a tree near the jail. Not a shot was fired and the mob soon dispersed.

The dead negroes are Frank Brown, who shot Frank Cheshire, a prosperous planter at Oak landing, six months ago; David Moore, who shot Dan Boswell ten days ago, and William Brown, who, with confederates, shot and cut to death a young white man at State levee, one month previous.

The next stop on our journey is the Iowa City Press-Citizen (Iowa City, Iowa) dated September 14, 1900, and they get straight to the point:

Negroes Lynched.

Tunica, Miss, Sept. 14—A mob early this morning broke into the jail and took Wilber Brown, Frank Brown and David Moore colored murderers and lynched them. All three had killed white men.

For our next stop we travel to the Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, Virginia) dated September 14, 1900:


Memphis, Tenn., Sept 14.—A mob of about 100 men broke into the jail at Tunica, Miss., between one and two o'clock last night and took three negroes out and lynched them. The dead negroes are Walter Brown, who shot and killed Frank Cheshire at O. K. Landong, two months ago; Frank Brown, who together with his pals, shot and cut  young Tucker to death at State Levee, and David Moore, who shot Dan Bozewell, ten days ago. All three of the killed were prominent whites. The murder of Bozewell caused intense feeling against these negro murderers.

Our final leg of our journey brings us to our most confusing article. Makes you wonder what W. Brown's name will be this time. This parting stop is found in The Bismarck Tribune (Bismarck, N. D.) dated September 14, 1900:



Tunica, Miss., Sept. 14.—A mob early this morning broke into jail and took Wilfer Brown, Frank Brown and David Moore, colored murderers and sent to the devastated coast country men.

I can't help but think that the boy putting the type in confused his endings, because I can't fathom what that means otherwise. If you noticed, they couldn't keep the crimes of the two Browns straight as well as the name of W. Brown. As always, I hope you found this journey to the past interesting and that I leave you with things to ponder.