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.

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