Saturday, September 6, 2014

September 6, 1936: A. L. McCamy

We start our journey to the past today with an article printed in the Statesville Record & Landmark (Statesville, N. C.) on September 8, 1936:


Dalton, Ga., Sept. 7. (UP)—A. L. McCamy, 21 year old negro and former convict, was lynched by a mob of about 200 men here early yesterday.

Shot down as he broke and attempted to escape, the negro was recaptured by the mob and hanged to a telephone pole.

McCamy recently had completed a one year sentence on the chain gang upon conviction of attempted assault on a 12 year old white girl.

Friday night the home of Mrs. Eva McCamy, widow of C. C. McCamy, former chairman of the Dalton water and light and sinking fund commission, was broken into.  Mrs. McCamy screamed when she saw the intruder in her home and the negro was captured by neighbors.

The mob did their work quickly and efficiently early Sunday. The 200 men, many of the marmed [sic] surrounded the Whitefield county jail and its leaders forced the jailer to surrender his keys.

McCamy, cringing in his cell, was forced to walk out with the mob leaders. As they reached the door, he tore himself loose from their grasp and ran down the street.

A fusillade of shots felled him. Probably dying from the gunshot wounds, he was recaptured and taken near the edge of the town where the mob hanged him to a telephone pole.

J. T. Bryant, sheriff of Whitfield county, was asleep in his quarters adjacent to the jail. He said he was awakened by the shooting but when he arrived at the scene of the violence the negro was dead and the mob dispersed.

The next stop on our trip is brought to us by the Reading Times (Reading, Pennsylvania) on September 9, 1936:

Black Flag Tells Of Georgia Lynching

NEW YORK, Sept 8. (AP)—The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People today flew a black flag from its office at 69 Fifth ave., bearing in white letters the legend "A Man Was Lynched Yesterday."

They said A. L. McCamy was lynched in Dalton, Ga., September 6, the ninth lynching officially recorded by the association during 1936.

Our final leg of our journey is found in The Pittsburg Courier (Pittsburg, Pennsylvania) printed on October 10, 1936:

Georgians Lynched Innocent Man, Reports Say, NAACP Quiz Starts

A. L. McCamy, Lynched At Dalton, Ga., On September 6, Not Guilt, Claim.

NEW YORK, Oct 8—Communications to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People here indicate that A. L. McCamy lynched at Dalton, Ga., September 6, was certainly not guilty of "attempted rape" and might have been a man innocent of any crime whatsoever.

The white woman who is supposed to have been attacked has denied that the man in her home molested her. She has denied also that she could identify the person. She simply woke up at hearing a noise and saw a man standing in her bedroom. She screamed and he fled. There is no evidence that the intruder was there for the purpose of harming anyone or committing rape. He could have been a burglar.

A check upon the movements of McCamy on that night shows at the time the woman claims she saw a man in her room McCamy was home in bed. He left the north end of Dalton before ten o'clock and went to a cafe in south Dalton in a taxicab with another man. From there he walked home and is said to have been there continuously until two o'clock when officers came and arrested him.

The family attempted to get a hearing for him on Friday, but the authorities put it off until Saturday. On Saturday they put it off until Monday and on Sunday he was lynched.

The dead man's relatives are said to have been warned by deputy sheriffs that they would "get the same thing" if they did not get off the streets. The statement that appeared in the papers that the police officers did not know where the body was until four hours after the crime is also said to be false as the dead man's relatives telephoned the jail soon after the crime and were told at once where the body was.

The fact that a hearing was postponed for two days and that the sheriff and other officers were home "asleep" when the lynching took place on Sunday points strongly to a knowledge that a lynching was to take place on the part of all concerned.

Now our journey is finished. I hope I gave you something to reflect upon. 

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