Friday, October 31, 2014

October 31, 1888: Thomas Sayers

Today we follow a lynching that occurred on this date in Charleston, West Virginia. We learn about this lynching through the pages of The Daily Morning Astorian (Astoria, Oregon) printed November 3, 1888:


CHARLESTON, W. Va., Nov. 2.—Thomas Sayers, a negro highwayman who murdered and robbed , two peddlers Sunday night, was caught and lynched Wednesday night.

Today's article of interest comes to us through the pages of The Semi-Weekly Messenger (Wilmington, N. C.) printed August 26, 1898:


In the year of Grace 1869—early in the year—a rascal from the north, name forgotten, was editing The Raleigh Standard, Holden's old paper, and then the organ of the rascals who were just beginning their plan to rob the people and sow the dragon's teeth of anarchy and discord. This northern scamp wrote an infamous editorial about North Carolina women who were democrats, and it got so hot for him he was forced to flee the state to save his bacon. Those times were disgraceful times. There is a negro paper published in this city called The Daily Record. We have never before referred to it. but in its issue on Thursday, the 18th, there is an editorial that casts a great slur up[on the wives of poor white men, and is more infamous possibly than that foul editorial of the northern white scoundrel in 1869. We copy a part of what is said by the negro paper of this negro city and ask the white men—particularly the white married men, and especially the sons of white mothers, what they think of such dirty defamation, such a sweeping insult to all respectable white women who are poor? The intent of the teaching is to justify the black brutes who commit rape at the expense of the character of every white wife in the south whose condition is poor as to this world's goods. but hear this vile detractor and slanderer:

"Poor white men are careless in the matter of protecting their women. ESPECIALLY ON THE FARMS. They are careless of their conduct toward them, and OUR EXPERIENCE AMONG POOR WHITE PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRY TEACHES US THAT WOMEN OF THAT RACE  ARE NOT MORE PARTICULAR IN THE MATTER OF CLANDESTINE MEETINGS WITH COLORED MEN, than are the white men with colored women. MEETINGS OF THIS KIND GO ON FOR SOME TIME UNTIL THE WOMAN'S INFATUATION or the man's boldness, bring attention to them, and the man is lynched for rape. Every negro lynched is called a 'big, burley, [sic] black brute,' when, in fact, many of those who have thus been dealt with had white men for their fathers, and were not only not 'black' and 'burley,' [sic] but were SUFFICIENTLY ATTRACTIVE FOR WHITE GIRLS OF CULTURE AND REFINEMENT TO FALL IN LOVE WITH THEM, as is very well known to all."

Here he tells of his own experience, and he has been holding "clandestine meetings" with poor white women, wives of white men. He charges that the virtue of this class is of as low type as those of negro women who are represented as ready for "clandestine meetings." Not satisfied with this statement he goes on to embrace "girls of culture and refinement" so fallen as to become lovers of negroes. He says "this is very well known." The infamy of the statement that negro rapists are brutal and savage and deserve hanging, by the plea that they are beguiled by poor white women and are fallen in love with by the young ladies in the higher circles. If slander and lying can go farther that that, it must be an ingenious devil who suggest it. It is the most infernal, slanderous, lying article that ever appeared in a North Carolina newspaper.

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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October 30, 1894: Edward Martin

Today we read about a lynching in Kentucky. We learn about this lynching from The Daily Democrat (Huntington, Indiana) dated November 1, 1894:

True to His Friend.

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Nov. 1.—Edward Martin was lynched in Crittenden county, Ky., Tuesday because he would not turn state's evidence against the outlaw, Bill Goode. He said Goode had always been his friend and he would not betray him.

Instead of an article of interest, I am choosing to show two illustrations from the Logansport Pharos-Tribune (Logansport, Indiana) dated March 9, 1893:

Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 29, 1905: Gus Goodman

Today we travel to past to Georgia through the pages of The New York Age (New York, N. C.) printed November 2, 1905:


Gus Goodman Riddled With Bullets While His Victim Died.

BAINBRIDGE, Ga., October 29.—At 1 o'clock this morning 300 white men stormed the jail. got Gus Goodman, an Afro-American held for shooting Sheriff Stagall, and lynched him. Goodman, begging for mercy, was dragged through through [sic] the streets to the banks of the river, swung to a tree and riddled with bullets. The body remained hanging all day and was viewed by hundreds.

Goodman, late yesterday afternoon, killed an Afro-American woman. Sheriff Stagall attempted to arrest him and was shot.

At midnight the physicians issued a bulletin saying the sheriff would die, and thirty minutes later Goodman was lynched. The sheriff died while Goodman was being lynched.

Our next stop is through the pages of The Minneapolis Journal (Minneapolis, Minnesota) dated October 30, 1905:


Georgia Mob, Wrought Up by Dixon's Story, Hangs Negro Murderer.

Journal Special Service.

Bainbridge, Ga., Oct. 30.—Wrought up to a high pitch of anger against negroes by the presentation of Thomas A. Dixon's play, "The Clansman," last week, a mob of 300 men stormed the jail at midnight, took out Gus Goodman, a negro who fatally shot Sheriff Stegall, and lynched him. The lynchers were not masked.

Goodman, on Saturday afternoon, shot and killed a negro woman, and when Sheriff Stegall attempted to arrest him, wounded the official. Another officer arrested the negro. A number of men held a meeting and determined to lynch the negro if the physician found the sheriff's wound proved fatal.

A mob formed, and when at midnight, the doctors declared Stegall would die, it moved on the jail at once, and thirty minutes later the negro was lynched. The sheriff died as the negro was lynched.

The feelings against negroes, never kindly, has been embittered by the Dixon play, following which stories of negroes' depredations during the reconstruction period have been revived, and whites have been wrought up to a high tension.

Our final stop is brought to us by the Altoona Tribune (Altoona, Pennsylvania) dated October 30, 1905:

Lynched by a Mob.

Savannah, Ga., October 29—A special to the Morning News from Bainbridge, Ga., says that Gus Goodman, a negro, was taken from the jail at an early hour this morning by a mob of 300 men and lynched on the bank of the river, a short distance from the town. Earlier in the night Goodman shot Sheriff Stegall, who was attempting to  to arrest him for the murder of a colored woman a few minutes before. Although wounded, Sheriff Stegall shot Goodman twice and the prisoner was placed in jail. A special train was sent to Thomasville for a physician, and after his announcement that the sheriff could not recover, the mob went to the jail, relieved the deputy of his keys and dragged Goodman from his cell. Goodman was strung up with a rope and fully 1,000 shots was fired into his body.

Thank you for joining me and as always I hope I leave you with something to ponder. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October 28, 1911: Dave Walker

Today we travel to Georgia by way of The Caucasian (Clinton, N. C.) printed November 2, 1911:

Negro Who Assassinated Georgia Merchant is Lynched.

Augusta, Ga., Oct. 28.—Dave Walker, the negro farm hand charged with the assassination of C. S. Hollenshead at Washington, Ga., to-night was taken from Sheriff Bobo on the public square and lynched. The mob has gone after another negro said to be implicated in the crime.

Washington, Ga., Oct. 28.—While seated in the light inside his store, two miles from here to-night, C. S. Hollenshead, a wealthy planter and merchant, was shot and killed by an unknown person, who fired from the darkness outside the store.

Our article of interest for today comes to us from The Richmond Planet dated October 18, 1890:

Total number persons lynched from July 26, 1887 to July 26, 1889. 202
Aug. 17 Colored man, St. Martin, La 1
Aug. 17 Colored man, Drakes Branch Va.
Aug. 30 John Turner Fayetteville, West Virginia. 1
Aug. 30 Colored boy near Boykins Depot S.C. He touched a white woman lightly with a switch. His body was riddled with bullets.
Sept 1 Colored man roasted in Wayne Co., 1
Sept 4 Colored boy near Atlanta Ga., 1
Sept 5 Colored men Leflore Co., Miss., 100
Sept 10 Frank Stack and Dave Boone Morgantown, N. C. 1
Walter Ashbury, Pooler, Ga., 1
Louis Mortimer, charged with being an accessory in murder near Clarksville, Miss.
Sol Purnell, at Winona, Miss.
Oct 2 Ransom Gordon, at Abbeville, Ga., 1
Oct. 25 Joe Harial, Columbus, Miss. 2
Oct 13 Wm. Moore, Jessup, Ga., 1
Nov. 8 Owen Anderson, Leesburg, Va., 1
Nov 21 Robert Bland, Prince George County, Va., 1
Nov. 25 Bill Hughes Abbeville, Ga., 1
Nov. 26 Colored boy, Lincolnton, Ga., 1
Dec.  Robt. Biggs, Lake View Tenn., 1
Dec. 26 Peter Johnson, Billy Hopps, Alvin Harper, Dan Jacobs, —Calvin, —Fluett, —Schuler and 3 unknown colored men at Jessup, Ga. 10
Dec. 28 Ripley Johnson, Michael Adams, Peter Bell, Rafe Norrell, Hugh Furse, Hudson Johnson, Robert Phoenix, Judge Jones, at Barnwell, S. C., 8
Feb. 28 Brown Washington, Morgan, County, Ga., 1
Bill Allen, Witherford Irving and Oscar Folks in Mercer County, W. Va., 3
Mar. 21 Robert Moseley near Huntsville Ala., 1
May 10, Ed. Bennet, at Hearne Texas. 1
May 27 Burtley Davis, at Spring Plan, Ga., 1
June 15 Geo. Swayze, at Black Creek, La., for making political speeches, 1
June 25 George Howard, Jake Ransom, Tod Flanders, at Amite La., struck for higher wages, 3
June 27 Soney Roberts, at Buffalo Springs, Va., dangerously shot without a cause, 1

Total number lynched, 394

"Shall this barbarity continue, until the God of retribution martial his strength against the barbarians?"

Thank you for joining me and as always I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 1909: Joe Clifford and Alex Hill

Join me in a trip to the past through the pages of The Atlanta Constitution on October 27, 1909:


Negroes Killed Man Who Found Them Stealing Hogs.

New Orleans, October 26.—Special dispatches from Floyd, La., say that at a late hour tonight the town was crowded with armed men and that there was every indication that Alex Hill and Joe Clifford, negroes charged with the murder of H. G. Brock would be lynched before morning.

Brock, one of the most prominent farmers of West Carroll parish was shot and instantly killed Saturday by one of the two negroes, who he surprised in the act of stealing his hogs. The negroes—Hill and Clifford—were arrested and it is claimed made a complete confession of the crime. With threats of lynching current today, the judge of the district in which Floyd is situated was wired to return at once from Kentucky, where he is visiting.

Our trip continues to the Santa Cruz Evening News (Santa Cruz, California) dated October 27, 1909:


VICKSBURG, Miss., Oct. 27.—A mob of 200 stormed the jail today at Floyd, La., and lynched Joe Clifford and Alexander Hill, negroes accused of the murder of M. G. Brock, a farmer who caught them stealing hogs, according to advices received here today.

Thank you for joining me today and as always I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

October 26, 1934: Claude Neal

Join me today for a glimpse into a moment of our history. Today's lynching is a hard one to pin the date down. I have chosen to place it for the 26th since that is when the mob took the victim. We start our journey with the Marshall Evening Chronicle (Marshall, Michigan) dated October 26, 1934:  


Believe He Will Be Turned Over to Father of Girl Whom He Killed

BEWTON, Ala., Oct. 26—(U.P.)—Oct. 26, (UP) A mob which stormed the county jail here early today to seize Claude Neal, 23 confessed attacker and slayer of Miss Lola Cannidy, 20, was believed enroute to Marianna, Fla. to turn their prisoner over to the girl's father.

Neal was taken by 100 armed men who came here in 30 automobiles bearing Florida licenses.  A spokesman for the band told told the jailer they would not harm the negro but would turn him over to the girl's father at Marianna.

MARIANNA, Fla., Oct. 26 (U.P.)Sheriff W. F. Chambliss said today he had heard nothing from the mob reported en route from Brewton, Ala. with Claude Neal, negro, confessed attacker and slayer of Lola Cannidy, 20 year old Marianna girl.

Reports here said the mob planned to bring the negro back to the scene of the murder. Some persons believed Neal had been lynched en route to Marianna.

Miss Cannidy was criminally attacked and beaten to death with a pine sapling last week.

Our next stop comes to us through the pages of the Hope Star (Hope, Arkansas) dated October 27, 1934:


Mutilated Negro Body Found After Delayed Lynching

Gruesome Discovery Climaxes Long Day of Infuriated Mob Rule


Mob Carries Confessed Slayer to Home of Murdered Woman

Copyright Associated Press

MARIANNA, Fla.—(AP)—The body of Claude Neal, negro, shot and mutilated with knives, swung from a limb of a tree on the courthouse  square here Saturday, bloody evidence of the fury of a mob that exacted toll for the assaulting and slaying of a white woman.

The body was brought here in the early morning by a small band of men who found it stretched in the yard of George Cannidy, farmer of near Greenwood, whose daughter, Lola, 23, was ravished and beaten to death by an assailant last week.

Whether the negro was shot to death first and mutilated afterward or whether he died in agony from his wounds, could not be determined.

Witnesses at Greenwood said he was dragged several miles tied behind an automobile to the Cannidy home.

There, more shots were pumped into the negro's body, and he was further mutilated with knives.

The mob took Neal from the Brewton jail early Friday. The negro, who officers said confessed to attacking and slaying the girl, was held in the woods while the mob gathered.

The lynching was delayed by the mob until many of the crowd left.

Copyright Associated Press

GREENWOOD, Fla.—(AP)—A crowd of several thousand persons, gathered to see the lynching of Claude Neal, negro, slowly dwindled away Friday night to a thousand of the determined who remained to witness the death of the man accused of attacking and slaying Lola Cannidy, young white woman.

The crowd began gathering at noon when word spread that a mob had entered the Brewton (Ala.) jail and would bring Neal back to the scene of the crime and kill him. The lynching was scheduled for between 8 p.m. and 9 p. m., but when the crowd grew to unexpected size, a "Committee of Six" appeared and said they feared disorder and Neal would not be killed until the crowd grew smaller. 

The "committee" told newspapermen that they had Neal "down in the woods" a short distance away and as soon as they believed it safe he would be brought out and killed. They said they feared shooting as there were many armed men in the crowd, and wanted to wait until it was safe. 

After the negro was killed, the committee announced, the body would be taken to Marianna, county seat, nine miles away, and there hanged in the courthouse square. 

No Officers Found

Natives of the county in the crowd when questioned said they recognized no officers and none could be found. Governor Scholtz of Florida had offered to call out troops in needed but the Jackson county sheriff said he felt capable of handling the situation. 

The crowd first gathered in front of the farm home of George Cannidy, father of the slain girl, in response to messengers who had said "there will be a lynching" at the Cannidy home. It was made up of men, women, children and babies in arms. The throng was good humored and orderly for the most part, patiently awaiting developments.

A man who identified himself as a member of the Florida legislature made a humorous address and promised action but urged his audience to be quiet.

The Cannidy family, father, mother, eight children and aunts and uncles, came from the house and stood before the crowd.

A member of the lynching committee said the negro first would be brought to the home and the family allowed to do with him as they pleased, then he would be taken to the pigpen a half mile away in the middle of a cotton field where Lola Cannidy was killed and there Neal would be slain. At the house were sharp pointed sticks and many knives.

Bonfires near the pigpen attracted the crowd shortly after dark and it moved into the cotton field but near midnight started breaking up and a mile-long line of automobiles slowly moved toward Marianna.

Governor's Offer

At Arcadia, where he was stopping Friday night, Gov. Dave Sholtz authorized calling out of the National Guard if Jackson county authorities considered troops necessary to prevent a mob from killing Neal.

J. P. Newell, executive secretary to the governor, said earlier that Sheriff W. F. Chambliss told him he believed he was capable of taking care of any situation that might arise. Newell again was trying to reach the sheriff with the governor's offer of troops.

Meanwhile hundreds of visitors were reported heading toward Greenwood after the mob had issued an invitation for "all white folks to attend the slaying."

Earlier a telephone call to the sheriff in an adjoining county had  informed him the negro would be tied to a stake and the father of the slain girl given the opportunity to shoot him to death.

Special Officers Sworn

Sheriff Chambliss said he had sworn in special officers and believed he could handle the situation but another officer said if the mob was determined to kill the negro he knew of "no way to prevent it."

He said his office had heard of several places where the scheduled lynching might take place and that a force of 32 deputies and a dozen special officers were prepared to try to stop the lynching.

The head of the Florida Council for the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said they had sent telegrams to the governor.

Our next stop is in The Pittsburgh Courier (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) November 17, 1934

Florida Tells The Same Old Story --- Blames Lynching On "Unknown Parties"

Usual Verdict of "Lynched By Unknown Persons" Rendered By Jury In Neal Death Orgy, Proving That Florida Has Sense of Humor. 

MARIANNA, Fla., Nov. 15—(ANP)—The Jackson County Grand Jury reported last Friday that Claude Neal was lynched by "persons unknown to us." 

The lynching of Neal was advertised twelve hours before it took place, after he was seized in an Alabama jail and brought back to Florida. All white persons were urged to come to the lynching. 

The Grand Jury report stated "We are not able to get much direct or positive information with reference to this matter practically all our evidence and information being hearsay and rumors. 

Continuing on our journey, we come again to the pages of The Pittsburgh Courier dated November 10, 1934:

Howard Law Dean Insists Uncle Sam Punish Neal Lynchers; "Remember Lindbergh Case!"

Challenges Attorney General's Statement That Neal and Lindbergh Cases Differ In Point of Law and Federal Government Has No Jurisdiction. 

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8—(ANP)—Challenging published statements of Attorney General Homer Cummings to the effect that the Lindbergh kidnaping [sic] act does not apply to the kidnaping [sic] and lynching of Claude Neal in Florida two weeks ago, the senior law class at Howard University, Chas. Houston, dean, has wired statements to President Roosevelt and Mr. Cummings, insisting that the federal law specifically provide for action in such cases: 

The wire to President Roosevelt reads: 

"Department of Justice asserts no federal jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute murderers of Claude Neal lynched last Friday near Marianna, Fla. In so doing Attorney General repudiates 1934 amendment to Lindbergh law introduced in Congress at his very request to give federal authority jurisdiction in all interstate kidnaping [sic] regardless of reason. The senior law class of Howard University urges you to bring influence of your office to bear on the Department of Justice to compel it to recognize and enforce the very law which it promoted and sponsored. The class also urges you to make public declaration against lynching and your support of an effective federal anti-lynching bill in view of constant failure of state machinery to check lynching and punish the lynchers." 

In similar vein was the wire to Mr. Cummings: 

"Newspapers quote your Department as stating no federal jurisdiction in case of lynching of Claude Neal kidnaped [sic] in Alabama last Thursday, transported to Florida and lynched last Friday. In view of fact Department of Justice itself sponsored 1934 Amendment to Lindbergh law making interstate kidnaping [sic] for any reason a federal offense. The senior class of Howard University regards the position of the Department of Justice as a repudiation of its former position and a surrender for its trust to the entrenched forces of lawlessness and race hatred. We call upon you for the same vigorous enforcement of the amended Lindbergh law in the Claude Neal kidnaping [sic] as your department showed in tracking down Hauptmann, Bailey and the other criminals who kidnaped [sic] for ransom." 

The original Lindbergh Act read: "Whoever shall knowingly transport or cause to be transported, or aid or abet in transporting, in interstate or foreign commerce, any person who shall have been unlawfully seized, confined, inveigled, decoyed, kidnaped [sic], abducted, or carried away by any mans whatsoever and held for ransom or reward shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for such term of years as the court, in its discretion, shall determine..." 

As amended the Act states: 

"Whoever shall knowingly transport or cause to be transported, or aid or abet in transporting, in interstate or foreign commerce, any person who shall have been unlawfully seized, confined, inveigled, decoyed, kidnaped [sic], abducted, or carried away by any mans whatsoever and held for ransom or reward or otherwise, except, in the case of a minor by a parent thereof, shall, upon conviction, be punished (1) by death if the verdict of the jury shall so recommend, provided that the sentence of death shall not be imposed by the court if, prior to its imposition, the kidnaped [sic] person has been liberated unharmed, or (2) if the death penalty shall not apply nor be imposed the convicted person shall be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for such term of years as the court, in its discretion, shall determine..."

In its report to the Senate Judiciary committee, the Department of Justice, speaking of the words "or otherwise" in the amendment said the purpose of the words was "to extend the jurisdiction of this act to persons who have been kidnaped [sic] and held, not only for reward, but for any other reason." 

Continuing along with the Pittsburgh Courier to December the fifteenth of the same year:

Governor Shultz Urged to Halt Return of Neal Women to Marianna

Victim's Mother or Aunt Had No Connection With Alleged Crime, N. A. A. C. P.  Contends.

NEW YORK, Dec. 13.—Governor David Sholtz of Florida was urged today by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to prevent the return to Marianna, Florida, of Mrs. Annie Smith, mother and Mrs. Sallie Smith, aunt of Claude Neal, who was lynched there on October 26th, after being kidnaped [sic] from the Brewton, Alabama jail.

The telegram, which was sent upon receipt of news from Pensacola that the two women were to be returned to Marianna to  be tried as accessories to the crime for which Neal was lynched, stater: [sic]

"Investigation has shown that neither Neal's mother nor aunt had even the remotest connection with the crime with which Neal was charged. To return these helpless women to Marianna which is still in a state of excitement and hostility is practically to invite mob vengeance either by physical violence or farcical trial upon these persons. The National Associatiaon [sic] for the Advancement of Colored People vigorously urges you to prevent such return and also urges that speedy action be taken to release them from custody."

As has been the case for this lynching, we come to another very long article from the Pittsburgh Courier of which I will share a small amount, dated January 23, 1937:

Then, since our white folks are making such to-do about kidnaping [sic], what about the case of Claude Neal? Here was a young colored boy, not much older than the Mattson child, and whose parents loved him. Neal and a young white girl had been alleged friends for years, a fact known to many people of both races in Marianna, Fla. When she was discovered murdered, he was promptly  charged with the killing. The sheriff whisked him from jail to jail, with the mob in hot pursuit. Finally Claude was taken to Pensacola, Fla., across the State line to Brewton, Ala. There the mob surrounded the jail and kidnaped [sic] him, while the jailer protested so loudly that he could scarcely hear himself. The lynching was advertised in the newspapers and over the radio for twelve hours before it took place. An Associated Press reporter had time to motor from Montgomery, Ala., to the scene of the orgies. Spectators came from half a dozen States. Claude was tortured with red hot pokers and mutilated with jack knives by a "committee" throughout the night. His perforated carcass, minus several fingers and toes, was deposited in front of the girl's home. Her old mother came out and buried a butcher knife in the dead body. Finally Claude was hung in front of the courthouse, appropriately enough.

Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

October 25, 1898: Luther Sullivan, Jim McKie, and Wash McKie

Join me today in a journey to the past, to a lynching in South Carolina. We learn the details of this lynching through the pages of The Evening Index (Greenwood, S. C.) dated October 27, 1898:


Jim Mackie and Luther Sullivan, colored, were lynched at Republican church, Edgefield county, Tuesday, night for the murder of Mrs. J. O. Atkinson last week. Since the murder there has been no doubt that there would be a lynching if anything like positive proof of guilt should be fixed on anybody.

The coroner's inquest held Tuesday—having been adjourned from Thursday last—elicited substantial proof of the guilt of these two negroes and Wash Mackie. The inquest lasted all day. It was proven these negroes had a grudge against Mr. Atkinson and aimed to kill him. The death of Mrs. Atkinson was probably not contemplated.

There were 600 men at the inquest at Republican church and they were armed with all sorts of guns. The customary speeches about "letting the law take its course" were made and the neighbors of Mrs. Atkinson listened quietly. In the face of the evidence they decided to ignore the speeches.

Jim Mackie, Luther Sullivan and Wash Mackie were started to Edgefield jail about dark under a guard of 20 men. But the citizens confronted the guard and commenced firing at the three prisoners. Jim Mackie and Sullivan were killed on the spot, while Wash Mackie is thought to have escaped.

The men of Edgefield having avenged the foul murder of a noble woman probably care very little for the numerous law and order lectures which will be hurled at them from over the State. It is sincerely to be hoped this is the last chapter in one of the most awful crimes in Edgefield's history.

The next stop of our journey is brought to us by The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated October 27, 1898:


The Negro, It Is Supposed, Is Still Running for Life.


Testimony at the Coroner's Investigation Showing Guilt

Dramatic Scene During the Taking of Testimony, Where Jim McKie Accused Andrew Lee of Taking Part in Killing Mrs. Atkinson.

Augusta, Ga, October 26.—(Special.)—There is no definite news from Wash McKie, the negro who escaped the volley of the Edgefield mob on Tuesday night. Whether he was wounded and has since died from his wounds, or whether he made good his escape, is yet to be ascertained. He certainly had a close call, and if he escaped it was little short of a miracle.

After the examination of witnesses was over the prisoners were kept in the church until the crowd would go home. Many left but there were others who were bent on wreaking vengeance for the murder of Mrs. Atkinson, who would not go. The jury instructed the coroner to have Jim McKie, Wash McKie, Luther Sullivan, Squire Green and Jim Smith committed to jail and have them brought back November 7th for further investigation.

It was rumored that they would be lynched if started for Edgefield. Cool heads tried to keep it down and publicly advised it. Sheriff W. H. Ouzsts was present and deputized a number of men to accompany the prisoners to the jail. They all formed into a line, with the prisoners between them and began to march toward Edgefield.

Shooting the Accused.

At 9:20 o'clock Wash McKie, Jim McKie and Luther Sullivan, much against their will, with their hands tied, were marched out of the church, surrounded by about ten of the posse. When they advanced quickly and in silence to about 150 yards there was a general calling of "Come on, boys! What are you waiting for?" and in a few moments about fifty men surrounded the posse, still walking quickly toward Edgefield. When about 500 yards from the church the men closed around the guards, completely forcing them aside for a moment. Some one cried "Run!" and the three wretches tried to obey as fifteen of twenty guns belched forth their charges of buckshot. Sullivan and Jim McKie lurched forward, turned half around, and fell face forward on the side of the road, the former raising his tied hands under his chin. Wash McKie kept on running, and though a search party went after him, he escaped.

The shooting occurred exactly one week almost to the minute from the time Mrs. Atkinson was shot in sight of the place. The deputies prevailed on the crowd not to shoot after the first fire was heard, but with no results other than a continued shooting.

Jim McKie has been suspected of the assassination of Mrs. Atkinson for days past, though it is believed his intention was  to murder Mr. J. O. Atkinson, and not his wife. In order to entrap him he was employed as a sort of detective to aid the white men in ferreting out the crime, but at the same time a sharp lookout was kept on Jim.

Jim McKie's Testimony.

At the coroner's inquest Jim was put on the stand and testified that a few days ago he had a conversation with Andrew Lee, who confessed to him that he had committed the crime, being angry with Mr. Atkinson about one of his hogs being bitten to death by Mr. Atkinson's dogs. Lee said Squire Green was also in wait for Mr. Atkinson that night on the Moore road, Green being revengeful because some trouble Mr. Atkinson had got him into about Green's brother's wife. McKie asked that it not be told to the colored people that he had so testified because Lee, he said, had told him if he breathed it he would go a-helling.

Lee, in testifying, denied all knowledge of the crime and said he was on good terms with Mr. Atkinson, a statement which the latter corroborated.

Several other discrepancies being found In McKie's statement, he and Lee were brought face to face with the result of eliciting the one dramatic scene of the trial. When Lee heard McKie's charge from his own lips he straightened to his full height, put his arms akimbo and looked straight at the man, doing all in his power to cause his death, and waited until Jim had finished his halting statement. He then said, "Gentlemen, this is the first I ever heard of that, and I don't think it is right for you to stand there and let that man say what will cause me to be murdered or hung. I never told him anything at all and he knows it."

Some one cried out, "Give 'em winchesters and let them fight it out." Lee replied:  "Yes sir, I'm willing; but don't let him say anything like that."

His statement as to his whereabouts on Tuesday night was corroborated in detail by his wife.

The testimony given by the witnesses in the McKie-Sullivan family showed evidence of having been rehearsed and served to strengthen the case against old man (Wash) Mackie, Jim Mackie and Luther Sullivan. To them alone could be traced any motive for the crime. It was known that McKie had applied for the postoffice position held by Mr. Atkinson, whose death, moreover, would remove the only white man in the neighborhood and leave their family in full sway.

At 5:10 o'clock the church was cleared and the jury began it's deliberations. It was then manifest that there would be a lynching. There was no excitement of any kind, everyone appearing cool and calm, as though no such  serious business was ahead. All waited patiently for a while. Those who had anything to eat, ate it. Little groups gathered to discuss the case in its various bearings and an itinerant photographer did a rushing business by taking a picture of all in a group and then taking orders at 25 cents each.

About 6 o'clock the prisoners, not then before the jury, were removed under guard to the cemetery nearby and Rev. J. P. Mealing addressed the assembly, asking them to let the law pursue its course, not to endanger the lives of members of the posse, but to be law-abiding citizens.

Remarks of a similar nature were also made by Attorney S. M. Smith, of Edgefield, who was examiner of the witnesses at the trial; by Rev. Mr. McMillan, of Graniteville; Sheriff Ouzsts and Mr. George Evans. The last speaker was interrupted by several voices crying:  "We don't want no more speaking." "Don't give us any more talk." "The time has come to act." etc.

Later followed the exit of the prisoners from the church under guard, for Edgefield jail, the overpowering of the guard and the shooting of the prisoners as related above.

The final leg of our journey brings us to two years later. This time it is brought to us by the Edgefield Advertiser (Edgefield, S. C.) dated 17th October 1900:

The County to be Sued.

The following, bearing on a matter of interest to Engefield [sic] county, we clip from the Augusta, Chronicle:

Edgefield, S. C., Oct. 12—The wife of Jim McKie, deceased, who it is charged was lynched at Republican Church two years ago, has applied to the Court of Probate of this county for letters of administration on his estate, the purpose being to recover $2,000 from the county under the late constitution of this state allowing said sum of money to the personal representative of any one taken from an officer and lynched. Solicitor J. William Thurmond was interviewed by your correspondent to-day on the subject and as to the final outcome of the suit if filed. His position in favor of the county seems to be unanswereble [sic] Your correspondent asked Mr. Thurmond the following questions:  Do you think Jim McKie and Luther Sullivan assassinated Mrs. Atkinson?  He replied as follows:  "I investigated the case and have no doubt of it."

"Well, Mr. Thurmond, do you think there is any merit in the case to be instituted by the personal representative of the two deceased negroes?"

He said:  "In reply to that question I will say that they have no claim founded on justice. Those negroes became outlaws and forfeited their lives by committing a most brutal crime, that of assaulting an innocent white woman with a large family of children without the slightest reason or excuse."

Mr. Thurmond went on to say:  "Now, of course, I am opposed to lynch law, but in this case death to those darkies was an inevitable result of their dastardly conduct, and the only criticism I have to make of the manner of their death is that the sheriff did not hang them after trial."

Mr. Thurmond then went on to say:  "Is it not absurd to say that the personal representatives of those two negro assassins must be rewarded handsomely and the personal representatives of Mrs. Adkinson must content themselves with grief, heartache and a horrible remembrance of a good woman's decease? The constitution of the United States and our own provide that every person shall have equal protection under the laws. Mrs. Adkinson's killing was certainly unlawful. Nothing more can be said of the killing of those darkies. Would there be justice or equal protection in giving the personal representatives of the negroes and not the personal representatives of Mrs. Adkinson a remedy against the county under the circumstances?"

"How about the costs?," was asked Mr. Thurmond.

He replied:  "There are attorneys here who will resist such a case without cost to the county."

I guess final leg was a bit too hopeful. I took the time to see if anything was discovered about Wash McKie and I found several articles. I will be finishing with two. The first article comes from the Keowee Courier (Pickens, S. C.) dated November 3, 1898:

Third Victim of the Edgefield Lynching.

AUGUSTA, Ga., October 27.—Old man Wash McKie is dead. His body was discovered yesterday in the bushes not far from the scene of the killing of his son and son-in-law by the mob of Edgefield county citizens.

McKie's body was literally shot to pieces, more than twenty bullet holes being found in it when it was discovered.

Sheriff Outz, with a party of deputies and citizens, had been searching for Wash McKie, dead or alive, since the two negroes were killed by the mob, but no trace of the old man was found until yesterday, when the party returned to the scene of the killing of the day previous, when they discovered the body of the old man almost hidden by brush and leaves in an isolated place where the old man had fallen after being fired upon by the mob of citizens in his desperate effort to escape.

With the finding of the body of Wash McKie the victims of the Edgefield lynchers are three, and with their killing the assassination of Mrs. J. L. Atkinson has been avenged.

There is great excitement near the Republican church in Edgefield county, and although there has been no uprising of the negroes, the whites are on their guard and are ready to protect themselves in case the negroes attempt to avenge the killing of Wash McKie, Jim McKie and Luther Sullivan.

It will be remembered that the three negroes assassinated Mr. Atkinson because her husband was appointed postmaster over old man Wash McKie, who was an aspirant for the place.

The final article is short and to the point. It comes to us from The Gaffney Ledger (Gaffney, S. C.) dated November 3, 1898:

Third Victim of Lynchers.

AUGUSTA, Ga., Oct. 28.—The body of Was McKie, the third of the negroes fired on by the Edgefield lynchers, has been found. Was McKie was the most prominent negro in that district and a successful farmer, employing other negroes to work for him. He was a candidate for postmaster, and it is said the enmity against Mr. Atkinson, which resulted in the assassination of his wife, grew out of the negro's disappointment at being defeated for this office.

I found this whole case so strange. There were a lot of people the coroner's jury wanted placed in jail. I am not sure why if they truly thought only the three were guilty. I also find the whole matter suspect after reading the final article. If McKie was so prominent why would he risk everything in an assassination? I wish I knew more about the backgrounds of each person, but alas, I do not have the ability to do all that research. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Friday, October 24, 2014

October 24, 1882: Charles Thurber

Today we travel to a lynching in the Dakota Territory in 1882. This lynching i brought to us through the pages of the Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye (Burlington, Iowa) dated October 26, 1882:

The Outrages of a Beastly Black Brute.

Chicago, Oct. 24.—A Grand Forks, D. T., special says:  Yesterday Charles Lurbane, a negro barber, met a Norwegian girl on the road and ravished her in the most brutal manner. He rode on about a mile, entered the house of Conductor Sam Burbank, of the Manitoba road, and outraged Mrs. Burbank. A party saw the first deed, and started in pursuit. At Burbank's house they killed his horse, but the black brute escaped, flourishing a knife. Two parties are now in pursuit. The negro undoubtedly will be lynched, if caught.


Grand Forks, D. T., Oct. 24.—Charles Thurber, the negro who outraged Mrs. Burbank and the Norwegian girl near Norton, Dakota territory, yesterday, was taken from jail to-day by a mob of two thousand strong and lynched.

I originally found this lynching through I went in search of it through papers afterwards. If you would like to read the article where I first found this lynching you can find it here.
Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October 23, 1898: John Anderson

Join me in a trip to the past brought to us by the Chicago Daily Tribune on October 26, 1898:


Now Believed an Alabama Mob Lynched a Negro for a Murder He Did Not Commit.

Lafayette, Ala., Oct. 25.—[Special.]—There is every reason to believe that the mob which lynched the negro, John Anderson, here last Sunday morning, hanged the wrong man.

On the scaffold Anderson confessed to a knowledge of the crime, but insisted that he was not the murderer.

According to his ante-mortem statement T. L. Norris, a neighbor of Holmes, the victim, and another white man, whom the prisoner did not know, had murdered Mr. Holmes and had subsequently given him $20 to carry the body away and conceal it in the swamp.

The mob refused to believe Anderson's story and hanged him without waiting to verify it. As they returned from the scene of the lynching, however, some of Norris' acquaintances stopped at his dwelling to inform him of the negro's story, and they found he had not been seen about the neighborhood since the morning after the murder.

Soon after it developed that Holmes, who was a law-abiding man, had recently reported Norris to the United States authorities for illicit whisky distilling, and was therefore chief witness against him in a case involving his personal liberty.

An industrious search for Norris has since been made with the result that he has been apprehended in a remote portion of an adjoining county. The probability is that he will not be brought into Chambers County, as he also might be lynched.

Government officers are here to ferret out the facts. The government is involved by reason of the murder of a government witness. Who Norris' and Anderson's other accomplice was is not known or surmised.

I have noticed many times that the reports frequently say that the lynchers came from a different area and are not their townspeople. While this may be true in some cases, in others it seems completely ridiculous. This case is no different, so here is a snippet from The Sandusky Star-Journal (Sandusky, Ohio) from October 24, 1898:

Lynched by a Mob.

Lafayette, Ala., Oct. 24.—John Anderson, colored, charged with the murder of Charles Holmes, a well known farmer, was lynched here by a mob of people of Fredonia and West Point, Ga.

Our final stop on our journey is the Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, New Jersey) printed October 27, 1898:


The lynching of negroes in the South goes merrily on. In Edgefield County, S. C., a few days ago, two were lynched at the same time, although a coroner's jury had exonerated one of them, and not before turning over every stone and a hunt for evidence against him. The mob must have been greatly incensed at this coroner who could not somehow find evidence against a "niggah, sah," and the wonder is that he was not worked off also as an example to other coroners. These two negroes had each accused the other of killing a white woman. It was not thought that both had had a hand in the murder, but that no guilty "nigger" should escape the discriminating  mob killed both.

In the Times yesterday was printed a telegraphic dispatch from Lafayette, Ala., which conveyed the intelligence that John Anderson, the colored man lynched there Sunday morning, is now known not to be guilty of the crime of which he was suspected. This happens frequently, but it does not seem to have any influence upon public sentiment in the South against the brutal and cowardly crime of lynching.

The indiscriminate murdering of men has been going on so long and has become such a blot upon the national character that some administration at Washington will be obliged to take some more serious notice of it than a perfunctory mention in a message to Congress.

Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October 22, 1895: Jim Umbra and Mexican John

Join me is a journey to the past to 1895 Oklahoma Territory through the pages of The Wichita Beacon (Wichita, Kansas) dated October 23, 1895:


With a Comrade He Is Captured and Sent to the Beyond.

Cattle and Horse Stealing Are Unpopular In the Territory.


People Will Please Take Warning that Transgressions Are Dangerous.

John Had Worked as a Barber But Could Not Save His Own Neck.

Kansas City, Oct.23.—A special to the Star from Hennessy, Okla., says:  Jim Umbra and Mexican John, Mexicans, and members of the Wyatt gang of outlaws, were yesterday lynched by enraged cattlemen who suffered greatly at their hands. The desperadoes had stolen 50 head belonging to Ben Chapmen and his cowboys gave chase. Fifteen miles from Cantonment, the desperadoes were closed in upon and after a fusilade [sic] of bullets surrendered. The cowboys identified the cattle and taking a rope pulled the men up to the first tree. A label was attached to their clothing warning other members of the band to quit horse stealing or suffer a like fate. Mexican John was well known in this city where he had worked as a barber. Umbra was a hard character and an intimate friend of Zip Wyatt before the latter's death.

We'll end this journey with a little tidbit from The Guthrie Daily Leader (Guthrie, Oklahoma) dated April 26, 1906:

Games in Mississippi.

The Mississippi legislature has considered a bill to abolish bridge whist, euchre and other card games, and now a lawmaker proposes to legalize lynching. The Mississippi taste for amusements is evidently peculiar.—Pittsburg Dispatch.

 Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 21, 1896: John Hollinghead

Today's post comes to us through the Boston Evening Transcript (Boston, Massachusetts) dated October 22, 1896:


[J]ohn Hollinhead, Who Was Instrumental in Sending Several Lynchers to Prison, the Victim of Avengers.

Mobile, Ala., Oct. 22 (Special)—John Hollinghead, the Washington County farmer who participated in the lynching of Christopher Chambliss, several months ago, then turned State's evidence and convicted several of the lynchers, who were sentenced to life imprisonment a few days ago, was yesterday assassinated in the roadway near his home, being shot from ambush by a dozen men. Some thirty other citizens of Washington are under indictment on suspicion of having participated in the lynching, but all the State's witnesses have left for parts unknown.

The incident I have chosen for today was listed as a lynching in the Chicago Daily Tribune dated January 1, 1897. The same paper also listed an unknown negro as being lynched  on the same date as Hollinghead at Sunnyside, Mississippi for murder. I found no details for that lynching which is why I have no article. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20, 1884: Jane Wade and J. R. Dorsey

Join me into the past, to Cherokee County, Alabama through the pages of The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) printed October 22, 1884:



The Alpine Tragedy Results in the Lynching of the Guilty Pair Who Were Suspected of the Murder of Mrs. Davis—The Appearance of the Midnight Riders—Their Mission.

ROME, Ga., October 21.—[Special.]—On the morning of October 8th. THE CONSTITUTION published the account of the terrible murder of Mrs. Mary H. Davis , in Cherokee county, Alabama, near Alpine, Chattooga county, Georgia. Her uncle, J. R. Dorsey and Jane Wade, were arrested for complicity in the crime and lodged in jail at Centre. The sequel to this terrible tragedy occurred last night, when Dorsey and Jane Wade were taken by a mob from Centre jail and lynched. The following details of the affair were received to-day, over the wires of the Coosa River telegraph company:


About 11:30 o'clock last night a mob composed of about forty men, three or four of whom were masked, all armed with shotguns, arrived in Centre. It is supposed that they came from Chattooga county, Ga., having crossed the Coosa river at Hardwick's ferry, four miles above Cedar Bluff. The mob proceeded to the jail very quietly, so quietly in fact, that the citizens of Centre were not disturbed in their slumbers, and the mob met with no opposition. The sheriff of Cherokee county was not at home, and his wife, with a young brother of the sheriff, had charge of the jail.


The mob having aroused the sheriff's wife, presented their guns and told her the sooner Dorsey and Jane Wade were given up the better it would be for her. Three masked men then seized the keys and entered the jail. The other prisoners were terribly frightened, but the men told them to keep quiet; that they wanted no one but Dorsey and Jane Wade. When the cells of Dorsey and the woman were reached, they were taken without difficulty out of the jail, and placed in a buggy. Jane Wade wept bitterly, but neither she nor Dorsey made any efforts at resistance. Three quarters of a mile from the town the cavalcade halted.


The buggy containing the two culprits was driven under a tree, a rope was fastened around the neck of each and fastened to two limbs of the same tree. The buggy was driven from under them and Dorsey and Jane Wade were launched into eternity. Dorsey's neck was broken. The woman died of strangulation. They made no confessions.

Today Centre was unusually quiet. The mob had left no traces of their terrible work save the two dead bodies, and these were taken to the court house.


A coroner's inquest was held. The verdict was rendered in accordance with the facts above detailed. The bodies were viewed by large numbers of people to-day.

J. R. Dorsey was 74 years of age. Up to the beginning of the late war he was considered one of the most prominent citizens  of Cherokee county. He leaves considerable property.

Jane Wade was 46 years old. She was a woman of bad character. Dorsey took up with her several years ago.


None of the mob have as yet been identified, but one person is suspected of having taken part in the proceedings last night.

Now we will travel a little further back to see what led to this lynching. Our journey brings us to The Atlanta Constitution on October 11, 1884:


The Alleged Assassins Threatened by an Infuriated Mob.

CHATTANOOGA, October 10.—[Special]—Further details of the terrible murder of Mrs. Mary Davis at Alpine, in Chatooga county, Ga., have just been received. C. C. Jones, a relative of the family was standing on a direct line with Mrs. Davis, when the assassin fired. He received twenty-four slugs in his body and died in a few hours. At the preliminary examination of J. R. Dorsey and Jane Wade, the prostitute who was arrested as an accomplice in the murder, the evidence adduced was very conclusive and the magistrate remanded to jail without bail. The officers were instructed to convey the prisoners to jail, but before they could leave the scene excitement became so intense, that they were rapidly taken to the mountains and concealed to prevent being lynched. The mob numbered fully 300 and was composed of the best citizens in the county. The leader of the mob states they will yet hang the murderer. Dorsey is the postmaster at Alpine, and is one of the leading men of that section.

One more trip a little further back to the same paper dated October 8, 1884:


She is a Cousin of Sam Hardwick, Who Was Murdered Near the Same Place Three Months Ago—Her Uncle Arrested for Complicity in the Crime—Crimes Elsewhere.

CHATTAHOOGA, Tenn., October 7.—[Special.] A shocking murder occurred last night near Alpine, Ga., surpassing in horror any crime that has happened in this region in years. Mrs. Mary H. Davis was shot and killed while standing in her own door way. The shot was fired from an ambush. Mrs. Davis fell across the threshold, perforated with slugs. The shot was heard by neighbors, but the lady was in her dying throes before assistance reached her. Officers at once began a careful inquiry. To-day her uncle, J. R. Dorsey, and a prostitute named Jane Wade were arrested for complicity in the deed. About three months ago a cousin of Mrs. Davis, Sam Hardwick, who lives near her was called from his house and assassinated in the same manner. About a week ago Dr. Freeman, a prominent physician in that locality, was arrested for that murder. All the parties are wealthy and are among the leading families in their county. Some deep mystery is attached to both crimes and it is thought that the investigation now on foot will solve it.

According to a different article, Dr. Freeman was a relative of J. R. Dorsey. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

October 19, 1911: Jerry Lovelace

Come along with me on a journey through history. Today we visit Manchester, Georgia through the pages of The Washington Times (Washington, D. C.) dated October 19, 1911:


MANCHESTER,Ga., Oct. 19.—Without firing a shot or exchanging a blow a mob of thirty men quietly lynched Jerry Lovelace, a colored brakeman, charged with having assaulted Yardmaster Kernan. Half a dozen masked men overpowered Marshal Collier and took the jail keys from him. They ledtheir [sic] victim to Ferndale Park, and hanged him to a tree within ten feet of the sidewalk.

The first article gives us the bare bones and also establishes the date. Our next destination is brought to us through the pages of the Warren Times Mirror (Warren, Pennsylvania) printed October 20, 1911:


Taken From Jail and Hanged In Heart of Town.

Manchester, Ga., Oct. 20.—Because he knocked down a white man last night. Jerry Lovelace, a negro, was taken from jail at 2 o'clock this morning and lynched. There were about 30 men in the mob and they took the negro to Ferndale park, in the heart of Manchester, and hanged him.

Last night Lovelace was arrested and jailed on a charge of having assaulted Yardmaster W. F. Kernan of the Atlantic & Birmingham railroad. There was much feeling and after midnight a mob formed, captured City Marshal Collier and secured the jail keys and the officer's gun.

Leaving the marshal bound, the mob unlocked the jail, secured the negro and lynched him. After the lynching the mob returned to Marshal Collier, unbound him and returned the jail keys and his gun.

Manchester is a comparatively new place. It has been extensively advertised and was known as the "model town."

We will round out our journey with an interesting article brought to us by The Allentown Democrat (Allentown, Pennsylvania) printed January 2, 1912:


Out of This Number 58 Were Negroes—Georgia Leads With Seventeen.

Chicago, ill., Jan. 1.—The lynching record for 1911 shows a distinct though slight improvement over the records of previous years. The number of persons lynched since January 1—sixty—is slightly less than that of any recent year. All but two of the sixty persons lynched were negroes. Of the fifty-eight negroes, one was a woman. "The crimes charged against those victims range all the way from insult to criminal assault and murder. Georgia leads with the most lynchings—seventeen. Lynchings occurred in thirteen states. All of these were Southern or border states excepting Pennsylvania, which furnished the only instance of this year where the victim was burned at the stake.

Contrary to records of the previous years the majority of the victims were not accused of crimes against women. The victims accused of attacks on women, numbered eighteen, while thirty-one were accused of murder. Two negroes were lynched for insulting white women, four for attempted murder, one for threatening to murder, one for highway robbery, and one for persistent stealing. Two were charged with plain assault and one was being held in jail as a suspicious character.

In several instances race riots were reported in which both whites and blacks were killed. These are not included in the record of the year. In the following record the word "lynching" has been held to apply only to the summary punishment inicted [sic] by a mob or by any number of citizens on a person alleged to have committed a crime for which in the ordinary course that person would have been tried by law.

The detailed record for 1911 is as follows:

Alabama—(Three: all negroes.) Feb. 12—Eufaula, Iver Peterson, attack on woman. Mch. 11—Pike county, Jackson Walker, criminal attack. April 2.—Union Springs, Aberdine Johnson, criminal attack.

Arkansas—(Two negroes: one white.) Sept. 9.—Augusta, A. Dean, murder. Sept. 27.—Dumas, Charles Malpass (white) murder. Oct. 16.—Forest City, Nathan Lacey, criminal attack.

Florida—(Seven:  all negroes.) Mch. 4.—Cyprss, [sic] Calvin Baker, threat to murder. May 21.—Lake City, six unknown neroes [sic], murder.

Georgia—(Seventeen: al [sic] negroes.) Jan. 22.—Avers, William Johnson, murder. Feb. 24.—Warrentown, Robert Jones, Murder. Feb. 24—Lawrenceville, Charles Hale, criminal attack. April 8.—E'aville Dawson Jordan, murder  April 8.—Ellaville, Murray Durton, murder. May 14.—Swainsboro, Ben Smith, murder. May 22.—Crawfordsville, Joe Moore, murder. June 27.—Monroe, Tom Allen, criminal attack. June 27.—Monroe, Joe Watts, under suspicion. July 11.—Baconton, Will McGriff, murder. Oct. 4.—Baldwins Bridge, unknown negro, criminal attack. Oct. 7.—Irwinton, Andrew Chapman, criminal attack. Oct. 19.—Manchester, Jerry Lovelace, assault to murder. Oct. 28.—Washton, Dave Walker, murder.

Kentucky.—(Three: all negroes) Jan. 15.—Shelbyville, Gene Marshall, murder. Jan. 15.—Shelbyville, Wade Patterson, insulting  white woman. Apr. 20.—Livermore, Will Potter, murder.

Louisianna [sic]—(Four:  all negroes.)  Jan. 30.—Ville Platte, Oval Poulard, attempted murder. Jan. 30.—Slidell, Same Cooley, criminal attack. May 28.—Moeling, Frank Jones, criminal attack. July 24.—Claiborne [P]arish, Myles Taylor. murder.

Mississippi—(Six:  all negroes.) Mch. 25.—Rockport, Will Brown, murder. Bay [sic] 5.—Louisville, Cliff Jones, attempted murder. May 5.—Louisville, Bruce White, attempted murder. June 1.—Shelby, Alfred Johnson( burder. [sic] June 16.—Chunky, William Bradford, attempted murder. Nov. 7.—Lockhart, "Judge" Moseley, assault.

Missouri.—(Two negroes) Oct. 10.—Caruthersville, A. B. Richardson, robbery and assault. Oct. 10.—Carruthersville, Ben Woods, robbery and assault.

Oklahoma.—[(]Seven negroes:  one woman.) May 25.—Okema, Mrs. Mary Nelson, (negress), murder. May 25.—Mrs. Nelson's son, murder. Aug. 13.—Durant, unknown negro, criminal attack. Oct. 22.—Coweta, Ed Suddeth, murder Dec. 3.—Manford, "Bud" Walker, highway robbery. Dec. 5.—Valiant, unknown negro, criminal attack.

Pennsylvania—(One gro.) [sic] Aug. 13.—Coatesville, Zach Walker (burned), murder.

South Carolina—(One negro), Oct. 10.—Honea Path, Willis Jack, criminal attack. [(]One other lynching reported but report not confirmed.)      

Tennessee—Three: [(] all negroes.) May 23.—Gallatin, Jim Sweat, murder. June 1.—White Haven, Pat Crump, criminal attack. June 8.—Lafayette, John Winston, murder.

Texts[sic]—(Three negroes and one white.) June 18.—Thorndale, unknown Mexican youth, murder. Aug. 12.—Farmersville, Commodore Jones, insulting white woman. Oct. 29.—Marshall, Will Ollive, criminal attack. Nov. 6.—Clarksville, Riley Johnson, criminal attack.

Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

October 18, 1933: George Armwood

Join me today in a jaunt through history involving a lynching in Maryland and the consequences following. Our first visit to Princess Anne, Maryland comes to us through The Taylor Daily Press (Taylor, Texas) printed on October 19, 1933:


PRINCESS ANNE, Md., Oct. 19.(UP)—A mob of nearly 3000 overpowered state police and lynched George Armwood, 28-year-odl [sic] negro, last night. Armwood was charged with attacking Mrs. Mary Denston, 71, white as she returned to her farm home Monday night.

Repulsed by tear gas bombs on its first advance, the mob finally battered down the doors of the Somerset county jail with timbers and seized the negro. A rope was placed around his neck and he was dragged behind an automobile through the streets.

Near the home of Judge Robert Duer, local police jurist, the mob hanged him to a tree, although apparently he was already dead from the effects of the mob's treatment. One of his ears had been nearly severed.

After the hanging the mob cut the body down and took it to the courthouse lawn, where it was burned.

The next leg of our journey is brought to us by The Pittsburg Courier (Pittsburg, Pennsylvania) dated November 4, 1933:



Maryland Bows to Demand of Armwood Lynchers—Radical Threat to Rob Grave Results In "Shoot to Kill" Order.

BALTIMORE, Md., Nov, 2—"If they had hanged that 'nigger' Euel Lee two years ago, we wouldn't have lynched George Armwood," was the defy which a Princess Anne mob hurled into the teeth of law and order on the Maryland East Coast week before last, so on Thursday midnight Euel Lee paid the price of prejudice on the gallows, when he was hanged at the Maryland penitentiary.

This was the answer of Governor Ritchie and other high and influential public officials to Maryland's "Red Wednesday," which saw the streets of Princess Anne lit by flames as Armwood paid the supreme sacrifice, while State troopers, surrounding the jail, failed to fire a shot.

They failed to fire their guns as Armwood was taken from a ramshackle jail, pulled through the streets of the town, hanged, shot, and his nude, disfigured body left to sway in the breeze, but after they had buried Euel Lee in a shallow grave in Maryland, police troops and special deputies were placed "on guard" over his grave to prevent an alleged Communist movement to rob the grave and take Lee's aged body to New York.

And when the troops were left to guard the jail, they were given explicit instruction to "shoot to kill."

Efforts To Save Life Fail

Several last minute futile attempts were made to save his life.

Before the Federal Court here writs of habeas corpus and a certiorari were presented after Bernard Ades and David Levinson, Internal Labor Defense attorneys representing Lee, had been prohibited from appearing before the court. The bar was raised against Ades for alleged unbecoming conduct. Judge William C. Coleman stated that Levinson had not shown that he had the right to appear before the court.

Judge Alexander issued the following statement at the time of

The writs were presented by Attorney James McHenry Howard, appointed by the court, and were denied.

At Richmond, Va., an appeal for a certificate of probable cause was made before the United States Circuit Court of Appeals and denied by Judges Morris Soper and John J. Parker, whose ambition to sit on the United States Supreme Court bench Negroes were credited with defeating three years ago.

Before these last two moves, the United States Supreme Court had refused to review the Lee case, and Governor Albert C. Ritchie of Maryland had refused to intervene, expressing the conviction that Lee was guilty.

This next article comes from the same paper on the same date:



Princess Anne's Post Action In Refusing to Help Protect George Armwood Scored—Protest Sent to National Commander.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Oct. 26.—National Commander Edward Hayes of the American Legion received the following telegram last Thursday from Dean Charles H. Houston of the Howard University School of Law, and Leon A. Ranson of Zanesville, Ohio, instructor at the law school and active member of the American Legion:

"Negro Legionnaires and veterans demand that National Headquarters publicly discountenance statement of Commander E. G. Young, of L. Creation Beauchamp Post, Princess Anne, Md., quote:  The Legion will come out to protect men, women and children of Maryland, but not a Negro, unquote. Negro Legionnaires who fought for all races deeply resent flagrant insult of Legion Post that sanctions lynching of Negroes but refuses to aid civil authorities when called upon by the Governor."

Legion Posts Informed

Simultaneous with his dispatch to National Commander Edw. Hayes, both Dean Houston and Mr. Ransom sent the following letter to the commanders of colored and mixed posts:

"The George Armwood lynching in Princess Anne, Md., October 18, 1933, was one of the most revolting and atrocious lynchings which has ever stained the history of the United States. It is especially revolting to Legionnaires on account of the attitude of Commander E. G, Young of the L. Creston Beauchamp Post, Princess Anne, Maryland. Newspapers report that Governor Ritchie telephoned to the sheriff of Somerset County, Maryland, to summon the Legionnaires to preserve order.

"When the sheriff contacted Commander Young, the commander is reported to have issued a statement that "The Legion will come out to protect men, women and children of Maryland but not a Negro!"

"The Legion did not come out. Armwood was lynched by a mob of 3,000 in a village with 1,00 population. Authorities who are investigating are having a difficult time overcoming the 'local conspiracy of silence.'

Hindering Investigation

Continued the Houston-Ransom appeal:

"The Legion not only did not protect Armwood, keep the peace and preserve order prior to the lynching, but it is now shielding the guilty parties and hindering the investigation and prosecution.

"Acting on our own responsibility as veterans and Legionnaires, we sent a day letter October 19 (copy of which is herewith enclosed) to National Commander Edw. Hayes.

"We sincerely hope that your respective Posts will take vigorous and persistent action and will not let up until you have obtained complete satisfaction from the American Legion itself castigating the attitude and expressions of Commander Young and the L. Creston Beauchamp Post. We urge you to enlist all of the sympathetic and liberal Posts, both white and colored,in an effort to place The American Legion squarely behind a program of strict law enforcement regardless of race, creed or color."

(Signed) Leon A. Ransom,
Charles H. Houston,
420 Fifth street, N. W.,
Washington, D. C.

The next piece of history we are to examine comes also from The Pittsburg Courier (Pittsburg, Pennsylvania) dated November 25, 1933:


Weakness of Law's Forces Admitted When State's Attorney Expresses Fear In Armwood Lynch Probe—Attorney General Demands Arrests.

CRISFIELD, Md., Nov. 23—Attorney General William Preston Lane's request that State's Attorney John B. Robins take immediate steps to have nine men arrested for the lynching of George Armwood at Princess Ann, October 18th, is meeting with considerable opposition.

"I don't believe those men would stay in jail," said Robins. "I believe a crowd would form and take them away."

Late last week the attorney general announced that he had forwarded the names of nine persons alleged to have been members of the mob that lynched George Armwood, and asked Robins to have them arrested and taken before the magistrate.

"If Lane wants those men arrested, let him come down here and arrest them," the Somerset County state's attorney said.

Fears Publicity

"He wants to have the nine men arrested and taken before a magistrate. If we did that there would be lots of publicity and excitement.

This next stop is a short article found in The Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland) on the 29th of November, 1933:


PRINCESS ANNE, Md., Nov. 20 (AP).—Steve Hopkins, superintendent of the Somerset county alms house, said today that the grave of George Armwood, lynched negro, believed to have been tampered with last night, will not be re-examined for the present.

Our journey continues on the pages of The News (Frederick, Maryland) on November 28, 1933:


Soldiers Withdrawn After Fighting Occurs At The State Armory

Bricks Hurled At Salisbury Building—Crowds Pour Into City.


"Lynch Lane" "Lynch Ritchie", Among Yells Heard.

Salisbury, Md., Nov. 28 (AP).—Troops sent by Governor Albert C. Ritchie to arrest nine suspects of the Princess Anne lynching today evacuated the armory here and started back to Baltimore after a mob of more than 1,000 persons stormed the building and were repulsed with tear gas, bombs and bayonets.

They took with them four men they arrested in early morning forays into nearby Somerset county where the lynching occurred October 18.

The troops had been ordered to Salisbury when State's Attorney John B. Robins, of Somerset county, declined to arrest men said by eyewitnesses to have been members of the mob that lynched George Armwood, negro.

Three hundred of the soldiers were mobilized in Baltimore last night and arrived in Salisbury shortly before dawn. The arrests followed in short order, although five of those sought could not be found.

As the busses [sic] bearing the militia pulled away there was no attempt on the part of the crowd to molest them.

Some of the crowd, however, lifted an official car bodily and turned it over. A negro chauffeur at the wheel scrambled and ran. The car was said to belong to William Preston Lane, Jr., State Attorney General, who had been inside the armory.

The Salisbury-Wicomico Chamber of Commerce was called hurriedly into a meeting at noon. It was reported the purpose of the summons was to protest against sending troops here.

Before the troops left, fire department equipment from neighboring towns had arrived and took up a position at the department headquarters opposite the armory. The crowd appeared to take this as a kindly gesture and they cheered each on arrival.

Salisbury, Md., Nov. 28 (AP).—Tear gas bombs were hurled by state militia today when a crowd of 400 men apparently incensed at the arrest of four members of the Princess Anne lynch mob, advanced on the state armory here.

The crowd gave was temporarily, but it again advanced and the soldiers, who arrived last night from Baltimore, were driven back into the armory.

A general fire alarm was sounded and firemen came to the rescue of the 300 members of the militia, ordered by Governor Albert C. Ritchie, to arrest nine men said to have been members of the mob that lynched George Armwood, negro, on the night of October 18.

The screaming crowd appeared to be unmindful of the tear gas, coming closer all the while. A few minutes later another barrage of tear gas was loosed.


Brigadier General Milton A Reckord, adjutant general of Maryland, stepped out in the street and said:

"Step back. We don't want to hurt anybody."

Whereupon there was a yell from the crowd"

"What right have you to come down here and run our county?" one man shouted.

Another yell came out:

"Oh, Reckord's all right. He's a regular fellow. He's just obeying orders."

The crowd, which gathered early today after the news spread that the militia had come and was arresting the alleged lynchers, was augmented by long motor caravans converging on Salisbury from many points on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Delaware and Virginia.

The Associated Press correspondent, sending messages on the printer wire, said he could see much of the action from where he was sitting.

In Annapolis, David C. Winebrenner 3rd. Secretary of State, was informed of the developments in Salisbury and said he would leave at once to take the news to Governor Ritchie, who is ill.


A rain of bricks was hurled at the armory by the crowd outside and this was followed by shots, although it was not immediately apparent who had fired them, the soldiers or the mob attacking.

The firemen continued to send streams of water into the tear gas, apparently in an effort to deaden the effects of the fumes. They appeared to be in sympathy with the crowd. This brought cheers from the crowd.

General Reckord appeared on the outside of the armory and ordered all persons standing on porches of private houses in the vicinity of the armory to evacuate.

The troopers were standing about the armory in a cordon with fixed bayonets. The crowd jeered them continuously.

Yells from the crowd could be heard:  "Lynch Lane!" and "Lynch Ritchie!"

Lane Inside Armory.

Attorney General Lane was inside the armory.

A picked battalion of Maryland National Guardsmen, acting under orders of Governor Ritchie, today conducted a systematic roundup of suspects of last month's lynching at Princess Anne.

Moving from Baltimore last night . . .

The governor's orders followed the refusal of the state's attorney of Somerset county, John B. Robins, to arrest nine men on information secured by State's Attorney General William Preston Lane, Jr. Robins contended the proper procedure was to take the case before the grand jury.

Those arrested today were:

William H. Thomson, 33, a Princess Anne druggist who had been a member of the coroner's jury investigating the lynching.

Irving Adkins, 30, or Princess Anne, a special officer at Princess Anne on Saturday nights.

William P. Hearn, 25, of Shad Point, a trucker.

William F. McQuay, 26, of Pocomoke City, a chain store clerk.

All the prisoners were taken from their beds and brought to the Salisbury armory. Clusters of people began to gather near the armory and criticism of Ritchie and Lane could be heard.

In order to guard against possible violence or any attempt to liberate the men. National Guard officers had equipped the troops with ammunition, machine guns, riot guns, gas grenades and automatic rifles.

  I left out two paragraphs because they repeated what had been established earlier in the article. An interesting fact is that the Scottsboro trials were being held at the same time.  Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.