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:
A NEGRO DEFAMER OF THE WHITE WOMEN OF NORTH CAROLINA.
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.