Thursday, November 20, 2014

November 20, 1902: James Dilliard and Lige Wells

Today we are reviewing two lynchings from the same paper. We find these lynchings in The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated November 21, 1902:


Swung to a Telegraph Pole Near Scene of His Crime.

Sullivan, Ind., November 20.—James Dilliard, the Kentucky negro, who criminally assaulted Mrs. Mary Davis, of Sullivan county, and Mrs, John Lemon, of Knox county, on Tuesday, last, was hanged to a telegraph pole 1 mile east of John Lemon's farm at 8 o'clock tonight by a mob.

Dilliard was captured at Lawrenceville, Ills., late yesterday, after a battle with the town marshal, during which the negro was shot three times and severely wounded. He was then taken to Robinson, Ills., for safe keeping.

John Lemon, husband of one of the women who had been assaulted by the negro, with a party of friends, went to Lawrenceville last night and identified him as the woman's assailant. Late this afternoon he was brought to Sullivan in a wagon by the sheriff and his deputies to be taken before the women for further identification.

The sheriff and his deputies attempted to steal into town with their prisoner, but a mob of forty or fifty farmers, heavily armed, took the prisoner away themselves. The negro was taken to the home of Mrs. Davis, where he was identified, and then the mob started with the negro for the farm of John Lemon, 10 miles from the city. The mob, in the meantime, had swelled to enormous proportions.

The negro was identified by Mrs. Lemon. The crowd then started back to Sullivan with the prisoner, but 1 mile east of the Lemon farm a rope was thrown over the arm of a telegraph pole and the trembling wretch was quickly jerked into the air.

The governor had ordered out the Vincennese militia company to protect the negro, but his instructions were received too late.

After hanging the negro the mob quietly dispersed. It was composed mostly of farmers, but was largely augmented by the citizens of Sullivan, Oaktown and other towns of this county.

Negro Lynched in Arkansas.

Wayne, Ark., November 20.—Lige Wells, a negro, charged with assaulting Max Campbell, an Iron Mountain passenger conductor, with a knife and slightly wounding him, was taken from the officers tonight by a mob of armed men, and it is reported that he was lynched. The officers had just boarded the train with their prisoner at this point to take him to the county jail at Forest City, when a dozen masked men entered the coach and forced the officers to give up the negro. The mob left at once for the swamp country to the south of Wynne with the avowed intention of lynching Wells. Information received at a late hour tonight tends to show that the mob carried out it[s] plans.

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

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