Sunday, November 9, 2014

November 9, 1898: Essex Harrison, Jeff Darling, and others

Today  we have quite an interesting lynching. We start with The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) dated November 11, 1898:


Three White Men Also Wounded During Day of Bloodshed and Turbulence.

Trouble Precipitated on Election Day Also Results in the Slaughter of a Dozen Negroes at Rehobeth.

Special Dispatch to The Call.

WILMINGTON, N. C., Nov. 10.—After a day of bloodshed and turbulence Wilmington has subsided to-night into comparative peacefulness. Eight negroes were killed and three white men wounded during the day, one of them, William Mayo, seriously

To-night the city is in the hands of a new municipal government and law and order is being established. This afternoon the Board of Alderman resigned one by one. As each Alderman vacated the remaining elected a successor named by the citizens' committee until the entire board was changed legally. They resigned in response to public sentiment. The new board is composed of conservative Democratic citizens.

The Mayor and Chief of Police then resigned and the new board elected their successors according to law. Ex-Representative Waddell was elected Mayor and E. G. Parmalee Chief of Police.

The first act of the new government was to swear in 250 special policemen, chosen from the ranks of reputable  white citizens. They are vested with all the authority of the law, and will take charge of the city. The citizens' committee will remain on guard throughout the city to prevent attempts at incendiarism. The new government will devote its attention to restraining recklessness among the negroes. further trouble of a general or serious nature is not expected.

Soon after the meeting Mr. George Rountree received a telegram from Governor Russell saying that he would use all his efforts to influence the Mayor and City Council to resign if that would restore peace.

Mr. Rountree sent the following reply:  "Mayor and Aldermen resigned. Two hundred and fifty special policemen sworn in. Law will be maintained and peace restored."

Mr. Rountree is a prominent attorney here and a member of the Democratic Congressional Committee.

the trouble in Wilmington to-day commenced at 8:30 this morning when an armed body of citizens, numbering about 400, and led by ex-Representative Waddell, chairman of a committee of twenty-five appointed for the purpose, proceeded to the publishing house of a negro newspaper, the Record, to wreck it. The editor of this paper had published an article defamatory of white women and a mass-meeting of citizens yesterday demanded his expulsion from the city within twenty-four hours and the removal of his press.Fifteen leading negroes were called in by the committee of twenty-five last night and directed to notify the chairman by 7:30 this morning whether they agree to the removal of the press.  They were told that if no answer was returned the press would be demolished.

No answer was received by the chairman this morning and after waiting an hour the citizens proceeded in a body and demolished the fixtures of the printing office. the building was also fired and gutted. The leaders say that the action was the work of irresponsible persons and as soon as the fire was discovered the fire department was called to extinguish it.

The burning of the printing office created a great commotion among the negroes of the town. The rumor spread that the whites were going to burn and murder in the negro quarter. the rumor reached the negro employees of a cotton compress, numbering 300 or 400, who quit work and hung about the streets in manifest terror. Other parties congregated in the negro section, and it was one of these that the first tragedy was enacted.The men were standing on a corner and were ordered to disperse. They declined, and, it is claimed, fired into the whites.

A fusillade was immediately opened upon them by the whites and three negroes were killed. Two whites were wounded slightly. One negro ran down the street, and, passing a residence, fired a rifle at William Mayo, white, standing on the veranda, shooting him through the left lung. This negro was recognized, pursued and captured while hiding under a bed. It is said he confessed to the shooting. He was riddled with shot by his captors and killed.

In the meantime the town was in a state of great excitement. The whites rushed to the street from every direction, the local militia company was ordered out and a battalion of United States naval reserves proceeded to the vicinity of the trouble with a rapid fire gun.

About 1 o'clock some negroes in a house fired upon a passing party of white men. The house was surrounded and four negroes were captured and taken to the jail. One negro broke way and ran, but was shot down and killed before he proceeded half a block.

During the afternoon there were other affairs of this kind and eight negroes were killed during various times in the disturbed sections. There names at this time are unknown. 

As the news of the riot spread through the neighboring cities they offered to send help, but all such offers were declined, except in the case of Fayetteville, from which town came about  150 men. As night fell the town was completely patrolled and guarded. Very few negroes were on the streets and they were not allowed to congregate anywhere.

The action of the citizens in organizing a new municipal government is expected to bring peace and order, and no rioting is expected to-night. It developed later in the day that the negro committee summoned last night had agreed to use their good offices to have the press removed, although the editor had disappeared and they had no authority on the premises. This letter instead of being delivered to the chairman of the committee of twenty-five in person was put in the mail and did not reach him until three hours after the expiration of the time limit which had been fixed for the reception of the answer.

A crowd was formed to-night to take from the jail and lynch two negroes, Thomas Miller and Ira Bryant, who were arrested to-day, charged with making threats and were regarded as dangerous characters. The Mayor, Colonel Waddell, promptly prohibited the assembling of the crowd at the jail and he himself headed a guard of twenty-five men with Winchesters to guard the prisoners.

Another negro was killed to-night at Tenth and Mulberry streets. He was hailed by a guard, but refused to halt and was shot by the guard.

Three companies of the State Militia will arrive during the night from neighboring cities and aid in maintaining order.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10.—A special from the Post from Greenwood, S. C., says:  Five negroes lay dead at Rehobeth all day along the roadside, another was killed to-day and likely four others are dead and lost in the woods. One white man was buried, three others lie at the point of death and four more have been wounded. Four heads of families have left the country and armed troops of countrymen are scouring the country hunting other victims. All of this is the outcome of an election riot.

Following is a list of the dead and wounded: 
J. I. ETHERIDGE, white, killed at polls.
THOMAS TOLBERT, white, mortally wounded at the same time.
LUM JACKSON, all colored, killed yesterday.
BEN COLLINS, colored, killed to-day.

Wounded:  Sidney Tolbert, 15 years old, dangerously wounded; John R. Tolbert, white, collector of the port at Charleston and chairman of the Republican State Executive Committee, wounded; Stuart Miller, white, mortally wounded in head; C.Fleming, white, shot in shoulder; M. j. Younger, shot in foot; Cleave Armstrong, who tried to protect the negroes, shot in the neck.

In addition to these, two and likely four negroes are reported to be dead in the woods near where the five bodies lay to-day.

The trouble was precipitated on election day, when two or three hundred negroes at the polls opened a fusillade at the store in which the voting was going on. In this fight Etheridge was killed and Tolbert wounded.

The second occasion for provocation was that a party hunting the slayers of Etheridge was fired into and one, Miller, fatally wounded, and Fleming badly hurt.

The arming of the negroes at the polls, the killing of Etheridge, the firing from ambush, all conspired to kindle a flame of passion and when that will die down is difficult to tell. Jesse Williams and two others are said to have confessed to taking part in the ambuscade.

The incident of the day was the killing of Essex Harrison. Down the road came a squad of mounted cavalrymen, with Harrison marching ahead with guns and rifles drawn on him. Fifteen men lined up on the roadside. the negro was put in the road and told to go toward the pile of four dead negroes. He started, there was a ring of rifles and Harrison pitched forward, dead. Harrison, it is alleged, was a member of the crowd that killed Etheridge.

Parties were out searching all day for the negroes who, it is said, are ringleaders in the rioting. The whites are particularly incensed against all the Tolberts, and hold them responsible for the trouble. A party went to kill Tom Tolbert, but someone prevailed on them not to kill a wounded and dying man.

CHARLESTON, S. C., Nov. 10.—A special to the News and Courier from Greenwood, S. C., says:  News has just been received that the mob lynched another negro near Phoenix this afternoon at 5 o'clock. His name was Jeff Darling, and he was implicated in the election riots and the killing of Etheridge.

Our next article comes from the Fort Wayne Daily News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) dated November 10, 1898:


Breaks Out in the Old Birth Place of Rebellion. 


And the Mob is Now Going for White Men.


Belief That Many More Murders Will be Committed Soon.

COLUMBIA, S. C., Nov. 10.—The situation in the upper portion of South Carolina, where the election race riot began on Tuesday, is extremely critical to-day. There seems to be no doubt that if the crowds of incensed armed men now scouring the country, run across the male members of the Talbert family, the white republican leaders of the negroes in the Phoenix neighborhood, they will be either lynched or killed, even if there has to be a battle in order to accomplish this end.

The people here feel that the Talberts have incited the negroes to desperate deeds, and are responsible for everything that has taken place, and this is why they are pursuing them so relentlessly. R. R. Talbert, Jr., is the republican state chairman. John R. Talbert, who was wounded in the first encounter, is the head of the family and is the collector of customs at the port of Charleston. To-day hundreds of armed white men are scouring the country in search of negroes who started the riots, resulting in the instant death of Mr. Etheridge, a prominent farmer of the Phoenix neighborhood, and of the Talberts.

They came across John R. Talbert in a house in the country, alone save for his sister. he was in a pitiable condition and physicians say he cannot live. Thomas R. Talbert, who was also shot, is not fatally wounded. His house was fired into to-day, and what resulted is not known. this afternoon a large party of whites came across another party who had captured eight negroes.

They met at Rehobath church, near Phoenix. They were very quiet at first, but gradually their passions rose. Cool-headed men tried to counsel them not  to do violence. Finally, however, one of the negroes were dragged out in the roadway and riddled with bullets. Two broke away and ran in one direction, another two ran in another; one was wounded while fleeing, but made good his escape.

The other three remained on a log where they were sitting. The crowd, now thoroughly maddened, went for them and all were lynched. A later report from the scene stated that six negroes had been shot during the day. Men of both races are thoroughly aroused now, and there is no telling where the thing is going to stop. At midnight last night the news came from Phoenix, which is ten miles from Greenwood, that the negroes are massed in large numbers not far from the church mentioned above, that the whites are determined that re-enforcements are not going to them, and that apitched battle is expected to be precipitated at any moment.

There is considerable excitement all over the state about the matter, and men from neighboring towns have been arming themselves and preparing for any emergency. this afternoon reliable men from close-by towns wired to the governor and to the adjunct general asking that ammunition and rifles be sent to them at once to be used for protection. The telegraphic request of course, had to be ignored, but the governor instructed a military company at Greenville to hold itself in readiness to be moved to the scene at a moment's notice.

Last night a request fo [sic] 350 armed men reached this city. It is now being arranged that they start from here on a special train at 1 p.m. Phoenix is the locality in which the Talberts, who have for many years been leaders among the negroes, live. They own big farms there and employ numerous negroes. Negroes captured yesterday testified that the Talberts had told them to go to the polls prepared for desperate work if necessary. This is why the white people re so desperately resolved to make the Talberts answer. The row had its origin in the refusal of the managers of election to permit any one to vote who was not registered. R. R. Talbert was a candidate for congress. A separate box was placed across the way, in which each negro who was refused permission to vote, was made to drop a certificate, stating that he had tried to vote for Talbert, the idea being to secure a basis for contest before congress on the constitutionality of the election laws. Etheridge, one of the regular managers, was remonstrating with T. R. Talbert about this, when some negro fired, killing Etheridge, and the fireworks display began. The arrival of further news from the scene of thetrouble [sic] is anxiously awaited here. No bulletins have been received since midnight. The telephone lines, which were cut on Tuesday night by order, it is said, of T. R. Talbert, have been repaired.

COLUMBIA, S. C., Nov. 10.—Latest advices state the casualties at Phoenix to be as follows:  Killed—Bose Etheridge, (white); Columbus Jackson, (colored); Jose Williams, (colored); Drayton Williams, (colored). It is rumored that six other negroes were killed. Mortally wounded—Thomas Talbert (white); Stuart Miller, (colored). The negroes threaten to make a desperate fight to avenge the deaths of their fellows.


WILMINGTON, N. C., Nov. 10.—A riot is in progress here. Whites burned the office of the colored newspaper, the Record. Eight negroes and one white person are reported dead, and more than a score wounded. Ex-Congressman Woddell led the whites. The negroes are attempting to burn the city. S. C. Been was asked to send aid. The mayor and city officials have fled. Red shirts are disarming negroes wherever they meet them.

If you are interested in what the editor of the Record wrote, you can find out about it here. Thank you for joining me, and as always I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

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