Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December 31, 1904: Louis Allwhite

Here is a lynching to end our year. It is brought to us through the pages of The Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) dated January 1, 1905:






Said His Father Threw One Corpse Into the River—Was Then Frightened.

Memphis, Tenn., Dec. 31.—A special to the Commercial Appeal from Newport, Ark., says that Louis Allwhite, the alleged criminal assailant and murderer of Mrs. Rachael Kinkannon and daughter, was today lynched at the scene of the crime by a mob of 700 men. The mob formed shortly after noon, advanced upon the jail, overpowered the Sheriff and guards and took Allwhite from his cell.

Newton,the 19-year-old son of Allwhite, who is a self-confessed accessory to his father's alleged crime, was not molested by the jail stormers.

Having secured their victim, the mob marched the elder Allwhite along the railroad for two miles, and close by the Kinkannon home, on the Jacksonport road, hanged him from a tree.

To the last Allwhite maintained a stoical demeanor, betraying not the slightest emotion. He steadfastly and persistently asserted his innocence of the murder of the two women. His last words were:

"You will later hang another man for the crime for which you are now killing me."

The infirm and aged father and husband of the murdered women was carried to the scene of the hanging and witnessed the swift extinction of Allwhite's life.

Mrs. Rachel Kinkannon and her daughter, Mrs. Amelia Mauldin, were waylaid, assaulted and murdered on Christmas morning. The mother and daughter were hurrying in the bedside of the latter's sick husband, when Allwhite and his son according to the confession of the boy, met them, dragged the women to a nearby ravine and murdered both.The younger Allwhite further testified that he  and his father took the body of Mrs. Kinkannon and threw it into the river, and would have made the same disposition of the daughter's corpse but were frightened away by the sight of several persons coming down the road.

When the elder Allwhite was arrested on suspicion blood was found on his coat, and his son's confession, it is said, was corroborated in many ways. When the Coroner's jury found evidence that appeared to fasten the crime upon the Allwhites the mob spirit, which had been rapidly growing in the community became dominant. The confession of the younger Allwhite had the effect of severing all restraint, and, despite the urgent appeals of many prominent citizens of Newport, the mob overrode the counsels of the town's officials and took the case into their own hands.

Allwhite's body was cut down shortly after death and brought to the establishment of a local undertaker. The dead man was an old resident of the community. He was suspected of the murder of a citizen named Pink Bateman several years ago, but this he denied on the scaffold.

The body of Mrs. Kinkannon has not yet been found. 

Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder. I hope the new year is good to everyone.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December 30, 1892: Charles Kelly and John Hipp

The Sandusky Register (Sandusky, Ohio) dated December 31, 1892:

Two Men Hung by a Mob.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Dec. 30—When the citizens of Greenville arose this morning they saw two dead bodies dangling from above the court house steps. Late last night two strangers went to Jailor Hill Bergainer's house, and arousing him told him they had a prisoner. He went with them to the jail where he was met by a mob of 100 armed and masked men who were hidden behind a fence with drawn pistols. They demanded the keys, which Bergainer surrendered. The cells of John Hipp and Charles Kelly, the alleged murderers of Tax Collector C. J. Armstrong, of Butler county, were opened and both men were taken out in their night clothes and hurried to the court house yard with ropes about their necks. Without being allowed time to pray they were hanged above the court house steps. The mob then quietly dispersed. The verdict of the jury is that the men were hanged by unknown persons.

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

Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 1904: Herbert Simmons

The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N. C.) dated December 30, 1904:


Taken From Officers and Strung Up—Was Charged With Murdering a Prominent White Man.

Atlanta, Ga., Dec. 29.—A special to The Constitution from Neal, Ga., says that Herbert Simmons, a negro, was lynched there to-day for the killing of J. A. Park, a white man and one of the community's best known citizens.

The negro was taken from the officers by infuriated citizens while being carried to the Zebulon jail, and after being strung up on a tree his body was riddled with bullets.

Mr. Park was murdered on the night of December 27, his skull being crushed in with a large stick. The coroner's verdict was that he came to his death at the hands of Herbert Simmons.

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

Sunday, December 28, 2014

December 28, 1906: Alex McDonald

Asheville Citizen (Asheville, N. C.) dated December 29, 1906:


ATHENS, Ala., Dec. 28.—Alex. McDonald, a Birmingham negro, who attempted the death of Policeman Henry Nichols, at Elmont, this county, injuring him slightly yesterday, was pursued by a hundred men and brought back to town with a rope around his neck, and his body riddled with bullets, more than a hundred shots being fired into him. The body disappeared mysteriously after the affair.

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

Saturday, December 27, 2014

December 27, 1889: Bud Wilson

The Newton Daily Republican (Newton, Kansas) dated December 30, 1889:


BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Dec. 29.—News has reached here of the lynching in a remote part of Tuscaloosa County night before last of a negro named Bud Wilson. He entered the house of James Fowler, a well-to-do white farmer, and attempted to assault Mrs. Fowler during her husband's absence. The woman's screams for help brought in several neighbors and the negro fled. Yesterday afternoon he was arrested by two deputy sheriffs fifteen miles from Tuscaloosa, and while en route to the jail the party was overtaken by an armed posse of fifty men. Wilson was taken from the officers and hanged to a tree and the body riddled with bullets. The negro confessed to the crime before he was swung off. He was a notoriously bad character and was wanted on several charges.

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

Friday, December 26, 2014

December 26, 1891: Robert Sims, Thomas and Young Savage

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated December 27, 1891:


Bob Sims and His Gang Swing to Limbs of Trees.


His House Surrounded by the Sheriff and His Posse.


And While the Posse Has Him in Charge, a Mob Takes Him and His Male Followers and Hang Them.

MOBILE, Ala., December 26.—An artillery detachment of the First regiment of state troops left here at a quarter of 3 o'clock this morning, and reached Shubuta, Miss., at 6 o'clock. At half-past 9 o'clock, the soldiers were en route for the scene of action in Choctaw county, Ala., twenty-one miles distant. A very heavy rain prevailed all yesterday forenoon, and a part of the night. The roads are very bad. The weather turned wintery during the night. The detachment has a six-pounder fieldpiece, and every man is armed. The colonel of the regiment, also the chaplain and assistant surgeon, are with the command.

A special messenger for the Mobile Register got into DeSoto from the scene of action this forenoon at 10 o'clock. He brings advices up to 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon as follows:

Preparing to Blow Them Up.

Sheriff Gavin on Christmas morning sent to Bladen Springs for cannon. When Sims heard of this preparation to blow his stronghold to splinters, he looked at his women folk and his heart misgave him. He began to parley with the sheriff. At 2 o'clock he said he would surrender if the posse would do him no injury, and if the posse would protect him from mob violence.

A meeting of the posse was held, which lasted more than two hours. There was great excitement and much diversity of opinion.

The Proposition Accepted.

At first the proposal was flatly refused, but the fact that there were women in the house was a strong point in favor of mercy to the inmates. The thought of shooting with cannon into a house harboring women was so repugnant that it overcame almost the wild longing for the blood of the men outlaws, so that at last the terms of Sims were accepted.

At 4:30 o'clock the Simses laid down their arms, and came out of the house.

The posse were astonished to see that, instead of seven desperate outlaws, there were only two men and a boy, as follows:  Robert Sims, Thomas Savage and Young Savage, a nephew of Sims. Four women—Bob's wife and three daughters—came out, also. The others were at once ironed and placed in a wagon. The women were placed in a second wagon and under guard.

At 5 o'clock the procession started to Butler, the county seat of Choctaw county. Sheriff Gavin commanded silence, fearing that should any words be said his men might become angry and kill their prisoners.

The Register correspondent describes the road to Butler as very rough and hilly and as bordered on either side by thick undergrowth, from which it would be very easy for a band of determined men to surprise and overpower the posse. The correspondent believed that such an attempt would be made somewhere along the route.

As showing the temper of the people of Choctaw it is said that John Savage, who was arrested the day before Christmas on the charge of being a member of the Sims gang, and was hanged to a tree at 10 o'clock the same day.

They Were Lynched.

LATER.—While the posse in charge of the Sims party were en route to Butler last night a mob of Choctaw men overpowered the posse and hanged the three men—Bob Sims, Tom Savage and Young Savage. It is reported that another of the Savage boys was hanged at the same time. This is in addition to John Savage, who was hanged Christmas Eve.

How They Were Hanged.

The Register's staff correspondence had just returned to town. He says Sheriff Gavin did not guarantee the safety of Sims against mob violence, but said he would do the best he could and give him and his friends a picked guard of fifty men. Sims accepted this, after saying, however, that he did not believe he would reach Butler dead or alive. He surrendered only to save the lives of his wife and daughters.

When the guard moved off with Sims and the three Savage men—for there were three of them, namely, Thomas Savage and two boys, sons of Con Savage—there remained behind the greater part of the posse that the sheriff had attracted to the scene, and these immediately held a consultation, and, after debate, decided it would not do to permit the desperadoes one chance of escape. So they set out in pursuit.

On the way they met Con Savage, another of the Simsites, and without any delay he was strung up to a tree. This is the man reported hanged on Christmas eve. Later the guard was overhauled, but made no resistance. Sims and the other three were taken back to the tree upon which Con Savage had been hanged, and four ropes were quickly adjusted to the branches thereof. Bob was asked if he had anything to say. He replied:  "Take my hand, feel my pulse and see if I'm a coward."

He and one of the Savage boys were placed in a buggy, nooses were adjusted and the horse attached to the buggy was driven was driven forward, leaving the men hanging int he air. The other two, father and son, were likewise speedily placed beyond the tears of this life.  

The Indianapolis News (Indianapolis, Indiana) dated December 26, 1894:



Thirty-Two Deaths Directly Traceable To This Bloodthirsty Band—Results of the Revolutionary Teachings of Robert Sims.

Grove Hill (Ala.) special St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

The assassination of Murphee Pink by the Meachimites and the lynching of the murderers by a mob have again convulsed the people of this section with excitement, and it is safe to predict that the last of these outlaws will be wiped from the face of the earth before quiet is again restored. Some days after the citizens had publicly shot Tooch Bedsole, the leader of the Meachimites, in August, 1893, it was agreed that if the others belonging to this organization of cut-throats would surrender their arms they would be permitted to return to their homes. Moreover, they were promised immunity from the criminal courts for their past acts. These terms were accepted, and the fourteen outlaws, who for weeks, had been hiding in Hell's Hollow, a section of Clark county, almost impenetrable to man or beast, came to Coffeeville, and upon the steps of S. C. Powe's little store, made oath that they would never again take up arms against their neighbors to commit any other acts contrary to the peace of the community.

A murder was committed near Bladon Springs last May that looked very much as if the Meachimites had a hand in it, but they swore they were innocent. There was no evidence sufficient to convict them. The killing of Pink leaves no doubt, however, in the minds of the citizens of this county that the murderous organization once thought to have been exterminated is still in existence.

Robert Sims and His Creed.

Thirty-two deaths are directly traceable to this band of marauders, robbers, assassins and house-burners. The history of their crimes makes one of bloodiest chapters in the annals of the State. Four years ago there lived in the western part of Choctaw county a man by the name of Robert Sims. He was a well-to-do farmer, and had an interesting family, consisting of three daughters and two sons, who had been educated at the village schools. Sims himself was a classical scholar, having received a literary diploma from the University of Ohio in 1852. He was first a Baptist, then a Methodist evangelist. Finally he originated and built up a new and strange religion of his own. He taught that man owed allegiance to God only; that the State had no right to assess him for taxes, no authority to prevent him from having as many wives as he could support; and that in the manufacture of spirits from the fruit in his orchard and the grain from his field, he declared he had a perfect right to do as he pleased—a right given him by a higher power than governments. These ideas he advocated and practiced. He built a temple for the worshipers of his religion, and started the publication of a weekly journal, which his children printed. In the course of a few months he had converted half the people in his neighborhood to his way of thinking.

In September, 1892, a deputy United States marshal from Mobile, armed with a Winchester and a warrant, rode up to Sims's gate and told his business. He was given so many minutes to make his way back to the public road. He returned to Bladon Springs, organized a posse of thirty men, and again went to the Sims residence. This time, seeing that he was overpowered, Sims surrendered. He was handcuffed and started toward Bladon Springs. On the route a brother of Bob's was apprehended. The two seemed to take their arrest calmly enough. Arriving at Bladon, the officers discovered that they would have to wait forty-eight hours for a steamboat to take the prisoners to Mobile.

That night, while the guards were seated around the Simses, a mob, composed of about fifty of his followers, dashed in, unheralded, to the little village of Bladon and fiered [sic] into the guards, killing two and wounding four others. The rescue was made, and the assassins rode out of town as hurriedly as they had gone in. Sims returned to his home, barricaded his doors, and, arming each member of his family with a Winchester, defied the authorities. His followers flocked to him with arms and provisions, and in less than two weeks after the Bladon Springs tragedy over one hundred men were camped upon his premises, brazenly defying any civil officer to even show his head. The sheriff and marshal were alarmed at the daring of the outlaws, and made no effort whatever to capture them. This state of affairs continued for nearly three months.

The McIntyre Massacre.

On the 22nd day of December a merchant in the neighborhood by the name of McIntyre, a pronounced anti-Simsite, gave a party at his residence, not far from his mercantile establishment. It was a bitter cold night. About 1 o'clock in the morning, after many of the guests had departed, McIntyre, while passing through the hallway, was shot and fell dead on the floor. As the family and the remaining visitors ran to the scene, volley after volley of lead were fired into the crowd. Three were killed outright. The others rushed back into the rooms, only to be forced out again, for the house had been fired and was rapidly burning. As they ran down the steps and out into the yard they became easy targets for the murderers' bullets. One of McIntyre's children, age seven, who was endeavoring to escape through the back gate, was caught and thrown into the flames, where it was burned to a crisp. Then the Simsites looted the store and set it on fire. When the neighbors arrived on the scene that morning seven bodies, cold in death, were found frozen hard to the ground. Four others had been wounded, but had made their escape. McIntyre and his child had been incinerated.

News of the slaughter of this innocent family traveled very fast, and before nightfall 200 armed men had surrounded the Sims residence. He refused to surrender, and warned the posse that if they approached the house any nearer than 200 yards that they would be killed. Shots were exchanged on both sides for several hours, but no one was hurt. On Christmas morning the posse planted an old cannon, that had been left by Sherman's army on its march to the sea, in front of the house. Sims was given ten minutes to surrender. He allowed the time to expire and the cannon's mouth was trained on the building, when Sims walked out of the house with his two hands uplifted above his head. He gave himself up and begged for protection from the howling mob, who wanted his neck there and then. While parleying with him most of the inmates of the house escaped through the lot and reached Oaktuppa swamp ahead of their pursuers. Seven were captured, however, handcuffed, and the crowd started with them to Butler, the county seat, twenty miles away. Before they had proceeded a miles Sims's three daughters, with rifles in their hands, overtook the posse and attempted to rescue their father. They were disarmed and tied with a rope to a tree, where they spent Christmas Day.

Ten Men Lynched.

About five miles from where they had started a live oak tree, with strong limbs hanging conveniently near the ground, was observed standing near the public roadside. Twenty minutes later seven bodies were dangling from its branches at the end of ropes. The posse then separated into five different squads, and in less than twenty-four hours three more Simsites had paid the penalty of their crimes with death. The girls were released from where they had been tied, placed in a wagon and driven to Shubuta, Miss., thirty miles distant. They were commanded to board the first train that passed, and they obeyed orders. They have since resided at Moss Point, Miss., a delightful winter resort near Mobile.

In the zenith of his fame as an outlaw, there appeared at Sims house one evening, Samuel Meachim, an ex-justice of the peace, who resided in Clarke county, across the Tombigbee river from Choctaw. He was anxious to learn more about the very attractive religion advocated by the original Choctaw apostle. He was instructed and innoculated with the dangerous germs. Meachim returned home and began practicing the theories he had listened to at the fireside of Robert Sims. He, too, got him another wife, much to the discomfort and chagrin of Mrs. Meachim No. 1; he made and sold whisky, spat in the tax collector's and shot at the deputy sheriff who had the temerity to approach him with a warrant. When the ten Simsites had been killed and the remainder run out of the country. Meachim was temporarily, terrified into obedience of the State laws. He sent word to the civil officers that he had been a fool and was sorry for it, but promised that in the future no one would more patriotically obey the commands of his Government than he; and so he did untill the spring of '93. Alex. Gowan, the wealthiest merchant in the county, was shot from ambush one night. He fell upon his doorsteps and expired before assistance could reach him. It was proven at the coroner's inquest that one of the Meachim's sons had made threats against the merchant because he had been refused credit at the store. The evidence, circumstantial as it was, convinced the people that young Meachim was the assassin. A deputy's posse started in pursuit of the culprit, and it was then that that the people discovered that the entire country was alive with the followers of Bob Sim's religion. There was a fight, and two more persons died with their boots on.

A County Up In Arms.

The entire county rose up in arms—the lawful against the lawless. Weeks went on, however, without further bloodshed. Circuit Court, which was to have sat at Grove Hill in the early summer, had no session, for the Judge had been warned that if he attempted to interfere with the Meachims he would be killed.

Then "Tooch" Bedsole joined the gang. Bedsole was aged about twenty-six years. He was a graduate of the University of Alabama, at Tuscaloosa, and was regarded as being about the best-informed young man in the country. He was as straight as an Indian, and his clothing, which fitted him neatly, was made at a fashionable tailor's in Mobile. He was handsome and enjoyed the society of young people at dances and parties. He owned a prosperous farm, where he resided with his devoted mother. He was a model young man, prominent in politics, and aspired to a seat in the State Senate. When he announced that he was a Meachim sympathizer, believed in the doctrines for which Bob Sims had been slain, and declared he was ready to join any revolutionary organization that had for its object the subjection of the plutocrats, his friends argued with him, but in vain. Not long after his conversion he became involved in a quarrel with a neighbor, and he shot and seriously wounded his adversary, who was unarmed. He fled to the swamps. Soon he was joined by several of the Meachimites. Becoming emboldened because the officers failed to hunt for him, he took to the highways, where the citizens were shot at on their travels, houses were burned, fences torn down, gin stands destroyed, bridges demolished, and as often as they came across an enemy there was an assassination.

Meantime old man Meachim, becoming alarmed at the threats of the citizens, for they verily believed he was at the back of all these crimes, publicly denounced these vicious acts and volunteered his services toward capturing the outlaws, even if his two sons were in the crowd. His place was carefully watched, and one night their long vigils were rewarded. Two of these desperadoes were captured. One was killed and the other escaped.

In June, 1893, so daring had become the Meachimites that timid citizens abandoned their homes and sought safety in more civilized sections. Bedsole and his active followers, numbering about forty men, were intrenched behind the vines and trees of "Hell's Swamp." They lived breaking out from their hiding places to commit some crime and then quickly seeking their hiding places again. One day, the latter part of July, as a citizens' posse was returning from Grove Hill to Coffeyville, they suddenly encountered Bedsole and three of his followers. The citizens got the drop on them and they were captured. Under the shadow of an oak tree, near where Aaron Burr surrendered to Lieutenant Gaines nearly a century ago, the four outlaws were tried, and in less than an hour four dead bodies lay in a heap on the public roadside. It was three days before their bodies were removed by their friends. Meantime the hogs had mutilated the remains beyond recognition. The remaining desperadoes heard of the fate of their companions. Some of them left the country, never to return. Fourteen asked to be forgiven, and they were. Since that time and until the assassination of Pink, everything has been comparatively quiet.

It is not certain that any of the Meachimites who were captured Saturday were lynched. Jim Pink, a brother of Murphree Pink, the last victim of the gang, said he would rather see the men given a fair trial. That night the officers took the prisoners and started with them to this place. Only George Brunson was jailed here, it was given out that Smith and Brown escaped en route to the jail. It is believed they were hanged. The county is stirred up, and the Meachimite gang has threatened to have vengeance, and more trouble is likely to occur at any time.

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

Thursday, December 25, 2014

December 25, 1882: Thomas Kerr

Today we learn about a lynching that occurred on Christmas in 1882 through the pages of the Harrisburg Telegraph (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) dated December 27, 1882:

Christmas Episode in Arizona—Deliberate Murder—The Murderer Lynched.

A dispatch from Globe, Arizona, dated yesterday, says:  Yesterday morning, in a saloon at Pioneer, William Hartley stepped to the bar to take a drink, when Thomas Kerr, without provocation, knocked him down. Kerr then drew a pistol, and, saying "Young fellow, now I've got you," placed the muzzle to Hartley's breast and fired, killing him instantly. Kerr was disarmed, and a jury of twelve men held an informal trial. He asked for an hour's time to arrange his business. He sat down and with perfect coolness wrote to his mother at Lexington, Ill., requested that all his effects be given to her, and then called for several drinks. The citizens then took him out to a sycamore tree. He made a few remarks confessing the killing of several men. He was drawn up once and let down again, then asked permission to take off his boots, saying that he did not want to "die with his boots on." This request was granted and he was swung up. The body was cut down the next morning.

I must admit, I can't help but wonder what prompted the killing. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December 24, 1890: Kinch Freeman

The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, N. C.) dated December 25, 1890:


Kinch Freeman Hanged by Masked Men at Winton, N. C. 

By Telegraph to the Morning Star.

NORFOLK, Va., December 24.—A special to the Landmark from Aulander, N. C., bring intelligence of the lynching at Winton, in the same State, of the notorious negro named Kinch Freeman, who, on October 4th, brutally murdered Ned Atkins and his aged mother, in Bertie county, by beating their brains out with a two-pound weight, and then setting fire to their residence. He was recognized at the time by the housekeeper, who by hiding escaped his murderous blows. Freeman was arrested in Norfolk and taken back to North Carolina for trial. Last night about one hundred and thirty masked men surrounded the jail at Winton, and three of them with a fourth man, tied as if a criminal, went to the jail and said they had a prisoner to lock up. The jailer opened the door and was at once overpowered. freeman had shackles on his feet and hands, and as an additional precaution against escape was chained to the floor. The lynchers did not take time to loose him, and strung him up to the rafters of his cell, where he was found this morning when the sheriff went to the jail. The jailer was bound and gagged, and could give no alarm.

Freeman was an old penitentiary bird and his crimes were many, though his last was a most atrocious one.

Interestingly enough, Mike Jones, who was also charged with the murders, was found not guilty by a jury after 2 hours of deliberations.  Some articles place the lynching at Winton and others at Winston. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December 23, 1890: George Mabry

The Semi-Weekly Citizen (Asheville, N. C.) dated January 1, 1891:

MACON, N. C., Dec. 24.—George Mabry, one of the negroes who assassinated Dr. Edmond H. Riggan in his store in Mecklenburg county, Va., last Saturday night, was lynched last night near the place where the murder was committed in Mecklenburg county, Va., and not in Macon, N. C.

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

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22, 1896: George James

If the victim of the lynching we learn about today is to be believed, he was lynched essentially for being hungry.  We learn about this lynching from the Marion Record (Marion, Kansas) dated December 25, 1896:

An Alabama Negro Lynched.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Dec. 23.—George James, a negro, was lynched at Woodstock last night. Yesterday he attempted to assault Fannie Smith, aged 17, while she was on her way to school.  He was pursued ten miles and brought back and identified by the girl. He confessed, and said he wanted to steal the girl's lunch.

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

Sunday, December 21, 2014

December 21, 1914: Charles Williams

The Washington Post (Washington, D. C.) dated December 23, 1914:


Colored Man Mobbed for Attacking White Adversary With His Teeth.

Ruleville, Miss., Dec. 22.—Because he bit off the chin of Thomas King, aged 40, manager of the Boynton plantation near here, Charles Williams, colored, was lynched by a mob several hours later, according to news brought here today.

The attack occurred yesterday in the country about 5 miles from Ruleville.

Although I read many articles on this lynching the only other information I could find was that Williams attacked King after King had trouble with a man named Jones. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

December 20, 1918: Major and Andrew Clarke, Maggie and Alma House

Today we visit another lynching in Shubuta, Mississippi. This one occurring in 1918 and brought to us through the pages of The NHew York Times, New York, N. Y.) on December 21, 1918:


Prisoners Taken From Mississippi Jail by Mob and Hanged for Murder of a Dentist.

MOBILE, Ala., Dec. 20.—Four negroes, two of them women, accused of the murder of Dr. E. L. Johnston here last week, were taken from the jail at Shubuta, Miss., tonight and lynched, according to information in Mobile.

All four were reported to have been hanged to the girders of a bridge spanning the Chickasahay River.

Information received here from Shubuta was that the jailer was called into the street by one of the members the mob and then handcuffed. He was ordered to release the prisoners and forced to accompany the mob and prisoners out of town. The jailer was released before the mob reached the bridge where the negroes were lynched.

Dr. Johnston, a dentist, was shot and killed from ambush while in his barn. Major Clarke, one of the negroes lynched, was arrested, and, according to the authorities, confessed, implicating the others and stating that he had shot Dr. Johnston at the instigation of one of the women who had had trouble with the dentist.

The negroes lynched were two brothers and two sisters, Major and Andrew Clarke, and Maggie and Alma House.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) informs on the 22nd of December the coroner's verdict:

Shubuta, Miss., December 21.—That the four negroes, accused of the murder of Dr. E. L. Johnston, their employer, who were lynched near here Friday night, came to their death at the hands of unknown persons, was the verdict of the coroner's jury here today. The negroes, Major and Andrew Clark, brothers, and Mag and Alma House, sisters, all were under 20 years of age. They were hanged from the girders of the Chickashay river bridge, two miles from Shubuta, after they had been taken from the Shubuta jail. Throughout Friday night the bodies swung from the steel span, being left untouched until the coroner arrived today.

Dr. Johnston was shot December 10, while milking a cow in the barnyard near his plantation home. 

The other lynching in Shubuta occurred in 1942. You can read about it here. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Friday, December 19, 2014

December 19, 1909: George Bailey

Today our article comes from The Indianapolis Star (Indianapolis, Indiana) dated December 21, 1909:


Arkansas White Citizens Kill Negro in Cell—His Friends Threaten.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Dec. 20.—Following the shooting to death in his cell at Devalls Bluff, Ark., last night of George Bailey, a negro, by a mob and the gathering in protest today of a number of negroes a clash between the races at that point is not improbable, according to a dispatch tonight.

Bailey shot and probably fatally wounded Matt Todd, a well-known planter, late yesterday and was placed in jail at once. Late last night the mob stormed the jail and gained access to the cell corridor. Steel bars and a stout cell lock, however, withstood attack. Then as the terrified man crouched in a corner of the cell, fifteen bullets of a fusillade discharged at him entered his body.

Today negroes from the countryside gathered at Devalls Bluff to voice their protest and, in anticipation of a retaliatory outbreak, white citizens under arms tonight patrol the streets while others sleep on their weapons.

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

Thursday, December 18, 2014

December 18, 1914: Will Jones

Today's article comes from The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated December 19, 1914:


Fort Deposit, Ala., December 18.—Will Jones, a negro recently from Rome, Ga., this morning was lynched by a mob of infuriated citizens and his body riddled with bullets. After his capture he confessed to attempting criminal assault on Miss Olie Mae Sullivan, a high school student here.

Miss Sullivan was awakened during the night by an intruder in her room who disappeared through an open window. This morning tracks of stockened feet were found in the fresh red mud and these led to the house where Jones was found. His sox were found covered with red mud. He confessed the attempted assault, and was placed in a buggy to be carried to Hayneville for safe keeping. Half a mile from town the mob overpowered the guards, hanged the negro and then riddled the body with bullets.

A coroner's jury, which made an investigation, returned the usual verdict of "party or parties unknown."

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

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December 17, 1886: James Howard

Join me in a trip to the past to learn about a lynching that occurred in Texas. We learn about this lynching from the pages of the Newton Daily Republican (Newton, Kansas) dated December 18, 1886:


James Howard Lynched for Alleged Horrible Atrocities to His Wife.

TEXARKANA, Tex., Dec. 17.—James Howard, aged thirty-five years, was taken from the jail here at midnight last night by a masked mob, by whom he was carried a short distance below the town and hanged to a railroad trestle. Howard was arrested Wednesday on a warrant sworn out by his mother-in-law, Mrs. Winchew, charging him with maltreating his wife, who is scarcely fourteen years old. Howard and his wife were married last July. Mrs. Howard tells a story of atrocious brutality on the part of her husband. She says he frequently tied her feet together while she was in a state of nudity, and hanging her up by her feet beat her unmercifully and threatened to kill her if she told anyone of his cruelty. On the 1st of November Howard took a common branding iron used to brand live stock, and heating it red hot, branded a large letter "H" on his wife's person in two places, while she was tied to a bed. After suffering several weeks from the effects of these burns Mrs. Howard told her mother what happened, with the result that Howard was arrested. Deputy Sheriff Hargert anticipated that a mob would attack the jail and employed extra guards, but the mob gained entrance while the guards were eating a midnight meal.

We learn more from the Fort Worth Daily Gazette (Fort Worth, Texas) dated December 17, 1886:


James Howard, a Bowie County Man, Beats and Brands His Fourteen-Year-Old Wife.

He Hangs Her Up by the Toes and Tortures Her till She Confesses—The Fiend Lynched.

"We Will Protect our Mothers, Wives, Daughters and Sisters Under any and all Circumstances."


Special to the Gazette.

TEXARKANA, TEX., Dec. 16.—Last evening this city was thrown into great excitement and indignation, by the announcement that a carpenter here by the name of James Howard had been guilty of practicing barbarity on his girl wife, that would put to blush the cruelty of uncivilized savages. Last July this man married a little girl by the name of Mary Stella Minchew, whose parents resided in Cass county. They moved to this city and lived very peaceably together until the first of last month, when he got an idea that his wife was too intimate with a young man by the name of Archie, who resides in Queen City. She declared her innocense [sic], but he would not believe it, and said she had to acknowledge her guilt. This he made her do (though she says she acknowledged to a falsehood to keep him from killing her), by placing her head between his knees and whipping her unmercifully. Later on, he nailed two strips up in his room, stripped her, hung her up by her toes and lashed her until the blood flowed from her wounds. Not being satisfied with the punishment inflicted, the scoundrel


which stamps the letter "H." This he heated red-hot, after which he took the child and threw her upon the bed. He turned her over and branded the letter "H" on the lower part of the thigh, and then turned her over again and placed the same brand in front, just below the stomach, making the branding iron cut deep into the flesh in both places, from which the poor girl has almost been suffering death. He kept her from telling on him for some time by threatening to kill her if she did so, but yesterday evening the girl, accompanied by her mother from Cass county, who had arrived, appeared before  Justice Cannon and made complaint against the brute. The examining trail was at once proceeded with, and the following is the testimony of the girl and her mother, who had examined her wounds:


Being duly sworn, deposed as follows:  "My name is Mary Stella Howard. The defendant, James Howard, was at the house and branded me in two different places. It was in the night—about November 1. It was in the Texarkana, county of Bowie, state of Texas. He branded me with an iron, and made the letter "H." Branded me on my person. The iron was red hot. (The brand was handed to County Attorney King.) That's the very iron I was branded with. (She showed the court how it was used on her flesh.) It made the imprint of the letter "H" on my person. My husband branded me because I would not swear I was "taken" with another man. I wouldn't do it, because I was innocent and he branded me. He took me in the room and told me to turn over on the bed and lie still. He then heated the iron red hot and branded me. He had no other weapon that I know of. His sister, Anna Hale, stood by and saw him brand me. I did not make this complaint before because he said he would hurt me if I did. I was fourteen years old the the 16th of last July. The brand hurt me a great deal. He gave me something to make me drunk. It was very painful. I have been well but three of four days. This letter "H" is on my person in two different places. It was such a brand as to disfigure my person. He did make threats. He had the hatchet and said if I halloed he would cut me. Yes, he had tied me up. The hatchet was there the time he branded me and the time he whipped me both."


Howard not having any counsel, he cross-questioned the witness himself, and she said:

"You made me acknowledge everything I acknowledged. No, you were not dead drunk when you struck me down. I can swear that you were not drunk when you struck me. You laid me on the bed. I would not have lain down there myself to be burned." 


"He branded me on the hip in one place. He held me down on the bed while he branded me. He had the iron before he put me on the bed. He said he was going to get that out of me some way, about the man Archie, who lives in Queen City. He asked me if I knew what he was going to do with the iron. I said no. He said 'it is to burn you with, and to-night I'll brand you.' I didn't tell anybody about it because he said he'd kill me if I did. I was afraid of him because he had whipped me before that. He whipped me here in this town. He nailed two pieces of plank up to the corner of the house. He then tied my feet up and left my head hanging down, and whipped me with my clothes all off. He cut the blood out of me, and the scratches are on me yet. He whipped me twice—once he put my head between his legs, and the next time he tied me up. He whipped me for writing to mamma. I believe he would carry out his threat. I'm as fraid [sic] of him as I can be."

Prisoner asked if he didn't offer to send her home. She said, "yes, you did, but you wouldn't do it."


the mother of the girl wife, was sworn and deposed as follows:  "My name is Margaret Minchew. I know the defendant in this case. He is married to my daughter. I have seen the brand in two different places on my daughter's person. It disfigures her. It seems to be a lasting brand, and I think it will remain there as long as she lives. I found out by getting a letter that was sent by the child to her grandmother in California, and which was returned to me. I then came here to Texarkana at once. I investigated and found that she was branded. One brand is on the front of the person, and the other on the thigh."

The defendant here requested to be allowed until morning to get some witnesses, and Justice Cannon adjourned court at his request.

Indignation ran very high here over the barbarous outrage, and men were out-spoken right in the court-room in saying that Howard ought to be mobbed. Stella Howard is a pale, thin child of fourteen and seems to be in ill-health.


About 1 o'clock last night it was rumored that a man had been hung on the trestle of the Texas & Pacific railroad, about a quarter mile from the square. THE GAZETTE reporter at once repaired to the trestle and found that the rumor was too true.

The man who had been suspended by the neck from the trestle, was lying upon the ground and it was James Howard, the man who had been on trial during the evening for branding his child wife. He was stone dead, and a large rope was tied around his neck, while there was a big hole in the top of his head, showing that a 44 or 45 caliber ball had penetrated his brain. While Justice Cannon and a jury of inquest was being summoned, your reporter learned the particulars of the affair from the officers who were guarding the body. It seems that Officers Edwards, Lawler, Williams, Parker and Hargett had been guarding Howard all night. They had not left him for a moment until about 12 o'clock, when Edwards, Parker, Lawler and Williams went away from the jail to get a lunch. The m,en who wanted Howard's life must have been


for no sooner had the officers left than a mob at once broke in the jail door. They grabbed Deputy Sheriff Hargett, who was left in charge, and overpowered him, binding him and taking his gun and pistol as well as the prisoner away with them. Hargett refused to tell where his keys were, and after a short search, the men who were on the grim mission of death, found the keys, and in a twinkling they were off with their prisoner. When the officers returned they found their prisoner gone. They very readily tracked the crowd, but when they arrived at the trestle


though his body was still warm, showing that he had been hanged about 1:20 o'clock. Alcalde Cannon was at once sent for and a jury of inquest empannelled. The verdict was that the deceased came to his death at the hands of parties unknown.

A note was found under the gun which read, "this property belongs to the jail." Another note was fastened to the dead man's back, bearing the solemn legend:  "We will protect our mothers, wives, daughters and sisters under any and all circumstances."

The remains of the poor wretch were buried to-day. It is another blot upon the fair name of Texarkana and Bowie county, and is deeply regretted by this people, though everybody agreed that Howard deserved death.

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December 16, 1918: Charles Lewis

  The Washington Times (Washington, D. C.) dated December 17, 1918:


HICKMAN, Ky., Dec. 17.—A mob of masked men lynched Charles Lewis, a discharged negro soldier, at Tyler, Ky., ten miles from here, after he had beaten Deputy Sheriff A. Thomas when the latter attempted to arrest him on a charge of highway robbery.

Officers declare Lewis held up and robbed several negroes. Sunday morning Thomas attempted to arrest Lewis, who resisted, claiming that the deputy had no right to arrest a man wearing the uniform of the United States army. He knocked the deputy down four times and fled. Later he was captured by a mob of about seventy-five men and hanged to a tree.

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

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 1886: Alfred Hawks

Today we follow a lynching that occurred in Paint Rock, Alabama through the pages of the San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, California) dated December 17, 1886:


They Quickly Avenged a Cold-Blooded Murder.

CHICAGO, December 16.—The Times' Chattanooga (Tenn.) special of December 15th says:  News of a cold-blooded murder in Alabama was received here to-night. Fred Smith was a merchant of Paint Rock. About noon a man named Alfred Hawks walked into his store and asked for a pistol. Smith loaded the weapon and turned to step aside, when to the horror of half as dozen customers Hawks began firing at Smith. The murderer fired five shots into Smith's body, killing him instantly, Hawks was arrested and the Sheriff started with him to Scottsboro jail, but it is learned to-night that a band of citizens followed them and lynched Hawks.

Today's article of interest comes to us through The New York Age (New York, New York) dated October 26, 1911:


Paper Deplores Mob Law and Refers to Recent Acts of Lawlessness—Scoffs at Plea That Negroes Are Lynched in Defense of American Womanhood.

In a strong editorial denouncing lynching, under the caption of "The Crime of Being a Negro," the New York World of October 24, charges that Negroes are lynched because of their color, and says:

"In a Georgia town widely known as a model community a mob last week took a Negro from jail and lynched him for the offense of striking a white man. In an Oklahoma city on Sunday a Negro was taken from the hands of a deputy sheriff and riddled with bullets for killing the City Attorney and shooting two other white citizens in a riot provoked by a Negro who pushed a white woman from the sidewalk.

"In neither case had 'the usual crime' been committed by the victim of the mob's vengeance and is neither was there the excuse that the honor of women had to be protected by making an example of the culprit. There was no occasion to fear that either malefactor would escape justice. The Negro lynched in Georgia was in a cell awaiting punishment and the Negro lynched in Oklahoma was in safe custody. Granting the greater provocation to wreak vengeance on the assassin of a city official, the mob had been assured that he 'would be convicted and legally hanged within thirty days' and there was not the slightest reason to suppose that the promise would not be fulfilled.

"The mobs which have made these additions to the ghastly record of blood vengeance in a civilized country may at least be credited with tearing the veil of pretense from the plea that Negroes are lynched in defense of American womanhood. They are lynched because they are Negroes where the ordinary processes of justice are not swift enough to punish. When Negroes are summarily put to death without trial and without discrimination for offenses as far removed in heinousness as simple assault and murder, the theory is enforced that justice in this country is for the white man and not for the Negro.

"It is something to have lynching freed of its hypocrisy; but with what a sardonic commentary on the equality of all Americans under the law without distinction of color!" 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

December 14, 1889: Two Highwaymen

After finding two cases of lynchings and researching them only to find out the first lynching was thwarted and the second lynching had neither mob nor body, I finally found a case that appears to have occurred. We learn about it through the pages of the Los Angeles Herald (Los Angeles, California) dated December 15, 1889:

Texas Farmers Robbed.

St. Louis, December 14.—Half a dozen farmers who were returning to their homes from Dallas, Tex., yesterday after selling their cotton, were robbed by highwaymen on the road near White Rock. Bloodhounds were put on their tracks, and a report has reached Dallas that two of the robbers were captured and hanged by the enraged farmers.

The first lynching I researched was to have happened in Waycross, Georgia in 1891. Welcome Golden and Robert Knight were held in jail for being leaders in the Varno riot and a mob tried to lynch them. The mob fired into the cells, most of the papers I read wrote that the mob achieved its goal. Unfortunately in February of 1892, the guard was sent to protect three men, two of them happened to be Golden and Knight. After reading that, I browsed through the Atlanta Constitution and found the article about the December 14th lynching attempt. It appears the lynchers missed their mark when they fired into the cells and only hit the bedding and not the prisoners.

The second lynching was about a man named Henry Daniels who murdered Tom Adair in Austell, Georgia on December 14, 1891. I did find it interesting that both of the supposed lynching occurred in Georgia on the same day.  Daniels was bound and placed in a wagon with the sheriff and two other men. About a half hour afterwards, Daniels jumped from the wagon and made his escape. Apparently, he was never heard from again and people assumed he was lynched. 

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

Saturday, December 13, 2014

December 13, 1893: Will Ferguson

According to The Mary Turner Project Will Ferguson was lynched on December 13, 1893. We learn about the details through the pages of The Allentown Leader (Allentown, Pennsylvania) dated December 19, 1893:

Lynched by His Own Race.

ADELE, Ga., Dec. 19.—A negro boy named Will Ferguson was assaulted on the street, a leather strap placed about his neck and a pocket handkerchief crammed down his throat. He was then dragged outside of the corporate limits and carried into a swamp and left. He was found in the morning in a half nude condition and dead. It is supposed that he was killed by other negroes whom he informed against for gambling.

If you are interested in the work of The Mary Turner Project, you can find it here. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Friday, December 12, 2014

December 12, 1868: Simeon, Frank and William Reno and Charles Anderson

Join me in learning about a lynching that occurred slightly before the end of reconstruction in the south to 1868 Indiana. We first learn about this lynching from The Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) dated December 13, 1868:


INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 12.—Seymour's vigilance committee in this State visited New Albany jail this morning at three o'clock, and hung the Reno brothers and Charles Anderson, and escaped before the alarm was given.

Our next jaunt gives us information from an eyewitness and is found in the Wilmington Journal (Wilmington, N. C.) dated December 25, 1868:

The Lynching in Indiana—Statement of an Eye Witness—Particulars of the Horrible Tragedy.

The Cincinnati Gazette contains the following dispatch:

Louisville, Dec., 13.—Between three and four o'clock yesterday morning about seventy-five armed men, wearing scarlet masks, visited the jail in New Albany and overpowered the guard, shot sheriff Fullinlove in the arm, and took possession of the jail. The sheriff refused to deliver the keys, which were finally found by the maskers, and Simeon, Frank and William Reno, brothers, and Wm Anderson, the notorious Seymour express robbers, were taken from their cells and hung. 

Henry Clarke, a prisoner in the jail for killing George Telle, at Selma, Indiana, was an eye witness and makes the following statement:

The first persons I saw in jail were two men who had on masks of red flannel, or something of the kind—perhaps red handkerchiefs. Heard the men talking to Matthews the guard, apparently endeavoring to force him to point out the cells. Matthews refused to tell them anything.—Then a voice said something about putting a robe [sic] around his neck, and the order was given to pull him up. Then heard Nos. 24, 11 and 7 distinctly uttered, and they seemed to have released Matthews. No. 11 was Charles Anderson's, and Simeon and William Reno were in No. 7. Then heard some one say, "Bring a rope," and they went to Frank Reno's cell first. Frank said nothing, and heard the words, "Frank Reno, No. 23;" and then "Pull him out," He resisted some, and cried, "For God's sake, gentlemen what are you going to do?" They told him to "dry up,"and then tied his hands, and a couple of them grabbed him by the throat, pushing him along.—As they got to the top of the stairs he clutched at the banisters, but made no noise. He died very hard.

After hanging Frank, they went to No. 7, where Simeon and Wm. Reno were.—As they opened the door, someone spoke up and said, "What do you want here?" Then I heard something fall, and afterward heard that one of them had been knocked down by Simeon, who had seized the sink lid to defend himself. I then heard the fall of another body as they rushed into the cell. Simeon had been knocked down. Heard him groan. They then took him out, carried him around and hung. I heard him make no noise.

They then brought out William; I saw them put a rope around his neck. An order was given for Nos. 3 and 5 (every man seemed to be called by a number instead of by name) to go up and catch the rope. William said, "I am innocent, gentlemen; never done the robbing. Oh Lord, protect my father and sister." Two men pulled him up. William struggled very hard.

When Anderson was taken out of his cell he asked for time to pray, but was told to shut his mouth, and that they did not want anything out of him. They strung him up, but the rope broke. It was tied again and he was again pulled up.

The lynchers arrived by the Jefferson railroad and departed the same way. They are generally supposed to be the Jackson county vigilance committee. It is understood that Reno and Anderson intended to apply before Judge Bicknell for writs of habeas corpus, saying that they could show that they were not concerned in the Marsefield robbery. The so-called vigilants probably got wind of this and hence the terrible tragedy. These four make ten men  who have been lynched in Indiana for the robbery of the Adams Express Company. Vol. Elliott, Charles Rosebery and Phillip Clifton having been hanged near Seymour, on the 20th of July last, and a short time after Frank Sparks.—John Moore and Henry Jerrell were captured and hanged near the same place.

Captain C. J. Sewell, the notorious Federal guerrilla, died in the city Hospital to day, of wounds received in his celebrated raid on Shelbyville, in May, 1866.

We flesh out the tale a bit more with the help of The Progress-Index (Petersburg, Virginia) dated December 18, 1868:

The Seymour Express Robbers—Their Former Character—Touching Scene.

A telegram from New Albany to the Chicago Tribune says:

Frank Reno and Charles Anderson were married men. Their wives were notified of their terrible fate by telegraph, and arrived here early this morning. The scene that ensued when they were admitted to the jail to see the dead bodies of their husbands was beyond all description. The poor bereaved creatures were frantic with grief. They embraced the dead bodies, kissing the bloated and swollen faces, and uttering the most heart-rending lamentations. The scene was one that touched every heart, and brought tears to many eyes. The sister of the Reno brothers, who had stuck to them with all the devotion of a true and loving heart, was inconsolable in her grief.

The Reno family has long been notorious for its bad name and deeds. For years they were a terror to the people of Jackson county. They have been engaged in many daring robberies, and it is believed, murders. Nearly all the burglaries, robberies and murders in and about Seymour, Rockford and Brownstown, of late years, are charged upon the Renos. One of the brothers is now confined in the Missouri penitentiary, serving out a fifteen year-term for a most daring robbery and attempt to murder. There is no doubt but that they were engaged in all the express robberies that have of late years been committed on the Jeffersonville and Ohio and Mississippi railroads. Anderson was equally noted as a daring and successful thief and burglar. He was a tall, well developed man, with an intelligent and prepossessing face and fine head, with a high and benevolent looking forhead [sic]. The Reno brothers were short, heavy set and rather dull and brutish looking men, the animal predominating in their physiognomy. They were men of limited education and intelligence. They were, however,adepts in crime, and up to the time when they were recently arrested, have managed from the rules of criminal practice in our courts, to escape conviction.

The Reno brothers are considered to have committed the first train robbery in 1866. Newspapers had articles, that I could find,  on the brothers as late as the 1970's. Thank you for joining me and always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

December 11, 1914: Charles Washington and Breard Henderson

We learn about two men being lynched and a third man probably lynched through the pages of The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated December 12, 1914:


Shreveport, La., December 11.—Watkins Lewis, a negro, was removed from the parish jail here tonight by a mob. He was placed in an automobile and driven rapidly away. It is believed that he will be lynched.

Shreveport, La., December 11.—Charles Washington and Breard Henderson, negroes, who last night killed and robbed Cyrus Hotchkin, white, near Mooringsport, La., and were brought five miles from Shreveport while being transferred to Mansfield, La., for safe-keeping.

They were hanged to a tree near the roadway by a mob of about fifty men.

According to the police who arrested Washington and Henderson here last night, the negroes confessed that they killed Hotchkin, an oil field employee, for the purpose of robbery.

Hotchkin came to Moorinsport recently. His mother lives in Chiloquin, Ore.

Another article had the name Beard and The American Black Holocaust Museum has his name as Bead, but most of the articles had it as Breard. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December 10, 1886: George Sparks and Monroe Smith

The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana) dated December 12, 1886:

Negro Robbers Lynched.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., Dec. 11.—[Special.]—Geo. Parks and Monroe Smith, both colored, were lynched last night at Ringgold, Ga., 20 miles from this city. The men were in jail. It was visited by 100 horsemen, who compelled the keeper to surrender the men. They were taken to a tree outside of town and hung to a limb.

The town was not aroused and the lynching was not generally known until morning, when the sheriff was notified. He cut down the bodies and held an inquest.

The negroes were aroused on the night of the 4th by a body of armed men who turned them over to the sheriff.

The prisoners were suspected of robbing and firing M. Spadden's house. They confessed their crime, and led their captors to a graveyard where the valuables were hidden.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) dated December 13, 1886:

Two Colored Robbers Lynched.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., Dec. 13.—Saturday night about 11 o'clock a mob of masked and unknown men visited the jail at Ringgold, in Catoosa county, Ga., and, after overpowering the jailer, took out two prisoners named George Sparks and Monroe Smith, both colored, and, taking them to a point near the railroad south of town, hanged them to a tree, where they were found yesterday morning and cut down by the authorities. Both the colored men have been engaged in robbing and burning houses in North Georgia for some months, and had come to be the terror of the community. There is no clue to the identity of the lynchers.

Los Angeles Herald (Los Angeles, California) dated December 12, 1886:

Two Negroes Lynched.

CHATTANOGA [sic], Tenn., December 11.—Last night, about 11 o'clock, a mob of masked men visited the jail at Ringgold, in Caloosa county, Georgia, and after overpowering the jailor, took out two prisoners named George Sparks and Monroe Smith, both negroes, and taking them to a point near the railroad south of town, hanged them to a tree, they were found this morning and cut down by the authorities. Both negroes have been engaged in robbing and burning houses in north Georgia, for some months and came to be a terror to the community. Smith confessed the crime of which the two had been guilty. The latest crime was the robbing and attempted burning of a family residence near Ringgold, on which occasion Smith said they had plotted to murder everybody in the house, rob the building and then burn it. There is no clue to the identity of the lynchers.

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

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

December 9, 1889: Jack Turner

Today we read an article from the Altoona Tribune (Altoona, Pennsylvania) dated December 10, 1889:

A Murderer Lynched.

GREENSBURG, Ky., December 9.—Jack Turner, who last Wednesday killed Matley Williams, son of Hon. D. M Williams, was lynched near here to-day. Threats of mob vengeance was circulated all week. The excitement cclminated [sic] last night when the mob visited the jail and took Turner out and hanged him. Quiet prevailed and very few of the citizens knew the mob was in town. About twenty-five or forty men attacked the jail and demanded admittance which was promptly refused. Then, with a heavy piece of timber, they forced the door and dragged the jailor out, securing the keys. The mob unlocked the dungeon. The negro was taken to Pittman creek bridge, four miles from town, and hanged. The coroner's jury cut him down and held an inquest to-day, giving a verdict in accordance with the facts.

Every article I read agreed on the details except Matley Williams name, reporting it as Motley and Moteley, as well. Our article of interest is found in The Appeal:  A National Afro-American Newspaper (St. Paul, Minnesota) dated August 29, 1903:

If it were not so exasperating and did not portend so much ill, it would be really amusing to contemplate the contortions of the white people in their efforts to solve the "Negro problem" They have nursed their trouble and it has grown larger and larger daily, until it has actually driven them crazy. They have suggested many theories and tried many ways with equally unsatisfactory results. The good book says there is but one way to reach heaven and immortal glory, and that is the right way. The same rule will apply in the solution of the "vexed problem." There is a right way to settle it, but the white people, it seems, do not wish to settle it that way; and, as no matter is ever settled, until it is settled right, the solution of the problem seems to be a long way off.

If it will not be considered presumption by our white brothers, we might offer a few suggestions. You see, one of the main troubles in the matter is that the white people, who are the more dissatisfied ones, wish to settle the whole thing on an entirely one-sided basis, that is, to suit themselves only. Now, we would suggest that they apply one of their time-honored rules:  "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." 'Tis conceded that "right wrongs no man," and, whether it is, or is not conceded, that the Afro-American is a man, the fact remains just the same. Every black man that has come into this world came in just the same way that every white man did, and every one, black or white, breathed the same sort of air, drank the same sort of water, ate the same sorts of food and clothed his body in the same way according to his habitat. Then there cannot be very much difference between one man and another, as a man, on general principles, Except the various shades of colors or degrees of intelligence, etc. Therefore we must contend that what is good or bad for one man is good or bad for another man. If education is good for a white man it is just good for a black one. If a black man ought to be lynched for raping a white woman a white man ought to be lynched for raping a black one. (We, however, do not believe that any man ought to be lynched for any reason whatever.) Lynching is wrong in principle, and when resorted to to correct a wrong not only does not correct the wrong but commits another, equally as bad if not sometimes worse then the wrong which is the excuse for it. Some white people consider all people who are not white inferiors. We would again ask such to apply another of their rules:  "Deal with your inferiors as you would have your superiors deal with you." But why expatiate? The whole in a nut shell is:  Be color-blind in all your dealings with your fellow men. Let a man be a man for a' that and a' that. Be just.

I added the picture from The Appeal for no other reason then I like it and thought to share it. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 1896: "Crazy Jim"

Today's article comes from The Wichita Daily Eagle (Wichita, Kansas) dated December 9, 1896:

Pine Bluffs, Ark., Dec. 8.—"Crazy Jim," the negro who brutally murdered one of the Williams boys and fatally wounded his brother in Melton township on Saturday, was captured this morning near the scene of his crime. Reports late tonight say that a mob of farmers took him from the officers and lynched him.

Our article of interest comes to us from the Freeport Journal-Standard (Freeport, Illinois) dated January 16, 1907:


Wisconsin Man Lashes the South Carolinian, Who Will Reply Later.

Washington, Jan. 16.—Goaded by frequent interruptions from Tillman the speech of Spooner in the senate on the resolution for the investigation of the affray at Brownsville was changed from a constitutional amendment in the defense of President Roosevelt's course in discharging a negro battalion of the army to a severe arraignment of the South Carolina senator. He quoted from Tillman's utterances defending lynching as a means of controlling negroes, and said that to encourage such mob violence was a disgrace to civilization. Tillman was not permitted to reply, but at the conclusion of Spooner's attack declared that at an early date he would take occasion to defend himself against "the insulting allusions made to him."

It was after Tillman had failed to "get in," as he expressed it, a reply to one of Spooner's statements, and had sat down, that Spooner "turned himself loose." He quoted from Tillman's utterances defending the burning of negroes at the stake, and said:  "No man ought to encourage such a horrible thing as that. It is a crime against civilization to encourage it. I have been shocked by the attitude of the senator from South Carolina on more than one occasion when he has spoken here in justification and the support of the continuance of lynching. If there is one man who ought not to encourage it, it is the man who sits here as maker of laws.

"And I want to say here that any man who encourages lynching, murder and lawlessness will have much to answer for, and the higher his position and the mightier his influence the more will he have to answer for. No man can come here with good grace to impeach the president for his dismissal of men because they were not identified as criminals, who comes to an accusation from a lynching bee, or who justifies one." After declaring there should not be one law for the colored man and another for the white man, Spooner again deprecated the fact that he had been drawn from the course mapped out for his speech and resumed his argument.

The bitter feeling provoked by the controversy between the senators makes it impossible to say when a vote can be had on the resolution. Spooner took the position that article 4 of the articles of war gives the commander-in-chief of the army power to dismiss troops in the manner employed. He referred to the affray at Walla Walla, Wash. during President Cleveland's administration, and said that the investigation of that disturbance resulted in a recommendation that the four companies involved be dismissed.

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

Sunday, December 7, 2014

December 7, 1896: Jesse Winner and James Nelson

Join me today in a journey to the past. Today's journey is brought to us through the pages of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle dated December 7, 1896:


After Being Defied by a Brave Jailor [sic] in Lexington, Mo.


"You Can Shoot if You Want," Says Jailor [sic] Goode, "But You Can't Make a Dead Man Give Them Up"—Doors of the Jail Battered Down and the Alleged Murderers of a Woman and Children Hanged.

Kansas City, Mo., December 7—A special from Lexington, Mo., says:

"At about 1 o'clock this morning a mob of Ray county farmers broke into the county jail here, secured Jesse Winner and James Nelson, held for the murder of Mrs. Winner and her two babes, and lynched them. The mob got into the jail.

"The jail was not heavily guarded, as no warning had been sent by the authorities at Richmond to prepare for a mob. The mob was composed of 150 men, all unmasked. It was a very orderly set of men, but clearly showed that it meant business. So quietly did the lynchers approach the jail that no one connected with it knew how the mob crossed the river, upon the banks of which the institution stood.

They overpowered Jailer James Goode and demanded the keys to the cells of Nelson and Winner. Goode had hidden them, and when one of the mob said to him:

"There is one way to make you give them up," the jailer coolly replied:

"You can't make a dead man give them up, so shoot me if you want to."

The leaders said they were prepared, with plenty of tools, to effect an entrance, and displayed a quantity of dynamite, sledges and chisels. Notwithstanding, Jailer Goode remained firm, and the mob went about to gain their end in another way. The other prisoners were told not to make any break for their liberty, as they would be severely dealt with if they did. One of the mob acted as captain, directing the lynchers not to shoot as long as the jailer "behaved," as they expressed it.

The demolition of the doors proved but the work of a few minutes. When an entrance had been made two dozen men rushed direct to the cells of the two murderers, who slunk into the corners of their meager quarters, begging piteously for mercy. None was shown, and the two men were led out into the open. Winner, the husband and father, came out trembling with fear and looked the picture of distress. Nelson braved it better than Winner, but said not a word. As he passed his cell Winner told one of the other prisoners that he was guilty. The captain, when the river was reached, was asked where he was going to hang the culprits, and replied that they were going to Ray county, just across the river. The river was crossed at about 2 o'clock and the men quickly dispatched.

Lon Lockey, who has also been in jail here under a charge of complicity in the murder, was taken to Richmond Saturday, which fact alone saved his life, as he would certainly have been lynched with the others. The probability is that vengeance will be meted out to him later. Several attempts were made to lynch Winner and Lackey while they were in jail at Richmond, which led to their removal here for safe keeping. Nelson has been in jail here only since Saturday, having been arrested on the strength of a confession by Miss M. Katron, who made a sworn statement that she, Winner, Lackey and Nelson committed the murder.

The crime for which Winner and Nelson were lynched was the brutal murder of Mrs. Winner, wife of the lynched man, and of Clara Winner, aged 3 years, and Perle Winner, a boy, aged 18 months. The Winners lived northeast of Richmond. On October 26 Winner left home for a day or so and the next day Mrs. Winner and the two children were found with their throats cut. Mrs. Winner's body lay just outside the house and was frightfully mutilated by hogs before it was discovered.

We learn a little more from an excerpt from an article in The Semi-Weekly Messenger (Wilmington, N. C.) dated December 10, 1896:


. . . The leader of the mob was asked where he was going to hang them, and he said that they were going to Ray county, so that LaFayette would not have to bear the expense of burying them.

Winner came out trembling with fear. Nelson said not a word, but clearly showed that he was not afraid. Both men plead with the mob for their lives and asserted their innocence. "Standing before Almighty God I swear I never murdered my wife," said Winner. "I swear I'm innocent," added Nelson, but the mob paid no attention to the pleadings.

Nelson was arrested on the strength of a confession made by Miss Maggie Katron, who made a sworn statement that she, Winner, Lackey and Nelson committed the murder.

The mob crossed the river coming over at 11 o'clock, in skiffs. At 1:30 o'clock they re-crossed with the prisoners and hanged them to a tree. The mob made no effort to conceal the identity of its members, and many of them could be easily recognized. The overcoat worn by the leader is in possession of one of the deputies. The majority of the mob were young men. Winner admitted to a prisoner in the jail last night that he was guilty.

A further development in the case comes to us through the pages of The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, N. C.) dated January 2, 1897:

Prosecuting Attorney Aul expresses the opinion that James Nelson and Jesse Winner, lynched by a mob at Lexington, Ky., a short time ago, were innocent of the murder of Mrs. Winner and her baby. He claims to have sufficient evidence to cause the indictment of fifty of the lynchers.

We learn about the crime that led to the lynching through the pages of the Sedalia Weekly Democrat (Sedalia, Missouri) dated October 29, 1896: 


Horrible Tragedy Near Richmond, Ray County.


Mother and Two Children the Victims—The Husband Was Arrested on Suspicion.

A triple murder, rivaling that of the Meeks family in Linn county two years ago, was committed on the Watkins farm, eight miles east of Richmond, Ray county, Monday night.

Living in a one-room log cabin on a farm were the wife and three children of Jesse Winner, a coal miner, who works in the mines at Richmond and only goes home on Saturdays. Mrs. Winner was a frail woman, about 28 years of age. Her children were a deaf and dumb girl, by a former marriage, aged 8 years; a girl aged 3 years and a boy aged 1 1/2 years.

Tuesday morning a neighbor who was passing the Winner cabin noticed the body of Mrs. Winner lying in the front yard. He gave the alarm, and when other neighbors came all went into the cabin and discovered that the two youngest children had also been murdered.

The little girl was lying upon a bed in a pool of blood, a gaping wound in the left side of her throat. The baby boy was upon the floor, almost under the bed, and there was a wound on his neck exactly like the one on his sister. Both had evidently been dead some hours. In the cabin and all around the yard were evidences that the woman had fought heroically to defend herself and children. In the house there was a heavy wooden bottomed chair, which had been broken and split in the scuffle, and the pieces were covered with blood.

Mrs. Winner had met her death in the yard. By her side was a bloody ax, and near her feet was a fence rail, upon which was blood and hair. The assassin had struck her a terrible blow on the top of the head, cleaving her skull and cutting out one eye. A piece of her skull and tufts of hair were found eight feet from the body. Hogs had eaten away a portion of her face and her scalp had been torn back almost to the neck. On one of her hands were a knife wound, evidently made by the assassin during the scuffle.

Where the little deaf and dumb girl was while her mother was engaged with the assassin is not known. Although 8 years of age, she cannot converse in the sign language, and seems unable to make any one understand her. To those who were first on the scene, she went through the motions of using a knife across her throat, and of pounding her head. She then pointed to the north as though showing the direction in which the murderer had fled. She will be brought to town and questioned by some deaf and dumb person.

Mrs. Hawkins, wife of the superintendent of the County Poor farm, which is located a half mile west of the scene of the murder, says that just before midnight Monday she heard piercing screams, but supposed that they came from some of the inmates of the insane ward, and paid no attention to them. She is now confident Mrs. Winner was calling for help.

Monday afternoon Mrs. Winner was at a neighbor's, and when asked if she was not afraid to stay alone, she said she was not, and added that the night before some one was prowling about the house, but had been frightened away.

A report was current Tuesday morning that a one-horse buggy had been seen leaving the neighborhood before daylight, and that the occupant seemed to be in a great hurry to get away. Officers have a good description of the horse and buggy, and have gone in pursuit. The people are terribly wrought up over the affair, and should the perpetrator be discovered he would doubtless be promptly lynched.

Physicians made a thorough examination of the dead woman, and were unanimous in the opinion that no outrage had been committed.

Acting Coroner Baber held an inquest over the bodies. The jury returned a sealed verdict, but recommended the holding of Jesse Winner, husband of the murdered woman, and he is now in jail in Richmond. It is claimed that circumstances have developed which tend to show that he knows something of the murder.

Mrs. Winner, whose first name was Eva had divorced her first husband, Jacob Riser. According to an article, Riser was seen in the vicinity a few days before the murders, but it was unconfirmed. In November there was an attempt to lynch Lon Lackey and Jesse Winner.

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