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.

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