Monday, January 19, 2015

January 19, 1908: Cleveland Franklin

Today on MLK, Jr. Day we have an unusual lynching brought to us through the pages of The Topeka Daily Capital (Topeka, Kansas) dated January 20, 1908:


Had Shot White Man—Mob Hanged Him Then Riddled Body With Bullets.

Dothan, Ala., Jan. 19.—Cleveland Franklin, a negro employed by a cotton oil company, was lynched here early tonight by a masked mob of 200 angry citizens. The negro's body was riddled with bullets after it had been swung from the limb of a tree. It is said Franklin shot and seriously wounded A. C. Faulk, secretary and treasurer of the oil company, here last night, after he had been caught in the act of robbing the cash drawer at the mill. The sheriff was notified immediately after the shooting and a posse was organized. This morning the sheriff learned that the negro was at Webb, Ala., and later he was captured there. Franklin was brought back to Dothan by private conveyance. After putting the team up at the stable and just as the start was made for the jail, a mob of 200 men, all masked, swooped down on the sheriff and his posse and forcibly took the prisoner. The negro was taken a short distance away, hanged to a limb and his body riddled with bullets.

Keeping in mind that lynching does not always mean death, we read a little more through the pages of The Scranton Republican (Scranton, Pennsylvania) January 21, 1908:


Negro Was Taken From Sheriff by Mob and Hanged to a Tree.

DOTHAN, Ala., Jan. 20.—Cleveland Franklin, a negro, knows what it is to have been lynched and remain alive. Last night Franklin, who had shot and wounded A. C. Faulk, a prominent business man, was taken from the sheriff by a mob, strung to a tree in the heart of town and at least 200 shots fired at him. Everybody supposed the negro was dead and the body was left hanging.

When the negroe's body was cut down today by the sheriff it was discovered he was living. Examination showed  that only five shots took effect and caused no dangerous wounds. The noose about the negroe's neck was not properly adjusted and failed to strangle him. Under the care of a physician the negro soon revived and, barring a terrible fright, is in fair condition. There is no disposition to relynch the negro. The whites think he is entitled to live.

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

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