Thursday, January 22, 2015
January 22, 1885: Patrick Woods
The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated January 23, 1885:
Taken Out and Hanged.
MAGNOLIA, Miss., January 22.—A few days ago Patrick Woods, colored, killed Constable Michael Brown, at McComb City, and escaped. Woods was arrested Tuesday, and lodged in jail here. This morning a mob of masked men broke open the jail, took Woods out and hanged him.
Today we have an article of interest from The Indianapolis News (Indianapolis, Indiana) dated August 31, 1882:
There were serious threats of lynching Jeter made on Monday night. There are threats of lynching the men who outraged Miss Bond in Christian county, Illinois. There are threats of lynching the murderer of Mrs. Caplin at Weathersfield, Illinois. An unknown murderer was lynched at Deming, New Mexico, on Sunday. These are a single day's gathering, in one issue of a daily paper, and a scant one at that. A cruel murder or a brutal outrage occurs nowhere, apparently, without the instant accompaniment of a lynching or threat of it. Probably half of the bloody or beastly crimes of the day are avenged on the spot, without law, or caution, or decorum. The avenging power is as lawless and riotous as its victim. And the evil grows. It is worse now than it was a year ago than it was two years ago. That far away lynching was confined to "niggers" in the south, usually atrocious murders in the north, and horse thieves and "road agents" in the west. Now the mob rises to almost any crime of blood or brutality, and demands to displace the law and replace it with "sudden death." And this in a land where the mob that displaces the law makes the law. Vengeance can not wait the slow process of inquiry and proof. It must punish on the instant, and to punish is to kill. The law of the mob is the law of Draco—kill for every offence worth punishing. If this is not a turn of the path of progress toward anarchy, what is it? May not anarchy come as calamitously by insidious steps that never turn our attention to the end toward which they move, as by a cataclysm that sweeps away all authority and order at a blow?
Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.