Friday, March 20, 2015

March 20, 1901: Jerry (Jody) Bell and Charles Hollingworth

Today we learn about a lynching that occurred in Mississippi. Our article comes from The Morning Post (Raleigh, N. C.) dated March 22, 1901:


A Mississippi Mob Takes a Short Cut on Two Negroes

Memphis, March 21.—Jody Bell and Charles Hollingsworth, both negroes, are dead at Terry, Miss., this morning as the result of lynching last night. They were arrested for attempted assault. A double lynching was planned for last night, and within a short time the body of one man was dangling from a limb. The other negro escaped apparently in the darkness amid a fusillade of bullets. This morning the body of the second man was found in the woods.

Early yesterday morning Bell was discovered in the room of a young woman visiting the family of R. C. Terry, the leading citizen of the town. His object was robbery or assault. The young woman had been wearing diamonds and this fact no doubt influenced Bell to attempt robbery. The screams of the girl scared him and he left.

On the alarm all hands turned out to apprehend him. They finally found him at Byron, Miss., ten miles north. Bell was taken before the mayor and placed in jail to await the action of the grand jury. He stoutly denied his guilt at the time. Later developments implicated Charlie Hollingsworth, another negro.

The news of the crime and arrests spread rapidly and last night people for miles around rode into the little town to attack the jail. They made an assault upon the building about 9 o'clock and secured both negroes. Bell was taken to a bridge about a mile north of the town where he was hanged from a beam and his body riddled. Before being strung up he made a full confession, implicating Hollingsworth, who was deeply concerned in the plot. The negro Hollingsworth was to have died with Bell, but he fought his way through the mob and escaped. Fifty shots were sent after him. Hos [sic] body was found in the woods this morning almost riddled with bullets. After his escape he dragged himself to the thicket where he died.

All other articles I read have the name as Jerry Bell, in case you were wondering why I have both Jerry and Jody. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

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