Saturday, March 21, 2015

March 21, 1890: Robert Moseley and March 21, 1914: Charles Young

Today we learn about two different lynchings in Alabama on the same day, but different years. We start with a lynching in 1890 which we learn about through the pages of  the Salina Daily Republican (Salina, Kansas) dated March 23, 1890:


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., March 23.—News has reached the city of the hanging by a mob near Meridianville, in North Alabama, of Robert Moseley, a young negro. He was lynched by a mob of 500 men, fifty of whom were black, having been captured after a determined pursuit all day. The crime for which he suffered death was in some respects without a parallel. He was a farm hand, whose employer had a handsome sister-in-law, Miss Ellie Austin, a young lady of eighteen years. Half a mile from her home in the edge of a lonely piece of woods Moseley dug a pit  seven feet long, two feet wide and three feet deep, which he partially boarded in and lay in wait for Miss Austin on her way to school at Park Chapel. As she passed the villain sprang out and seized her and a fearful struggle followed. She succeeded in defeating the brute's purposes. He then pushed her into the pit, placed sills and boards over it, nailed them down and then said to her:  "Now, you stay there and I'll come back tomorrow and kill you." He covered the hole with leaves, sticks and rubbish, put an old stovepipe in it to supply air and left his victim in her living grave. As soon as he was gone the brave girl, using her slate frame, pried off the boards and made her escape. Moseley was hanged within a few feet of the pit and buried therein.

Our next lynching occurs in 1914 and we find out about it in The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, N. C.) dated March 22, 1914:


Quick Work Made of Black Who Assaulted White Woman. 

Clanton, Ala., March 21.—Charles Young, a negro, was lynched tonight two miles from town by a mob of enraged citi[z]ens, and several bullets fired into the swinging body as the crowd dispersed. Young was accused of attacking Mrs. Anderson Wilson, a white woman 60 years old, early today. It is charged he afterwards robbed the house, beat the woman and threatened to kill her. The negro escaped. Bloodhounds failed to follow his tracks as he used turpentine to kill the scent.

Young was captured this afternoon near Maplesville, Ala., by a posse of officers. The local people were immediately aroused and threats of lynching were made openly. A call was sent to Governor O'Neal for troops and a company was hurried from Montgomery by special train. Before the posse of officers with the negro could reach Clanton, and before the troops arrived, the mob of citi[z]ens took possession of the negro and lynched him.

Mrs. Wilson is in a critical condition.

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

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