Sunday, March 29, 2015

March 29, 1891: Elrod Hudson and Jefferson Dinsmore

Today we learn about another lynching in Alabama through the pages of The Record-Union (Sacramento, California) dated March 30, 1891:

Two Negroes Lynched.

BIRMINGHAM (Ala.), March 29.—Elrod Hudson and Jeff. Dinsmore, two negroes, who burned a portion of Russellville last Tuesday night, were taken from the jail this morning by a mob, who hung them to a tree, and riddled their bodies with bullets. The negroes confessed. The others connected with the affair were women, and their lives were spared.

Today's article of interest comes to us from The New York Age (New York, N. Y.) dated April 27, 1905:

Mobs and Sheriffs.

The demons of mob-violence is best exorcised by a faithful and resolute sheriffry. From nearly every locality in which a sheriff has successfully opposed a mob the lynching spirit has fled. A still severer blow is dealt the evil if he happens to be slain in the performance of his duty.

A case in point is that of Sheriff Poag of Tate County, Mississippi, who was fatally shot while protecting an Afro-American criminal from a mob of lynchers. So horror-struck were those seeking to spill the soul of a black man when they found they had killed the white sheriff, that they slunk away without molesting the prisoner. The death of the white man has brought the community and the South to an appalled realization of the disgrace and peril of mob-law. Whose ox is gored always makes a difference. If the black man had been lynched, the Southern papers would have manifested merely a decent regret, tempered in most cases with palliations of the mob's crime; but as it was a white man who was killed, they are clamoring for the blood of "the ring-leaders of this cowardly mob." This gives us much hope that brave Sheriff Poag has not died in vain.

To launch a human soul into eternity is an awful thing. Its awfulness is too superlative to be lessened or aggravated by the color of the victim's skin. Why, then, does Southern public opinion place such different valuations on the lives of white and of black men?

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

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