Thursday, March 5, 2015

March 5, 1900: George Ratcliffe

The Greensboro Telegram (Greensboro, N. C.) dated March 6, 1900:


Punishment of a Negro in Waynesville for Assaulting a Little Girl.

Special to News and Observer.

Waynesville, N. C., March 5.—The negro George Ratcliffe, who on Saturday night outraged a little white girl 8 years old, the granddaughter of Nithias Holland, three miles from Clyde, was shot to death in jail here early this morning by a mob of infuriated whites. It is thought that a large part of the mob followed the negro here from the scene of his crime.

He was run down and caught about 5 o'clock and brought to Clyde and placed under heavy guard, who guarded him all night and brought him to Waynesville Sunday morning where he was placed in jail. He confessed his guilt Saturday night after being taken to Clyde, but claimed he did not accomplish his purpose.

It was a particularly atrocious crime. His victim is a poor little invalid girl of only eight years of age, having suffered all her life with St Vitas' dance. It was almost impossible to prevent a lynching Saturday night, a mob remaining in town until a late hour. The whole country was worked up to the lynching point and the end the negro met has created no surprise.

chorea (St. Vitus' dance) (kôrē´ə),

n a disorder of the central nervous system resulting in purposeless, involuntary athetoid (writhing) movements of the muscles of the face and extremities. It may be associatedwith or follow rheumatic fever (Sydenham's chorea), hysteria, senility, or infections, or it may be a hereditary disorder (Huntington's chorea.—Mosby's Dental Dictionary, 2nd edition. © 2008 Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.  If you would like more information on St. Vitus' dance, you can find some here.

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

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