Saturday, March 7, 2015

March 7, 1909: Anderson Ellis and Will Clark

Today we begin with the earliest article found. It comes to us from The Abilene Daily Reporter (Abilene, Texas) dated March 6, 1909:


ROCKWALL, March 6.—Posses are this morning still hunting for the negro named Anderson Ellis who attempted to assault a white woman last night. Mrs. Arthur McKinney was the victim of the negro's attack. Whites threat openly that if caught the black will be lynched. It is believed that he is now surrounded in the woods and is in hiding in them.

Most of the articles read like the one below. This particular article comes from The Reading Times (Reading, Pennsylvania) dated March 8, 1909:


[By Associated Press.]

Dallas, Texas, March 7.—A special to The News from Rockwall, Texas, says a negro, Anderson Ellis, charged with assault, is now being burned in the public square. A negro, name as yet unknown, was lynched early in the evening, for harboring Ellis.

Now an article to flesh out the tale and the one of the very few to give a name to the other victim. Pittston Gazette (Pittston, Pennsylvania) dated March 8, 1909:


Dragged From Jail After His Attack Upon a Woman.

Rockwall, Tex., March 8.—After a brutal attack upon Mrs. Arthur McKinney, Anderson Ellis, a negro, was dragged from the county jail and secured to an iron stake driven into the earth and burned to death in the presence of about 1,000 persons.

Ellis, who admitted his guilt, did not utter a cry as the pile of cordwood, which had been saturated with kerosene, was set afire or when the flames cooked his flesh. He lived nine minutes after the torch was applied.

The crowd also lynched Will Clark, a negro, who tried to conceal Ellis in his house.

Finally, we end with the aftermath which comes to us through the pages of the Daily Capital Journal (Salem, Oregon) dated March 8, 1909:

Negro Lynched in Peace.

Dallas, Tex., March 8.—Despite the lynching of Anderson Ellis, who was burned at the stake at Rockwell last night, after being identified as the assailant of Mrs. Arthur McKinney, and the shooting to death of a negro who endeavored to shelter him, the town is quiet today according to reports received here. The reports say that there is no fear of an outbreak.

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

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