Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April 15, 1881: Ann Cowan

Today we learn about a lynching in South Carolina through the pages of the Sentinel & Republican (Mifflintown, Pennsylvania) dated April 27, 1881:

SPARTANBURG, S. C., April 15.—Information has reached here of the lynching of Ann Cowan, a colored woman, at Martin's depot, Laurens county, in this State. The victim of this horrible affair attempted to set fire to the premises of a planter named J. S. Blalock. She succeeded in burning a barn, with its contents. She was arrested by a constable upon this charge. The officer attempted to carry his prisoner to the guard-house at Martin's depot, where she was to be committed for trial. The woman was taken from the officer by a mob and hanged to a convenient tree. She confessed that she had given her. [sic]  The lynching took place about twenty-five miles from the spot where the negro men suffered death in the same manner about the middle of February, for an infamous assault upon a young lady whom they afterward beat to death with a club and concealed her body in the bushes. The punishment of those fiends was approved by the community.


Our article of interest comes from the same edition:

THE preacher of a peculiar religious society out in Arkansas was lynched. The dispatch from Little Rock, Arkansas, that announces the lynching says of it:  Rev. Robert Mattlock, who was discovered hanged in Izard county a few days since, was suppossed. [sic] Mattlock was a preacher of the New Light fanaticism prevalent in this region. Last year the enthusiasts among his followers who believed in blood atonement, under the lead of Mattlock, killed six or seven men. Mattlock murdered Thomas Miller at a barbecue last August with a knife. He was captured, tried and acquitted as insane. A short time ago a murdered man was found on the top of the mountains between Telico and Batesville, and the circumstances pointed strongly to Mattock [sic]  as the murderer. The community was greatly excited, and Mattlock is also supposed to be the victim of blood atonement.


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

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