Friday, May 29, 2015

May 29, 1901: Frederick Rochelle and May 29, 1911: Mexican

Today I have decided to feature two lynchings, ten years apart. Our first lynching occurred in Florida and we learn about it from The Indiana Democrat (Indiana, Pennsylvania) dated June 5, 1901:


Florida Negro Criminal Yields His Life at Scene of Vicious Murder.

Burned at the stake is the terrible fate of Frederick Rochelle, a negro, who assaulted and then murdered Mrs. Rena Taggart, a respected white woman of Barton, Fla. In the presence of a great throng of people, on the exact spot where Rochelle committed the outrage, the pyre was built, the pleading, trembling negro placed thereon and the torch applied. There was no swearing, no jeering—the crowd standing awe-inspired watching the shivering mass of humanity become a shapeless lump of flesh and then entirely disappear.

Two hours after the mob had dragged their victim to the spot of his terrible crime and burned him the town was as quiet and orderly as if were a Sunday evening. The scene of the lynching was within 100 yards of the main thoroughfare of Barton, and it is said that every resident of the town witnessed the awful spectacle. It is hard to anticipate what action the civil authorities will take, but it is not thought any arrests will be made.

The second lynching was in Texas and is brought to us by The Washington Post (Washington, D. C.) dated May 31, 1911:


Mexican's Misplaced "Viva" Costs Him His Life in Texas.

Barstow, Tex., May 30.—An unknown Mexican laborer employed on irrigation works in the Black Ridge community, 20 miles south of here, was lynched yesterday by his fellow Mexican laborers because he yelled "Viva Diaz!"

The men who lynched him are Maderists. A special grand jury is investigating the lynching.

In case you aren't familiar with Mexican history and are interested in understanding why "Maderists" were upset by "Viva Diaz," or even what "Maderists" means you can learn a bit more here. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

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