Saturday, July 11, 2015

December 20, 1903: Eli Hilson

I have noticed a trend in newspapers when reporting lynching by white caps to refer to them as murders or assassinations. The names are still found on lynching lists and of course, every lynching is a murder. The closer the lynching is to 1900 or after, the more likely it will not be referred to as a lynching.

Today's lynching comes to us through the pages of the Belvidere Daily Republican (Belvidere, Illinois) dated December 23, 1903:


Refuses to Heed Warning of Whitecaps and Is Killed—Alarm Over Situation.

Brookhaven, Miss., Dec. 23.—Eli Hilson, a negro, living eight miles from Brookhaven, was assassinated Sunday while on the way from town alone in his buggy. Last winter Hilson was warned by whitecaps to leave, which warning he disregarded. About three or four weeks ago his home was visited in the night by whitecaps and several volleys fired into it. He still disregarded the warning, and remained on his place.

Hilson is the second negro murdered by white caps in that portion of Lincoln county within the last month, and the other negroes are greatly alarmed over the situation.

A year later we learn the fate of the white cappers through the pages of The Waterloo Press (Waterloo, Indiana) dated December 29, 1904:


Ten Slayers of Negroes Sentenced by Mississippi Judge.

Ten men who were proved guilty of outrages against negroes were sentenced in Brookhaven, miss., to long terms in prison by Judge Wilkinson, who recently declared that the full penalty of the law would be imposed against whitecappers, even if it made every woman in Mississippi a widow. Oscar Franklin was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Eli hilson, a negro; Will Franklin, D. W. Smith, Elias Smith, R. L. Smith and Elbert Gill were given fifty years each in the penitentiary for manslaughter in the killing of Henry List, a negro, and Sam Possey, another whitecapper, must serve twenty years. john Smith and john McNulty, negroes, who were convicted of murder, received life sentences.

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

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