Monday, July 13, 2015

June 15, 1890: George Swazie

Tosay we learn about a Louisiana lynching through the pages of the Fort Worth Daily Gazette (Fort Worth, Texas) dated June 17, 1890:


Feeling Runs so High that a Negro Politician Who Urges His Race Not to Vote is Lynched.

Special to the Gazette.

NEW ORLEANS, LA., June 16.—George Swazie, colored, formerly a leading Republican politician of this state, was lynched yesterday at Black creek on the parish line of East and West Feliciana, representing that district in the legislature and afterwards being supervisor of registration. During the political troubles of 1876 charges were brought against him for murdering W. D. Winters, a prominent white lawyer. Swazie left the parish to escape the mob and was warned that if he ever returned there he would be killed. He came to New Orleans and latterly has been employed in the custom house. A few days ago he returned to Feliciana and was engaged there in distributing circulars advising the negroes no to vote in the senatorial election which takes to-morrow, and where the contest is wholly on the lottery issue. Following is the circular which which Swazie drew up and distributed among the negroes:

"An address to the colored people of East Feliciana parish:  The contest in the senatorial election to be held on Tuesday, 17th of June, is of no interest to you. On the contrary the friends of the lottery and anti-lottery bodies seem to be agreed only on one point and that is to eliminate you for the present issue. Now as this is strictly a factional fight amongst the Democrats we advise all colored people to abstain from voting, thereby leaving the settlement to the Democrats, which affords them a chance to arrange their own differences. By order of the committee in West Feliciana."

This action was denounced as a disreputable trick by the anti-lottery people as likely to decrease the colored vote in East Feliciana and thus to hurt them, and threats were made that any lottery emissary visiting the parish would be roughly dealt with. Swazie, however, crossed over into the parish with these circulars, but had no sooner stepped over the line than he was arrested as a suspicious character. As the deputy sheriff was taking him to the parish jail he was stopped by a mob of men and the prisoner was taken from him. This morning Swazie was found hanging to a tree on Black creek with a broken neck. The lynching created great excitement in both the Felicianas and Baton Rouge and indicates how bitter the fight is between the lottery and anti-lottery factions.

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

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