Friday, July 24, 2015

June, 1889: Hungarians

Today we learn about a lynching of opportunists in the aftermath of the Johnstown tragedy. Our source for the following article is The Kearney Daily Hub (Kearney, Nebraska) dated June 3, 1889:

ROBBING THE DEAD.

Human Jackals Caught at Their Nefarious Work and Lynched.

JOHNSTOWN, Pa, June 3.—A party of searchers saw two men robbing the body of a woman. The thieves were caught. In one of their pockets was found a woman's ear, entire, sliced from the head with a sharp knife. In the ear lobe was a sparkling diamond ring. The captors placed ropes around the necks of the villains and then strung them up to the nearest tree until they were dead. They then cut them down and buried them. Reports of 

Looting and Wholesale Robbery

have been greatly exaggerated. There is a disposition on the part of the Hungarians, laboring Irish and negroes to raid houses, but not the dead. The measures adopted by the police have a tendency to frighten them off in nearly every case. One Hungarian was caught in the act of robbing the body of an old lady, but protesting that he got nothing, was released. It was afterwards discovered that he had taken $100 from the pocket of the corpse. Threats to lynch these thieves on sight had a good effect in keeping them at a distance. C. L. Dick, ex-mayor of Johnstown, and several other gentlemen while patrolling that part of the city known as The Point, discovered a party of Hungarians looting the houses and robbing the bodies of the dead. The parties had no guns with them, but Mr. Dick leveled his revolver at one of the plunderers and

Shot Him Dead.

Further investigation of the contents of pockets of the fiends brought forth large quantities of jewelry and the mutilated finger of a little girl, on which was a gold ring.

He fell into the river and no further attention was paid to his remains. the city is guarded by over 300 special officers. A special train of twelve cars loaded with provisions for the sufferers has just arrived.

At 5 o'clock a posse of farmers surrounded a gang of fourteen Hungarians who were robbing the dead and succeeded, after a lively battle with clubs and rocks in driving three of them into the middle of the stream where they sank beneath the waves to rise no more.

The above article is a fine example of the bigotry that was common at that time.  If you are unfamiliar with the Johnstown tragedy, a good place to learn about it can be found  here and here. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

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