Thursday, July 30, 2015
March 25, 1910: "Judge" Jones
Today we learn about an Arkansas lynching found in an article in the March 26, 1910 edition of the Harrisburg Daily Independent (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania):
INSOLENT NEGRO LYNCHED BY MOB
Loiters About White Girl's Home—Victim of Mob's Rage
By Associated Press.
Pine Bluff, Ark., March 26.—Resenting the attitude of "Judge" Jones, a 26-year-old negro, toward a young white woman of this city, a mob of forty men took the negro from the custody of the officers, who were conducting him to a convict farm last night, and lynched him.
Jones was arrested on the complaint of the mother of the young woman, who charged him with trespass, asserting that he persisted in loitering about her home and became insolent when ordered away. His trial was held last night and he was sentenced to a term on a convict farm. During the trial the negro replied sharply to his questioners, insisting that despite his color he "was as good as any white man."
After the trial Jones was being taken to a train when the mob overpowered the officers and hanged the negro from a water tank.
The mob then quietly dispersed and the body was cut down.
I read many articles on this lynching. Most of them were written like the one above. Another article is found in The Daily Journal-Gazette (Mattoon, Illinois) dated March 26, 1910:
NEGRO TAKEN FROM OFFICERS AND LYNCHED BY BIG MOB
National Telegraph Service.
Pine Bluff, Ark., March 26.—Judge Jones, a negro of questionable character, was taken away from officers by a mob last night and lynched. The negro was accused of intimacy with a white woman and today there is a strong feeling against the woman.
The last example and the only article I found mentioning assault can be found in The Daily times (New Philadelphia, Ohio) dated March 26, 1910:
MOB LYNCHES YOUNG NEGRO
Man Who Insulted Young White Girls Strung up on Water Tank
Pine Bluffs, Ark., Mar. 26:—An angry mob lynched "Judge" Jones, 26, an insolent negro here early today. His body was left hanging from a water tank in the main part of town.
Jones had been annoying young white women for a long time. He was not discovered until he made a criminal assault upon a prominent girl some days ago. The girl told the description of the man and people set out to find him. He was dragged to the water tank, with a rope around his neck and then "strung up." Several shots were fired at the body when it was hanging in the air.
Just like in today's media, the way an article is worded can sway how people feel about a certain event. I try to present these lynching as honestly as I can; therefore, I show multiple articles when I feel it is necessary. Many times the majority articles present the same story. In that case, I try to pr4esent the article with the most thorough information. It is always hard to know the true story. Without going to each location and searching through the court records, i have only these article to present. I suspect there is a little truth in all of them. I lean toward the middle article being the most honest. Mainly because the first article does not imply the girl complained about the man's attentions, only her mother. The last article, in my opinion, tried to justify the lynching by using terms that many people accepted as a reason to lynch. I find it hard to believe he committed a criminal assault and only one paper chose to report it. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.