Monday, August 31, 2015

October 22, 1907: Henry Sykes and July 21, 1907: Two unknown Negroes

Today I am choosing to feature two different lynchings. the commonality is in how these lynchings were reported. Both were reported with racial slurs in the headlines. Our first lynching occurred in Mississippi and comes to us through the pages of The Raleigh times (Raleigh, N. C.) dated October 23, 1907:

GORILLA NEGRO LYNCHED IN MISSISSIPPI

He Made a Practice of Calling Up Young Ladies Over the Phone and Sending Insulting Messages to Them—Caught in Act, He Escapes From Police—Mob Caught Him and Shot Him to Death.

(By Leased Wire to The Times.)

Van Vleet, Miss., Oct. 23—Henry Sykes, a negro, was lynched here by a small crowd of men thought to hail from Okolona. Sykes, who was a recent arrival from Indiana, was accused of calling up white girls in Okolona on the telephone and annoying them.

The town authorities used a decoy message to get Sykes there, but before he could be taken he had escaped. An all night chase ended when the captured the negro after a brief fight in which shots were exchanged.


I chose to feature this lynching second because according to the article they were "probably lynched." I don't believe there was really any doubt, just no witnesses came forward. This article comes from The Bismarck Tribune (Bismarck, N. D.) dated July 23, 1907:

QUIET DAY

In Lake County, Tennessee; the Sabbath Was Unusually Monotonous

Only Four Men Killed and Two Coons Lynched During the Day

Nashville, Tenn., July 22.—Four men were killed and two probably lynched in Lake county, Tennessee, yesterday near Blue Landing on the Mississippi river, as the result of various troubles.

Pat Worlds was shot and killed at Blue Landing in a fight with Luther Rankin. Later at the same place two Negroes, names unknown, engaged in a pistol duel and both were killed. A man named Dublin shot and killed a negro in a quarrel over a debt.

At Ridgley in Lake county, a man named Smith fought with a negro. The negro, after having his wounds dressed, left with his brother. their dead bodies were found on the railroad track today. It is supposed they were lynched.


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

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