Saturday, October 31, 2015

September 4, 1883: George Gaddis and James King

This Halloween we learn about a lynching that occurred in Mississippi through the pages of The Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois) dated September 6, 1883:

Colored Ghouls Lynched.

EDWARDS, Miss., Sept. 5.

James King and George Gaddis, negroes, were arrested Tuesday, charged with robbing the grave of Mrs. Hattie Howell. They confessed the crime, informing the officers that they stole the body for the purpose of securing the bones of the arm, which they used in their profession of conjurers. When the news of the robbery and arrest became known a crowd of 150 men assembled and demanded of the Sheriff to turn over the prisoners. He refused. In the confusion, Gaddis attempted to escape and was riddled with bullets by the crowd. The Sheriff was then overpowered and the other prisoner was taken from the jail and hanged.

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

Friday, October 30, 2015

June 11, 1885: Turner Graham and wife

Today we learn about a lynching in Ohio through the pages of The Topeka Daily Capital (Topeka, Kansas) dated June 14, 1885:

Killed by a Mob.

CINCINATI [sic],  June 13.—At Osgood, Ohio, Turner Graham and wife (colored), were killed by a mob, armed with shotguns, after midnight Thursday. Graham is a barber, and both he and his wife were addicted to drink and were qurrrelsome [sic]. They were harmless to others. they had been away during the fore part of the night and when thery [sic] returned the mob riddled them with shot. The coroner began an inquest yesterday, but as yet no arrests have been made.

The Thomas County Cat (Colby, Kansas) dated June 25, 1885:

At Osgood, O., Turner Graham and wife (colored) were killed by a mob armed with guns one night recently. The pair were considered obnoxious by the mob that wiped them out.

The Hicksville News (Hicksville, Ohio) dated September 24, 1885:

Died of a Broken Heart

The wife of Wynant Mills, recently of Osgood, Darke County, was buried at Sidney recently. She died of a broken heart, after having lived happily thirty-four years, with the exception of the last three months. Her Husband [sic], Wyant  [sic] Mills, is in jail at Greenville, Darke County, under indictment of murder in the first degree, he being one of four persons who shot and killed at Osgood, last June, Mrs. Turner Graham, a black woman, the particulars which were published at the time of the tragedy. The men arrested for the crime were Dr. A. Greer, Job Gosley, Wynant Mills, and Isaac Medford, all prominent citizens of Osgood, and the latter the Mayor of the village. They were all recently indicted for murder in the first degree, and are now in jail at Greenville.

Following is the "particulars" published by The Hicksville News in June:

A colored man named Turner Graham and his wife were killed by a mob at Osgood, Ohio. The pair were quarrelsome and addicted to drink, though quarrelsome and addicted to drink, though harmless otherwise. They had been away from home on a spree, and when they were riddled with shot.

It is interesting that the newspaper's coverage of the lynching was so sparse while the article about the men who committed the lynching was more informative. There seemed to be much less compassion for the murdered than for the woman who died from "a broken heart" because her husband was in jail for murder.  It is unusual that there were arrests made and even more unusual that there were indictments. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

March, 1894: Unknown Negro Woman

Today we learn about a lynching in Arkansas through the pages of The Times (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) dated March 12, 1894:


The Body, Bearing a Ghastly Warning, Found Hanging From a Tree.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., March 11.—The colored population of this city is greatly exercised over the reported ghastly discovery made by several of their color in returning from Marche to-day. About half way between this city and Marche they found the dead body of a young mulatto woman, probably about 30 years old, suspended to the limb of a tree.

On her bosom was a placard bearing the inscription:  "If anybody cuts this body down they will share the same fate."

Several parties reported finding the body. It is supposed the woman was lynched, but when, by whom and for what reason no one has been able to state. The body appeared to have been suspended several days.

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

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

July 25, 1946: Roger and Dorothy Malcolm, George and May Dorsey

Today we learn about a Georgia lynching from The Gazette and Daily (York, Pennsylvania) dated July 29, 1946. The article is an unusual one in that it is written in the first person. It is, however, the most thorough article I found on the lynching:

Writer Terms Georgia Lynching Fruit of Talmadge's Election

(Special to The Gazette and Daily)


Monroe, Ga., July 28.—I have just seen the first proof of Eugene Talmadge's election as Governor of Georgia. I saw it in the basement of Dan Young's funeral parlor (for colored) here in Monroe.

An embalmer was sewing up bullet holes in one of the girls, Dorothy Malcolm. He had already done his best to patch up the rifle and pistol holes in the other girl and the two fellows lynched here Thursday night.

But nothing in the undertaker's art could put back the faces of Roger Malcolm or May Dorsey.

Shotgun shells fired point blank don't leave much face.

Their deaths or the death of some other Georgia Negro by lynch mob violence was inevitable.

When the votes were counted in the July 17 primary, and the minority candidate Talmadge was declared the Democratic nominee, the season on "niggers" was automatically opened, and every pinheaded Georgia cracker and bigoted Ku Kluxer figured he had a hunting license.

I don't know whether the murderers of Roger Malcolm and George Dorsey and their wives will ever be brought to trial.

I doubt it.

But in two hours in this town I've picked up enough clues as to the identity of the leader of the lynch mob and at least one of his henchmen that it would seem child's play for anyone with authority to have the guilty ones within 24 hours.

I intend to put those clues before the the chief of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation; but, as I say, I don't know if it will do any good.

This is Georgia.

This morning in Washington Atty. Gen. Tom Clark said he was ordering a full investigation of the lynching. At 7 p. m. the F. B. I. hadn't shown up. two assistant United States attorneys dropped in from Macon and chatted with the Sheriff for an hour or so this afternoon, and then said they didn't think there had been a violation of any Federal law. They didn't think Civil rights statute would apply.

Planned Murder

(I wonder if it would comfort what is left of those four young Negroes, lying naked on slabs in the basement of Dan Young's funeral parlor, to know that their civil rights had not been violated when they were jerked from an automobile by a mob of 25 or 30 men, taken down to a river bottom, lined up and riddled with rifle and pistol bullets and shotgun shells?)

This was no spontaneous uprising of race hatred. It was a carefully organized mass murder, timed to the second, carried out with storm trooper efficiency. Here is the sequence of events:

On Sunday, July 14, Roger Malcolm, an uneducated Negro farmhand in his twenties, who worked on the farm of one Barney Hester in this cotton and corn section 40 miles east of Atlanta, got into a fight with his wife. He had been drinking.

The official story is that Dorothy Malcolm, Roger's wife, ran to the Hester house and appealed for help. The official story is, further, that Hester merely told Malcolm to calm down and quit causing trouble, whereupon Malcolm pulled out a knife and stabbed him.

The true story, as nearly as I can make it out, is that Hester started beating Malcolm first. But at any rate Hester was stabbed.

Malcolm was quickly caught and a mob gathered. They bound Malcolm with rope and there was talk of lynching him. But a white woman who had known him from childhood called the Sheriff. Sheriff E. S. Gordon and two deputies arrived in time and Malcolm was taken to Monroe jail.

Then Talmadge

Three days later Talmadge was nominated—purely, simply and solely on the issue of keeping the Negro "in his place." This county voted for Talmadge. The farm section around "Hestertown" voted overwhelmingly for Talmadge—and Hestertown's Negroes didn't vote.

With Talmadge's victory the threats to "get" Malcolm crescendoed. There was so much talk of lynching him that his relatives thought a week ago that he had already been killed.

Yesterday, Loy Harrison, a well-to-do farmer for whom Malcolm's sister-in-law and her husband worked, drove into town to bail Malcolm out of jail.

Dorsey, recently out of the Army, his wife, Mrs. Malcolm's sister, and Mrs. Malcolm came along.

They arrived at the courthouse at about 2 o'clock and by 2:10 the bond of $600 had been posted and the papers all signed to get Malcolm out. It was an extremely low bond—the charge was assault with attempt to commit murder—and Hester was still in the hospital, not yet out of danger.

For some reason not yet explained, Malcolm was not released immediately. Harrison went to get his car fixed and the women went shopping. They came back at 5 o'clock, got Malcolm and started in Harrison's car for his farm some ten miles away.

The rest of the story is as Harrison related it to the Coroner's inquest last night a few hours after the murders and again to officers.

When the mob told Harrison to beat it after the murders, he drove to the nearest store and called the Sheriff.

The Sheriff sent some deputies and the coroner out but didn't go himself.

A drumhead inquest was held on the spot.

Harrison was the only one to testify. He said he hadn't recognized any one. The jury promptly brought in its verdict—"death by gunshot wounds from person or persons unknown."

"I'm ashamed to be a Georgian" is an expression I've heard more than once.

Rev. J. C. Ingram preaches funeral services for George Dorsey, ex-serviceman, and his sister, Mrs. roger Malcolm, two of four Negroes lynched at Monroe, Ga., by a mob of 20 or more armed white men. The flag draped coffin is Dorsey's.

NEA Telephoto

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

Monday, October 26, 2015

September 16, 1893: Valsin, Bazile and Paul

Today we learn about a Louisiana lynching through the pages of The Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois) dated September 18, 1893:


Brutal Murder of Inoffensive Negroes in Louisiana.

NEW ORLEANS, La., Sept. 17.—Special Telegram.—Three negroes were lynched in the neighboring parish of Jefferson at midnight last night. Ever since the murder of Judge Victor Estopinal and the fatal wounding of his son Friday by the negro Julian, excitement has been at the highest pitch in that parish, and parties of white men on foot and on horse have been scouring the country looking for the murderer. They were unable to find him, however, and  the supposition is that he has taken refuge in the swamp, which he thoroughly knows and where, armed with a Winchester and plenty of ammunition, he can make a strong defense. The searching parties became very much aroused when the murderer could not be found. The claim was made that a conspiracy existed among the negroes, and that there was to be an uprising when Julian gave the signal, but that the other negroes were frightened and did not turn out when Julian killed Judge Estopinal. In this suspicion of conspiracy Julian's three brothers, Valsin, Bazile, and Paul, and two cousins, together with the murderer's mother and the wives and sisters of the other men, were arrested and locked up in the jail in Southport, half a mile from New Orleans. At midnight last night a posse, disappointed at failing  to find the murderer Julian, broke into the jail. There was a proposition to lynch all five of the male prisoners, but this was overruled and only the brothers were lynched. The cousins were severely whipped and ordered out of the parish. The posse took the remaining brother, Paul, to Camp Parapet, a settlement consisting almost entirely of negroes, a few miles away, where he was promptly lynched to overawe the negroes. All of the three men hung were strangled to death. There was much opposition to the lynching among the better classes in the parish, but the popular demand was for lynch law. Considerable feeling has existed between the whites and negroes in Jefferson parish for some time. Judge Long, Judge Estopinal's predecessor, was waylaid by a negro assassin and wounded mortally, it was believed at the time. For this two negroes were lynched and a large number whipped and ordered out of the parish. The murder of Judge Estopinal has already caused the lynching of three more negroes, and is likely to produce more bloodshed.

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

Friday, October 23, 2015

March 10, 1886: Negro Boy

Today we learn about a lynching in South Carolina through the pages of The Stevens Point Journal (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) dated March 20, 1886:

A Thirteen-Year-Old Boy Lynched.

CHARLESTON, S. C., March 12.—A negro boy about thirteen years old, employed by Mrs. Gideon Sauls, a widow living at Furniss Cross-roads, entered the chamber of the widow at daybreak the other day and knocked her senseless with an axe. He then robbed the house and fled. During the day Mrs. Sauls recovered sufficiently to call a passer-by and inform him of the crime. The boy was soon after captured and taken to jail at Ridgeland. He confessed his crime and said that it was instigated by a negro woman employed by Mrs. Sauls. Wednesday the boy was taken from the jail by a mob and hanged to a gate-post.

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

September 30, 1885: Sampson Harris

Today we learn about a Louisiana lynching through the pages of the Reading Times (Reading, Pennsylvania) dated October 12, 1885:


Four of Them Taken Into Custody for the Murder of a Negro—They Will Be Tried at New Orleans.

NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 11.—A special from Arcadia, La., says:  On the 30th of September, at a point 82 miles south of this place, near the line of Winn Parish, four masked and unknown men entered the house of Sampson Harris, colored, on the pretense of looking for another man, but it is reported on entering the house one of the four men seized Harris, saying, "You are the man we want," and shot him twice, inflicting wounds from which he died. It is reported that Harris was killed because he had threatened to expose certain persons for whipping some negroes in that neighborhood. This affair of whipping the negroes caused great indignation on the part of many white people in the neighborhood.

The whipping of the negroes and the murder were reported to the Governor, who instructed Judge Drew to cause the arrest of the persons under suspicion and the warrants were issued here last week. H. R. Ferguson, deputy sheriff, with 3 other men arrested the four men alleged to have been concerned in the murder of Harris and brought them here to-day. Their trial will take place here on Monday before Judge Drew. The prisoners were kept in lockup here until this evening when they were taken to Minden for safety. It appears from reports that about ten men in all were concerned in the affair of the whipping and murder of Harris.

The New York times (New York, N. Y.) dated October 15, 1885:



NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 14.—Some weeks ago, as has already been reported, a series of outrages were perpetrated in the southern part of Bienville Parish and the northern part of Winn Parish, in this State, by a gang of masked men. Negroes were the victims, Sampson Harris having been killed by the gang and many others cruelly beaten. Harris was shot down in the presence of his family and at his own fireside. The Governor wrote to Judge Drew of that district to look into the matter, and as a result W. E. Pratt, B. F. Ratcliff, A Stringer, and J. W. Lucky were arrested. The accused had the most distinguished counsel in that section of the State, and to-day one was discharged and the three others released on a five-hundred-dollar peace bond to answer to charges of assault and battery. This was on account of inability on the part of the prosecution to find any one willing to testify against them.

Prominent citizens of that section deprecate these outrages, but they are afraid to take any active steps to prevent them and keep silent. No reason is assigned for this outbreak of bulldozing, as there is no political campaign now in progress, but it has been said that the negroes favored the prohibition movement, which is attracting attention in some parts of the State.

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

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

May 9, 1904: Frank Piper

Today we learn about a Louisiana lynching through the pages of The Scranton Republican (Scranton, Pennsylvania) dated May 11, 1904:


Charged With Discharging Firearms, mob Hanged Him.

NEW ORLEANS, La., May 10.—Frank Piper, a negro cab driver, was taken from the town jail in Alexandria last night and hanged to a tree about a mile from town. Piper was arrested yesterday charged with discharging firearms in the city limits. It is said that he shot a white man. He threatened to kill a policeman and was locked up.

The jail was broken into some time in the night without arousing anyone in the neighborhood and piper taken from it quietly and hanged. District Judge Blackman specially charged the grand jury to investigate the lynching and called upon all citizens to furnish any information they can on the subject. A meeting of citizens has been called to take condemnatory action as public sentiment is very strong against the lynchers.

The Morning Post (Raleigh, N. C.) dated May 12, 1904:


Lynching of Cabman Call for Strong Denunciation

NEW ORLEANS, May 11.—The lynching of the negro cabman, frank piper, who was taken from the Alexandria, La., town jail and lynched just outside of the town limits, has been denounced by the largest mass meeting ever held in that town. resolutions were adopted calling upon the district court to act in the case, demanding a thorough investigation of the crime by the grand jury and insisting that the mayor and council at once institute a thorough investigation into the action of the police force and learn why no police were on duty to protect the jail.

The New Orleans resolutions pledge the authorities the assistance of all good citizens, declare that there is not a citizen interested in the welfare of Alexandria who does not condemn the crime, that the best relations exist between the whites and negroes in that portion of Louisiana and call for the punishment of those who stir up and stimulate bad feeling between the races. So far the identity of the lynchers has not yet been discovered. It is thought that there were only a few men engaged in the affair, who took advantage of the unguarded jail to lynch Piper.

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

Monday, October 19, 2015

June 3, 1889: Dock (Dick) Connelly and Nelson Huey

Today we learn about a lynching in Louisiana through the pages of The Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) dated June 6, 1889:


Two Negroes Killed at the Hands of a Mob in Louisiana.

NEW ORLEANS, La., June 5.—The Times-Democrat's Osyka, Miss., special says:  On Monday evening some ten white men armed with shotguns went to the house of a negro named Dock Tangipahoa parish. A negro named Huey, who was supposed to have been a fugitive from justice, first saw the mob from Connelly's house and tried to make his escape by running one from the back door, but there he met another armed crowd, who literally riddled him with buckshot. Connelly, who remained in his house, was dragged out and shot at least thirty times, his body being torn into shreds. There is no clew whatsoever to the identity of the parties who did the killings, but it is understood they came from the northern part of Pike county, Miss.

The only person who saw the men was Connelly's wife, who was in bed, having only a short time before given birth to a child. She said she did not recognize any of them. It is not known for what crime such a terrible fate was meted out to the negroes. It is said a week or so ago Huey made an indecent proposal to a young white girl, Miss Thompson, who lives in the northern portion of Pike county. 

Ten days ago an officer arrived in Tangipahoa parish and arrested Huey. The officer never stated for what crime he was arrested, and without requisition from the governor, or a warrant for that matter, took Huey off. The negro was gone for a week.

When he came back a day or so ago his body was terribly lacerated, and he said that he had been whipped by the officer and warned to keep out of that section forever. What charge there was against Connelly cannot be learned. It is said, however, that he was a bad negro.

The Indianapolis News (Indianapolis, Indiana) dated June 6, 1889 was succinct in its coverage of the lynching:

Dock Connelly, a negro at Osyka, Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, was shot to pieces by a mob. He was a bad negro.

Most articles claim the mob consisted of ten to fifteen men. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

October 17, 1942: Howard Wash

Seventy-three years ago today there was a lynching in Mississippi. We learn about this lynching through the pages The Gazette and Daily (York, Pennsylvania) dated October 19, 1942:

Third Negro Lynched In Miss.

Sentenced To Life For Murder, Convict Is Seized By Mob. State Guard And Police Seek Mob Members. Five Other Negroes In Laurel Jail Taken To Jackson

(By The Associated Press)

Laurel, Miss., Oct. 18.—Howard Wash, a Negro sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday for the murder of Clint Welborn, a dairyman, was taken from jail yesterday and yesterday and lynched by a large mob of men.

Two companies of Mississippi State Guards from Jackson arrived early today to patrol the jail and vicinity. Five other Negroes, one accused of attacking a white woman and four held on murder charges, were taken to Jackson for safekeeping.

Today's was the third lynching in Mississippi this week. Two 14-year-old Negro boys were hanged by a mob near Shubuta Monday after they pleaded guilty to attacking a 13-year-old white girl.

Wash's body was found after daylight hanging from a small creek bridge near the home of the slain man. Wash had been employed by Welborn. Welborn was killed May 18.

Sheriff J. Press Reddoch estimated the mob at 100 men. He said the men overpowered him and three deputies, ignoring their pleas to let the law take its course.

In addition to the State Guard, Governor Paul Johnson sent 10 members of the State police and a special investigator here to aid in seeking out mob members. Reports were current that three or more citizens have been arrested.

Circuit Judge F. B. Collins recalled the Jones county Grand Jury to investigate the mob action.

Our next article, found in the Pampa Daily News (Pampa, Texas) dated October 21, 1942, gives a very unusual explanation for the lynching:

Quiz Called For Negro Lynchings

JACKSON, Miss., Oct. 21 (AP)—Governor Paul B. Johnson declared in a statement that "distributing elements . . . aiding the Axis powers" were at work in Mississippi, where three negroes were lynched last week and a fourth is being hunted for shooting a deputy sheriff.

The governor, who has demanded an investigation of the hangings, urged in his statement last night that all citizens co-operate to "Blast from our borders the disturbing influences and elements," and called on Mississippians of both races for "unity, sober thinking, sound judgement and patriotism."

He added that "there is talk of a negro problem, but the only problem of the negro is to earn a living for himself and family."

A grand jury at Laurel, Miss., called into special session to investigate the lynching of Howard Wash, negro, was discharged by the judge yesterday after making a final report which did not mention the lynching. Wash had been convicted of killing his employer, Clint Welborn, a farmer, last May 8 and was facing a life sentence.

Two 14-year-old Negroes were lynched near Meridian, Miss., last week after they pleaded guilty of attempted rape of a 13-year-old white girl.

The best I could find about the "Axis powers" was a call for the poll taxes to be removed in some southern states. I am not sure what quiz they are alluding to in the headline. If you are interested in the lynching of the two boys, you can read about it here. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

October 21, 1916: Anthony Crawford

Today we learn about the lynching of a South Carolina man through the pages of the Keowee Courier (Pickens, S. C.) dated October 25, 1916:


Negro Lynched As Result of Controversy With White Man.

Abbeville, Oct. 21.—Anthony Crawford, a negro, was taken from the county jail here by a crowd of 200 men and his body riddled with bullets after he was hung to A tree this afternoon about 3:30 o'clock.

The trouble began this morning when Crawford, who is reputed to have been wealthy, got into a dispute with one of the cotton seed buyers. A crowd quickly gathered, determined to punish Crawford for his rough language, but trouble was averted for a while by Policeman Botts, who took Crawford to police headquarters, where he was released on bond.

A few minutes later Crawford was seen at a cotton gin not very far from the scene, and the crowd, still anxious to punish him, went for him.

Crawford had a sledge hammer in his hand, with which he struck M. B. Cann on the head, crushing his skull and inflicting a very serious wound.

When the crowd finished with Crawford it was thought he would die. He was removed to the county jail.

When it was learned this afternoon that he was not dead another crowd gathered, forced the door of the jail and dragged Crawford to the edge of town, near the fair grounds, where he was strung up to a tree and filled with bullets.

Mr. Cann, who was struck with the hammer, was reported by his brother as resting fairly well to-night.

The New York Age (New York, N. Y.) dated November 9, 1916:


We clip the following dispatch from the Columbia State, perhaps the most influential newspaper in South Carolina:

Abbeville.—As a consequence of the lynching here Saturday of
Anthony Crawford, a well to do Negro, it was decided at a meeting
held this afternoon that the victim's family be advised to leave Abbe-
ville county before November 15. The action, taken on the declared 
ground that it was for the sake of peace and the best interest of the
county, followed a number of speeches. The meeting was attended
by several hundred citizens.

As related in last week's Age, Anthony Crawford was lynched on a charge not even remotely connected with the "usual crime," but on account of an altercation between himself and a white man. We are informed that Crawford was a well-to-do farmer and the owner of about five hundred acres of land. He left five sons who, by the resolution adopted at this citizen's meeting, must leave Abbeville county before November 15.

Here we have a form of lawlessness which in cruelty is second only to lynching. If these Crawford boys are guilty of any crime, they should be arrested and tried by due process of law. If they are not the meeting of the citizens of Abbeville should have been called to invoke the law to protect these boys against any persecution that might arise from the feeling against their father. Such an action would really have been "for the sake of peace and the best interest of the county."

A snippet from the November 23, 1916 edition of the same paper:


. . . The Rev. W. C. Crawford, of Abbeville, S. C., whose father, Anthony Crawford, was lynched a few days ago, passed through the city recently. More than 1,000 colored persons have left Abbeville. Rev. Crawford reports they are also leaving the adjacent counties of Anderson and Greenwood.

The Appeal (Saint Paul, Minnesota) dated December 2, 1916:

The Abbeville lynching was personally investigated, on the ground, by Roy Nash, Secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the following is his report:

New York, Nov. 22.—Governor Richard I. Manning, of South Carolina, as a result of the recent lynching of Anthony Crawford, at Abbeville, has taken a stand which promises to clear the name of his State of the stigma which attached to it during the administration of his predecessor, the notorious Cole Blease. Governor Manning, in a statement given out to the press on the day before election, says:

"I was out of the State when the Abbeville lynching occurred. As soon as I learned of it I called Solicitor R. A. Cooper and Sheriff R. M. Burts of Abbeville to the office and called on Coroner F. W. R. Nance of Abbeville County to comply with the law and furnish me with a copy of the testimony taken at the coroner's inquest. I found the coroner held an inquest but took no testimony.

"Solicitor Cooper and Sheriff Burts came to my office and I requested them to secure the names of all parties connected with the affair, those who took part in the whipping, in the taking of the Negro from the jail, in the lynching, and all those who were at the meeting reported to have been held on the following Monday. I have requested Solicitor Cooper and Sheriff Burts to make a complete investigation of the whole matter and get the names of all parties concerned and to swear out warrants and arrest them.

"I intend to do everything in my power to uphold the law and let the offenders know that such acts will not be tolerated, and that those guilty of violating the law must suffer for it. I have requested Solicitor Cooper as the States representative and Sheriff Burts as the highest peace officer in the county, to leave no stone unturned in order to vindicate the law and all the powers of the governor's office are at their disposal in bringing the guilty ones to justice."

The lynching referred to occurred on October 21 in one of South Carolina's most beautiful and progressive cities. Anthony Crawford, the victim, was a Negro fifty-one years old worth over $20,000. He got into a row with a white storekeeper named Barksdale over the price of cottonseed. It is reported that Mr. Barksdale called him a liar and Crawford cursed him roundly in return, whereupon a clerk ran out to give Crawford a beating with an axe handle. He was saved from this by a policeman who arrested Crawford and took him to the municipal building, but when they let him out on bail a crowd of men took after him again intent on punishing him for daring to curse a white man.

"The day a white man hits me is the day I die," Anthony Crawford once said to a friend. When he saw the crowd coming after him, he went down in the boiler room of the gin, picked up a four-pound hammer, and waited. the first man who came at him, McKinney Cann, received a blow in the head which fractured his skull, but someone hurled a stone which knocked out Crawford before he reached anyone else. While he was down, they knifed him in the back and kicked him until they thought they had finished him, when they permitted the sheriff to arrest the unconscious Crawford on condition that he would not take his prisoner out of town until they knew whether Cann would live or die.

Cann wasn't hurt as badly as they thought, but nevertheless a mob went back to the jail at four o'clock that afternoon, took the keys and guns away from the sheriff and jailor [sic], dragged Crawford through the streets of the Negro quarter with a rope around his neck, hung his mutilated body to a pine tree at the entrance to the fair grounds, and expended a couple of hundred rounds of ammunition at it.

On Monday a meeting was called in the Abbeville courthouse at which it was decided  to order the sixteen sons and daughters of Crawford and their families to abandon their $20,000 home  and get out of the State by November 15. After the meeting this mob proceeded to close up all the Negro shops in Abbeville.

The Columbia State, in a powerful editorial, pointed out that in view of the exodus of Negro labor from the South to northern industrial fields and the approach of the boll weevil, South Carolina's problem was to keep her colored men instead of serving notice on them that no matter how industrious or successful they might be, their case was absolutely hopeless. It so convinced the businessmen of Abbeville that they had lynched their own pocket-books, that on November 6 another meeting was held in the court-house at which the following resolutions were unanimously passed:

"We, the citizens of the city of Abbeville, in mass meeting assembled, do hereby express in unqualified terms our disapproval of the recent violent acts of certain persons committed in our community, and the spirit of lawlessness that seems rife in the county, resulting in continued acts of lawlessness it is,

"RESOLVED:  That the Sheriff of Abbeville County, the Mayor of Abbeville, the Police Force, and every officer of the county and city, be urged to use every effort to enforce the law and to protect the citizens of the town and county regardless of condition or color.

"RESOLVED FURTHER:  That we do hereby pledge ourselves as individuals to give to the officers of the law our physical support in maintaining the law.

"RESOLVED FURTHER:  That if it be necessary to carry out this determination that the aid of the State and Federal Government be called in order that every citizen may enjoy his rights under the constitution.

"RESOLVED FURTHER:  That a committee with Capt. J. L. Perrin as Chairman, be appointed for the purpose of ascertaining what can be done towards the organization of a local military company for the protection of the citizens of this county and for maintaining order in our midst. That this committee be empowered to act in the premises.

"RESOLVED FURTHER:  That EVERY CITIZEN OF THE TOWN OF ABBEVILLE BE ASSURED the protection of the men of this meeting as long as he obeys the laws of the state, and pursues only his own legitimate business.

"RESOLVED FURTHER:  That a meeting of the law-abiding citizens of Abbeville County be called to meet in this Court House on next Monday at noon to perfect an organization for enforcing law and order in this county, and that every community in the county be represented at this meeting, and that steps be taken to show to the people of the state and United States that the men of Abbeville County will defend the law, and protect the citizens of the commonwealth in the enjoyment of all rights guaranteed by the law."

At the meeting on November 13 the above resolutions were endorsed by prominent citizens from all parts of the county, and a committee of twelve men are to be appointed, "who shall have for their duties the furtherance of the ends sought by the meeting, by taking up with the citizens of the county the matters discussed and endeavoring to bring about a proper understanding between the people of the county, and a due observance of the laws of the land."

As a further guarantee that the Crawford family is to be defended in their right to live in South Carolina and enjoy the property accumulated by three generations, governor Manning has written Mr. Oswald Garrison Villard, vice-president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People as follows:

"I realize the gravity of this offense and am determined to do everything in my power to bring the offenders to justice. I have called on the Sheriff of Abbeville County to take the necessary steps to prevent any unlawful action with regard to the expulsion of the family of Crawford.

I am giving serious consideration to this matter with a view to making recommendations to the Legislature, so as to be able to deal with such conditions when they arise."

Another paper claimed that Crawford had nine sons instead of the five in the article I provided. Thank you for joining me and as always, i hope I leave you with something to ponder.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

August 4, 1908: William Miller

Today we learn about a lynching in Alabama through the pages of The Charlotte News (Charlotte, N. C.) dated August 5, 1908:

Negro Lynched Last Night at Brighton, Ala.

Charged With Complicity in Dynamiting House of Finley Fuller—Negro Taken by Mob and Swung to tree.

Greatest Excitement Prevails at Brighton and Governor May Order Out More Troops to Quell the Disturbance.

By Associated Press.

Birmingham, Ala., Aug. 5.—William miller, colored, was lynched last night at Brighton, south of Birmingham.

Deputies brought Miller to Brighton last night, as a mass meeting was being held.

He was charged with complicity in the dynamiting of the house of Finley Fuller.

Today when the deputy sheriff was sent to Brighton to bring Miller to Birmingham, it was discovered that the jail had been broken into.

The body of Miller was found in the woods hanging to a tree.

The greatest excitement prevails around Brighton and further trouble is imminent.

Another house was blown up during last night at Wylan, but no one was hurt.

The governor conferred with the sheriff and commanding officer of the military today and may call out more troops. 

Reports today are to the effect that there has been much shooting in various camps in the mining districts, though no one has been killed.

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

Monday, October 12, 2015

September, 1893: Ben and Mehaley Jackson, Lou Carter and Rufus Broyles

Today we learn about a lynching in Mississippi through the pages of The Laurens Advertiser (Laurens, S. C.) dated September 19, 1893:


Poisoning a Family with "Rough on Rats"—The Lynchers to be Indicted.

ABERDEEN, Miss., Sept. 14.—In the line of the lynching business, Monroe County comes to the front with a case in which four negroes, two men and two women, were the victims, near Quincy, fifteen miles from Aberdeen. Two weeks ago Thomas Woodruff and five children were taken violently ill and two children died, and the others still linger with little hope of recovery. A number of neighbors also became very sick while attending the sick. Examination of the well on the premises disclosed three packages of "Rough on Rats" in it and suspicion pointed to a negro, Ben Jackson, who was arrested and taken by a crowd of unmasked men from the officers during the inquest trial and hung.

The next day the jury examined Mehaley Jackson, Ben's wife, and Lou Carter, his mother-in-law, who testified to a knowledge of Ben's intention to purchase poison for that purpose, but the jury discharged them. A crowd of armed men also took them out and hung them as participants in the conspiracy.

Mehaley Jackson also testified that Rufus Broyles, a well known negro man of the neighborhood, had furnished the money to buy the poison and after the first lynching he hid away and eluded discovery until yesterday. He was seen at Woodmile, a few miles from the scene of the other tragedy, and this morning his dead body was found hanging to a limb in that vicinity.

No parties have yet been arrested, but the grand jury now in session  is thoroughly investigating the case. Judge Cayce, of the circuit court, gave the grand jury a forcible and preemptory charge to feret [sic] out the lynchers and return indictments against them.

Ben Jackson had an altercation last fall with Woodruff, in which he entered Woodruff's house violently and so excited his wife, who was delicate from child-birth, that she died in a few hours. Ben was under bond to appear at the present term of the circuit court with Woodruff as a witness against him, which is attributed as the motive for poisoning the well.

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

Sunday, October 11, 2015

April 19, 1888: Isaac and Puss Kirk

Today we learn about a double lynching in Tennessee through the pages of The Daily Democrat (Huntington, Indiana) dated April 20, 1888:


A Man and His Wife Murdered by a Mob.

GALLATIN, Tenn., April 20.—A horrible double lynching took place near this place last night. Isaac kirk and his wife, Puss kirk, both colored, were taken from their cabin about five miles from Gallatin by a mob and murdered. The woman was hanged and the man shot through the brain. Some time ago John Kerley's country residence was burned to the ground, with the entire contents. Suspicion has pointed to Puss Kirk as the perpetrator of the deed. However, this was only suspicion. [Isaac] Kirk was not suspected of having taken any part in the burning. It is thought by many that when the mob visited Kirk's cabin he recognized some of the party, and they killed him because they feared tha5t they would be exposed. The woman was discovered hanging in her night clothes and brought to Gallatin. Near the tree where she was hanging lay the body of her aged husband.

Another article comes to us by way of the Chicago daily Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) dated April 20, 1888:


A Colored Woman Hung by a Mob and Her Husband Shot. 

NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 19.—[Special.]—Isaac Kirk and his wife, Puss kirk, both colored, were taken from their home, six miles from Gallatin, Sumner County, at a late hour last night by a mob and put to death, the husband being shot and the woman hanged. James McCulloch arrived in Gallatin this morning and informed the Coroner that while riding to town he had observed the body of a woman suspended from a tree at an old graveyard. The Coroner at once summoned a number of citizens, who, upon proceeding to the place indicated by Mr. McCulloch, discovered the corpse, which was identified as that of Mrs. Kirk. After a brief search in the vicinity the body of Kirk was found. He had been shot through the head several times and death must have been instantaneous. An inquest was held and the jury returned a verdict that Kirk and his wife had come to their death at the hands of persons unknown. The bodies were removed, and will be given decent burial. Some weeks ago the residence of John Kearley, near Gallatin, was destroyed by fire, and an examination of the premises led to the belief that the fire was the act of an incendiary. Suspicion was directed to Kirk and his wife, and it is supposed that conclusive proof of their guilt was secured. During the last few months there have been several fires in the vicinity of Gallatin, and the people were much aroused in consequence.

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

Saturday, October 10, 2015

October 31, 1901: Silas Esters

Today we learn about a Kentucky lynching through the pages of The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated November 1, 1901:


Silas Esters Was Charged with Forcing a Boy To Commit Crime.


Broke for Liberty but Was Riddled. Noose Was Then Placed About Neck and Body Swung to Topmost Steps.

Hodgenville, Ky., October 31.—A mob of fifty or seventy-five citizens came down upon this little town about 2 o'clock this morning and took from the jail Silas Esters, a negro charged with forcing Granville Ward, a 15-year-old boy of Near Upton, to commit a crime, and strung him to the court house steps.

So quietly and systematically did the mob go about its work that the citizens of the town were in ignorance of the existence of the mob until the negro was in its clutches.

The keys of the jail were surrendered to the lynching party on demand of the leaders. The cell in which the negro was confined was entered and the noose was adjusted about his neck.

He was dragged down the jail stairs and out into the street. He managed to slip the noose from his neck and made a break for liberty. the mob made for the negro, howling and firing at him with guns and pistols, and he fell when about 100 yards from the jail house, riddled with bullets.

The noose was again placed about the negro's neck and he was dragged to the court house and swung to the topmost steps.

The mob was formed in the neighborhood of the crime. When the work of lynching the negro had been accomplished, the members of the mob quietly dispersed and went to their homes.

The following article with information prior to the lynching can be found in The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) dated October 29, 1901:


In Pursuit of Negro in Larue County.



Hodgenville, Ky., Oct. 28.—[Special.]—An armed posse of citizens of the southwestern portion of Larue county is in pursuit of Silas Estees, [sic] a negro section hand on the Louisville and Nashville railroad, who is accused of committing a nameless crime this afternoon near Upton, a little town on the Hardin county line, a few miles from the Hart county boundary.

The negro's victim was Granville Ward, the twelve-year-old son of Thomas Ward, one of the most prominent farmers in the county, and the crime was committed in the woods near Upton while the child was returning from school.

When the boy escaped from the negro he hurried home and told his parents what had occurred, and in a short time the news had spread to the citizens of the neighborhood and the surrounding country. it was the work of but a few moments to organize an armed posse and a band of determined men was soon in pursuit of Esters, who fled the moment he permitted the boy to go. The people of the vicinity are thoroughly aroused.

The October 30, 1901 edition of the same paper covers the capture of Esters:


Larue County Negro Taken to Hodgenville Jail.



Hodgenville, Ky., Oct. 29.—[Special.]Silas Esters, the negro who is charged with an unnamable [sic] crime, committed near Upton yesterday, was brought to this city this afternoon under a heavy guard and lodged in jail. The negro was captured early this morning near Upton after a search lasting all night. Threats of lynching the negro, when he was caught, compelled a large body of citizens to keep guard over him this evening, and he was hurriedly brought here for safe keeping.

Feeling is high against the negro in this neighborhood. esters claims his innocence. He is very much frightened and does not expect to live till morning.

In the same paper dated November 1, 1901 is a  small article about after the lynching:


Negro Who Was Lynched Will be Buried In Bonnieville.

Hodgenville, Ky., Oct. 31.—[Special.]—The body of Silas Esters, the negro who was lynched by a mob in this city early this morning, was cut down to-day after it had been viewed by a large number of citizens, and was taken to Bonnieville, where it will be buried. There was no excitement in the city to-day.

The officers of the court are attempting to ascertain the identity of the guilty persons.

One article gives Esters age as nineteen and another claims he committed an ugly deed. The actual crime is never stated, but I can't help but think that the crime was rape. Even though I am not featuring lynched for rape this year, I still chose to include this lynching. First, the reason given for lynchings were to protect women and girls from rape, and second, rape is only conjecture. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

December 14, 1884: Hezekiah Brown

Today we learn about a lynching in Maryland through the pages of The Evening Bulletin (Maysville, Kentucky) dated December 15, 1884:


BALTIMORE, Md., Dec. 15.—Hezekiah Brown, a colored local preacher and school teacher, was lynched in Howard County last night. A few days ago Brown marries a white girl named Schultz, with whom he had been intimate. The region where the lynching occurred is in an inaccessible part of Howard County and particulars are meager, but it is known that last night a party of men secured Brown and hung him. The girl wife was an orphan with a weak mind. This is the second negro lynched in two weeks in this vicinity.

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

July 25, 1910: Laura Porter

Today we have what appears to be a lynching in Louisiana. Our first article comes to us through the pages of The Star-Gazette (Sallisaw, Oklahoma) dated July 29, 1910:


Indignant Citizens Believed to Have Thrown Divekeeper Into River.

Monroe, La.—What appears to have been a lynching took place here when Laura Porter, a notorious divekeeper, was quietly taken from the city jail about midnight by a party of masked men and spirited away. Since then no trace of the woman has been found.

According to the other women prisoners, she was taken out nude and that an hour later the men returned for her clothing. Just what happened to the woman may never be known, but there seems to be a well-founded belief that she was drowned in the Ouachita river, after having iron weights tied to her. The woman has g9iven the police more trouble than all the other denizens of the tenderloin together. Her most frequent offense was robbing white men, it being charged that she had two or three negro men confederates.

Our next article comes to us from the Abilene Daily Reporter (Abilene, Texas) dated July 25, 1910:


Negro Woman Who Robbed White Men Taken From Jail by Unidentified Men. 

By Associated Press.

MONROE, July 25—A party of unidentified men broke into the city jail here early this morning and carried off Laura Porter, a negro woman prisoner, and it is presumed that she was carried to the Ouachita river, where she was thrown in and drowned.

The woman was keeper of a resort where it is reported white men were robbed on several occasions. She was jailed on a charge of assault growing out of trouble with a white man who had accused her of taking a stick pin from his shirt. No investigation of the acts of the mob has been demanded.

The same night five men in the county jail for short sentences were busted out. It is not believed to have been related, but interesting nonetheless. According to various articles, Laura Porter had been told to leave town several times. A few articles claim that she was abducted by one man. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

January 12, 1908: Unknown Negro

Today we learn about a very unusual lynching in North Carolina through the pages of The Monroe Journal (Monroe, N. C.) dated January 14, 1908:

Negroes Lynch a Fake Showman.

Down in Johnson county, at a little place called Pine Level, near Selma, negroes lynched a negro who had handed them out a fake show. According to the story a strange negro turned up in Pine Level last week and advertised a big show, in which there were to be a number of first class features. When the show night came around the negroes of the community turned out in full force, attracted by the alluring advertisement, but they were doomed to disappointment. Instead of the attractive programme heralded by the alleged advance agent, the audience witnessed simply a one-man performance—and a very poor performance at that—by the advance agent himself. The indignation of the colored population did not find vent that night, but it was a very angry set of negroes that wended its way homeward after the "show."

Nothing daunted and with brazen effrontery, the same strange negro turned up again at Pine Level Monday and proceeded to advertise another "show." This time he was accompanied by a woman, and the aforesaid show was billed as grander and greater than the first performance by far.The strange negro and his female companion put up at a negro boarding house at Pine Level and all day the dusky advance agent was busy informing the community of his presence.

Monday night about 8 o'clock a mob of negroes, each man wearing a guano sack over his head, forcibly entered the boarding house and took the negro "showman" out. Shortly before 8 o'clock next morning the body of the strange negro, terribly mangled, was found on the Southern railroad tracks. The coroner's jury rendered a verdict to the effect that the victim came to his death before his body was placed on the tracks. None of the negroes around Pine Level will talk, and as the woman left the community shortly after the man was taken out, neither the strange negro's identity nor the manner of his taking off can be established.

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

Friday, October 2, 2015

May, 1904: Unknown Negro

Today we learn about a Florida lynching through the pages of the Belvidere Daily Republican (Belvidere, Illinois) dated May 23, 1904:

Negro Lynched.

Mulberry, Fla., May 23.—A negro was found hanging to a tree in the main street of the town, his body riddled with bullets. The crime, if any, committed by him is unknown to the authorities. The case is absolutely mysterious.

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

Thursday, October 1, 2015

July 13, 1893: Allen Butler

Today we learn about a lynching in Illinois through the pages of The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio) dated July 15, 1893:


Intended To Lynch Both,

But the Night Was Too Short For the Work.

Allen Butler, a Wealthy Colored Man, Strung Up,

While His Son, the Assailant of a Young White Girl, Barely Escaped the Rope.


VINCENNES, IND., July 14.—Allen Butler, a wealthy colored man of Lawrence County, Illinois, was found hanging by the neck dead at an early hour yesterday morning, and it is believed he was hanged by a mob. He had a white girl about 15 years of age working for him for some time.

His son became intimate with the girl, and when she was found to be in a delicate condition it is alleged that Allen Butler, who was a horse doctor, performed an abortion and gave her money to leave; but she was intercepted at Paris, Ill., Tuesday, and brought back.

She told the story of her downfall, and Butler and his son


They waived examination and were bound over until to-day. The boy could not give bail, and was placed in jail. The feeling against the two was strong from the moment that the terrible charges were made against them. The report spread, and soon there was talk of a mob in Sumner and around the home of Butler.

By night the feeling was so intense that a lynching was expected. Yesterday morning Allen Butler's body was found hanging to a limb of a tree near his home. That he was taken out and lynched by a mob last night is not the least doubted at Larewnceville or Sumner. The belief is strengthened by the fact that a mob of


Was seen within a few miles of Lawrenceville yesterday dawn. When daylight came the crowd dispersed. There is an ominous silence about the matter around Sumner, which gives strength to the belief that the colored man was dragged from his bed and hanged, and that the mob, having avenged themselves upon the father, who performed the operation, they had started to Lawrenceville to take the son, who had seduced the young girl, and hang him, and thus satisfy their wrath upon both men in one night. The night was too short for two such jobs, or the young fellow would have died with a rope around his neck, as did his father. The prisoner was taken out of jail to-day and hustled off to Robinson for safe keeping.

Another article comes to us from the Dixon Evening Telegraph (Dixon, Illinois) dated July 17, 1893:


A Question That Is Interesting People of an Illinois County.

VINCENNES, Ind., July 17.—Lawrence county, Ill., is still excited over the death of Allen Butler, who at first was supposed to have been lynched. It is now believed to be a case of suicide and that Butler was led to self-destruction by remorse over the deed with which he was charged. Allen Butler was one of the most prominent and heretofore respected colored citizens of Lawrence county. He and his son William were arrested for procuring an operation upon the person of Ida Elkins, a young white girl not yet 15 years old.

The time for preliminary examination was set, but the old man, who has for twenty-five years been looked upon as a model man in whom everybody had confidence, could not face the law, and about daylight went out near his barn and taking some binding twine made a rope, throwing one end over a limb of a cottonwood tree and hanged himself. The Elkins girl had been living in his family for three years. Butler confessed to S. C. Lewis, an attorney, that he was guilty as charged; also that he had been having intercourse with the girl for a year past.

There is still a feeling, however, in Lawrence county that Allen Butler was lynched after a confession had been forced from him by the mob. Many disbelieve the suicide story, and declare that it was simply started to cover the disgrace of a lynching. Butler was a farmer, a doctor, a preacher, and was very wealthy.

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