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.

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