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.

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