Monday, November 30, 2015

August 29, 1902: Joseph Labarge

Today we learn about a lynching in Michigan through the pages of the Akron Daily Democrat (Akron, Ohio) dated August 30, 1902:


By an Infuriated Mob

Evidence That the Victim Was Innocent.

Toledo, O., Aug. 30.—Lying on a rudely improvised couch in a livery stable in Monroe, Mich., is the body of Joseph Labarge, aged 23, of Toledo, who yesterday fell a victim to an infuriated mob. Now, shocked by the deed committed, the citizens of Monroe seem inclined to indignation at it.

Joseph Labarge went, when about 13, to live with Walter Lemerand and his wife, who recently moved from Toledo to Monroe. He was, according to Mrs. Lemerand's story, a good boy and did more to provide for the house than her husband. She grew to love him very dearly, but denies that there was any cause to suspect the nature of intimacy. Labarge with his brother and father has been boarding here and this morning after breakfast he went in response to a note from Mrs. Lemerand, to Monroe.

Lemerand, returning from his labor, met Labarge leaving the house and asked Officer Beaudrie, a cousin of the deceased, to arrest the man who had assaulted his wife. The policeman gave chase and Labarge ran, outstripping Beaudrie, wso [sic] is a heavy man. The officer told some men to catch the escaping man, who had assaulted a woman. nI [sic] a minute an angry mob had gathered and believed they were chasing a criminal. When on the outskirts of town he was surrounded by about 40, who opened fire, and at least half a dozen shots were exchanged, one of which proved fatal.

The officers have in their possession a revolver, a 38 Colts, taken from Lynette Bloodgood, a wealthy retired capitalist of Monroe, and it is said the fatal shot came from that revolver. Labarge's starting to run is accounted for by his father from the fact that he was out of Mansfield reformatory on parole, having served 18 months for robbing a clothing store. The term, it is said, made a good man of him.

Two letters are in possession of the authorities, written by Mrs. Lemerand to Labarge, in which she calls him "dear," and signs herself "all your own." But their is nothing further to indicate a wrong between the two. The woman was about 10 years Labarge's senior.

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

Sunday, November 29, 2015

October 13, 1901: Letter to the Editor of The Saint Paul Globe


To the Editor of the Globe:

Your correspondent offers, in making this communication, as his excuse, the deep and intense interest manifested by the colored people of St. Paul in the case of Henry Summers, now under arrest in this city charged with being a fugitive from justice by the authorities of the state of Tennessee, as well as the unjust and unwarranted aspersion upon our sense of moral discrimination which is cast by the editorial of the St. Paul Pioneer Press in its issue of Saturday, Oct. 12, 1901, entitled "An Unpleasant Duty."

In said editorial it is made to appear to the good people of this state that the colored people have made a great ado and bustle over a condition of affairs in Tennessee that is purely imaginary, and that we ought to be ashamed of ourselves to have exhibited our sympathy for the alleged murder.

We are much surprised and pained to know that such a position is taken by the St. Paul Pioneer Press, when the known facts and the past bloody record of the state of Tennessee fully justify our people in their assumption that Summers will be given short shrift if he ever reaches that state. It is an assumption made by men in all phases and circumstances of life, that a state of affairs once shown to exist, still obtains, unless the contrary appears. In the first place, many of us who fear for Summers, are former citizens of Tennessee, and our experience alone of the summary methods of dealing in that unhappy state with negroes accused of crime, especially in remote localities like Bolivar, Hardeman county, lead us to believe, with a conviction amounting to a moral certainty, that this man will be illegally punished. Some of us have seen with our own eyes negro men and women mobbed and brutally beaten in that state, killed and otherwise ill-treated solely because in some way or other they had managed to come in opposition to some white person, and the authorities of the law stand idly by, aye, even participate in the evil deeds. We don't say these things because we wish to calumniate our native state, but because these things are true. None of us can believe that Summers, who is accused of splitting a white man's head open with an ax, will be allowed a chance to escape by way of the courts of law. Oh, no. The spirit of the old law, that a negro who struck a white man should be punished with death, still survives, and animates the descendants of its authors.

The lynching of negroes is not common in Tennessee, says your apologist for the governor's decision. My God! What constitutes his idea of common? Eight lynchings this year, one per month, and one of them a woman (for theft)! One hundred and sixty-nine in the past sixteen years! I refer you to the statistics kept by the Chicago Tribune, and published in its issue dated Sept. 1, 1901. I have only to turn the pages of the Pioneer Press of the last two weeks to cite cases of brutal and unprovoked mob violence upon unarmed and defenseless blacks, and nothing done about it. Yet Tennessee is an honorable state, and a model in this respect for all the old slave-holding states.

In the case of Summers it is said that the officers of the court and responsible authorities have joined in the assurance that Summers will not be lynched, but will have a fair and impartial trial. What do they expect? Will they confess their inability or their unwillingness to give this man, for whom they are so anxious, a fair and impartial trial? But assurance? Yes, assurance and nerve, but no insurance; no pledges do they offer, no, not even their honor. Nothing but a hurried petition, gotten up in a harum-scarum sort of a way. And why do they send a petition to our governor? Why do they not assume that Van Sant would do the right thing? How have they shown that they have taken or will take any precautions against the lynching of Summers? None; but they will excuse themselves on the ground of overwhelming force, as is usual.

It is said that there have been no mobs in Hardeman county, Sheriff Sammers says different. He alleges that some time ago he was compelled to lay out in the swamps of Hardeman county with two negro prisoners, in hiding from the mob, and that one of the negroes died from the exposure—and this before our governor. As to the disposition to lynch the murderer of William Lewark, how can it be said that there was no manifestation of the sort when men were at that very time scouring the country in search of the suspect. He was not lynched because he was not caught. in so far as time is concerned, excitement, etc., it is well known that the appetite is only whetted by its hunger, and that some of the most barbaric of lynchings have taken place long after the commission of the alleged crimes. It is the chronic lynching habit that tells; excitement is too often the end, not the means. The revolting circumstances admittedly obtain only in about 5 per cent of the crimes for which men are lynched in the South. 

Then, as to this remarkable statement:  "If found guilty he will not even be hung; for, under the laws of that state, his punishment will only be twenty-one years imprisonment!" O most liberal Tennessee! Most advanced of all the states! To have abolished the death penalty for murder in the first degree and substituted only twenty-one years imprisonment! Only another reason, if true, why this man will be lynched, for, according to their own testimony, it is the law's delays and the inadequacy of its punishments that is constantly put forward in extenuation of lynchings. Is Summers so great a favorite with the people of Tennessee that he will be permitted to escape?

The very respectable Pioneer Press looks down from its lofty position of immaculate purity and observes, that the circumstances of the killing having occurred in a house of ill-fame should moderate the sympathy of respectable  colored people for the alleged murderer. Does the Press assume that we are of such mental density and so morally perverted that we can not distinguish crime in color? That some people not of African descent confound color with crime is well known, but we deny the imputation. Why does not the venerable Pioneer Press in its animadversions take into account the looseness of the moral code as practiced in the South with regard to white men and negro women? It is universally held excusable for young men to sow their wild oats among negroes. And it nowhere appears from the case that this was a house of ill-fame, as we understand the term. Simply that this Lewark intruded himself by force and arms upon a colored man and woman, unmarried, seems to be the size of it. White people of the South, as a general thing, regard all negroes as socially equal, so that your point falls. Personally, I know of cases where black husbands have lost their lives insisting that white men keep away from their homes and the refusal of the law to interfere, and there are few of us living here in St. Paul from the South who cannot testify to like circumstances.

Negroes have no rights which white men are bound to respect seems to be the trend of decisions North and South. For the colored people of St. Paul it is safe to say that none of them has a personal interest in this man Summers, and that in common with the other citizens of this country we wish justice done. We manifest no desire to save an offender from the just deserts of his crime, but we do not believe that our governor is justified in sending Summers back, and we believe that the Pioneer Press has done us a great wrong  by the publication of the editorial referred to, and paved the way for a gross misconstruction of our motives and desires in this matter in the minds of the people of the state of Minnesota and of the great Northwest.

—Gustave B. Aldrich

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

Saturday, November 28, 2015

June 9, 1900: Seth Cobb

Today we learn about a lynching in Louisiana through the pages of The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated June 11, 1900:


Louisiana Mob Puts a Negro to Death on a Store Porch.

Baton Rouge, La., June 10.—All is quiet at Devall today. It is thought that the lesson taught there last night will have a salutary effect upon a dangerous class of negroes who had been giving much trouble.

The assassination of Marler, of course, aroused the populace to fever heat, but the immediate cause of the lynching last night was threats made by Seth Cobb against the life of Hugh Corcoran. Cobb was apprehended, taken to Sedenbach's store and hanged on the front gallery where Marler fell. An attempt was made to arrest another negro who escaped, but not before he had fired upon and wounded one of the pursuers slightly in the leg. Several other negroes were whipped.

There has been absolutely no news from the posse in search of Richardson, Marler's assassin, although everyone feels sure that his capture must be a matter of a short time. Sheriff Young went up again to the scene of action this evening and nothing will be omitted to effect a speedy capture.

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

Friday, November 27, 2015

August 9, 1898: Will Sanders, Dennis Ricard, Manse Castle, Rilla Weaver and Susie Jacobs

Today we learn about a lynching in Arkansas through the pages of the Harrisburg Telegraph (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) dated August 11, 1898:

The Governor of Arkansas owes it to decency, law and order to hunt down the members of the mob who lynched three men and women at Clarendon on Tuesday morning. The men who did that awful deed had been assured that there would be a fair trial and justice would be dealt out to the murderers and those who plotted murder, but the blood-thirsty Arkansans were not to be balked of their prey and they lynched their victims forthwith. We are supposed to be a civilized nation, and the people of Arkansas would resent any assertion that the men of the mob are not civilized, but they have no defense whatever.

An Arkansas Tragedy.

Three Women and Two Men Lynched for Murder.

Little Rock, Ark., Aug. 10.—The Gazette prints the following account of the lynching at Clarendon:

Five people, three men and two women, were lynched at Clarendon at an early hour Tuesday morning. All of the victims of the mob's wrath were negroes. They were accused of the murder of John T. Orr, the wealthy young merchant, who was assassinated a few nights ago. Their names are:  Will Sanders, Dennis Ricard, Manse Castle, Rilla Weaver and Susie Jacobs.

While the five bodies swung in the early morning breeze, the body of the widow of the murdered man lay rigid in death in her cell in the county jail, with only the soft, sweet voice of her three-year-old child to break the midnight silence of the gloomy jail, as the innocent little tot vainly cried for mamma.

Somewhere a young woman, once prominent in Clarendon society, is a fugitive from justice, hunted by the officers of the law, charged with murder. Her name is Miss Rachel Morris, and she is the only survivor of the coterie of seven named in the coroner's verdict as being responsible for the tragic death of John T. Orr. Mrs. Orr died by her own hands. After completely breaking down and making a partial confession, in some way she obtained a quantity of poison and took the dose about 2 o'clock Monday afternoon. She never regained consciousness. The details of the fearful work of the mob are unobtainable at this hour. At 11 o'clock Monday night the last dispatch was received direct from a Gazette correspondent. It was stated in the dispatch that ev[e]rything was quiet, the prisoners being in charge of Deputy Sheriff Milwee and that there was no prospect of a lynching before morning. It is evident from this that the lynching occurred at a very late hour and that the mob planned its work so well that their appearance was in the nature of a surprise. Sheriff Jackson was not in Clarendon when the lynching occurred, having been taken seriously ill.

Last Friday night, while making a glass of lemonade in his home, an assassin crept up to his window and fired a shot in Orr's body, from the effect of which he died the following day. Mr. Orr had just returned from choir practice at a church of whose choir he was a member, while his wife was the organist.

Blood-hounds were put on the trail, but they were unable to run down the assassin.

After an inquest, extending over two days, a verdict was returned charging Mrs. Orr, the murdered man's wife, with being the instigator of the crime. Miss Rachel Morris, Manse Castle, Will Sanders, Dennis Ricard, Rilla Weaver and Susie Jacobs, the five last named negroes, were charged with complicity in the crime. Castle was arrested Sunday and barely escaped lynching Sunday night. The mob had already gathered to swing him up and would undoubtedly have carried out their plan but for the earnest appeal in behalf of law and order made by Judge Thomas, who appeared on the scene just in time to prevent the lynching. He addressed the crowd, beseeching them to let the law take its course and promised that the accused should have a speedy trial.

Castle was accused of firing the shot that killed Orr, but he denied his guilt. According to his story, one of the negro women involved in the case had told him that Mrs. Orr wanted her husband killed and would pay $200 to have the deed done. Castle agreed to the proposition, but later weakened and turned the job over to Ricard. Ricard likewise denied his guilt and accused Castle. The negro women in the case had been employed as cook and servant in the Orr household, and it was shown at the inquest that they had simply acted as agents of Mrs. Orr in securing a man to do the murder. What connection Miss Morris had with the case is not clear from the information at hand.

After the arrest of Mrs. Orr and the five negroes Mrs. Orr made a confession. She admitted that she had said to her cook that she wished her husband dead and that she would be willing to give $200 to anybody to kill him. But she denied that this was uttered while in a fit of anger and that she was innocent of any criminal intention. Her husband abused her, she said, and once struck her and she, being of high temper herself, sometimes said on anger what she did not mean.

John Orr was, several years ago, a theatrical man, and in 1890 was manager of a theater of a small Wisconsin town. There he met and married his wife. The marriage was clandestine and the bride's parents were bitterly opposed to it. The Orrs lived happily but a short time. Both were hot-tempered and quarrels were frequent. A few years ago they settled in Clarendon, where the husband engaged in business. He prospered and was considered wealthy at the time of his death.

A three-year-old daughter, the only issue of an unhappy marriage, is left an orphan.

How the Lynching Was Done.

St. Louis, Mo., Aug. 10.—A special to the Post-Dispatch from Gray, Ark., gives the particulars of the lynching at Clarendon as follows:

"At midnight the mob composed of 300 citizens visited the Monroe county jail at Clarendon, took therefrom four colored prisoners charged with the murder of John T. Orr and lynched them. The mob was a most orderly one, not a word being unnecessarily spoken and not a shot being fired. They marched to the jail and demanded the keys of Deputy Sheriff Frank Milwee, who was in charge. He at first refused their demands, but seeing their earnestness, turned over to them the keys. A committee of the mob went inside the jail and brought out the prisoners, Manse Castle, Saunders, Dennis Record [sic] and the negro cook, Rilla Weaver, Susie Jacobs not being included. They were taken to the old mill, near the river, a few hundred yards from the jail, strung up and with placard attached to their bodies. Mrs. Orr, believing that she would meet death at the hands of the law, took poison. She died late yesterday afternoon in the jail.Just before she lapsed into unconsciousness she willed all her property to her little daughter, Neva, and placed it in trust with the Clarendon lodge, Knights of Pythias, of which her dead husband was a prominent member."

The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, N. C.) dated August 11, 1898:


Tragic Denouement of the Assassination of a Wealthy Merchant of Clarendon.


Mrs. Orr Committed Suicide in Jail, After Making Confession—Story of the Crime—A Young Society Woman Implicated.

By Telegraph to the Morning Star.

LITTLE ROCK, ARK., August 10.—Five negroes are hanging from the limbs of trees near the railroad track and the widow of John T. Orr is dead in her cell. This is the tragic denouement of the assassination of John T. Orr, a wealthy merchant, at Clarendon, a few nights ago. The wife died from a dose of poison, self-administered, while the negroes, her associates in crime, were strung up by a mob of citizens.

The lynched are Manse Castle, Dennis Ricard, Rilla Weaver, Susie Jacobs and Will Sanders.

At midnight a mob, composed of three hundred citizens, visited the Monroe county jail at Clarendon, took therefrom the prisoners charged with the murder of Orr and lynched them. The mob was a most orderly one, not a word being unnecessarily spoken and not a shot being fired. They marched to the jail and demanded the keys of Deputy Sheriff Frank Milwee, who was in charge. He at first refused their demands, but seeing their earnestness, turned over to them the keys. A committee of the mob went inside the jail and brought out the prisoners and hanged them to the tramway of the Halpern saw mill, which stands about one hundred yards in the rear of the jail.

The Murderers.

Will Sanders was the one who fired the shot that killed Mr. Orr; Rilla Weaver was the mother of Sanders, and cook in the Orr household; Dennis Ricard was the "hoo-doo doctor and conjurer," who tried to poison Orr with boiled snake heads; and Manse Castle volunteered to do the job and transferred it to Sanders. Miss Rachael Morris, accused of being an accessory before the fact, has disappeared and her whereabouts are unknown to the officers.

A placard bearing these words was attached to the bodies:  "This is the penalty for murder and rape."

The negroes remained where they were hung until 9 A. M. to day. Great crowds viewed the sight. The negroes seem to endorse the lynching and many of them are open in their expressions of satisfaction over the death of Dennis Ricard, whose arts of hoo-doo and conjuring made him an object of dread to them.

While the five bodies swung in the early morning breezes, the body of the widow of the murdered man lies dead in her cell in the county jail with only the soft sweet voice of her three-year-old child to break the midnight silence in the gloomy cell, as the innocent little tot vainly cried mamma. Somewhere a young woman, once prominent in Clarendon society, is a fugitive from justice, hunted by the officers of the law, charged with murder. Her name is Miss Rachael Morris and she is the only survivor of the coterie of seven named in the coroner's verdict as being responsible for the tragic death of John T. Orr.

Mrs. Orr died by her own hand. After completely breaking down and making a partial confession, in some way she obtained a quantity of poison and took the dose about 2 o'clock Monday afternoon. She never regained consciousness.

Story of the Crime.

Last Saturday night John T. Orr was assassinated while making a glass of lemonade. He had just returned from choir practice where his wife was organist. The crime was shrouded in mystery, until Miss Morris told somebody that she knew who fired the shot.

After a coroner's inquest extending over two days, a verdict was rendered charging Mrs. Orr, the murdered man's wife, with being instigator of the crime. Miss Rachel Morris, Manse Castle, Will Sanders, Dennis Ricard, Rilla Weaver and Susie Jacobs, the five last named negroes, were charged with complicity in the crime.

Mrs. Orr's Confession.

After the arrest of Mrs. Orr and the five negroes, Mrs. Orr made a confession. She admitted that she had said to her cook that she wished her husband dead, and that she would be willing to give $200 to anybody to kill him. But she said this was uttered while in a fit of anger, and that she was innocent of any criminal intention. Her husband abused her, she said, and he once struck her, and she being of high temper herself, sometimes said things in anger that she did not mean.

Mrs. Orr, seeing that she would meet death at the hands of the law, preferred another route and consequently took poison. She died late yesterday afternoon in jail. Just before she lapsed into unconsciousness she willed all her property to her daughter Neva and placed it in trust with the Clarendon Lodge, Knights of Pythias, of which her dead husband was a prominent member.

John Orr was several years ago a theatrical man and in 1890 was manager of a theatre in a small Wisconsin town. There he met and married his wife. The marriage was clandestine and the bride's parents were bitterly opposed to it. The Orrs lived happily but a short time. Orr prospered and was considered wealthy at the time of his death. His life was insured for $5,000.

It appears from letters received by Mrs. Orr in the name of her cook, Rilla Weaver, through whom all the correspondence was conducted, that Mrs. Orr and Rachael Morris were to remain here until Mr. Orr's insurance money was collected, and then go to New York where they were to meet two men and form a theatrical company. Mrs. Orr was also in correspondence with other men.

An article in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, N. Y.) dated August 10, 1898 mentions that five people were lynched in the following excerpt:


. . . Four people, three men and one woman, were lynched at Clarendon at an early hour this morning.

Such was the startling news reaching Little Rock shortly after 1 o'clock. Every effort to confirm the news was made by the Gazette and although telegraph communication was suspended for the night and it was impossible to reach a correspondent, all doubt about the truth of the report was cleared away when at 3 o'clock this morning the telegraph operator in the Cotton Belt Railroad office at Clarendon was reached.

"Is it a fact that a lynching has occurred there?" he was asked.

"Not just one, but five," he clicked back. "I saw the bodies myself. Four of them are hanging to a limb of a tree not far away and a few yards further the body of the fifth is dangling from a gallows of the same kind.". . .

No articles really explained what Susie Jacobs was accused of and it was hard to tell if she was even lynched. The correspondent reported seeing a fifth person who was lynched so we can assume that the fifth person was indeed Susie Jacobs. 

Side note:  One of the men that Mrs. Orr, formerly Mabel Barker, was in correspondence with was Arthur C. Archer, the Mayor of Caldwell, Ohio. A letter from him arrived after Mrs. Orr was arrested, enclosed in the letter was a picture of him and he wrote of visiting her for a month. He was embarrassed once it came out in the papers that he had been writing to a murderess and he made a statement that he didn't know her real name and it was all in fun.

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

Thursday, November 26, 2015

June, 1895: Attempt to lynch Tom Harris

This Thanksgiving, I've decided to feature a lynching that led to wounded but no apparent dead. We first learning about the trouble brewing through the pages of The Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois) dated June 7, 1895:


Man Preaching to Alabama Negroes Ordered to Leave the Country. 

Tuskegee, Ala., June 6.—About twenty of the best citizens of this town gave Rev. Mr. Kelly, a white man, of Ohio, a surprise party at 7 o'clock yesterday evening by calling on him and informing him, through their spokesman, Dr. W. J. Gautier, that his presence here was obnoxious and disgusting to the white people of Macon County, and especially to the citizens of Tuskegee, and that he must leave Tuskegee and Macon County on the first train that passed Chehaw, the railroad station, at 1 a. m., or abide the consequences. Kelly is a white man pretending to be a minister. He claims that he was "called" to preach to the negroes of the South. He has been holding a protracted meeting here in the negro church for the last ten days, eating, sleeping, and mingling altogether with the negroes, and making his headquarters with Thomas Harris, where he was found by the committee that waited on him. He is teaching and practicing social equality, which will never be submitted to by the people of this section.

Our next article comes to us through the pages of The Richmond Planet (Richmond, Virginia) dated June 22, 1895:



Alleged Social Equality, the Cause.


Tuskegee Institute Closes its Doors upon the Hunted Unfortunate.

[Tuskegee, Ala., News, (white) June 13]

Last Saturday night about 10 o'clock the residents of Tuskegee were startled by a wild hubbub in the N. E. end of the city—a furious barking of dogs was accompanied by other sounds of a more startling nature—Suddenly four or five pistol shots rang out on the air, followed by agonized screams of women, and a man's voice shrieking in pain. It was terrible to listen to:  "Help! Help! My God, they have killed him—Oh they have killed him!" These words shrieked over and over soon drew a crowd of men and boys to the residence of Mr. John Alexander where it had been found that Mr. Alexander had been accidently [sic] shot and was supposed fatally wounded by a mob of masked men who had entered his premises in pursuit of Tom Harris, a notorious mulatto man, Negro lawyer and rather a seditious character, who had against Mr. Alexander's orders taken refuge within his home from a pursuing mob. Tom Harris is a very ambitious and rather an idle Negro man, extremely unpopular with his own race on account of his airs of superiority, and having little influence with them.


So far as known he has never been guilty of any crime whatever,  but his impudent utterances and insolent bearing have made him very obnoxious to the white people, and once before now he has had to leave the city on a prolonged stay. He purchased some years ago a very comfortable home for his family—the Hayden residence in the immediate vicinity of Mr. Alexander's home, and there his family reside. His wife is considered a model colored woman, she is industrious, virtuous and thoroughly orderly in every respect and has endeavored to raise her large family of children with propriety. His eldest son, Wylie, is a well-known young yellow man who has a butcher's shop here. Some two or three weeks ago a yankee preacher named Kelley appeared in this county.


He put up with respectable citizens at Cross Keys and was told that he might preach to Negroes, but that in this part of the country social equality was not tolerated. He conducted himself accordingly there, but coming to Tuskegee he was entertained at Tom Harris' house, and it is said walked the streets between two of Harris' daughters, holding an umbrella over them. It is also stated that he preached social equality, and from the pulpit denounced certain citizens of this place, calling no names but making such pointed remarks that there could be no doubt of his meaning, and that Tom Harris had given him the dots.


A meeting of citizens was called in which all rash suggestions were voted down, but it was resolved that a committee of citizens should go to the house of Tom Harris and order the yankee to leave our city within six hours. This was accordingly done. It was well and good, and the matter should have ended there. But Saturday night a letter was taken home by Wiley at a late hour 
(probably from the Post-office) and the Negro could scarcely have had time to have made an escape after receiving it before the arrival of the mob at his house. Instead, however, of immediately retreating from the neighborhood he took the letter over Mr. Alexander's and calling from the front gate requested to see him, Mr. Alexander was at the time seated on his front gallery with his daughters.


He stepped into the road and Tom Harris told him of the letter and asked his advice, directly looking down the moonlit road claimed, "There they are now, coming to kill me!" and rushed into Mr. Alexander's front yard. Mr. Alexander seeing the approach of several masked men, recognized the danger to his family and rushed into the yard attempting to run Tom Harris out, at the same time calling to the men not to shoot for fear they might kill or frighten his daughters. The mob however, not to be deterred from their purpose rushed into the yard and one of them putting his pistol within a foot of Harris fired meaning of course to kill him.


The Negro squatted in time to avert the shot which struck Mr. Alexander  (who was immediately back of him trying to evict him from the premises,) hitting him in the throat, the ball ranging toward the spinal column where it lodged. Other shots followed in immediate succession and Tom Harris was wounded in the leg and fell as he was running down the road, and it is said the bone was shattered. The screams of pain were from the wounded Negro who called loudly for help, but no attention was given him excepting by his family who gathered around him, though in the crowd that rushed to the scene were several medical men who proceeded to render Mr. Alexander all the assistance in their power.


It was thought at first that Mr. Alexander was mortally wounded. He is said to have borne himself with wonderful coolness and nerve, and though probing for the ball was unsuccessful he has rallied, to the surprise of all, and bids fair to recover. If he does it will be due in large measure to the devoted attention he has received from our medical men, who, as well as every other citizen of this community, feel the greatest sympathy for him in his suffering and for his family in their anxiety and distress.


Failing to get any white doctor to attend his father, Wylie Harris took him over to the Normal School that night, where however he was not received, for Booker T. Washington, the president of the Negro school has ever conducted himself and his school in the most prudent and conservative manner, and learning that a mob was in pursuit of Harris he told him that he could not be admitted there. What has become of Harris we do not know. That he is painfully wounded is certain, and after the vindictive demonstration to which he has lately been subjected, it is scarcely probable that he will ever again attempt to make his residence in this city. The lawless action of these masked men cannot, be too severely condemned.


The first place Harris had done nothing to make him amendable to law. Personal dislike and a vindictive feeling of animosity give no excuse for any attempt on a man's life be he white or black. In the second place the unlawful entering of the premises of Mr. Alexander and shooting him, an entirely innocent person, even though it claimed that hurt to him was not intentional, was a most unprecedented outrage, and we call upon the Sheriff of Macon County to do his duty in this matter. If he will, we believe that he can

The same edition included the following statement which echoes with sentiment heard more recently:

Editorial Opinion.

The shooting of Mr. Edward Harris, at Tuskegee, Ala. on the 8th inst. by a mob of lawless white men was outrageous. He should have been armed and have shot down his assailants.

We shall await to hear the explanation of Prof. WASHINGTON with reference to his refusal to admit the wounded man. The institution should have been used as an asylum in this case and its doors should have been a mighty bulwark against the assaults of these lawless parties.

It was difficult to find, in a newspaper, if either man died as a result of the attempted lynching. I did however check the 1900 US Census for Tuskegee, Macon County, Alabama and discovered a John Alexander, white, living with his family and having a neighbor Thomas Harris, black, living with his family. Their ages fit for them to possibly be the same men, but whether or not they were is merely conjecture.

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

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

December 16, 1893: Henry Givens

Today we learn about a Kentucky lynching through the pages of the Crittenden Press (Marion, Kentucky) dated Dec. 21, 1893:

Over in Hopkins.

(From the Hustler.)

On going to press news comes from Nebo that a negro by the name of Henry Givens was yesterday morning found near his home two miles west of Nebo, tied to a tree with his body riddled with shot. His skull was crushed, both eyes shot out and his body generally, especially about the abdomen, was terribly mangled. The negro is said to have a bad reputation in the community. Coroner Rodgers went down yesterday to hold an inquest, but has not yet returned. We understand that the negro had attempted to poison several different persons, both white and black. Up to the present there is no clue to the ones who mobbed him.


Body of Henry Givens, Colored, Found Hanging to a Tree.

Henderson, Ky., December 16.—Henry Givens, colored, was lynched near Nebo, Foster county, early this morning. Givens was accused of poisoning stock and with the intention of poisoning a school well. Last night he was ordered to leave town, but drew a pistol on the self-appinted [sic] committee. This morning his body was found tied to a tree and filled with bullets.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

May 20, 1892: Arthur Burrows

Today we learn about a lynching in Texas through the pages of The Evening World (New York, N. Y.) dated May 21, 1892:

A Texas Way of Lynching.


HOUSTON, Tex., May 21.—At Midway, Madison County, last night, a mob went to the house of Arthur Burrows, who was accused of ruining a young girl of the neighborhood and shot him five times, killing him instantly.

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

Monday, November 23, 2015

May 2, 1903: W. J. Mooneyhon and D. M. Malone

Today we learn about a lynching in Missouri through the pages of the Altoona Tribune (Altoona, Pennsylvania) dated May 6, 1903:


So-Called Preacher and Constable Killed in Missouri.

CARUTHERSVILLE, Mo., May 5.—D. M. Malone, a preacher of the so-called "sanctified" sect, and Constable W. J. Mooneyhon were killed by a mob at Mooneyhon's home at Wardell, twelve miles west of here, Saturday night.

Malone and Mrs. Mary Frill, a "grass" widow, were under arrest and held by Mooneyhon. Mrs. Mooneyhon witnessed the tragedy, as did several of the neighbors, but none of the mob offered violence to either of the women.

The killing was the result of a determined crusade of proselytizing by a sect who called themselves "sanctified," and profess to live entirely "by the laws of Grace," and without regard to the statutes, which they regard as an unseemly attempt to interfere with personal liberty and the right of the Almighty to direct the paths of his people.

The sect has no real organization, and its members are called "come-outers," because when they become "sanctified" they come out from all such entanglements as church members.

Malone has been busy in missionary work for this sect. recently he met Mrs. Frill and they became attached to each other. For several weeks, it is asserted, Mrs. Frill lived at Malone's house.

But Malone had a wife already, Mrs. Mary Malone. She objected to the new arrangement and threatened prosecution. Malone informed the officials that his wife was insane and at his request she was brought to jail here, to be held pending an inquiry into her sanity.

Neighbors swore out warrants for Malone and Mrs. Frill, and Constable Mooneyhon went to serve it Wednesday. Malone, who was heavily armed, met him and forced him to leave the place.

On Saturday Mooneyhon returned with reinforcements and arrested both the man and the woman.

The hour was late and Mooneyhan decided to keep his prisoners at his home until the following day, when he intended to bring them to Caruthersville. That night, about 11 o'clock, Mooneyhon responded to a knock at his door and was shot dead. The mob rushed into the house, found the preacher and dragged him into the hall, where they shot him dead. They then dragged Malone's body into the woods nearby and riddled it with bullets. They offered no violence to Mrs. Frill or to Mrs. Mooneyhan, who witnessed the tragedy.

Mrs. frill was brought to jail here. She loudly denies charges affecting herself and Malone. They were missionaries in the same cause, she declares, and they did nothing for which they should be punished.

The entire country is thoroughly aroused over the affair. Whether arrests can be made when Sheriff Franklin visits Wardell is doubtful, though he has several definite clues. It is possible that more violence will be shown others of the "sanctified" sect who have offended the ideas of propriety generally held in the Wardell neighborhood.

According to your dictionary a grass widow is a woman whose husband is gone for long periods of time or who is divorced/separated from her husband. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

February, 1902: Thomas Williams

Today we learn about a lynching in West Virginia through the pages of the Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, Virginia) dated February 5, 1902:

Double Tragedy.

The attempt of the colored population of Glen Jean, a mining town on Loup creek in Fayette county, W. Va., to drive from their midst Thos. Williams, an "herb doctor", if their own race, led to a double killing Monday night. Williams lived in a tenement house belonging to the Collins Collier Company. He was visited by a mob late in the night and after being called to the door was shot to death. Williams before dying returned the fire, but it was not known that any of the shots from his gun had taken effect until yesterday. A negro named Mose Allen was found some distance from the scene with a bullet hole through his stomach. He claimed that he was struck by a stray bullet as he passed along the road. When found he was almost frozen and he died yesterday afternoon. Williams moved to Glen Jean recently from Tennessee and he was greatly feared by the superstitious darkies, who looked upon him as a "conjurer." This is the only reason that can be assigned for the shooting. The county authorities are investigating the affair.

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

Saturday, November 21, 2015

October 5, 1901: Five Negroes

Today we learn about a Texas lynching from an unusual article found in The Anaconda Standard (Anaconda, Montana) dated October 13, 1901:

Spreading the Gospel of Lynching

When a city of the dignity, polish and smug respectability of Helena goes a-lynching, it sets an example which communities of inferior culture are quick to imitate with such variations, revisions and extensions as local exigencies may suggest. No sooner was the news of Helena's recent fantasia on a telegraph pole carried to the four quarters of the United States than the lynching spirit instantly revived wherever it happened to be lying dormant, and clamored furiously for exercise. It was another illustration of the involuntary hypotism of the lower intelligence by the higher.

Especially peculiar were the effects of Helena's lullaby on the inhabitants of Harrison County, Texas. Lynching has always flourished in Harrison county, and this year had already witnessed an average crop of hanged negroes. But the moment Harrison county read of the Helena masterpiece its thirst for lynching became an uncontrollable passion and the entire white population began walking up and down the earth, seeking raw material. It so happened that the negroes were on their good behavior. They hadn't committed a heinous crime in days. Whether or not the Helena lynching had exercised upon them a powerful deterrent influence, or whether  their streak of morality was a mere coincidence, certain it is that they were conducting themselves with exasperating exemplariness; and the white men's committee on supplies reluctantly reported that there were none in sight.

The report of the committee was rejected as a self-evident absurdity. Supplies? The land was flowing with them. Casus lynchi? There was an abundance of it on every hand. The negroes, many of them, had not harvested the cotton crop. They had taken up land on shares, and the planters being unable to get their part of the yield through the laziness of the renters were justified in lynching at least a portion of them without further ado.

Five of the laziest blacks in the county having been selected for the purpose, the exercises passed off pleasantly and without a single hitch except the few necessary to the ropes.

The extension of lynching as a punishment for every crime, misdemeanor and conceivable moral transgression that a negro may commit offers a ready solution to the race problem. It also, from a lyncher's reasoning, possesses the merit of being eminently and incontrovertibly logical.

The Helena lynching referred to was the October 2, 1901 lynching of James Edward Brady for the assault of 5 year old Ida Pugsley.  

The Suburban Citizen (Washington, D. C.) dated October 5, 1901 features an article with more information on the lynching:


Revenge for the Murder of Texas Planter—Race War On.

Dallas, Tex. (Special).—The details are just beginning to reach Dallas of a race war in Harrison county, starting near Hallville, and spreading in all directions, in which five negroes have been lynched since Saturday.

The trouble is said to have started because negroes who had rented cotton lands from rich planters refused to harvest their crops or permit the planters to get their share of the yield.

A posse of white men, it is said, went to the house of a negro, Thomas Walker, on the plantation of Julian Atwood. Walker fired on the white men, killing Atwood.

During the early part of the chase that followed one negro was caught and hanged and two more were hanged on Sunday in the timber near the Gregg county line, George Muckleroy was taken out at night, near Marshall, and whipped to death.

Taking it for granted that Thomas Walker has been lynched, the number of negroes killed is five, and Julian Atwood, the white man, makes the sixth victim of the tragedy.

All that has happened has taken place in a district not covered by telegraph or telephone, and such details as have come to hand are from responsible parties at Long View and Marshall. The people of the counties of Harrison and Gregg, both whites and blacks, are reported to be in a frenzy of excitement, and more lynchings are likely to occur.

The white men declare the black renters have not only refused to gather their crops on shares, but have swindled them out of money loaned during the season with which to purchase supplies.

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

Thursday, November 19, 2015

March 4, 1900: Jim Crosby, cont.

Today we learn about an Alabama lynching through the pages of the Fort Wayne Daily News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) dated March 5, 1900:


Assassination of Jim Crosby May Lead to More Bloodshed

LETOHATCHEE, Ala., March 5.—Jim Crosby, a negro, was called to the door of his house at midnight Saturday night and riddled with buckshot. When he fell the assassins rushed into the house, dragging his wife and little daughter from the bed, cut and shot them several times, leaving them for dead. The wife and daughter crawled to the home of a neighbor and told their story.

The news quickly spread and yesterday negroes came from every town within a radius of fifty miles. They declare they know the assassins, who are white men, and that they will have revenge. The whites are well armed.

Sam Howell, a prominent merchant, was shot several days ago by a negro, who was apprehended and lynched. This set the negroes wild. They declared they would avenge their comrade's death, and in this declaration Jim Crosby was the most fearless spokesman. His assassination followed. Several officers have come from Montgomery to assist in preserving the peace.

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

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

August 8, 1899: Echo Brown

Today we learn about a lynching in Louisiana through the pages of The Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois) dated August 10, 1899:


Negroes Shot and Flogged by Whites in Louisiana.

Special Dispatch to The Inter Ocean.

NEW ORLEANS, La., Aug. 9.—After several months of quiet, lawlessness has again broken out in Tangipahoa parish in which there have been more murders and assassinations than in all the rest of the state combined. A special from Amite City, the parish seat, says:

"Adolphus, alias Echo Brown, colored, was shot and killed last night, and Edgar and Edward Barr severely flogged by a gang of armed men. Just as the clock struck 12 a body of some twenty-five or thirty armed and masked men rode quietly up to the house of Louis Brown, colored, on the edge of the town. Ten of the mob, armed with shotguns and pistols, entered the house and found Echo Brown and Edgar Barr in bed. They told them to get up, and throwing sacks over their heads dragged them out. As soon as they got out into the road Echo made a futile break for liberty, but had only gone a little way when several guns were leveled at him and their contents poured into his back, with fatal result. After killing Brown the mob went over to the Barr house and got Edward Barr and took him and Edgar about a quarter mile from town, where they were severely flogged. Their work finished they mounted their horses and rode off. An inquest was held this morning on the body of Echo Brown. A jury was impaneled and the usual verdict in cases of this kind returned.

News from Kentwood in the same parish states that, about 12 o'clock last night twenty or thirty pistol shots were heard in the direction of Amos Kent Lumber and Brick company's plant, one of the largest saw mills in the South. This morning it was learned that a party of white men had done the shooting at the negro settlement immediately adjoining the mill property for the purpose of intimidating the negroes. Several notices were found posted about the work advising the management that negroes could not work at the saw mill, on the dummy train, nor at the planing mill, but very generously permitting them to continue the negroes in their brick yard work without molestation. As there has never been any trouble at this plant in regard to the working of negroes it was somewhat of a surprise. There are many employes [sic] at the plant, both white and blacks, that have worked there continuously for more than twenty years.

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

October 26, 1898: Henry Ruffins

Today we learn about a lynching in Louisiana through the pages of The Oskaloosa Independent (Oskaloosa, Kansas) dated November 4, 1898:

Lynched for Taking a Negro's Part.

New Orleans, Oct. 27.—Information reached New Orleans last night to the effect that Henry Ruffins, of St. Helena parish, La., was lynched for taking the part of a negro laborer, John Armstead, who quarreled with a white man, Will Hutchinson. Ruffins was a white man and the lynching party was made up of white men.

An article found in the December 31, 1898 edition of the Richmond Planet (Richmond, Virginia) also covers a man being punished for trying to help:

We direct the attention of the rabid Negro-hating journals to the following item:

Charleston, S. C., Dec. 21—The entire property of Mr. Lanham, in the Republican section of Edgefield county, has just been destroyed by fire. This is near the scene and in the immediate vicinity of the assassination of Mr. Atkinson's wife and the lynching of three Negroes charged with the crime. Mr. Lanham argued with the lynchers and did all he could to save the Negroes. It is almost certain that the fire was of incendiary origin. If the guilty parties are caught a lynching will follow."

This white gentleman had endeavored to save these colored men from the fury of the ruthless mob, and this is the way he has been treated.

We presume that the Fredericksburg STAR will be ready to revise its statement, and acknowledge that not only ex-slaves are lynched, but ex-slave-owners have their property burned for endeavoring to protect servants.

There are good white people in the South and Mr. LANHAM is one of them.

This last article doesn't really connect in any way to the first two, but I wanted to put it in. It comes to us from The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio) dated May 4, 1898:



SPRINGFIELD, OHIO. May 3.—The race war of colored men against the managers of the traveling museum, exhibiting the corpses of two Alabama men who were lynched, was renewed this morning. The doors were broken open, but their nerve failed them. The museum was hastily packed and shipped to Dayton. Police were compelled to guard the place all night and acted as escort of the proprietors till they boarded the train.

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

Monday, November 16, 2015

April 19, 1896: John Van Brunt

Today we learn about the lynching of a "peeping Tom" in Florida through the pages of the Xenia Daily Gazette (Xenia, Ohio) dated April 20, 1896:



Shot to Death By Husbands of Women He Had Watched After Confessing.

DELAND, FLA., April 19.—John Van Brunt's desire to watch women disrobe has cost him his life. For six months a "Peeping Tom" has been annoying the women of Deland and recently the peeper became so bold that no woman dared to retire at night without seeing that the window blinds were securely closed. Only last week while a lady was taking her bath she was shocked to see a man peering in at her through the window.

The fellow nearly always did his peeping when the man of the house was absent, and, consequently, he managed to escape detection. Last night, however, the "peeper" spied at Mrs. Ribbard while she was preparing to retire. Mr. Ribbard happened to be at home, and was quietly told by his wife that the "peeper" was at the window. Mr. Ribbard hastened out and discovered that the "peeping Tom" was John Van Brunt a young man about 25 years old. Van Brunt fled as Mr. Ribbard approached. The latter didn't pursue him, but went to the husbands whose wives had been peeped at, and informed them the identity of the "peeper." A posse was quickly formed and Van Brunt taken from his home about midnight and shot to death. Van Brunt had borne a good character. It is said he confessed to the lynchers, and that he stated he was powerless to resist the temptation to play "Peeping Tom."

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

Saturday, November 14, 2015

December 31, 1894: Barrett Scott

Today we learn about a lynching in Nebraska. Our first article to inform us about the lynching of Barrett Scott comes to us through the pages of The Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois) dated January 2, 1895:


Masked Men Carry Off a Nebraska Defaulting County Treasurer.


Barrett Scott and His Niece Hit by Bullets from Ambush.


Searching Parties Find No Trace of the Missing Man.

Mr. Scott's Family and Driver Reach home After Being Roughly Treated by the Mob.

O' NEILL, Neb., Jan. 1.—Special Telegram.—Barrett Scott, defaulting ex-treasurer of this county, who, by various legal technicalities, has so far evaded punishment for his misdeeds, has been seized by masked men, and it is believed he has been made away with.

About a week ago in company with his wife, daughter, and niece, Miss McWhorter, and a hired man named John Schmidt, he went to the country about twenty miles to visit relatives. At 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon while returning to this city the party were met by a dozen masked men about  ten miles northeast of this city and told to stop or they would shoot. The masked men had been lying in ambush in the ruins of an old sod house about a hundred feet from the road. All were heavily armed.

Scott told the driver to whip up the horses, which he did. The mob then opened fire on the occupants of the buggy, killing both horses and wounding Scott and Miss McWhorter in the back. It is not known how badly Scott was hurt. miss McWhorter received only a slight wound.

Scott Carried Off by the Mob.

The masked men then bound and blindfolded Scott and Schmidt and threw them into a wagon which they had in waiting, part of the gang driving them northwest toward the Niobrara River.

A closed carriage then drove up and Mrs. Scott, her little daughter, and Miss McWhorter were put into the carriage. One of the bandits got in to drive and another rode along behind. They drove the ladies about ten miles from the place where they were captured.

As soon as it became dark they put the ladies out of the carriage and told them to follow the road for about a mile and they would come to a house where they would be taken care of. the ladies did as requested, after trying in vain to get the men to drive them there. When they reached the house they got the farmer residing there to drive them to this city, where they arrived last night about midnight.

At 1:30 this morning, Schmidt, who was taken with Scott, reached this city, he having walked about eighteen miles. He says that the men drove with him and Scott until dark and then halted. The prisoners were taken into an old stable and shortly afterward, probably about 7 o'clock, the gang took Schmidt to the road and taking the bandage off his eyes told him that was the road to O' Neill and to go. After walking about three miles he came to a house and asked the distance to O' Neill. He was then informed he was on the wrong road and upon being taken to the right road took it and reached the city as stated, worn out with fatigue after his long tramp.

Three Men Under Suspicion.

Scouting parties have been out from this city all day and think they have located three of the mob but are not certain of their men yet. the general opinion in this city is that Scott has been murdered and his body buried in one of the numerous caverns in that locality, and that unless the mob is captured the chances are that his body will never be found.

Barrett Scott was treasurer of this county four years. Shortly after his election for the second term the supervisors got into trouble with Scott, who was a Republican while a majority of the board were independents. The board tried to oust Scott from office and appointed -.-. Hayes, of this city, treasurer. This was early in 1892. Scott refused to vacate --- office and the board appealed to the Supreme Court. At various times during the next year the board tried to oust Scott, but failed.

By the failure of the Holt County Bank of this city in July, 1893, Scott lost some of the county money, which he had on deposit. This added to his troubles, the County Board continually hounding him. He then took what county money he could get and fled to Mexico. The County Board then offered a reward of $3,000 for his apprehension. He was arrested in Mexico and brought back to Holt County on the charge of embezzling $94,000 of the county funds.

Scott Was Released on Bail.

He had a hearing before the Judge in this  city and was bound over to the District Court in the sum of $17,000. This was afterwards raised to $70,000. Scott furnished the bond and was out on bail. His case came up in the District Court last March. A change of venue was asked for by Scott's attorney. The change of venue was granted, and the case was sent out of this judicial district to Antelope County., and was set for Sept. 12. In the meantime he was let out on $70,000 bail and stayed with his family in this city.

 The trial in September lasted a week, and after thirty-six hours deliberation the jury brought in a verdict of guilty. Scott was sentenced to the penitentiary for five years and to pay a fine of about $70,000. A motion for a new trial was refused. then Scott's attorneys took the case to the Supreme Court on error. The Judges on the Supreme Court admitted him to bail in the sum of $40,000, pending an investigation of the case. Scott gave a bond and on Dec. 16 he was released from custody and came to his home in this city.

Our next article comes to us through the January 21, 1895 edition of the same paper:


All Doubts as to His Disappearance Now Cleared Up.


 Shot, Hanged and Then Thrown Into the River.


Mullihan, Elliott, and Roy Named as the Murderers.

Warrants Sworn Out for Their Arrest—Belief That Prominent Citizens Will Be Implicated.

O' NEILL, Neb., Jan. 20.—Special Telegram.—The remains of Barrett Scott were brought to this city this afternoon about 2:30 o'clock. They were at once taken to the undertaking establishment of O. F. Biglin, where they were viewed by hundreds of people during the day.

The body was found in the Niobrara River, 120 feet east of Whiting's bridge and eighteen feet from the north bank in Boyd County, about thirty miles north of this city. The bullet wound in his neck was found to be as Mrs. Scott had described it, and a half-inch rope around his neck gave further evidence of the way in which he met his death. There was a bruise over his left eye and one a little to the right and above his right eye, as if he had been struck upon the head with the butt of a revolver. His face gives unmistakable evidence of his having been tortured before his cowardly assailants committed the culminating act of murder.

Saturday morning a posse started out from this city to continue the search for the missing man. They went to the Niobrara River well supplied with saws with which to cut the ice, and long grappling hooks with which to probe the bottom of the river. They commenced cutting the ice about 300 feet below the bridge and worked up stream. They cut the ice in strips about six feet wide, pushed them under the ice in the river, and let them float down stream.

First Found a Quilt.

They worked from 8 o'clock in the morning until 2 in the afternoon, when they found a quilt the murdered man had with him the day he was taken from the side of his family.

After finding the quilt which was identified as belonging to Scott a courier came to this city and others went to Spencer, Boyd County, which is six miles from where the body was found, for re-enforcements and food for the party searching the river.

About fifteen men went from Spencer and joined in the search, determined to find the body if it was in the river. They worked industriously until 9:15 o'clock, when a man named Hudson got his grappling hook fast in something. He at once told the other men who were working the south side of the river. The body was loosened from its resting place and when the sand was washed away the body shot up to the surface where it was quickly seized by the searchers and pulled out on the ice.

There was a small eddy where the body rested, and the whirling of the water kept it from going further down the stream. Had it not been for the eddy into which the body was sucked the probabilities are that it never would have been found, as the treacherous quicksands of the river would have buried it.

There was six feet of water where the body was found and on top of that eighteen inches of ice.

As soon as the body had been found a messenger started for this city to bring the news, and another started for Butte, the county seat of Boyd County, in which county the body was found, to notify the coroner to come and hold an inquest. Coroner Hoover arrived on the scene about 7 o'clock this morning. by this time about forty men arrived from this city, who left here about 1 o'clock last night.

The Coroner's Verdict.

The coroner immediately impaneled a jury who rendered the following verdict:

State of Nebraska, Boyd County. At an inquest held at Whiting's Bridge, on the Niobrara River, in Boyd County, on the 20th day of January, 1895, before me, J. B. Hoover, coroner of said county, upon the body of Barrett Scott lying dead, by the jurors whose names are hereunto subscribed. The said jurors upon their oaths do say that from the evidence adduced before them they find that on the 31st day of December, 1894, the said Scott came to his death by shooting, and by hanging with a rope by the neck until he was dead, in the county of Holt and State of Nebraska, and that George D. Mullihan, moses Elliott, and Mert Roy, and other citizens of Holt County, to the jurors unknown, were guilty of the killing. The jurors further believe from the evidence that the body was carried to the bridge and there thrown into the Niobrara River from which it was taken. The jurors further find from the evidence advanced that the killing was unlawful, maliciously, and feloniously done by the said George Mullihan, Moses Elliott, and Mert Roy, and sundry other persons to the jurors unknown. In testimony whereof the said jurors have hereunto set their hands this day and year aforesaid.
Attest:  J. B. HOOVER, Coroner.

It is not known what evidence was introduced before the jury which brought out the above verdict, but it is generally understood that all parties who were upon the scene knew more than they care to tell.

Warrants Sworn Out.

Immediately upon the arrival of the party in this city with the corpse warrants were sworn out for George D. Mullihan, Moses Elliott, and Mert Roy, charging them with the murder of Barrett Scott. Officers will start out tonight and rearrest the men.

It will be remembered that these men were arrested shortly after the disappearance of Scott and were released under $500 bonds. It is reported here that Mullihan has skipped the country, but the report cannot be verified.

Intense excitement prevails in this city tonight. Large crowds are in town from all parts of the county, and the whole topic of conversation is the cowardly murder of Scott.

Much indignation is expressed against the editor of the Populist paper published in this city, who came out in a lengthy article in Friday's paper denouncing the men who are trying to ferret out the mystery.

That the perpetrators of this dastardly outrage will be caught and punished there is no doubt, and the impression is here that the truth is known parties high in the councils of the Independent party in this county will be implicated.

Mrs. Scott is prostrated with grief, and has not been allowed to see the body yet.

The crime for which Barrett Scott paid with his life on New Year's Day of this year was the embezzlement of $70,000 of the funds of Holt County and the subsequent wrecking of the Holt County Bank, practically impoverishing nearly all the farmers and business men in Holt. The amounts stolen from these confiding people are variously estimated, but aggregated about $160,000.

Think His Friends Did It.

LINCOLN, Ne., Jan. 20.—Special Telegram.—Among the Holt County people in this city the subject is freely discussed and the individual opinions of each as to the cause of Scott's taking off and as to the persons responsible therefor are given without reserve. Representative Robertson, of Holt, said that he had, from the information received, been inclined to lean to the theory that Scott had been run out of the county by his friends or those who were intimately connected with him in business transactions. Since the finding of the body he is satisfied that those who did the deed are people who were afraid of being implicated by the confession of Scott, and who felt that their only safety was in fixing him so that he could not talk.

Representative Robertson does not believe that the vigilance committee had anything to do with the Scott case, from what he knows of the friendly relations which existed between those composing the vigilantes and Scott. He thinks from what he knows of the condition of affairs that there was no motive to cause the political enemies of Scott to do the deed. He calls attention to one point which he says seems suspicious to him and bears out his theory.This is that after the searchers, after looking all over the country, all of a sudden and with one impulse became convinced that the body would be found in the river.

H. M. Uttley, who was the attorney for Barrett Scott, is also in town tonight, and said there is only one conclusion as to the people engaged in the lynching, and that is that they are the enemies of Scott. Uttley believes that the vigilance committee was engaged in the business.

The men charged with the lynching were acquitted. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

November 3, 1893: Ned and Will Waggoner, Sam and Eliza (Mary) Motlow

Today we learn about a lynching in Tennessee through the pages of the Boston Post (Boston, Massachusetts) dated November 5, 1893:


Three Men and One Woman Hanged in Tennessee.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Nov. 4.—A terrible crime was committed near Lynchburg, Moore county, by unknown parties last night.

When the stage driver, who makes daily trips from Lynchburg to Fayetteville, was passing along the turnpike, about two miles from the latter place, he discovered early in the morning the ghastly spectacle of three men and one woman hanging from the limbs of a single tree. The corpses were all colored, and were the bodies of Ned Waggoner, his son Will, his son-in-law Matto and his daughter Mary. They had been lynched in the night by parties who left no clue as to their identity.

Recently a number of barns have been burned in Moore and Lincoln counties, and many threats have been made as to what would be done with the fire breakers if caught. But beyond the fact that Waggoner and his family bore an unsavory reputation as petty thieves, it is not known that suspicion rested on them.

The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) dated November 7, 1893 printed the following article:


Coroner's Jury Finds That the Members of the Mob Are Unknown.

Bodies of the Victims Interred in One Grave at Lynchburg—Waggoner's Wife Leaves the Country.

SHELBYVILLE, Nov. 6.—[Special.]—The bodies of Ned Waggoner, William Waggoner, Sam Motlow and Eliza Motlow, who were lynched last Friday night, were interred in the negro cemetery at Lynchburg yesterday. The four coffins were laid side by side in one grave. The Coroner's inquest, held on Saturday, returned the usual verdict that the parties came to their death at the hands of unknown parties. According to the statements of Henry Motlow and Ned Waggoner's wife, the mob appeared about 11 o'clock. All had gone to bed, but as soon as the mob demanded admittance Ned Waggoner opened the door. A number of the mob walked in and called out the names of the parties wanted. The victims were passed to men on the outside one at a time. Margaret Waggoner, Ned's wife, was also ordered out.

Once the negroes were outside they were marched about a quarter of a mile to a large beech tree, where four of the negroes were told to halt. Margaret Waggoner was taken off a short distance and interrogated as to the barn burnings. She protested that he knew nothing of the crimes, and was severely flogged and told to leave the country within three days or suffer the consequences. Then the party joined the other members of the mob, and the four trembling victims were executed. After the negroes were hanged, Ned Waggoner was shot in the forehead. On the tree was left a placard with these words:  "Plenty more rope. The rest look out."

Ned Waggoner's wife left the neighborhood to-day with her children.

Ned Waggoner was the nurse of Jack Daniel, who is the well-known distiller in this section of the country, and who has been confined to his room for the past two weeks. He was very much troubled over the lynching. Ned Waggoner's remains were buried at the expense of Mr. Daniel.

A few other articles included the following paragraph:  "Ned Waggoner was a rather large negro, and it is supposed the first attempt of the lynchers was unsuccessful in his case, as a broken rope with a hangman's knot was found under the tree near him, and another one had been procured from the well-bucket of a near neighbor, by which rope he was found hanging."  The mob was also estimated to be approximately 200 people.

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