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:

A FAMILY LYNCHED.

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:

MOORE COUNTY LYNCHING.

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.


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