Sunday, May 31, 2015

May 31, 1901: Calvin Hall, Frank Hall, James Hall, Martin Hall and B. D. Yantis

Today we learn about five men lynched in California through the pages of The Leavenworth Times (Leavenworth, Kansas) dated June 1, 1901:




Alturas, Calif., May 31.—Calvin Hall and his three sons, Frank Hall, Jim Hall and Martin Hall and Dan Yantis, who had been stealing horses for years, were arrested yesterday and guarded by three officers. A mob of forty masked men took them at one o'clock this morning and hanged them to a bridge near Lookout.

The officers were overpowered and compelled to help. The mob dispersed within five minutes. The bodies were still hanging at 10 a. m. Sheriff Street and District Attorney Bonner and Reporter Doan have gone to the scene of the hanging.

Lookout, the scene of the lynching, is in the Hot Springs valley on Pitt river, twenty-five miles from Alturas, the county seat of Modoc county. There is no telegraphic communication with the valley and news of the lynching was brought to Alturas by courier. Particulars are of necessity very meagre.

The residents of Hot Springs valley are nearly all cattle raisers in Modoc county.

Bieber, Calif., May 31.—Incomplete details have been received here of the lynching of five men at Lookout, Modoc county, early this morning. The lynched were Calvin Hall, 72 years of age, his three half breed sons, Frank, James and Martin, aged respectively 26, 19 and 16, and B. D. Yantis, aged 27.

As reported here the men lynched had been suspected of petty stealing for some time. Last Saturday they were arrested for stealing barb wire, harness and some hay forks. A search warrant was issued and the forks were found in the house of Hall and Yantis, who were taken into custody and brought to Lookout, where they were being held awaiting the examining trial. Sunday, and for several days following, other searches were instituted and halters, dishes and table linen was found hidden on the premises of the suspected parties.

The charge against the elder Hall was petty larceny for stealing hay forks hence he was allowed to go on his own recognizance. His trial was to have taken place this morning. The charges against the others were burglary and their examinations set for June 3. They were held in custody as they were unable to furnish bail in the sum of $300. Pending their examination they were body guarded in Lookout hotel by Constable Carpenter, assisted by R. Nichols, J. W. Brown and S. Geyette. The two former stood guard till midnight and the two latter took their places after midnight. Calvin Hall was stopping at the hotel so as to be near his sons.

This morning about 2 o'clock a mob, variously estimated from thirty to fifty people, suddenly made their appearance at the hotel and pointing their guns at the two officers commanded them to observe silence while they secured the prisoners, placed ropes around their necks and dragged them toward the bridge which crosses Pitt river. They compelled the two guards to accompany them. Frank Hall, it is reported made such strong resistance that the mob hanged him before it got to the main bridge, under a small bridge crossing a deep slough.

The others were taken to the main bridge and Calvin Hall, the father, was hanged on the north side and Yantis and the other Hall boys were hanged on the south side of the bridge. As soon as the lynching was discovered word was telegraphed to the district attorney and sheriff at Alturas and they, together with the coroner are now on the way to the scene of the tragedy to hold an inquest.

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

Saturday, May 30, 2015

May 30, 1901: Frank Reeves

Today we learn about a lynching in Alabama through the pages of The Ottawa Daily Republic (Ottawa, Kansas) dated May 31, 1901:

A Negro Lynched by a Mob.

Birmingham, Ala., May 31.—Frank Reeves, a negro, was hanged by a mob between Georgiana and Dunham, two villages in Butler county, yesterday. The negro attempted to assault Miss Ada McMillin and while trying to drag her from a buggy was frightened away by several young men who had responded to the young woman's screams for help. Reeves was captured and confessed his crime. A mob took him to a bridge near by and, after tying a rope around his neck, forced him to jump off.

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

Friday, May 29, 2015

May 29, 1901: Frederick Rochelle and May 29, 1911: Mexican

Today I have decided to feature two lynchings, ten years apart. Our first lynching occurred in Florida and we learn about it from The Indiana Democrat (Indiana, Pennsylvania) dated June 5, 1901:


Florida Negro Criminal Yields His Life at Scene of Vicious Murder.

Burned at the stake is the terrible fate of Frederick Rochelle, a negro, who assaulted and then murdered Mrs. Rena Taggart, a respected white woman of Barton, Fla. In the presence of a great throng of people, on the exact spot where Rochelle committed the outrage, the pyre was built, the pleading, trembling negro placed thereon and the torch applied. There was no swearing, no jeering—the crowd standing awe-inspired watching the shivering mass of humanity become a shapeless lump of flesh and then entirely disappear.

Two hours after the mob had dragged their victim to the spot of his terrible crime and burned him the town was as quiet and orderly as if were a Sunday evening. The scene of the lynching was within 100 yards of the main thoroughfare of Barton, and it is said that every resident of the town witnessed the awful spectacle. It is hard to anticipate what action the civil authorities will take, but it is not thought any arrests will be made.

The second lynching was in Texas and is brought to us by The Washington Post (Washington, D. C.) dated May 31, 1911:


Mexican's Misplaced "Viva" Costs Him His Life in Texas.

Barstow, Tex., May 30.—An unknown Mexican laborer employed on irrigation works in the Black Ridge community, 20 miles south of here, was lynched yesterday by his fellow Mexican laborers because he yelled "Viva Diaz!"

The men who lynched him are Maderists. A special grand jury is investigating the lynching.

In case you aren't familiar with Mexican history and are interested in understanding why "Maderists" were upset by "Viva Diaz," or even what "Maderists" means you can learn a bit more here. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

May 28, 1892: Jim Smith

Today we learn about a lynching in West Virginia through the pages of The Record-Union (Sacramento, California) dated May 30, 1892:

Colored Desperado Lynched

HUNTINGTON (W. Va.), May 29.—Information has reached here of the lynching Saturday in Logan County of Jim Smith, a notorious colored desperado, on Friday evening Charles Serpell, aged 12, a colored boy, who was murdered and robbed by Smith, who was caught later. The officers having him were overpowered by a mob composed of negroes, who took the prisoner to the nearest tree and swung him up. Smith previously killed three men.

Today's article of interest is found in The Kansas City Gazette (Kansas City, Kansas) dated May 28, 1892:

The general conference of the Methodist church in session at Omaha, was told the other day that 150 negroes had been lynched in the last year. Of these seven were burned alive. Going over its files for a week the St. Louis Globe-Democrat concludes that the case is not overstated.

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

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May 27, 1889: Martin

Today we learn about a lynching in Michigan through the pages of the Fort Scott Daily Monitor (Fort Scott, Kansas) dated May 28, 1889:

A Michigan Tramp Lynched.

Port Huron, Mich., May 27.—At 2 o'clock this morning about twenty masked men forced the county jail open and took the mulatto, Martin, out and hung him from the Seventh street bridge, where his body still hangs. They dragged him down the street, not an officer being in sight. Martin is the tramp that entered the farm house of John Gillis four miles west of this city about two weeks ago, and brutally assaulted and outraged his wife.

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

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 26, 1910: Jeff Matson

Today we learn about a lynching in Alabama found in The Topeka Daily Capital (Topeka, Kansas) dated May 27, 1910:


Montgomery, Ala., May 26.—Reports of the lynching of Jeff Matson, a negro who murdered Deputy Sheriff Scott Taylor at Acton Mine yesterday, were received late today. Matson was captured by Deputy Sheriff Henley and Poler of Shelby county between Birmingham and Acton at 10:30 o'clock this morning. At 11 o'clock, it is said, the deputies were intercepted near Pelham, Shelby county, by a mob from Acton. The negro was taken from the officers and mob and prisoner disappeared into the woods. The body has not been found.

Our article of interest comes to us from The New York Age (New York, New York) dated July 2, 1921:

White Georgians Lynched 58 Negroes During Past 4 Years

Woman Lynched For Making Remarks About Lynching of Her Husband—Disputing White Man Brings Death

(Special to THE NEW YORK AGE)

Atlanta, Ga.—In his final message to the Georgia State Legislature, transmitted on retiring from office, Governor Hugh M. Dorsey gave a detailed list of fifty-eight lynchings which have taken place in Georgia during his four years' administration. The list gives the date of lynching, name of victim, place where it occurred and alleged cause.

The fifty-eight cases are given as follows:

Year 1917.

Sept. 18—Rufus Moncrief, Clark County; rape.
Nov. 9—Jesse Slater, Brooks County; writing insulting letter to young woman.
Nov. 17—Cullins Johnson and D. C. Johnson, Mitchell County; disputing white man's word.
Dec. 15—Claxton Dekle, Chandler County; in altercation killed one man and seriously wounded two others.

Year 1918.

Feb. 18—"Bud" Crosby, Fayette County; to rape and stealing baby.
March 22—Spencer Evens, Taliaferro County; rape.
May 18—William Had, William Thompson, Hayes Turner and Eugene Rice, Brooks County; complicity in a murder and alleged assault.
May 19—Mary Turner, Brooks County; making remarks about lynching of her husband.
May 19—Chime Riley, Simon Schuman and three unidentified Negroes, Brooks county; complicity in a murder.
May 23—James Cobb, Crips County; rape and murder.
May 23—Sidney Johnson, Lowndes; complicity in a murder and alleged assault.
May 24—John Calhoun, Pike County; killing a planter in a dispute over a farm contract.
Aug. 11—Isaac Raney, Miller County; rape.
Sept. 3—John Gillhata, Jones County; rape.
Sept. 24—Sandy Reaves, Pierce County; rape.

Year 1919.

April 13—William Williams, Jenkins County; alleged participation in clash between Negroes and officers of the law.
May 2—Denny Brown, Warren County; killing wife and wounding four men of posse.
May 16—James Walters, Laurens County; attempted rape.
May 25—Berry Washington, Telfair County; killing man.
Aug. 1—Charles Kelly, Fayette County; charge not given.
Aug. 5.—Unidentified Negro, Bleckley County; making remarks about Chicago race riot.
Aug. 14—James Grant, Wilcox County; alleged shooting of two men.
Aug. 27—Eli Cooper, alleged incendiary talk.
Sept. 6—O. E. Cox, Oglethorpe County; murder and rape.
Sept. 22—Ernest Glenwood, Dooly County; circulating incendiary propaganda.
Oct. 5—Moses Martin, Wilkes County; making boastful remarks about Negro shooting officer of law.
Oct. 5—Moses Freeman, Wilkes County; misleading members of mob searching for Jack Gordon.
Oct. 6—Jack Gordon, William Brown, Wilkes County; shooting officers of law.
Oct. 7—Eugene Hamilton, Jasper County; sentenced for ten years for attempt on life of farmer; appeal taken.
Oct. 16—Two unnamed men, Marion County; charge not reported.
Nov.3—Paul Jones, Bibb County; rape.
Nov. 19—Wallace Baynes, Morgan County; killing man assisting in attempt to arrest him.
Nov. 30—Wesley Everetts, Wilkinson County; shooting and wounding a man.
Dec. 21—Charles West, Lee County; killing plantation owner.


March 4—Cornelius Alexander, Pike County; jumping labor contract.
June 21—Philip Gaithers, Effingham; rape and murder.
Sept. 25—Felix Cremer, Green County; aiding fugitive to escape who had wounded his landlord.
Nov. 18—William Perry, William Ivory, wife of William Perry, Coffee County; implicated in death of planter.
Nov. 2?—Curley McKelvey, Worth County; complicity in the killing of planter.
Nov. 30—Unnamed man, Thomas County; rape.

Year 1921.

Jan 2.—James Roland, Mitchell County; shooting and fatally wounding white planter.
Jan 6—Samuel Williams, Talbot County; charge not reported.
Feb. 16—John Lee Eberhardt, Clark County; murder.
March 4—William Anderson, Baker; relative reported to have shot officer; no specific charge against Anderson except was on road with gun and was relative of man who did shooting.
June 18—John Henry Williams, Colquitt County; murder and rape.

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

Monday, May 25, 2015

May 25, 1911: Laura Nelson and L. D. Nelson

Today we learn about a lynching in Oklahoma through the pages of The Salina Evening Journal (Salina, Kansas) dated May 25, 1911:


And Her 16-year Old Son for Murder of an Officer.

Oklahoma, Okla., May 25.—Laura Nelson, a negress and her son, 16 years old, were lynched here today. They shot a deputy sheriff who went to search their shanty for stolen goods.

The woman and her son were taken from the county jail early today by a mob whose members had first gagged and bound the jailer, Lawrence Payne. The bodies were found this morning hanging to the timbers of a bridge across the Canadian river. The Nelsons were placed in jail charged with the murder, two weeks ago of Deputy Sheriff George H. Loney.

The Indian Journal (Eufaula, Oklahoma) dated June 2, 1911:

Governor Cruce received a letter from Blakeney & Maxey of Shawnee, attorneys for Laura Nelson and L. D. Nelson, the negroes who were lynched at Okemah the other day transmitting a transcript of the testimony taken at the preliminary hearing, and asking the governor to take some action in the matter. The attorneys claim that the testimony did not even make out a prima facie case of murder against the negroes and that young Nelson shot Deputy Sheriff Loney as the latter was reaching for a shot gun, believing that the deputy was going to kill his father.

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

Sunday, May 24, 2015

May 24, 1893: William Sullivan

Today we learn about a Michigan lynching from Fayette County Leader (Fayette, Iowa) June 2, 1893:

A mob at Durand, Mich., lynched William Sullivan, the farmhand who brutally murdered his employer, Layton Leech, and murderously assaulted the latter's wife last January. Sullivan was captured in Detroit recently.

The Daily Times (New Brunswick, N. J.) dated May 24, 1893:


William Sullivan Almost Torn to Pieces by a Mob.

CORUNNA, Mich., May 24.—William Sullivan, the murderer of his employer, Mr. Leech, was taken last night from the jail here and lynched.

The mob almost tore him to pieces.

They stabbed him before hanging and the dragged his body in the road.

The Parsons Daily Sun (Parsons, Kansas) dated May 26, 1893:

Fresh Joke in Lynching.

CORUNNA, Mich, May 25.—The coroner's jury held an inquest to-day in the case of murderer William Sullivan, who was lynched last night. The verdict rendered was that he came to his death by suicide. No mention whatever was made in the verdict of lynching.

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

Saturday, May 23, 2015

May 23, 1900: Calvin Kimblern

Today we learn about a Colorado lynching. Our first article, found in the Altoona Tribune (Altoona, Pennsylvania) dated May 21, 1900, introduces us to the crime which led to the lynching.


If the Perpetrator is Caught He Certainly Will be Lynched.

PUEBLO, Col., May 20.—Frenzied by a jealous quarrel with his wife, Calvin Kimblern, colored, formerly a corporal in company M, Twenty-fifth United States infantry, this morning shot his wife twice and then deliberately put a revolver to the heads of 13-year-old Ethel Straussen and 11-year-old Jessie M. Skaggs, and fired, killing the latter girl instantly, the other girl living for some hours.

The couple were employed at the Fries Orphans' Home, of which the dead children were inmates. Early this morning they got into a quarrel in their bed room, and from that place the negro fired the first shot that took effect. The woman ran into a room where the two girls and five other children were sleeping. There he followed and beat his wife, awakening the children. Telling the girls he proposed to punish them for telling what he said were lies about him, he fired at them. On shot took effect in the Skaggs girl's left arm and the Straussen girl's left leg, the third burying itself in the head of the latter. The woman had by this time escaped the clutches of her husband.

The fiend, determined to complete his bloody work, put the gun to the Skaggs girl's head and fired, killing her instantly. In the girl's arms lay her baby brother, a year old. He was unhurt.

The Kimberlin woman will recover. Searching parties were organized and the trail of the criminal has been traced almost to Colorado Springs. If he is caught he will certainly be lynched if brought back to this city, so intense is the feeling.

Information about his arrest comes from The Red Cloud Chief (Red Cloud, Nebraska) dated May 25, 1900:


Unsafe to Return Negro Murderer to Pueblo.

Calvin Kimblern, the negro who shot his wife and murdered two children in the Fries orphans' home at Pueblo, Col., was captured in a saloon in Denver. He confessed his crime.

When it was learned at Pueblo that Calvin Kimblern had been arrested and would be taken to Pueblo crowds gathered at different points and it is certain that he will be lynched. The autopsy is said to have shown that the children were criminally assaulted before being murdered. 

Our final article comes from the Fayetteville Weekly Observer (Fayetteville, N. C.) dated May 24, 1900 and gives us details of the lynching.

Women Cheered Lynchers—Mob Held Up Train and Captured Negro.

By telegraph to the Observer.

Pueblo, Col., May 23—A mob of five thousand lynched Calvin Kimblern, the negro who assaulted and murdered two little white girls, inmates of the Pueblo Orphans' Home. The lynching occurred at half-past 1 this morning. Women cheered as the negro was swung to a telegraph pole. An official of the Rio Grand ordered all trains to be rushed past stations for fear the mob would board and seize the negro. The mob placed ties on the track and stopped two trains before they found the one the negro was on. They dragged him with a rope around his neck to a telegraph pole and was thrice strung up before the rope held.

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

Friday, May 22, 2015

May 22, 1898: Joe Mitchell and May 22, 1901: John Williamson and Milton Calvert

Our first lynching is brought to us by The Paducah Evening Sun (Paducah, Kentucky) dated May 23, 1898:


Joe Mitchell Hung by a Mob at Rives, Tenn.—Accused of Shoving Henry Garner Off a Train.

Caught at Newbern and Seized While En Route to Union City, Claimed He Was Not the Guilty Man.

Joe Mitchell, a well known colored brakeman on the Illinois Central, was lynched at Rives, Tenn., last night by a mob. Mitchell lived on North Twelfth street, in this city, and leaves a wife.

It was for the alleged death of a young, white tramp, who was run over by a train near Dyersburg, Tenn., and had both legs cut off, dying a short time after the amputation of the members. It is said that the lynching was a cold-blooded murder, as Mitchell had nothing to do with throwing the tramp off the train, which the tramp, in an antemortem statement, claimed he did. The conductor substantiates the negro, and the train men say Mitchell was not where he could have thrown the man off.

He was arrested and was being taken to Union City, the county seat, when a mob took charge of him at Rives, and quickly strung him up. The news soon reached this city, and the man's wife was notified of his death.

The name of the tramp was Henry Gardner, of Dyersburg. He had climbed aboard the train to ride home and was on top of the car when shoved off, or he fell off, whichever it was. The horrible accident occurred near the depot, and when picked up his right leg was cut off below the knee and the other above the knee. He soon died, but when found was conscious and told the manner of his death, and claimed that Mitchell pushed him off the train. A telegram was sent to Newbern to intercept the head brakeman, Mitchell, and he was caught there. He was en route to Union City in charge of officers  to be jailed and tried, when a small mob appeared at the depot at Rives, where the officers and prisoner were seated, and demanded custody of him to be dealt with as he should be for his crime. The officers declined to give him up at first, but the mob threatened to fire the depot and then riddled the man with bullets as he escaped. It was then that they wrested him from the officers and started outside with him. A rope was ready, and without giving him time to pray, they swung him up to a tree near the depot, and he was still hanging there at daylight.

The mob is said to have been composed largely of Dyersburg men or men from Dyer county. Little noise was made during the whole proceeding. The time of lynching was about 11:30 last night.

Mitchell's remains arrived in the city this afternoon at 2 o'clock, and will be buried here tomorrow. He had been with the railroad company for a number of years.

Our next article found in The Iola Register (Iola, Kansas) dated May 23, 1901 features two lynchings:


Two Negroes Are Strung Up in Mississippi Last Night. 

By Scripps-McRae Press Association.

Memphis, Tenn., May 23.—News has reached here that Milton Calvert, colored, was lynched near Griffith and the John Williamson was lynched near Pheba, Mississippi because he refused to quit living with a white woman.

Milton Calvert was lynched for rape, in case you were wondering. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

May 21, 1885: Albert Guess

Today we learn about a lynching in Ohio through the pages of The Hicksville News (Hicksville, Ohio) dated May 28, 1885:


An Ohio Murderer Taken from Jail and Hanged by a Mob of Infuriated Citizens.

The mining town of New Straitsville, Ohio, was last week the scene of a horrible double tragedy and lynching. Albert Guess, a conditionally paroled ex-convict, got into a difficulty with the City Marshal of the town, the trouble ending in Guess shooting the officer three times, inflicting a mortal wound. During the firing by the ex-convict a boy about 10 years of age was shot in the abdomen, also fatally. Guess was afterward captured and taken to jail. About 10 o'clock at night a band of nearly 200 armed and masked men went to the jail and demanded the prisoner. The officer refused to deliver the keys of the prison, but some of the mob took them from him by force and went into the cell, where Guess was confined. He fought like a savage when confronted by the angry crowd, but he was soon overpowered, and, at the head of the party, led to the outskirts of the town. Here a rope was thrown across a limb and the prisoner placed on the top of a barrel, with the rope about his neck. He was given five minutes to pray, which time he improved. Immediately afterward the barrel was kicked out from under him, and he was left dangling in the air. His contortions were terrible and before they ceased his body was riddled at the hands of the mob. After the hanging the crowd went back to town, scattered even more rapidly than they gathered, and the body of Guess was left dangling at the end of the rope.

Our first article of interest comes from the Harrisburg Daily Independent (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) dated May 21, 1884:

Secret Organization of Lynchers.

CHARLESTON, W. Va., May 21.—A rumor has been in circulation here for the last day or two that there exists a strong secret organization in this and the adjoining counties, having for its object the lynching of the five murderers now confined in the Kanawaha county jail. The authorities are extremely reticent on the subject.

Our second article of interest comes from the Pittsburgh Dispatch (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) dated May 22, 1892:


Negroes of Boston Taking Lessons of Anarchists, to Use in the South.

BOSTON, May 21.—The Boston Republican, printed by colored people in this city, has an article to-day to the effect that certain colored men of Cambridge and Boston, belonging to secret societies, have for some time been earnestly discussing the numerous lynchings of colored men in the South.

These men have been taking lessons from Socialists and Russians as to the making of dynamite bombs and other explosives, with which they propose to return to the South and take revenge unless these outrages are stopped. the men are bound together by a solemn oath, and indignantly refused to be classified as Anarchists.

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 20, 1903: Amos Randall, Dan Kennedy and Harry Golden

Today we learn about a triple lynching in Florida through the pages of The Gaffney Ledger (Gaffney, S. C.) dated May 22, 1903:


One White Man and Two Negroes Lynched.


Parties Who Ambushed and Murdered Barney Brown on Lonely Road in Polk County Are Riddled With Bullets.

Tampa, Fla., May 20.—Amos Randall, white; Dan Kennedy and Henry Golden, negroes, were lynched at Mulberry, Polk county, 30 miles from here early this morning for the murder of Barney Brown, a prominent white man.

Randall was charged with being the operator of a "blind tiger," and Brown was a prominent advocate of prohibition in the campaign which ended yesterday.

Monday night, while Brown was en route to his home he was shot from ambush and afterwards had his throat cut.

People of Mulberry became enraged and yesterday secured evidence which led them to believe that Randall had employed the negroes to kill Brown. The three men were taken in custody and one of the negroes confessed that Randall hired them to commit the crime.

The trio were taken out about 3 o'clock this morning and lynched, their bodies being riddled with bullets.

It is said the work was done by a mob of about 50 unmasked men, many said to be the most prominent in the county.

In case you had never heard of a blind tiger (I didn't until about a year and a half ago), Merriam-Webster defines blind tiger as a place that sells intoxicants illegally. The first known use of blind tiger was in 1857. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 19, 1918: Mary Turner and unborn child

Yesterday I introduced the story of Mary Turner's lynching. Today I am copying articles reporting on opinions about the lynching. Our first article comes to us from the Cayton's Weekly (Seattle, Washington) dated June 8, 1918:


Some of the white subscribers of Cayton's Weekly living in Seattle felt that its criticism of the cowardly whelps of the South, who lynch colored women, was too severe and became so incensed at what it said that they ordered their papers discontinued, but if they thought what we said was too severe, listen to what papers published by white men and in the South at that, have to say on the subject:

"The (Augusta, Ga.) Chronicle need waste no words in expressing its horror of the detestable and cowardly attack committed by a party of Lowndes County outlaws, who, on Sunday afternoon last, took from her home a woman—whose husband had been lynched the night before—hanged her to a tree and riddled her body with bullets, because, forsooth, she had made unwise remarks about the unlawful killing of her husband.

"All civilized people must stand aghast at such a crime, and who does not is at heart a criminal and a coward. So much, then, for this crime against the State of Georgia, against society, against humanity and against God.

"The only thing worth discussing, in view of all the condemnation that similar crimes and lynching in general have received from right-thinking press and people of this and all other states—in which The Chronicle has, heretofore, performed its full duty to the public, when some others failed—the only thing worth discussing now, we say, is—what is the State of Georgia going to do about it?

"First of all, what is the governor of Georgia going to do? For, of all the governors who have served Georgia since the war—or since lynching became a more or less, popular pastime in this State—it will seem to most people that he is more obligated, if that be possible, to put down lynching than any of his predecessors.

"For we cannot forget that Governor Dorsey was swept into the governor's chair by the lynching sentiment of the State. Not meaning, of course, that all the people who voted for him were lynchers in practice or sentiment, but saying and meaning that without this sentiment back of him, he might still be solicitor-general of the Atlanta circuit.

"We cannot forget, nor can it be denied, that his elevation to the governorship was the direct and immediate result of the Leo Frank lynching.

"Nor can we get away from the fact, that, following this upheaval of lawless sentiment, lynching followed lynching in this State—until Georgia soon won, and has held ever since, the lynching record of the country.

"And right here, it may be recalled that this is not the first time a Negro woman has been lynched in Georgia;  another case of very recent time being the cruel and cowardly lynching of a Negro mother at, or near, Leary, Ga., for committing the horrible  crime of trying to protect her son from an unmerciful beating.

"This and scores upon scores of other lynchings that have occurred in this State within recent years have gone absolutely unpunished. A protest from the press, an expression of disapproval, here and there, from the public, the perfunctory offering of rewards for the lynchers—and there was an end to it.

"Not a single individual has been made to pay the penalty for these crimes. Not a serious effort has been made to apprehend and punish the perpetrators of them.

"Is it any wonder then—assuming that men can be found who are so cowardly and inhuman as to take part in such outrages—that lynchings continue to occur in Georgia?

"Is it to be expected that they will grow fewer in number, or cease altogether, until somebody in Georgia does something to bring to the gallows the brutes who participate in them?

"Alas! that Georgia permitted herself to be set aflame a few years ago with the lynching fever. Alas! that, at that time, The Chronicle was the only daily newspaper that dared to wage a crusade against this unlawful sentiment, and to conduct a systematic expose of the motives and mendacity of the men who were responsible for it;  a service to its state for which reprisals were attempted against The Chronicle such as have been directed against any newspaper in Georgia.

"Georgia then sowed the wind—and she has since been reaping the whirlwind ever since.

"Is it not, we ask, peculiarly up to Governor Dorsey to use every agency of his high office—and if these be not enough, to use his tongue and pen and every power of his position—to put down lynching in Georgia;  to help redeem his state from such lawlessness as felt itself justified and glorified by his election?

"And Lowndes County!—one of the most prosperous and progressive counties in the state;  with as cultured and noble people in it as are to be found anywhere on earth—what will be its answer? What will its good people do to punish this crime of crimes and, in a measure at least, wipe away this stain?

"Or are such people outnumbered within its borders? Must its law-officers give more heed to the ignorant and lawless of its population than to those who have made Lowndes county what it is?—one of the best counties in Georgia? It remains to be seen.

"But, when we recall that Lowndes, with its neighboring county of Brooks, has been the hotbed of anti-dip-vat sentiment;  that many of its citizens deliberately dynamited government operated plants for eradicating the cattle tick in that county—and when we see, at this very time, that in the published list of deserters under the draft law, Lowndes county easily leads all the rest, any forty other counties, in fact with 211 deserters—we are compelled to confess that we fear for the power and influence of its better element and, really, look for little or nothing to be done toward apprehending and punishing the cowardly murderers of Mary Turner, the poor black woman who made unwise remarks about the lynching of her husband;  a new capital offense in Georgia, as Major Joseph B. Cumming so scathingly refers to this Lowndes county lynching in a card, published in yesterday's Chronicle, that nobly voices the best sentiment of all real Georgians."

"Stain on Democracy"

Says the Charleston Gazette of Charleston, W. Va.:

"There are so many sidelights to our national character that we turn automatically hot and cold with self pride, but fortunately the thermometer registers high. We stood on the streets only a day ago and witnessed a remarkable spectacle in our own city when 5,000 colored men and women, led by bands, one a soldier organization from a catonment, march through the city street in a patriotic demonstration. The thrill of pride that we all had in this race, which at the best is fighting under a great handicap, was dampened by a sense of shame we felt when the papers carried a news item of another lynching in the South where a crazy mob of white men perpetrated another outrage on the Negroes.

"There can be no extenuating circumstances for lynching. The fact that a major crime has been committed is not a license for embracing lynch law, but rather is a reflection upon the lynchers, illiterate, ignorant, prejudiced as they are in most instances. There can be no defense for any crime committed by a Negro or white man, but the law provides for punishment and the execution of this law is vested in authorities, not in the mob. This mob spirit is still confined almost exclusively to the South, where a population is still ignorant of the fact that the only real asset it has in its comparatively cheap labor which lies in the hands of its colored population.

"The race problem is still confined to the South, which resents any attempts to suggest a solution. The exodus from Dixie of the Negro would soon awaken the South to an appreciation of the fact that it takes just such labor as that of the Negro to plant, cultivate and pick its cotton crop. Any other kind of labor would make the price of cotton prohibitive, yet the South is still trying to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

"The race question in the South is an economic one and the South would do well to try to clean some of its dirty linen in its attitude toward the Negro. The great area of the South is fitted for nothing but the production of cotton, and despite every effort to diversify its crops cotton is still king and will remain so, although a diversification could become a fact but for climatic and other conditions which are natural barriers which cannot be overcome.

"The Negroes of the nation are giving the world a fine example of patriotism. One banner which was carried int he parade here the other day contained the motto:

"'We never had a traitor.'

"This is to the credit of the Negro race, and encouragement should be given them. This encouragement should not be manifest in lynching."

The Appeal (St. Paul, Minnesota) dated June 22, 1918:


Henry Johnson, a colored soldier of Albany, New York, has been cited and decorated by the French military authorities for what the French general of division terms "a magnificent example of courage and energy." With him was Needham Roberts, another colored man. "Both men fought bravely," says Pershing in his official report of the exploit.

On the same day that the cables from France brought the news of Johnson's and Rober6t's heroism, the wires from Valdosta, Georgia, brought the story of a lynching of a colored woman, Mary Turner by name, because she had attempted to resist the lynching of her husband.

This coincidence has moved the New York World to inquire:  "With tens of thousands of American colored men fighting for civilization in France under the American flag, how much longer are the American people to tolerate lynching of colored men and women?

The answer is easy. Lynchings of colored people will be tolerated in the South—where they occur almost exclusively—so long as the political party to which the New York World adheres is permitted to deprive colored citizens of their right to vote and thus, through the exercise of their civil rights, to protect their rights to property and life.

The Kansas City Sun (Kansas City, Missouri) dated August 10, 1918:


The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, through its secretary, John R. Shillady, of New York, announces that the names of two ringleaders and fifteen other participants in one of the mobs which lynched the first two of the eleven victims of the five days' lynching orgy which took place in Brooks and Lowndes Counties, Georgia, from May 17 to May 22, were put before Governor Hugh M. Dorsey of Georgia, in person, by Walter F. White, assistant secretary of the association, who spent four days in South Georgia investigating the affair. A full report of Mr. White's findings, which were of a sensational character, were at the same time placed before Governor Dorsey. The summary of the association's report which follows below states that eleven  authenticated cases of lynching instead of six as reported in the press at the time, were discovered by their investigator. The report describes the lynching of Mary Turner, the wife of one of the first victims, which was most revolting and brutal. The eleven persons lynched met their fate as the result of mob frenzy, following the killing of Hampton Smith, a white farmer, and the wounding of his wife, on May 16. One of the men lynched is said by the Association to have stated to several persons interviewed by Mr. White that he alone did the shooting and that no others were implicated.

The association says that Mr. White's findings were submitted to Governor Dorsey at the latter's request on July 10 and that a copy was mailed the President for his information a few days ago.

In making public the results of the Assistant Secretary's investigations into the South Georgia lynchings, Mr. Shillady, the Secretary, said that the Association was gratified beyond measure at the recent magnificent pronouncement of President Wilson in condemnation of the mob spirit and lynching.

"The Association appreciates," said Mr. Shillady, "as perhaps no other organization in the country can, the full meaning of the danger which President Wilson seeks to avoid when he calls upon the 'governors of all the states, the law officers of every community in the United States * * * to make an end of this disgraceful evil.'

"The lynching of Negroes," said Mr. Shillady, "had become so much a habit in certain sections of our country that the President's prestige was needed to give impetus to the movement to overcome it. Governor Dorsey, who in his message to the Georgia Legislature on July 3 denounced mob violence in strong terms, and the State of Georgia are now challenged to measure up the President Wilson's great appeal. In one memorable sentence President Wilson has put it squarely up to each community. As the President says, 'it (lynching and mob violence) cannot live where the community does not countenance it.'"

A summary of the report follows:

"Instead of six victims of the mobs which ranged over Brooks and Lowndes Counties from May 17 to May 22, eleven authenticated cases were discovered during an investigation of the circumstances surrounding the killing of Hampton Smith, a white farmer of Brooks County, Georgia, and the wounding of his wife near Barney, Georgia, on May 16, and of the lynchings which followed. Press dispatches at the time named Will Head, Will Thompson, Hayes Turner, Mary Turner, his wife;  Eugene Rice and Syndney Johnson;  the latter of whom had stated before he was captured to several persons interviewed that he alone was implicated in the affair and that the five who had been previously lynched (the five already named) were not involved in it. Five additional victims were found, Chime Riley, Simon Schuman and three unidentified Negroes whose bodies were taken from the Little River just below Quitman, Georgia, about a week after they had been lynched. Negroes of the neighborhood told the investigator that there were eighteen victims but no more than eleven could be authenticated.

"More than 500 Negroes have left the region since the outbreak, so that a number of Negroes who were said by acquaintances to have mysteriously disappeared could not be located nor their whereabouts ascertained and are not included in the investigator's findings. hundred of acres of once productive lands are now overrun with weeds and dozens of farm houses and cabins deserted by their former occupants, despite the threats involved in the statements of the mobs that any Negro attempting to leave the region would be considered to be involved in the killing of Smith.

"Chime Riley was lynched and clay turpentine cups, used to catch the gum when turpentine trees are cut, were tied to his body and the body thrown into the Little River, near Barney, Ga. Simon Schuman was called out of his house near Berlin, Ga., on the Moultrie Road, at night and has not been seen since. The interior of his house, as well as the furniture, was completely demolished.

"The story of Mary Turner's fate was related to the investigator by men who affirmed that they were present at her death and is related with every desire to avoid the gruesome except as is necessary in giving the facts.

"Mary Turner, wife of Hayes Turner, who had been reported by the press as having been lynched because of 'unwise remarks' concerning the lynching of her husband and who was approaching confinement, was tied down by the ankles and hung head downward. Gasoline was taken from the automobiles of the lynching party and poured on her clothing, which was then burned from her person. After her clothes had burned off she was disemboweled and her unborn child fell from her womb, and while still alive, was crushed by the heel of a member of the mob. The woman's body was riddles with bullets from high powered rifles until it was unrecognizable. She was buried ten feet from the tree and at the head of her grave was placed a whiskey bottle with a cigar stump in the neck of it. A photograph  of the grave as described is in the possession of the Association for the Advancement of Colored People."

In case you are unfamiliar with the Leo Frank lynching mentioned earlier, you can find a post about it here. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.    

Monday, May 18, 2015

May 18, 1918: Hayes Turner

Today we learn about a lynching in Georgia. This case has many victims which are spread over several days. By the time Hayes Turner was lynched, three other men had already shared the same fate. I tried to find an article specifically about Hayes Turner, but I couldn't. I assumed it is because of the amount of war coverage, so I am sharing an article from The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated May 20, 1918 about both Hayes and Mary Turner's lynchings. I will share more about Mary Turner's lynching tomorrow.


Mary Turner, Wife of Hayes Turner, Hanged Saturday Night, Met Same Fate Sunday Afternoon, Making Fifth Victim.

Valdosta. Ga., May 19.—Mary Turner, wife of Hayes Turner, was hanged this afternoon at Folsom's bridge over Little river, about sixteen miles north of Valdosta. Hayes Turner was hanged at the Okapilco river in Brooks county last night. His wife, it is claimed made unwise remarks today about the execution of her husband and the people in their indignant mood took exceptions to her remarks, as well as her attitude, and without waiting for nightfall took her to the river where she was hanged and her body riddled with bullets.

It is also claimed that a gold watch belonging to the murdered man, Hampton Smith, was found in her possession and that the plot to kill had been laid at her house.

This makes five persons lynched in this section as a result of the Smith tragedy at Barney. All of Sydney Johnson's relatives, including his mother and father, were landed in jail here last night. Tonight, owing to the increased feeling among the people, the jail is being strongly guarded to prevent trouble. Besides the chase after Sidney Johnson, posses are tonight looking for other negroes in this section and feeling among both white and black seems to be growing more intense.

On Thursday night two negroes stole a shotgun from Hampton Smith at Barney and shot and killed Smith in his home. Mrs. Smith fled from the house and was attacked. She awoke the following morning in a creek and went to a negro cabin for aid. Those who investigated her story found Smith's body and the negroes, farm hands, had disappeared.

Since then the farming section of that part of the state has been greatly aroused.

A double guard was placed around the jail tonight.

It was learned tonight that posses are searching for still another negro besides Johnson known as Julius. This negro, it is said, aided Johnson to escape from the posse last night.

The three men previously lynched were William Head, William Thompson and Eugene Rice. Thank you for joining me and as always, i hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

May 17, 1892: Jim Redmond, Gus Robinson (Roberts), Bob Anderson (Addison) and Jim Taylor

Today we learn about two different lynchings from one article. The first involves three men lynched in Georgia and the second covers a lynching in Maryland. These lynchings are reported in The Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois) dated May 19, 1892:


Three Negroes Strung Up in Georgia and One in Maryland.

CLARKSVILLE, Ga., May 18.—Jim Redmond and his two accomplices, all colored, who murdered Marshal Carter of Toccoa, were taken from jail at 2 o'clock Tuesday morning and lynched. They were strung up to a tree just outside the town and their bodies riddled with bullets. The bodies have not yet been removed.

CHESTERTOWN, Md., May 18.—The negro ravisher, Jim Taylor, who on Sunday brutally assaulted little 11-year-old Nellie Silcox, daughter of Farmer John Silcox, near Kennedyville, this county, was taken from the jail Tuesday night by a crowd of nearly one hundred armed citizens and hanged.

The Atlanta Constitution informs us about the murder of Marshal Carter and the names of Jim Redmond's accomplices in the May 11, 1892 edition:


Are Discovered by the Marshal of Toccoa,


Four Negroes Are Now Under Arrest and There May Be a Lynching. A Mysterious Case.

Toccoa, Ga., May 10.—(Special.)—Marshal Carter, who has been the faithful guardian of Toccoa for the past ten years, was found dead in the middle of the main street leading from the depot this morning, shortly after daylight.

The man's head had been battered to pieces, the skull having been broken into many fragments.

Four negroes, well known about town, are under arrest, and there is every reason to believe that they are the murderers of Marshal Carter.

And there is just as much reason to believe that the marshal was murdered because he detected the four negroes trying to blow open the Toccoa National bank vault last night.

Marshal Carter has been a trusted, honored citizen of Toccoa for years and has done much valuable work in preventing and detecting crime. Last night he went about his work as usual. About 3 o'clock this morning Dr. West was called from his bed to visit a very sick patient and went to his office for some medicine. While the doctor was in his office Marshal Carter entered, saying

"Doctor, I think some one has been trying to break into Howell's store. Can't you lend me a light?"

Dr. West had only a candle which he gave the marshal who walked out with it burning. Shortly after that, the doctor encountered the marshal in the street with some one and called to him asking:

"Who is that you have Carter?"

"Jim Redmond," was the answer.

The doctor went on to see his patient, and a half hour later passed near the bank on his way home. Half way between the bank and the railroad the doctor saw some one lying in the street and heard him groan. He called to the man, and receiving no answer concluded that he was drunk. Then he called for Marshal Carter two or three times, but receiving no response went home.

When the dead marshal was found this morning, he was in the same place Dr. West had seen the man whom he thought was drunk.

Shortly after the dead marshal was found it was ascertained that the bank had been broken open, and that an attempt had been made to get into the vault.

An investigation showed tracks around the dead man. Without any trouble the tracks were followed to the railroad, and in an empty box car was found a long piece of iron covered with blood and hair.

That piece of iron proved to be the tool with which the marshal had been killed.

The tracks were followed from the car to Jim Redmond's home. Redmond was there and was arrested. At first he was very stolid and indifferent, but subsequently talked enough to induce the officers to arrest Gus Roberts, Bob Anderson and Will Bruce. The stories these three negroes told were conflicting, and finally resulted in a confession from all that they had robbed the bank.

But every one denied any knowledge of the cause leading to the death of the marshal.

The coroner is now holding an inquest.

While trying to find the names of the two accomplices which were also lynched, I came across an article in The Scranton Republican (Scranton, Pennsylvania) dated May 19, 1892 which gives us more detail of both lynchings:




The Three Men Left Hanging on the Same Tree—A Jail Broken Into in Maryland—A Negro Dragged Out and Hanged.

ATLANTA, Ga, May 18.—Details of the lynching at Clarksville of Jim Redmond, Gus Robinson and Bob Anderson, colored, for the murder of Marshal Carter has been received. They were taken from the jail by a mob estimated at from 100 to 500, who overpowered the Sheriff and his guards. Redmond and Addison [sic] begged piteously for mercy, but Robinson never opened his mouth. The negroes were carried about a mile and a half from the jail and the mob stopped. Three long trace chains and three padlocks were produced, and the chains were locked around the negroes' necks. Then Redmond was made to stand upon a horse under a limb of a tree. A man who had climbed the tree made the chain fast and Redmond was questioned about the killing. He repeated the same story he first told.

"Let the horse go," said the leader of the mob. Some one touched the horse with a whip and he sprang from under Redmond. As the negro went down he exclaimed:  "Lord have mercy on my soul." Addison came next, but he denied all knowledge of the crime. Just before the horse moved, he dropped off and fell the full length of the chain. Robinson was put upon the horse and asked the same questions which had been propounded to the others. "All I know I'll die and go to — knowing," he said, "before I'll tell." The horse was touched and Robinson went down. His neck was broken, while the other two died of strangulation. The bodies were left hanging side by side until 3 o'clock this afternoon. The verdict was death from unknown hands.

Strung Up in Maryland.

WILMINGTON, Del., May 18.—At 9:40 o'clock a body of masked men marched out of the Crawford House yard at Chestertown, Md., armed with a sledge hammer, axes, guns, muskets and pistols and directly to the side door of the jail. The crowd demanded of the Sheriff that the door be opened, but this demand not being complied with the sledge hammer was brought into use and the door was soon broken open. The crowd then rushed inside and the prisoners in the various cells could be heard shouting :  "For God's sake, get the right man." Taylor's cell having been located, the men commenced at once to break the door open. It finally gave way and the crowd rushed in and quickly overpowered Deputy Sheriff Plummer and the others who were on guard. A light was procured and Taylor was seen seated on the bed with his coat and shoes on. Having fully satisfied themselves that they had the right man, a rope was quickly put around his neck and he was pulled down the steps and out of the jail yard into a cross street. When the crowd reached a point between the Rockwell House and the Armstrong Hotel the rope was thrown over the limb of a tree and Taylor was soon swinging in the air. Again and again he was pulled up until life was extinct beyond all doubt. 

Nellie Silcox, the eleven year-old victim of the negro's brutality, died yesterday.

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

Saturday, May 16, 2015

May 16, 1882: Joseph E. Jenkins and Eugene Azar

Today we learn about a double lynching in Louisiana through the pages of The Holton Recorder (Holton, Kansas dated May 25, 1882:

JOSEPH E. JENKINS, who murdered his brother-in-law, Castile, was taken from jail at St. Martinsville, La., the other day, by a mob of some 200 persons, who dragged him to the scene of the murder and lynched him. On their way they seized Azar (colored), who was out on bond, charged with killing a young man, and hanged him on the same tree. Great excitement prevailed, and the Governor offered a reward of $2,000 for the arrest and conviction of any person or persons engaged in the lynching.

Our next article is found under a column titled Crime Chapter in The Weekly Wisconsin (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) dated May 31, 1882:

A REIGN of terror exists in St. Martin's Parish, La., over the lynching of Joseph E. Jenkins and Eugene Azar, a negro, on the 16th inst. Bands of armed negroes are going about in St. Martinsville swearing vengeance, and a war of races is dreaded. Sixteen of the lynchers have been arrested, and are now in the parish jail. The lynching of the two men was particularly atrocious. Jenkins' hands were not tied, and when he grasped the rope, the crowd rushed on him with clubs and broke both of his arms. His wife, who was among the spectators, also earnestly begged for his life. He had, a week previously, waylaid his brother-in-law, Raphael Castille, near Breaux bridge, and shot and killed him. Azar had been arrested some time previous for killing a man at Vallery Thibideaux; but at the inquest the killing appeared to have been in self-defense, and he was out on  $300 bail.

I couldn't find any articles about the consequences to the 16 lynchers arrested. More than likely, there were none. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Friday, May 15, 2015

May 15, 1886: Dan and Lou Mann

Today we learn about a Florida lynching through the pages of The News (Frederick, Maryland) dated May 17, 1886:

Two Men Lynched in Florida.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., May 17.—A special says Dan and Lou Mann, white, who murdered Marshal Campbell and wounded officer McCormick at Bartow Saturday, were lynched late that night. A crowd of two hundred men broke into the jail and took the prisoners to a tree near by. While stringing up Dan Mann, Lou got lose and ran. He was promptly winged and strung up to the same limb. The coroner cut them down, and a verdict was rendered of death by violence at the hands of unknown parties. Very little secrecy was observed by the mob. McCormick will recover.

Our article of interest comes from the Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) dated May 16, 1885:



HELENA, Ark., May 15.—[Special.]—A story is told by some citizens of Friar's Point which shows a terrible state of affairs in that village. The report is that about ten days ago an old Chinaman was beaten severely by two or three citizens and ordered to leave town, which he started to do, going on the wharf-boat to wait for a boat. The self-authorized vigilants [sic] were not satisfied at this, however, and went to the wharf, caught the Chinaman, threw him into the river, and on his failing to drown as quickly as they desired shot him to death. The perpetrators of the murder claim that the Chinaman assaulted a young white girl, the daughter of one of the lynchers; but other citizens say he meant no harm to the girl and did nothing to alarm her, only putting his hand on her face to attract her attention. The names of the parties connected with the affair cannot be ascertained, but they are prominent citizens, and the body of the Chinaman has been found and some of his slayers arrested. The town is said to be divided into two factions:  one desiring to shield the criminals and the other endeavoring to have the law enforced.

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

Thursday, May 14, 2015

May 14, 1900: William Willis

Today we learn about a lynching in Georgia through the pages of The Wilmington Messenger (Wilmington, N. C.) dated May 15, 1900:




A Young White Man on a Street Car at Augusta, Ga., Resents the Insult of a Negro and Is Killed—The Negro Arrested—Officers Start to Atlanta with Him—The Train Met by a Party at a Near-by Depot and the Murderer Lynched.

Augusta, Ga., May 14.—Aleck Whitney, aged 25 years, a society leader and popular young man, was shot and killed on a street carat 7:30 o'clock p. m. by William Willis, a negro, in a dispute about a seat in the car. Much excitement, but not much fear of lynching.

. . .

Whitney and a friend  were riding on the electric belt  line when two negroes got on the car, one taking a seat in front and one sitting down on Whitney's lap. Whitney told the negro there was no m,more room before he sat down, but was paid no attention to. He shoved the negro up, telling him he could not sit there. the negro's friend, Willis, who was in the seat in front, said, " — it, sit there anyhow."

Whitney slapped the negro with the back of his hand and a scuffle ensued. Willis, who was not in the scuffle, drew a revolver and fired, the ball striking Whitney below the left eye. He died a few minutes after.

Large crowds soon collected and a special detail of twenty-five policemen with rifles were sent to guard the jail.

Willis was secretly  put on the Georgia railroad train, but a number of citizens had boarded the train also and when grovetoown was reached a telephone message having been previously sent to collect a crowd the negro was taken off the train by them. This is the latest report, but a lynching is sure to follow if not already accomplished.

Augusta, Ga., May 14.—William Willis, a negro, who shot and killed Alex Whitney, a popular
young man of this city yesterday afternoon, was lynched near here at 1:20 o'clock. The mob which disposed of Willis took him from Richmond county officers, who boarded a train for Atlanta soon after the murder was committed for the purpose of bringing him to a place of safety. The mob held Willis in the woods in Grovetown awaiting identification. He was s[w]ung from a tree. the rope broke in the first attempt and a second was made which was successful. the body was then riddled with bullets and a placard was placed upon it bearing a warning to other negroes. The coroner was notified and is now investigating.

Governor Candler was informed early in the day of the prospects of lynching and ordered four companies of state troops stationed here to [prepare] themselves in readiness to prevent any violence by the mob. Judge Brinson, of the superior court, called the grand jury together to prevent any outbreak but before these precautions could be effective the negro had been lynched. Alex. Whitney was on a crowded street car yesterday afternoon when Willis and another negro boarded it. No seats were available and one of the negroes sat in Whitney's lay [sic]. Whitney struck the negro and Willis suddenly commenced firing with a pistol. the first shot struck Whitney in the head, causing almost instant death. the second grazed the hand of Lieutenant Steiner, of the Georgia state troops.

Willis was overpowered and, later, placed in the hands of the officers.

A company of business men sent a notice to the city authorities that the law requiring street railways to furnish separate accommodations for white persons and negroes was not being enforced. It was stated that the military, which would be ordered to protect Willis in case of mob violence, would refuse to do so, as Whitney was a prominent member of the organization. 

Our second article is an excellent example of white privilege. It comes to us through the May 16, 1900 edition of The Houston Post (Houston, Texas):


Last Sunday evening William Willis, a negro, was lynched in Georgia. On Saturday he had shot to death a popular young white man of Augusta in a crowded street car. The frenzy with which the deed was committed was without provocation. Willis and a companion was told by the murdered man that there was no room for another on the seat he sought to occupy. Willis advised his friend to take a seat anyhow. The ill-mannered advice was immediately acted upon and the negro crowded down into the white man's lap. The white man promptly slapped him in the face. Willis drew his pistol and began firing at the white man who had but resented a brutal assault and who fell dead under the first shot. This is the story as the newspapers print it. It is not questioned. It must be true.

Now look out for a howl from the intermeddlers, who are ever attempting to solve for the South its racial problem, about Southern lynchings of the poor, defenseless negro.

We have naught to say about the lynching of the man Willis except to condemn it. The law should have obtained [sic] and Willis given a hearing before a jury of his peers, albeit the provocation was so insufficient as to have very probably provoked mob violence had the murderer, like his victim, been white. There are suggestions growing out of this affair in diabolism of which it is timely to treat, in view of all the discussion now hinging about the race issue.

There is a law in Augusta that requires street car companies to provide separate accommodations for white and black. The company which has violated this law and the authority which has permitted it to do so are gravely culpable with the murderer, in this instance. Had the one observed and the other enforced the law the white man would not have been murdered and Willis not lynched. What was the reason of this law? A good one and the same that is behind the separate coach law in Texas—to provide every means within the power of legislation to avoid conflict between the races, whenever they are thrown together, in any save voluntary association. The white man in the South will not occupy a seat with a negro if he can avoid it. The time will not come within the life of living man, and ought not to, when he will change his mind on this subject. if the white man objects to companionship of the negro in his travels he resents enforced negro contact on street car, railway line or elsewhere with his wife and children. He is right about it and, whether he is, all the rabid rantings of all the sensational mongers of all the Eastern and Northern centers in America can not change this view any more than they can put aside the work of Deity and reconstruct human nature. The negro knows this as well as does his Southern white neighbor. He moreover knows that he must keep the place assigned him in the social system by his white neighbor. Knowing these things it is incomprehensible that members of his race are from time to time found who insist upon forcing themselves on their white neighbors on the vulgar theory that they are "as good as the white man" and that the white man's determination to deny them fellowship is predicated in a brutal purpose to humiliate and discourage them.

No self-respecting white man int he South recalls with a shudder a time when, in almost all our towns, there were negroes who sought to obtrude themselves on the whites. that time, happily for both parties to the condition, has practically ceased to exist. It is only when some insolent creature, made with superficial education and swollen with the fancy that he is fashioned to do as he pleases, walks the boards that trouble is engendered between white and black.

The negro must learn that he can not rise to worthy place in American citizenship nor in social status except by the route of merit which has been imposed by God and man upon every race of men that has risen and fallen since the dawn of creation. his white neighbor has attained the civilization he struggles to imitate by that route. The negro must travel it too. When he shall plant his feet bravely in the path he will eventually reach the goal of his greater emancipation. Not before. Meanwhile let him bear well in mind that his white neighbor of the South who gives him advice knows him better, and is his surer friend, than the sentimental idiot of the North or of his own race who counsels him to rebellion against social laws as inexorable as Divine decree.

I feel like I need to take a shower after typing such drivel. Thank you for joining me and as always, i hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

May 13, 1884: Hardy Grady

Today we learn about a lynching in Georgia from the Harrisburg Daily Independent (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) dated May 14, 1884:

Taken from Jail and Lynched.

By United Press over Private Wire.

SAVANNAH, Ga., Hardy Grady, a negro, who a day or two ago attempted to assault a prominent white lady in Effingham county, was taken from jail at Springfield, Monday night by a large force of citizens and hanged to a tree. A placard was pinned to his coat warning other negroes to avoid his fate.

A more in depth article comes from The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated May 15, 1884:


A Companion in Crime Chained to the Corpse—Action of Judge Adams.

SAVANNAH, Ga., May 15.—[Special.]—Last night Hardy Grady, the negro who attempted the outrage on Mrs. E. G. Hinley, near Springfield, Effingham county, was forcibly taken from the guards and lynched. The outrage was committed on the 17th of April, and the scoundrel escaped. He was pursued and subsequently captured and brought to this jail for safe-keeping.On Monday, together with other prisoners, he was taken to Springfield for trial, Judge Adams presiding. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced by Judge Adams to twenty years in the penitentiary.Grady laughed at the sentence, and expressed his satisfaction at getting off so easy. There were rumors that an attempt would be made to lynch him, and Judge Adams gave direction that he should be carefully guarded. As there is no jail in the place, Grady was chained to a negro named Clark, who was sentenced to three years, and confined in a room in the courthouse, and guarded by four men. Yesterday morning early, Clark, who was ill, asked the guards to take him out, and Grady, who was chained to him, was taken also. They had left the room but a short distance when the crowd of men rushed upon them, overpowering the guards. The prisoners were pulled over a fence, a rope placed over Grady's neck and thrown over a limb., and Grady was hoisted about three feet from the ground and strangled to death, and left hanging with poor Clark manacled to the corpse. Judge Adams, on opening court yesterday, called the grand jury together and commenting on the lynching of a few hours previous, urged on them  the importance of investigating and bringing the lynchers to justice. While the defiance of law is condemned, yet the sentiment of Effingham is that Grady, who has been guilty of several similar outrages, met a deserved fate.

The date seems to be in confusion, so I chose to go with the date listed in The Chicago Tribune lists of lynchings for 1884. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.