Tuesday, June 30, 2015

April, 1893: Thomas Tarpley

Today we learn about a lynching by white caps through the The Indianapolis News (Indianapolis, Indiana) dated April 26, 1893:

KILLED BY WHITE CAPS.

Tom Tarpley, Warned to Leave the Locality, Failed To Obey.

PULASKI, Tenn., April 25.—Tom Tarpley, of Verona, was notified by White Caps two weeks ago to leave the locality, or he would be hanged. He disregarded the threat, and at the end of the time mysteriously disappeared. Diligent search was made for him, but no trace could be found, and it was concluded he had obeyed the order at the last moment.

A day or two ago, while Joe Tillman was squirrel-hunting near Berlin, which is not far from Verona, he was walking through the woods looking up into the trees, when he came face to face with Tarpley, apparently standing erect. He soon saw that Tarpley had been hanged and dead for some time. The stretching of the rope and his body had let his feet to the ground. The White Caps had executed their threat.


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

Monday, June 29, 2015

February 17, 1886: George Robinson

Today's featured lynching comes to us through the pages of The Lawrence Daily Journal (Lawrence, Kansas) dated February 19, 1886:

LOUISIANA JUSTICE.

A Colored Murderer Taken From Jail and Hanged.

NEW ORLEANS, February 18.—George Robinson, colored, who killed Millard Parker, on the 11th of December last, was taken last night from the parish jail at Monroe, this state, by a mob of one hundred men, carried to the scene of killing and lynched. Robinson became involved some months ago in a quarrel with two white men, one of them Parker by name. In this quarrel he himself was hurt but succeeded in hitting Parker with brass knuckles, injuring him. The next night a party of Parker's friends, six in number, went out to give Robinson a whipping. He locked himself within the house, whereupon they broke in the door. He escaped by the back door which Millard Parker was guarding, and in the struggle which ensued, shot Parker through his heart, killing him and making good his escape to Bolivar, Miss. He was arrested there Saturday by the sheriff of Ouachite parish and brought back to Monroe jail, whence he was taken last night and lynched.


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

Saturday, June 27, 2015

March 28, 1895: Unknown Negro

Today we learn about a Mississippi lynching through the pages of The Daily News (Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania) dated March 29, 1895:

Lynched for Trivial Cause.

JACKSON, Miss., March 29.—In the southwestern portion of this county three young ladies en route to an entertainment in company with their little brother were overtaken by an unknown negro, who requested that they let him ride. They declined, and he undertook to force himself into the vehicle, but they beat him off. Arriving at the entertainment they told what had happened, and a posse was organized. They found the negro and riddled him with bullets.


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

Friday, June 26, 2015

August 23, 1913: Unknown Negro

Today we learn about a lynching in Alabama through the pages of The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated August 25, 1913:

Unknown Negro Lynched.

Birmingham, Ala., August 24.—An unknown negro was lynched last night near Kilgore, a station on the Louisville and Nashville railroad 25 miles north of Birmingham. The body was found hanging under a trestle this morning. The sheriff's forces today were unable to find who did it or to get any facts about any crime in that section which might have lead to a lynching. They are still working on the case.


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

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Little Something Different

In light of recent events and calls for the removal of the Confederate flag from state houses, combined with heated defense of said flag; I am sharing a recent Facebook post of mine today.

I understand the need to whitewash history. After all, that is what brought about the Lost Cause and altered the history that every southern student was taught. Unfortunately, rose colored glasses do not help with reality. The south fought to ensure “States' Rights.” I was taught this as was every other southern student. If you finish the thought, however, the south fought for the right of the states to allow slavery as an institution. Slavery as an institution, helped build our entire nation. The south benefited, the north benefited. The plantation owners grew rich on the backs of slaves and the industrial movement happened because of the products the slaves produced which were then sent north to the mills. It is one thing to want to honor your heritage, but when your heritage encroached on the lives of other people, maybe it is time to find a different way to honor your ancestors. Not every one owned slaves, that is very true. However, it doesn't change the fact that slaves are what the south was fighting for. Reconstruction was not handled well, which led to the Lost Cause and the romanticizing of by-gone days. I have read the slave narratives. Most of the former slaves certainly do not sing of the joy of slavery. If you want a reality of the time period, read the slave narratives, the autobiographies of escaped slaves. Remember not to only think of the one side. The KKK also grew because of how poorly reconstruction was enacted. I understand the thought process, I just can not agree with the belief that one persons life is less than another. The KKK as well as many “respectable whites” of the south used terror to control the blacks living amongst them. They used whipping, threatening and lynching.


It is an ugly past, but pretending it did not exist does not change anything and in fact delays any type of true change.

I am from the south, I have ancestors that were southern, I love the south. I love the south so much that I fight for us to move forward and beyond the need to erase history for our own comfort. I can not imagine telling someone that if they disagree with me and my beliefs they should just leave because they interfere with my comfort. It is amazingly childish to refuse to acknowledge that not everyone feels a need to hang onto an antiquated ideal.

These pictures are pictures of what that heritage represents. Un-whitewashed.












































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

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

July 16, 1897: Edmondson

Today we learn about a lynching in Alabama from The Richmond Planet (Richmond, Virginia) dated July 24, 1897:

LYNCHED A PREACHER.

An Alabama Mob Wreaks Vengeance on the Man Who Concealed Williams.

FLORENCE, ALA., July 18, '97.

For shielding Anthony Williams, colored, who was shot to death and burned for the murder of Rene Williams, a colored preacher named Edmondson was lynched and burned on Friday night, three miles from this place.

TRYING TO SAVE A LIFE.

Edmondson concealed Williams in his house, and the mob finding their victim decided to teach the preacher a lesson, but Edmondson took refuge in a colored woman's cabin. The mob hunted him down with blood hounds, and found him under the woman's bed.

BEGGED FOR MERCY.

He begged for mercy, and it is probable the mob would have limited his punishment to a thrashing had he not broken away from his captors and started to run. He was brought down with a pistol bullet, stamped nearly to death and then swung up to a tree and his body burned.

FIENDS WORK.

The colored woman, who concealed Edmondson, was next hauled out and whipped.

The whole country for fifty miles is excited; everybody is armed:  the sheriff powerless and further race trouble is feared.


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

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

December 7, 1896: Will Wardly

Today we learn about a lynching in Alabama through the pages of The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated December 8, 1896:

POSSE KILLS STRANGE NEGRO.

FLIMFLAM WORKERS TRY TO IRONDALE MERCHANTS.

New One and Two Dollar Bills Are Taken for Counterfeit and Are Refused.  An Inquest.

Birmingham, Ala., December 7.—(Special.)

For attempting to work the flim-flam racket at Irondale, six miles from here, today Will Wardly, colored, was pursued by a mob of incensed citizens and shot down.

Wardley, with another negro and a white man, entered the town and displayed a number of new crisp one and two-dollar bills, which were thought to be counterfeit by the citizens. Wardley went to a merchant named Guardians and purchasing a nickel's worth of apples, tried the change racket, but it did not work. A posse of citizens was formed and the negro and his partner were chased. Firing followed and the negro fell to the ground dead. The white man and the other negro escaped.

The money found on the dead negro was of the new design. Coroner Jones investigated the killing and Secret Service Officer Forsyth and Barret investegated [sic] the affair in search of counterfeit money.


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

Monday, June 22, 2015

July 5, 1905: Joe Woodman

Today we learn about an Arkansas lynching through the pages of The New York Tribune (New York, N. Y.) dated July 7, 1905:

LOVED WHITE GIRL; DEAD.

Negro—Body Riddled.

[BY TELEGRAPH TO THE TRIBUNE.]

Little Rock, ark., July 6.—A negro, supposed to be Joe Woodman, of Rives, Ark., was lynched last night near Dumas, eighty miles from Little Rock, for eloping with the sixteen-year-old daughter of J. S. Small, a white man. The negro, a coal black man, had induced the girl to go with him, and they were seen together on the train.

Sheriff Gould, of Pine Bluff, found them together at Tama and took them to Dumas.

An infuriated mob from Rives met them at the station, and the officer, with the greatest difficulty, landed his prisoner in jail. The mob went about their work quietly during the night. They broke open the jail, an insecure affair, took the negro about half a mile from town and, while he begged piteously for mercy, strung him up to a telegraph pole. His body was then riddled with bullets. A coroner's jury to-day found he died at the hands of persons unknown.


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



Saturday, June 20, 2015

February 24, 1890: Robert and Willie Pope

Today we learn about a South Carolina lynching from The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated February 28, 1890:

THEY WERE OBNOXIOUS CITIZENS,

And as a Consequence They Were Put Out of the Way.

CHARLESTON, S. C., February 27.—[Special.]  

A special received here from Varnville, Hampton county, tonight states that Bob Pope and his eleven-year-old son were killed in that county on Monday night by parties in ambush. The two were on their way home from Cummin's mill when they were killed. When the bodies were discovered it was found that Bob Pope's throat had been cut from ear to ear after he had been shot. The special does not say whether the Popes were whites or blacks, but says they were obnoxious citizens and it is supposed their slayers were white men. These are all the details available now.


A bit more detail comes to us by way of The Manning Times (Manning, S. C.) dated March 5, 1890:

A Horror in Hampton,

VARNVILLE, HAMPTON COUNTY, Feb. 26.—The killing of Bob Pope and his little son has caused no little excitement.

The particulars, as far as I can gather up to the present, develop a deed unequalled in the annals of the Police Gazette

Pope's death is not regretted from what I can learn from those who have long known of his character and doings, but the brutal and hideous murder of his little son, ostensibly to hide the crime, is a deed that should justly consign its perpetrators to the most summary punishment. The father was shot with buckshot and afterwards shot through the head with a pistol ball, and his throat cut.

From the indications around the scene of the tragedy the boy was attempting to run off and was pursued and brought back near the body of his dead father and thrown down and his throat cut to the bone. There was no other mark of violence about his person.

The parties to the murder are supposed to be known.


This case was called a lynching by the Chicago Tribune. I also choose to list it as a lynching because it appears to be multiple people taking the law into their own hands. I understand why the papers chose the word murder, since it was a white man but especially because the death of the child. It begs to remember that all lynchings are murders. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

September 6, 1915: Love Rudd

Today we learn about a lynching in Missouri through the pages of The Daily Free Press (Carbondale, Illinois) dated September 11, 1915:

NEGRO'S FATE A MYSTERY

PROBABLY WHIPPED AND SENT OUT OF COMMUNITY.

Nothing Heard of Him Since He Was Taken From Constable Near Clarksville, Mo.

Louisiana, Mo., Sept. 11.—Pike county officials have found no clew to the whereabouts or fate of Love Rudd, a negro burglar suspect who was taken from Constable Boismenue by 30 or 40 masked men, a mile north of Clarksville.

The constable was on his way to Clarksville with the negro in an auto. After the masked men got possession of the negro [t]hey took him into a dense wood. One rumor here is that the negro was lynched, but this cannot be verified. A more generally accepted belief is that he was horsewhipped and driven from the county.

Rudd had long been considered an undesirable resident of Clarksville, where he often had been accused of robbing hen roosts. Three weeks ago he was beaten by members of a vigilance committee and it is said that at that time he made threats against prominent Clarksville residents.

Recently Homer Peoples, 22 years old, was found dead in the road near Clarksville. He had been shot. Though a coroner's jury returned a verdict of suicide many persons in Clarksville professed to believe Rudd knew something [a]bout People's death.


The Chillicothe Constitution's (Chillicothe, Missouri) September 13, 1915 edition sheds light on the fate of Love Rudd:

BODY OF NEGRO TAKEN FROM CONSTABLE BY POSSE, FOUND IN RIVER.

Louisiana, Mo., Sept. 13.—A new form of lynching, by drowning, was the fate met by Love Rudd, a negro, who was taken from a constable by a mob from Clarksville, Mo., several days ago. This became apparent when Rudd's body, with a big rock tied to the feet, was found in the Mississippi river near Clarksville last night. An unconfirmed report said the hands of the negro still were bound by the constable's handcuffs.

Rudd was arrested several weeks ago for robbery and after being horsewhipped by a mob, was ordered to leave the vicinity. He returned to Clarksville, however, and after another home had been robbed last week was again arrested. Forty masked men waylaid the constable and took the negro from him. There were rumors that the negro had been lynched, but no trace of him was found until Sunday, when a party of bathers ran into the floating body.


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

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

August 22, 1884: John Howard

Today we learn about a lynching in Texas through the pages of The Saint Paul Globe (Saint Paul, Minnesota) dated August 24, 1884:

Lynch Law.

GATESVILLE, Tex., Aug. 23.—John Howard, an old citizen, was mobbed and shot to death last night near Langford's cave. He was accused of burning a thresher, and when lynched was in the custody of officers en route for the Lempasas jail for safe keeping.


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

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

April/May 1900: Unknown Negro

Today we learn about a lynching in Mississippi through The Morning Post (Raleigh, N. C.) dated May 6, 1900:

LYNCHED A NEGRO FOR FUN

And Now Twelve White Men Will Be Tried for Murder

Jackson, Miss., May 5.—Several days ago a small party of white men, said to have been drunk, lynched an inoffensive negro in Amite county. Twelve of the lynchers were arrested and jailed at Liberty. They will have a preliminary hearing Monday before Chancellor Maring court there. He has appointed a special term of court will probably be called to try them. Governor Long[ino] being determined to bring the guilty parties to justice as speedily as possible. The Governor spent last night at Magnolia conferring with Judge Truly and District Attorney Ratliff, who are holding court there. He has appointed a special attorney for Magnolia, so that Ratliff may proceed at once to Liberty to prosecute the lynchers. This is the first of such trials for Mississippi and the outcome will be awaited with great interest.


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



Monday, June 15, 2015

March 26, 1944: Isaac Simmons

Today we learn about one of the two lynchings that occurred in 1944, according to the Tuskegee Institute, through the pages of The New York Age (New York, N. Y.0 dated September 2, 1944:


MINISTER LYNCHED

LAST week's paper revealed for the first time a particularly vicious lynching of a 66-year-old minister last March in Amite County, Miss., because he had hired a lawyer to safeguard his title to a 220-acre debt-free farm. All lynchings are vicious, but the circumstances surrounding this particular lynching are such that it must be marked down as one of the most heinous crimes that have seen the spotlight of publicity.

The victim, Rev. Isaac Simmons was going peacefully about his business, running his farm, and ministering to the needs of his congregation. There had never been an instance of him having any trouble with anyone. But rumor soon spread throughout the county that there might be oil on the land Rev. Simmons owned. Greedy and envious whites then resorted to all sorts of subterfuges in an attempt to gain possession of his land. It was then that they discovered that Rev. Simmons was smart enough to have taken extra precautions to safeguard his interests; he had retained legal services and was prepared for any eventuality.

The dramatic story of the lynching was sent to the NAACP by Elridge Simmons, son of the lynched minister, who was driven away from the county after his father was killed. The NAACP has asked Governor Thomas L. Bailey, of Mississippi, to investigate the crime and has also asked United States Attorney General Francis Biddle to examine the case because of the possibility that Federal conspiracy statutes have been violated.

Describing the lynching, Elridge Simmons, said that around noon on March 26, 1944, a group of white men whom he named came to his house and asked if he knew how the property line ran. When he said he did, the men ordered him to show them. He got into a car with the men and they drove about a quarter of a mile from the minister's house. Both he and his father were called "smart niggers" for going to see a lawyer. The car stopped and three of the men got out and walked to Rev. Simmons' house. A short time later the son said he saw his father being walked to the car with a man on either side and another in the back. The man in the back, he said, kicked and punched at his father.

When the trio reached the car with the minister, they all got in and the car drove off. A short distance later, the car stopped and some of the men got out and told the minister to follow. The minister got out of the car and started to run. One of the men leveled a shotgun and fired twice at the minister. Several of the men followed him and the son who was obliged to remain in the car heard shooting in the distance.

Finally, all of the men returned to the car and told the minister's son that they were going to let him go but that he better not know anything about what had just taken place. They gave him ten days to get off the land and to clear off all his tenants. When he was finally put out of the car, the minister's son said he was bloody, ragged and half-blind from the brutal beatings he had received.

A searching party was organized and went to look for the minister. His body was found in the thickets. He had been shot three times in the back and his arm was broken. Nearly all of his teeth had been knocked out and his tongue was cut out.

The constable and high sheriff were called and after an inquest they gave the verdict that the minister had met his death at the hands of unknown parties, despite the fact that his assailants were known by name and their identities disclosed by his son.

The brutal lynching , and the gross callousness of the local officials, are a travesty on justice. The NAACP should push the case to the utmost and insist on action by Mississippi authorities and if thwarted they should then insist on action by the Federal government.


The next article is found in the November 4, 1944 edition of the Pittsburgh Courier (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania):

Mississippi Indicts Six; Trial Starts This Week

JURY HEARS DETAILS OF REVOLTING MOB ACTION

NATCHEZ, Miss.—The cases of six Mississippi white men, charged with the murder of a 65-year0old minister, Isaac Simmons, on March 26 of this year, was called in the circuit court of Amite county at Liberty, Miss., Monday of this week, but trial was not started until Wednesday.

The accused men, all from Liberty, are Harper Dawson, his two sons, Roger and Mann Dawson, Noble and Norville Ryder and John Brown. They were indicted by the Amite county grand jury for a crime which Attorney General Francis Biddle called "particularly revolting" and which resulted in an investigation by the FBI. Records of this investigation were placed in the hands of District Attorney Joseph E. Brown, whose home is in Natchez, and members of the FBI also testified before the grand jury.

Also testifying before the grand jury were relatives  of the slain man who had previously been reported "missing." The witnesses, including Eldridge Simmons, son of the murdered minister, were brought to the hearing from nearby states to which they had fled following the outrage. The district attorney arranged official protection for them during the grand jury session.

District Attorney Brown stated that he would insist on a special venire [sic] and would make every effort to speed the trial of the case.

"BRUTAL, REVOLTING MURDER"

"This," said the District Attorney, "is not a case of mob violence or a lynching, it was murder of a most brutal and revolting type and the state will rely not only on strong circumstantial evidence but that given by eye witnesses."

When arraigned before Judge R. E. Bennett following their indictment, all of the defendants pleaded innocent and were placed under bonds of $3,000 each to await trial.

GRANTED SEVERANCE

Attorneys for the defense asked for a severance in the trial of the six and this was granted by Judge Bennett, since such action is mandatory under Mississippi law. As a result, only one of the six was to go on trial at the starting of the cases scheduled Wednesday.

No indication has been given by District Attorney Brown as to which person this will be. In this connection he said:  "It will be the one against whom the state considers it has the strongest evidence." Should the trial of this person result in an acquittal a motion for the dismissal of charges against the others would in all probability be presented.

DISPUTED FARM OWNERSHIP

It is charged by the state that the murder of Isaac Simmons and the assault on his son, Eldridge, who was forced to flee from the community, was the result of a dispute over the ownership of the small farm of Simmons. It appears that Simmons failed to pay taxes on the tract of land which had some timber upon it, and it was bid in at a sheriff's sale for the amount of the taxes by the Dawsons who conducted timber operations on a small scale in the county, It is alleged that necessary court action to perfect title was not taken by the Dawsons.


We learn about the verdict from The Delta Democrat-Times (Greenville, Mississippi) dated November 5, 1944:

Rider Acquitted Of Murder Charge In Amite County

LIBERTY (AP)—Noble  Rider, 33, was acquitted Friday night of a murder charge in connection with the slaying of a negro preacher and District Attorney Joe E. Brown indicted that there was some doubt that five other white men charged in the slaying would be tried.

Following the jury's verdict, Brown said that he brought Rider to trial first because he believed he had the strongest case against the 33-year-old farmer.

Rider and the five others were indicted for the slaying of Isaac Simmons, aged negro preacher-herb doctor, near here in what the state charged was a dispute over the ownership of a small farm.

Testimony during Rider's two-day trial was that Simmons was shot in the back by one of six white men who carried him off in his automobile. Defense witnesses testified that Rider and his brother, Narville Rider, another defendant, left Gloster on the day of the slaying about noon, which other testimony said was about the time Simmons was shot.

During closing arguments defense attorneys Gordon Roach and Burt Jones declared the question was whether to believe the testimony of the slain man's son or that of several white witnesses.

"If we believe the son and that the white men lied," Jones said, "we might as well send word to the National Association of Colored that we are ready for complete equality."

District Attorney Brown asked the jury to disregard "all appeals to prejudice," and asserted that "white leadership can not be  founded on brutality."

During the trial Federal Bureau of Investigations testified that they had investigated the slaying on orders of their department. Besides Simmons['] son, Eldredge, other witnesses included members of the coroners jury and other citizens of Amite county.

Attorney General Francis Biddle announced in Washington several weeks ago that he had ordered results of the FBI investigation turned over to the Amite county grand jury which subsequently returned indictments against the six white men.


I didn't find anything else, so my guess is the other men never went to trial. I read several articles and chose the ones which gave the fullest coverage. One thing not fully  covered by any of the articles was the fact that 200 acres were put up in the sheriff's sale and that Simmons farmed and lived on the remaining 25 acres. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

August 20, 1893: Silas Wilson

Today we learn about a lynching in Kansas, which reads like Sherlock Holmes or forensic report in parts, through the pages of The Leavenworth Weekly Times (Leavenworth, Kansas) dated August 24, 1893:

SWUNG TO DEATH.

Silas Wilson Lynched Within a Short Distance of Milwood.

Siles [sic] Wilson, the noted penitentiary bird is dead and at the end of a rope. He once run [sic] away with a white man's white wife, narrowly escaped lynching at Tonganoxie, was in jail here a year for shooting at a man, served a term in Jefferson City, Mo., and six years at Lansing.

It was stated Monday evening that he had an acquaintance with a 16 year-old girl at Round Prairie which though not criminal was disgusting to the young men of the neighborhood and they had threatened to run him out of the community. Sunday forenoon Wilson was at the Eight Mile house, and got into a difficulty with Henry Ehart of Round Prairie and Ehart hit him with a chair, but the full force of the blow was warded off  by Mr. John Hand, whose farm joins Ehart's.

The next seen of him he was found hanging to a tree. Dr. A. G. Chase, of Millwood, was in the city last evening on his way to Cincinnati and during a conversation related the following:

"At a late hour Sunday night some young men returning home from Millwood, discovered a body hanging to a honey locust tree near the roadside. It was very dark but by the aid of matches they found it to be the body of a colored man. Soon after, as I was returning from a professional visit, I met these young men, having passed the body without discovering it; and being informed of the matter, went back and examined the body. It was that of a young man about thirty; of mulatto color, about six feet high and square built. He was hung with a long halter or lariat rope, 25 or 30 feet long, his arms tied behind him and one sleeve of his coat partly off. It was too dark to determine the clothing. I am of the opinion that it was done about dark. A spring wagon with five or six men in it was seen going towards Leavenworth about 10 o'clock and it is possible that this party could give an account of the dead. They were strangers here. The body hung on the high bank overlooking what is called Witt's crossing, about 300 yards south of the bridge across Stranger.

["]The man has been at work for Mr. John Hand near Round Prairie and had some mail matter for Hand in his possession. It can be seen that the body had been dragged for a hundred yards or more, probably with the rope around his neck.

"A marked deformity of the man is a club foot. He has been working with one of the Eharts within the past few months.

["]The party that I met last night in the spring wagon, two of them wearing light colored sombreros' were seen after dark at the west end of Stranger bridge on foot, near where [a] straw hat was found and where the marks in the road shows there was a struggle, and from there up to a point where he was hung, it shows that a body had been dragged. The man has a severe contused wound on the forehead as if he had been knocked down with a club."

Coroner Hamilton visited Millwood yesterday and held an inquest over the body. The jury returned a verdict of death by hanging, by persons unknown to the jury.

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

Saturday, June 13, 2015

March 16, 1921: Howard Hurd

Today we have lynchings of several men over a period of time that all appear to be related. Our first article comes from March 18, 1921 edition of the Memphis Times-Scimitar (Memphis, Tennessee):

MIDNIGHT TERRORISTS LYNCH NEGRO BRAKEMAN ON THE Y&MV

LAKE CORMORANT, Miss., Mar. 17—A series of warnings by masked white men to negro brakemen of the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad to quit their jobs was culminated by the lynching here last night of Howard Hurd, of Memphis. Hurd mysteriously disappeared from the freight train he was working when it was halted at Clayton, Miss., for a hot box. He was found riddled with bullets 500 yards north of Lake Cormorant station at 5 o'clock this morning. The following note was found in his overalls:

"Take this as a warning to all nigger railroad men."

Hurd had been employed by the Yazoo and Mississippi for several years. For the past five weeks negro brakemen have been terrorized by gangs of white men who stop Y&MV trains between Memphis and Clarksdale, Miss., and molest them. Several negro trainmen have been severely beaten.

Walter Banks, of Memphis, speaking to railroad investigators there recently, told of being pulled off his freight train when it stopped at Lakeview.

"Come with us, nigger," they ordered.

While Banks' train pulled out on its way south, the masked men, none of whom could be identified by the black, took him to a field and gave him a severe beating, warning him to leave railroad work for white men. Then, according to Banks, the men told him to run toward the lake. They fired several shots and forced him to jump into the lake.

Banks could swim, and made his way across as arm of the lake. For several minutes the masked men kept firing at him constantly. Banks reached the shore and made his way back to Memphis, a distance of 14 miles, on foot.

Robert Grant was another negro taken from his train and given a warning to quit work, according to railroad investigators. John Jackson and Charles Haron are other negro brakemen said to have been similarly treated.

The method of the midnight terrorists, it is said, is to ride freight trains out of Memphis, or to board them at points south of here. When the trains reach points where they want to take the negro brakemen off, the angle cock is opened, throwing on the air brakes the entire length of the train. The masked men seem to know the location of the negro brakemen, and take them quickly, and without commotion.

They are said never to be seen by the white members of the crews who will have nothing to say about the mysterious occurrences.

Superintendent V. V. Botner, of the Memphis division of the Y. & M. V. road, was out of the city Thursday. General Superintendent Egan was also away from the city. Their assistants would not comment on the case.

"The case is a very delicate one," said one under-official Thursday, "and we do not want any publicity given it."

This official, in the absence of the superintendents, denied emphatic reports that three negroes have met death on the road within the last few weeks.

"Hurd is the only negro killed," said the official.

Reports have gone as far as Chicago offices of the Illinois Central railroad, contend that two negroes have been slain mysteriously and buried by section hands on the right-of-way of the Y. & M. V.

Several negro railroad men are expected to leave the road, due to the murder of Hurd.


I must say they got their wish to not have publicity. It took quite a while to find the few articles I could. The next article comes from The Dallas Express (Dallas, Texas) dated May 7, 1921:

Death of Brakeman on Southern Road Stir Rail Hands.

Memphis, Tenn., May 5.—Arthur Tyler, 37, 1126 Florida street, brakeman on the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley railroad, was mysteriously shot 17 times through the head and body while his freight train was standing on a switch at Banks, Miss., late Saturday night. One bullet through Tyler's heart killed him instantly. Banks is a point four miles south of Lake Cormorant, Miss.

Tyler, according to the story of the remainder [of] the train crew, was walking from the engine to the caboose when he became the target of a volley of shots from the darkness on the west side of the right-of-way.

Lantern Still Burns.

Trainmen declared they heard more than 30 shots. When members of the crew went in search of Tyler, they found his body close to the train. Tyler's hand still held the handle of his railroad lantern, still lighted.

Railroad officials and special agents here are puzzled over the shooting, the second on the Y. & M. V. within a month.

About a month ago the body of Howard Hurd was found with bullet holes through the heart, neck and head, a short distance from the station at Lake Cormorant, Miss. A note in Hurd's pocket read:

"Let this be a warning to all niggers."


Our next article comes from the same paper's July 2, 1921 edition:

R. R. OFFICIALS ASK GOVERNOR TO PROTECT WORKMEN.

Jackson, Miss., June 30.— Gov. Russell has been called upon to exert the executive power of the state for the suppression of what appears to be an extensively organized band of assassins, whose object seems to be to frighten Negro firemen and switchmen and drive them from train service.

Three Negroes have already been assassinated, according to the railroad authorities who complained to the governor. The trouble thus far has been confined to the Illinois Central Railroad and the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley line.

Assassination or attempted assassinations are said to have occurred at Banks and Lake Cormorant on the Valley line, at Water Valley, Yalobusha County, Durant, in Holmes County, and Raines, Tenn., on the Illinois Central.

In some instances it is declared that shots have been fired at fir[e]men in the cab while the trains were running. In other cases flagmen sent back to protect a train have been attacked.

The heinousness of these offenses is magnified when it is considered that the killing of a flagmen on duty would endanger the lives of the passengers and crew he is protecting:  and in shooting into a cab at a Negro firemen and the white engineer is jeopardized and his death might result in a catastrophe.

The governor has not been furnished with specific details as to names, dates and places where the actual killing of Negroes has occurred, but his aid has been invoked by the railroad authorities.

The fact that these instances occur in such widely separated places shows that their is evidently an organization at work, and as only Negro railroad men are attacked the object is apparently to frighten them off the trains and make room for white labor. Further proof of this is that many threatening letters have been received by these Negro railroad employees.

Gov. Russell today issued the following notice on the subject:

Jackson, Miss., June 10, 1921.

To the Sheriffs, Mayors and Other Law Enforcing Officers of Mississippi:

Gentlemen:—Information comes to me that some two or three persons in the employ of the railroads of the state have been assassinated by unknown parties. Several trains have been shot into and many threatening letters have been sent to employes [sic]. The victims of these assassinations have thus far been Negroes and these disturbances have taken place in the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley, Water Valley and Durant on the Illinois Central Railroad, the details of which I have yet been unable to ascertain.

I am sure that this form of lawlessness will be condemned by all law-abiding citizens of this state, and I am making this public declaration to the end that all officers everywhere shall be especially vigilant in apprehending and pu[n]ishing this sort of criminals. The public is vitally interested in the prompt and efficient handling of both passengers and we can ill afford to have this service handicapped in any way, and certain it is that all such outlawry must not only be condemned but speedily and effectively put to an end. In this period of general unrest throughout the country, it is imperative that all our citizenship co-operate in the full enforcement of the law. I trust that all such law violators will be apprehended and speedily punished and to this end I am asking the earnest, prompt and full co-operation of our citizenship.

LEE M. RUSSELL, Governor.


The final article comes to us through The Monroe News-Star (Monroe, Louisiana) dated September 22, 1921:

Memphis—John Phillips, a former Yazoo, Mississippi Valley railroad fireman, was arrested on a charge of murder in conenction [sic] with the death of Henry Hager, a negro brakeman, one of several negro trainmen shot or beaten recently in an alleged campaign of intimitation [sic] to drive the negro trainmen from the railroad's employ.


That is all I found about these cases, I hope to find more about them later. For now, thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.  

Thursday, June 11, 2015

January 1, 1921: Jim Roland

Today we learn about a lynching in Georgia through the pages of The Index-Journal (Greenwood, S. C.) dated April 22, 1921:


NINE GEORGIA MEN INDICTED ON MOB VIOLENCE CHARGE

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS

Camilla, Ga., April 22.—Nine indictments returned by the Mitchell county grand jury and made public yesterday in connection with the lynching last January of Jim Roland, a negro, are said to be the first in the state under what is known as the "mob violence act." Two of the men indicted are from Mitchell county, five from Grady, and one from Jasper and one from Putnam.

The indictments are on two counts, one for murder and one for mob violence. The men indicted are:  J. W. Tucker, of Hillsboro, Jasper county; Grady Spearman, of Eatonton, Putnam county; M. K. Boutwell, and J. B. Bettison, Mitchell county; Paul Gray, L. B. Harrell, Will Reaves, Guy Harrell and Charles Lee Harrell, Grady county.

All of the indicted men, except Tucker and Spearman have been arrested and released on bond in the sum of $10,000 each, with the exception of Bettison, who is charged only with mob violence and whose bond was fixed at $2,000.

In granting application for bail, Judge R. C. Bell, of superior court stated that the defendants would be put immediately on trial and later, after consultation with Solicitor General B. C. Gardner announced that the trial would begin Monday of next week.

Negro Lynched January 1st.

On the first day of January last, Jim Roland, a negro was shot and killed by a mob after he had shot and seriously injured Jason Harrell, of Grady county. Witnesses testified before the grand jury it is stated, that Harrell was making some negroes dance, and that when Roland came along Harrell tried to make him dance also. Roland, it was testified, refused to dance, whereupon both pulled their pistols and began firing. Harrell falling badly wounded. Later a party of men in automobiles captured Roland while he was at a negro cabin, having sent for the sheriff of Mitchell county to come and get him.

It is alleged that one of the men in the party represented himself as a deputy sheriff, whereupon the negroes in the cabin delivered Roland to the party. Shortly afterwards the sheriff's party arrived on the scene only to hear the shots that killed the negro and to find his body.

Harrell's story of the trouble with Roland was that it arose over some cows which he, Harrell, had lost and concerning which he questioned the negro. Harrell is still confined to a hospital in Cairo, and will not be able to attend the trial next week.


We learn about the verdicts for two of the men charged in The Charlotte News (Charlotte, N. C.) dated April29, 1921:

REEVES ACQUITTED OF MURDER CHARGE

Camilla, Ga., April 29.—Will Reeves was found not guilty of the charge of murder by a jury in Mitchell county superior court at 12 o'clock Thursday night.

The jury was out for one hour.

Reeves was one of nine men indicted in connection with the lynching of Jim Roland, the charges being violation of the mob violence act, the first prosecution of the kind in the state, and also murder.

M. K. Boutwell, first to be placed on trial, on Monday, was found not guilty on Wednesday under the mob violence act. The trial of Reeves began Wednesday afternoon and lawyers speeded [sic] up their work so that state and defense rested Thursday afternoon and arguments were gotten under way before supper.

The charge to the jury was delivered at 11 o'clock and Judge Bell announced that he would receive a verdict if reached during the night. An hour afterward the jury reported its verdict.

The jury was discharged for the term, which means that no more of the accused men will be tried before the October term of court.


Unfortunately, I couldn't find any articles about the trials of the other seven men. It would not be surprising if all ended up with the same verdict. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

February 7, 1904: Luther Holbert and wife

Today we read a very unusual article on a lynching in Mississippi through the pages of The Broad Ax (Chicago, Illinois) dated February 13, 1904:


More than one thousand Christians of Doddsville, Miss., mobbed and lynched Luther Holbert and his wife last Sunday, and then burned their bodies at the stake. It seems that Holbert and James Eastland, a white planter, had a quarrel, and the latter ordered the former to leave his plantation, then the shooting of Eastland by Holbert occurred; at that point more white men joined in the shooting and several other Negroes were killed by Eastland and his posse; finally Holbert and his wife, who took no part in the shooting, attempted to escape from the plantation, but for four days they were chased across four counties with man-eating bloodhounds, and when they were captured a thousand gentlemen, who are ever ready to boast of their superiority over the Negro, riddled their bodies with bullets and burned them at the stake. We must bear it in mind that Holbert and his wife were not charged with "raping white women," and the killing of Mrs. Holbert for the acts of her husband, reminds us of the Irishman who wanted to kill every black-whiskered man he came in contact with for no other reason than that he heard that several thousand years ago a Jew with black whiskers turned against his Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.


Another article comes to us from the Hopkinsville Kentuckian (Hopkinsville, Kentucky) dated February 9, 1904:

BURNED AT STAKE.

Mississippi Mob's Fearful Work Near Doddsville.

Man and Woman Lynched After Race War Costing Eight Lives.

Memphis, Tenn., Feb. 7.—Luther Holbert and his wife, negroes, were burned at the stake at Doddsville, Miss., to day by a mob of over 1,000 persons for the killing of James Eastland, a prominent white planter and John Carr, a negro, on Wednesday morning at the Eastland plantation, two miles from this city.

The burning of Holbert and his wife closes a tragedy which has cost eight lives, has engaged 200 men and two packs of bloodhounds in a four days chase across four counties, and has stirred this section of Mississippi to such a state of excitement as it has never experienced in its history.

The following are the dead:

Luther Holbert and wife, negroes burned at the stake by mob.

James Eastland, white planter, killed by Holbert.

John Carr, negro, killed by Holbert.

John Winters, negro, killed by Eastland.

Three unknown negroes, killed by posses.

The killing of Eastland, Carr and Winters occurred Wednesday morning at Eastland's plantation. Holbert and Winters were in Carr's cabin when Eastland entered and ordered Holbert to leave the plantation.

A difficulty ensued in which it is alleged that Holbert opened fire on Eastland, fatally wounded him and killed Carr, Eastland returned the fire and killed Winters.


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


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

August 11, 1898: Mullock Walker

Today we learn about a Mississippi lynching found in The Wichita Beacon (Wichita, Kansas) dated August 11, 1898:

SAND BAGGING

ENABLES ANOTHER MOB TO GRATIFY ITS THIRST FOR BLOOD.

Cornith [sic], miss., Aug. 11.—Mullock Walker, a negro, charged with sandbagging, was lynched here this morning by a mob and his body is swinging from a telegraph pole on Filmore street, in the centrau [sic] part of the city. At an early hour this morning an organized mob of 250 masked men went to the county jail and demanded the person of Mullock Walker, who was charged with criminally assaulting Charles Dazelle with a sandbag, about three miles south of town last Wednesday, since which time Mr. Dazelle has been in a critical condition and his life is despaired of.

No resistance was made at the jail, as the mob was firm and would allow no parleying, and Jailor Derry Berry turned the negro over to the mob.

Walker was taken to the most central part of town, in front of Rubel and company's store on Filmore street, and hanged to the guard arm of one of the telegraph poles. Walker confessed his crime, and implicated two other negroes in some of his various crimes.

Part of the mob was sent to the power house and compelled the electrician to turn out the lights for a block in each direction. The sidewalks and streets were lined with men and boys, looking on the gruesome proceedings.

An attempt to capture the negro was made last Saturday night, but the jail was strongly guarded and the mob dispersed.


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

Monday, June 8, 2015

March 15, 1901: Ballie Crutchfield

Today we learn about a lynching of a woman for the crimes of her brother in Tennessee through the pages of The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated March 17, 1901:

WILD MOB SLAYS A NEGRO WOMAN

Her Brother Was Chased Down but Managed to Escape.

Nashville, Tenn., March 16.—(Special.)—Ballie Crutchfield, a negro woman, was lynched by unknown men last night, the only cause being that she was suspected of having taken the money out of a pocketbook which was lost recently by a neighbor.

The pocketbook had come into the possession of the woman's brother and a mob undertook to lynch him several nights ago, but he broke away and escaped in the darkness. Last night the men visited the woman's home and after tying her hands behind her back, took her to the bridge over Lick creek. Here she was shot through the head and her lifeless body thrown into the stream, from which it was recovered today.

The coroner returned the usual verdict. The amount of money in the pocketbook was $120.


The tale is a bit more fleshed out by an article in The Scranton Republican (Scranton, Pennsylvania) dated March 18, 1901:

COLORED WOMAN LYNCHED.

Horrible Crime Perpetrated by a Mob Enraged Over the Theft of a Pocketbook.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 16.—Much excitement prevails at Rome over the lynching last night of a negro woman named Ballie Crutchfield. A mob visited the home of William Vanderpool, where the woman was living and took her to the bridge over Round Lick creek a short district [sic] from the town. The woman's hands were tied behind her and after being shot through the head, her body was thrown into the creek. The body was recovered at 10 o'clock this morning and the coroner's jury returned a verdict to the effect that she met her death at the hands of unknown parties.

The lynching was the result of suspicion that she was in some way connected with the theft of a pocketbook containing $120, which was lost by Walton Sampson, a week ago. The purse was found on the ground by a negro boy who was on his way to return it to the owner when he was met by William Crutchfield, brother of the dead woman who induced the boy to give him the pocketbook upon the representation that the papers and other contents were of no value. Mr. Sampson had Crutchfield arrested and he was taken to the home of Squire Bains for safe keeping. About 9 o'clock that night a mob visited the residence of Squire Bains, and forcibly took Crutchfield from the custody of the sheriff.

The mob started with the negro to the place of execution when he succeeded in effecting his escape. This so enraged the members of the mob that they suspected Crutchfield's sister Ballie of being implicated in the theft, and last night's work was the culmination of that suspicion. The lynching took place between 11 o'clock and midnight.


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



Saturday, June 6, 2015

August 1, 1908: Virgil, Tom and Robert Jones and Joe Riley

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, N. Y.) printed the following article on August 1, 1908 about the lynching of four men in Kentucky:

KENTUCKY MOB HANGS 4 NEGRO PRISONERS

Forced Jail at Russellville and Dragged Men From Cells.

JAILER'S PROTESTS WERE VAIN

Negroes Hanged in a Row From Limb of Tree on Outskirts of Town.

Russellville, Ky., August 1—Four negroes, Virgil, Tom and Robert Jones and Joe Riley were taken from here early to-day and hanged to a tree on the edge of town. No shots were fired by the mob, which was composed of about fifty men, and the people of the town knew nothing of the affair until daylight revealed the four bodies dangling from a tree just outside Russellville on the Nashville pike. The following note was found pinned on one of the bodies:

"Let this be a warning to you niggers to let white people alone, or you will go the same way. Hugh Rogers better shut up or quit."

The negroes who were lynched were members of a lodge, and at a meeting recently it is said they approved of the murder of James Cunningham, a white farmer, by his negro tenant, Rufus Browder. This murder occurred in the southern part of Logan County, and it is supposed here that the mob was made up of men from that part of the county.

The negroes had been in jail for several days, and while there had been considerable unrest since the attempt on the part of the mob to take Browder, the slayer of Cunningham, from the jail some nights ago, no real trouble was anticipated and there was no guard around the prison. The effort to get Browder failed, because he was spirited out of jail by the sheriff and sent to Bowling Green and later to Louisville, where he is now confined, awaiting trial.

The mob came into town so quietly that not one of the residents of the city was roused from slumber. Proceeding at once to the county jail, the mob called Jailer Butts to the door of his residence, directly connected with the prison., When he made his appearance he found himself covered by rifles and shotguns and was given the command to turn over the keys of the jail or be shot down. After a short parley with the members of the mob in which he tried to persuade them to go away without doing any violence, he was finally forced to hand over the keys. The mob then entered the jail, and, finding the four negroes, forced them to go with them. The whole party proceeded at once to the tree on the outskirts of the city on the Nashville pike, where the negroes were strung up in a row.

Contrary to the usual customs of mobs, no shots were fired into the swinging victims, and the mob dispersed as soon as it had finished its work.

There is no clew to the members of the band, as the jailer was the only person who saw them close enough to get a good look, and he could not recognize them.

The bodies of the negroes were cut down during the morning.

Louisville, Ky., August 1—Rufus Browder, the man who killed James Cunningham, was brought to jail here a week ago from Bowling Green for safekeeping.

Browder, when told by a reporter that the four negroes had been taken from jail in Russellville and lynched, said:  "It's awful bad that the boys have to be strung up on my account. I hope they don't get me."

Browder said he was acquainted with the negroes who were, as they all worked on farms in the same vicinity . He said the order to which they belonged was known as the "True Reformers."

Browder claimed that it was a society formed to provide insurance and burial. He said there was no race feature to it and claimed that it had been well thought of by the white people. He said he did not believe they had gone so far as to indorse [sic] him for killing Cunningham, but said that it had raised a fund to be used in the employ of lawyers for him.


The same paper printed this tidbit on August 20, 1908:

Souvenir postal cards showing the four bodies of negroes lynched at Russellville, near Hopkinsville, Kentucky, were sent through the mails, but have been suppressed. Homeseekers, however, should not be prejudiced against this lovely place by the action of the authorities.


Here is a picture of said postcard:



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

August 18, 1915: "Kid" Jackson and Henry Russell

Join me in a moment in history when a lynching occurred in Alabama ans was reported in The Charlotte News (Charlotte, N. C.) on August 18, 1915:

TWO NEGROES LYNCHED BY ALABAMA MOB

By Associated Press.

Montgomery, Ala., Aug. 18.—"Kid" Jackson and Henry Russell, negroes, were lynched at Hope Hull, ten miles from here early this morning by a masked mob. Another negro, whose name has not been learned, was rescued but he died at a local hospital later.

The negroes were charged with poisoning mules on the McLain plantation several months ago.

The mob proceeded quietly. They went to the negroes homes, bound and gagged them, riddled their bodies with bullets and threw them in a ditch. No arrests have been made as yet, although the sheriff's forces are working in the vicinity of the crime, trying to locate the lynchers.

The negroes who were lynched this morning had been tenants on the Dr. McLain farm until this year when they were replaced by white tenants. Chagrined at this action the negroes, it is alleged, began a crusade of arson and poison, but the leaders were arrested after poisoning several mules and a well and burning a barn, have been in jail here awaiting trial. Yesterday they were released on bonds and returned to the farm. This action it is believed infuriated the white farmers.


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

Thursday, June 4, 2015

July 4/5, 1933: Norris Dendy

Join me today to learn about a South Carolina lynching through the pages of the Florence Morning News (Florence, S. C.) dated July 6, 1933:

GROUP OF MEN LYNCHED NEGRO

Norris Dendy, Accused of Striking Youth, Taken From Clinton Jail

CLINTON, S. C., July 5 (AP)—Four unidentified white men dragged Norris Dendy, 35-year-old negro, from the small Clinton jail early today and a few hours later his beaten and strangled body was found in a churchyard near here.

Dendy was placed in the jail, a small town building with no regular jailor [sic], late yesterday for striking Marvin Lollis, 22, white Clinton truck driver, and resisting arrest.

About midnight the jail's negro janitor said, four white men came to the building, knocked the lock off with a wrench and forced Dendy into their automobile. They disappeared before an alarm could be spread.

Thad Moore one of the deputies Sheriff Owens of Laurens county, sent out to search for the negro and his captors, found the body in the old Sardis churchyard, several miles from here, shortly before 1 p. m.

It bore marks of a severe beating and around the negro's neck was a rope. The body, however, was lying at the gateway to the church's cemetery and Sheriff Owens said Dendy had apparently been hanged somewhere else and the body removed there.

One of the negro's wound[s] was first mistaken for a bullet wound but George Holland, Clinton police chief who examined the body said Dendy had not been shot.

Lollis and Dendy each drove a truckload of picnickers to Lake Murray, in the lower part of Laurens county for a fourth of July celebration yesterday.

The negro and white man became involved in an argument, witnesses said, and Dendy struck Lollis with a stick, inflicting a gash on his cheek.

When white men at the picnic attempted to apprehend him, the negro fled in his truck but officers at Goldville, between the lake and Clinton, were advised to watch for him and when he arrived there he was arrested. Goldville officers brought him here where he was placed in jail.

There have been no known threats against Dendy and as the charge against him was not considered serious, no extra precautions were taken to guard him.

Solicitor Homer S. Blackwell announced an inquest would not be held until next week, pending the gathering of evidence.

Sheriff Owens said he had no clues on which to work and he had "no idea" who to look for. He said he was unable to track the lynchers with blood hounds as they traveled by automobile.


Our next article is found in The Pittsburgh Courier (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), June 2, 1934 edition:

S. C. GOVERNOR URGED TO PRESS DENBY [sic] CASE PROBE

NEW YORK, May 31.—A strong telegram urging Governor Ibra C. Blackwood of South Carolina to have the state attorney general's office take "vigorous action" in the prosecution of the alleged lynchers of Norris Dendy, was sent this week by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

"The Laurens County grand jury at the June term will consider once more the evidence against alleged lynchers of Norris Dendy, who was taken from jail in Clinton and lynched on July 4, 1933," the wire said. "Eye witnesses to Dendy's removal from jail have positively identified members of mob and owners of automobiles used. Testimonies and affidavits of these witnesses were given the grand jury in February. We feel positive action against alleged mob members by the state is imperative if South Carolina is . . . to vindicate contention that states alone can handle lynching evil and can be depended upon to punish lynchers."

R. Y. Dendy of New York, brother of the lynched man, with the assistance of the national office of the N. A. A. C. P., secured three eye witnesses, two men and a woman, brought them out of Clinton, secured affidavits from them, and, under the pledged protection of the governor's office, took two of them back to Laurens county last February to testify before the grand jury. The jury voted to "continue" considering the evidence at the June term.

Norris Dendy was lynched after he had struck a white truck driver in an argument at a colored picnic to which both men had driven loads of picnickers. Norris Dendy was jailed for a few hours, but later a mob, said to have included two police officers of Clinton, took him out of his cell and killed him on the outskirts of the city. White people of Clinton say the plan was to "give Norris a whipping" because he was "too smart" but not to kill him. They explain that Norris was killed, perhaps, when he fought back at members of the whipping mob.


Our final article comes from The New York Age (New York, N. Y.) dated June 30, 1934:

Grand Jury Returns No Bill In Dendy Lynching; Brother Says He Will Continue His Fight

LAURENS, S. C.—The Laurens County Grand Jury on Tuesday returned no bill in the case of five white Clinton men charged with the lynching of Norris Dendy at Clinton, S. C. on July 4, 1933. The men named in the bill of indictment were Hubert Pitts, P. M. Pitts, Roy Pitts, J. Pitts, Ray and Marvin Lollis.

Dendy had been arrested after he and Lollis, another truck driver, had engaged in an altercation at a picnic at Lake Murray. Both men had driven truckloads of picnickers to the grounds and after the fight Dendy was arrested by Goldville police and placed in jail.

As the charge was not a serious one, police say they took no extra precautions to guard him. At midnight. witnesses said that the four white men named above came to the jailhouse, knocked the lock off with a wrench and forced Dendy into their automobile. His body was found later, badly beaten, near Sardis.

Several Negro witnesses to the crime were threatened with death if they appeared to testify in the case and moved from the state for safety. A photostatic copy of one of the threatening letters mailed to William Crawford in New York was reproduced in The New York Age last week.

Crawford in January, 1934, made a deposition before a notary public in Washington, D. C., that he was in Clinton, S. C., the day of the lynching and that during the late afternoon and early evening of that day, while in his father's car which was parked near the jail, he heard two shots and was told that Norris Dendy was either being beaten or taken out of the jail.

He said he drove to the jail and saw a crowd of about 100 people outside of the jail. In the crowd he said he recognized Pack Pitts, Officer Henry Young, Roy Pitts, Marvin Lollis, Hubert Pitts and Chief of Police George Holland. He said he had not been parked near the jail long when he saw someone being brought out of the jail by Marvin Lollis, Pack Pitts and Hubert Pitts and taken to the Car [sic] of Pack Pitts and beaten while int he car. He was unable to see whom was being beaten.

He said that he drove off in his car because he considered it unsafe to remain as a witness. Early the next day, Crawford said, that while he was walking past Main street filling station, which was either owned or run by Pack Pitts, he saw the automobile of Pitts being washed by Dominick, a white man. He said that the back and floor of the car were being flushed by a hose and that the water which came out of the car was of a reddish color, leading him to believe that it was blood.

He said that he left Clinton because in the days that followed the lynching he was intimidated by several men among whom were several policemen. He said that one of the men who told him that it would do him no good to know too much or be so wise was Marvin Lollis who had been seen in the crowd that lynched Dendy. After the threats, Crawford went North and only recently in New York received a letter threatening lynching for him if he should attempt to testify before the grand jury.

Another witness, who like Crawford went North for safety, was Miss Clarabell Peake who took up residence in New York after the lynching. Miss Peake in a sworn statement said that on the afternoon of July 4, before the lynching took place, Mrs. Armanda Dendy, wife of the man who was afterwards lynched, came and asked her to accompany her to jail to visit her husband.

She said that she and Mrs. Dendy went to the jail and made an effort to bail Norris out and when they were unsuccessful they left and shortly afterwards heard two shots coming from the jail and then saw two cars driving away from the jail. They recognized one of the car[s] as belonging to Pack Pitts.

Despite this sworn testimony of Crawford and Miss Peake and testimony of like nature by other eyewitnesses the county grand jury returned no bill.

CASE NOT CLOSED

R. Y. Dendy of 2588 Seventh avenue, New York City, brother of Norris Dendy who was lynched at Clinton, S. C., on July 4, 1933, stated that the case is not closed as far as he is concerned and announced receipt from a state official that evidence will be presented to a future grand jury in an effort to get a true bill.


According to The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, an indictment was eventually secured for the rope and gun which led to his death by a grand jury. As of 1937, no member of the mob had been indicted.

Here is a copy of the death threat received by Crawford, it is not very legible.

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