Saturday, February 27, 2016
February 7, 1903: Beach's Still, Georgia
Today's article is not of a lynching, but instead of what the articles refer to as a riot; currently I think we would refer to it as a massacre or mass shooting. Our first article comes to us through the pages of The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated February 9, 1903:
NEGROES KILLED BY BAD WHITES
Desperadoes Fired Into House Where Festival Was in Progress.
Waycross, Ga.,k February 8.—(Special.) Meager details of a riot which occurred between two white men and a crowd of negroes at Beach's still reached this city today.
Two negroes are said to have been killed and nine others wounded, one of them mortally. Three of the wounded were women, but their injuries are not serious.
The shooting was done while a negro festival was in progress about 11 o'clock last night.
The report is that two white men well known in that section went to the festival, and after having a little difficulty with some of the negroes blocked the two doorways of the building in which the negroes were dancing and commenced firing into the crowd with shotguns.
The negroes made a wild scramble to get out of the building, while the men fired shot after shot into the writhing mass of humanity. The house was quickly cleared of all except some of the wounded, and the men are said to have entered the building and tied the wounded and dead negroes together.
They then left and returned a short time later and cut the cords that bound the negroes. An inquest was held by the coroner over the dead bodies of the men today, but their verdict has not yet been announced.
The two white men whom it is claimed did the shooting have not yet been arrested nor have they attempted to leave the neighborhood. One of them is said to be a desperado who has been in a number of difficulties with negroes, but has usually managed to escape punishment. The two men were said to have been intoxicated.
Beach's still is in Coffee county, about 22 miles from Waycross. In this section of Coffee county several riots have occurred between the negroes and whites during the past ten years, and there are many desperate men of both colors in that neighborhood.
Our second article comes from The Anniston Republic (Anniston, Alabama) dated February 14, 1903:
Supreme In Coffee County, Georgia.
WAYCROSS, Ga., Feb. 11—A terrible state of affairs exists near McDonald in Coffee county, since the wholesale shooting of negroes by two white men last Saturday night.
While it is known beyond question who did the shooting, no arrests have been made and the negroes who saw the shooting are afraid to say anything about the affair.
The two white men are thoroughly armed and desperate, and there is no question but there will be further trouble should an attempt be made to arrest them at present.
Later reports from the shooting are that not less than twelve negroes were injured besides the two who were killed outright. The festival which was in progress near Beach's still Saturday is said to have been unusually peaceable until the two white men appeared without warning at each door and commenced emptying their revolvers and shotguns into the crowd.
Not less than twenty-five shots were fired at the negroes while a mad stampede was made for the one window. When most of the negroes had escaped the dead and some of the wounded who were left in the house were bound together by the white men.
The white desperadoes then left the house, leaving the wounded negroes tied to the dead bodies. Returning a short time later, the cords were cut and with curses and threats the negroes were informed that they would be killed if they ever told who did the shooting.
Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.