Friday, June 3, 2016
New Causes for Lynching: November 30, 1907
Today an article from The Appeal (St. Paul, Minnesota) dated November 30, 1907:
NEW CAUSES FOR LYNCHING.
Under the above heading the Chicago Tribune sums up as follow:
"Three colored men have been lynched at Tunica, Miss., upon the charge of burglary though the evidence as to two of them was weak. Another colored man has been lynched at Byron, Ga., for stealing a few cents from some boys and resisting arrest therefor. Another man was lynched at Van Vleet, Miss., because he made insulting remarks to a lady over the phone. The sixth colored man was lynched at Carrollton, miss., because the brother of a man charged with murder would not tell the mob where he was concealed. In the latter case Gov. Vardaman had issued a reward for the arrest and conviction of the alleged murderer, but stipulated that not a cent would be paid if he was lynched."
The Tribune adds the following very sensible conclusion:
"It is not impossible that lynching for the minor crimes may reproduce the result which once obtained and that more serious crimes may occur, growing out of retaliation for these unjustifiable mob murders for crimes which do not deserve the extreme penalty and do not receive it in the north."
It has been persistently charged upon the Afro-Americans of the South that they aid in concealing criminals of their race. If such is the case, the foregoing shows the reason why.
The first lynching mentioned in the article was the October 11, 1907 triple lynching of Will Jackson, Jim Shoots and George Robinson.
The Times-Democrat (New Orleans, Louisiana) dated October 12, 1907 is where this article is found about the lynching:
MOB BREAKS INTO JAIL; THEN TRIPLE LYNCHING.
Three Negroes Who Confessed to a Number of Burglaries Meet Death at the Hands of a Mob at Tunica, Miss.—Two Are Hanged to Arm of a Telegraph Pole, the Other Is Shot Down as He Attempts to Escape.
Tunica, Miss., Oct. 11.—Three negroes from Memphis, named Will Jackson, Jim Shoots and George Robinson, were taken from jail here at an early hour this morning and lynched, their offense being a number of burglaries they confessed to, some of them having been perpetrated in this community.
Jackson and Shoots were hanged to the arm of a telegraph pole in front of the depot, and Robinson was shot down as he attempted to escape. His body is somewhere in the woods near here. no One knows who composed the mob or how they entered the jail. From the testimony taken at the coroner's inquest it developed that neither the jailer nor the sheriff nor any of his deputies knew that the jail had been entered during the night, and the officer stated that someone in the mob must have known where the jail keys were hung, for they were used to gain entrance to the jail and were found this morning where they always are kept, and nothing in the jail had been molested.
JUST BROKE OUT.
The coroner asked one of the officers on the witness stand how the negroes could have been taken from jail without someone knowing it, and he facetiously replied: "They were in for housebreaking, and I guess they just broke out." The lynching occurred after midnight and before dawn, for members of the Manic lodge returning home after 12 o'clock state they saw no signs of a disturbance or any other unusual thing on their way home. The first that was known of the affair was early this morning, when the depot agent went down to open up his office. There in front of the station dangled the bodies of the two that were hanged. these negroes were arrested Tuesday night at Robinsonville, a small town several miles below here. Jackson was captured by Freight Conductor Fodd of the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley near Lake Cormorant.
G. B. Stuart, a planter, shot Robinson on his plantation near Robinsonville and bagged him. Merriwether of Lake Cormorant arrested Shoots in that town. When brought to jail here yesterday they were sweated by the sheriff, and his deputies, and Robinson confessed and told the story of their numerous crimes. He said that they were members of an organized band of Memphis negroes, eight in number, and had been professional burglars for ten years.
A well-known Memphis divekeeper, a white man, was averred to be the head of the organization, and he disposed of the goods they stole in Memphis and elsewhere. In fact, Robinson said this divekeeper, who has figured extensively in the papers in Memphis within recent months, was the brains of their organization.
After operating for several years in Memphis most successfully he said, owing to some sort of protection, from whom the sheriff refused to divulge, it was decided that the pickings would be richer in the Delta towns of Mississippi, and for the past three years the negroes have been operating down here.
In Tunica there have been eighteen burglaries in this period, and in this general community within late months the depot and postoffice at Dundee, stores at Robinsonville. Hollywood and Senatobia and numerous other places have been entered and robbed. In a number of instances, Robinson said they had fights in which shots were exchanged with owners of the property they entered. Capt. J. W. Henderson and Mrs. Joe Savage in Tunica were shot at and came near being killed.
At Robinsonville Tuesday night two of the band stood watch over Mr. Sutter, a clerk in the stores of Woolfolk & Gilmore, intending to kill him if he stirred while the others completed the looting of the house and postoffice. This is only a brief summary of the confession made by Robinson. When it became known throughout the community, as it quickly did, it was believed that the officers at last had the band that had committed so many depredations here lately, and this belief, it is thought, inspired the lynching that followed so soon after.
The bodies were cut down this morning and the coroner held an inquest, the verdict being that the negroes came to their deaths at the hands of unknown parties. This is the largest affair of this kind that has occurred in Mississippi in a long time, and, strange to relate, it has not created very much excitement.
The second lynching was the October 22, 1907 lynching of Henry Sykes and can be found here.
The third lynching was the lynching of John Walker (or Wilkes) on October 27, 1907. An article about the lynching can be found in The New York Age (New York, N. Y.) November 7, 1907 edition:
LYNCHED AND CORPSE BURNED.
Fearful Work Is Done by Mob at Byron, Ga.
MACON, Ga., Oct. 27.—Because he robbed two small boys of seventy-five cents and attempted to rob a man of another small amount, John Walker, a Negro, was lynched at Byron at an early hour this morning.
It was rumored that Walker robbed the boys Saturday night and was holding up a man when Marshal Tom Johnson appeared. The marshal ordered Walker to surrender, but the latter drew a revolver and tried to kill the officer.
Early the next morning unknown parties stormed the prison in which Walker was confined, dragged him from his cell and, after carrying him a short distance, riddled him with bullets. The corpse was then thrown on a log fire and partly burned.
I did not find an article on the lynching of Bob Meyers brother. I did find numerous articles about the search for Bob Meyers for the murder of Sheriff McDougle. The lynching list found in The January 1, 1908 edition of the Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) reports that on October 27, 1907 — Meyers was lynched in Carrollton, Mississippi for complicity in murder.
Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.