Tuesday, June 28, 2016

November 25, 1879: Henry Walker

Today we learn about a lynching in Georgia through the pages of The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) dated November 26, 1879:

Negro Burglar Lynched.

ATLANTA, Nov. 25.—A special to the Constitution from Perry, Ga., states that a negro charged with burglary and who confessed that he belonged to a gang who have been committing burglaries in several counties, was taken out of jail and hung to a tree.

I found this exact article in two papers and no more. Since it mentioned a special to the Constitution, I decided to read through the Constitution and luckily I found an article with more information. This article comes to us from The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated November 26, 1879:

Special dispatch to The Constitution.

PERRY, Ga., November 25.—A negro was hung here last night named Henry Walker, who was under arrest. He was taken from the guard-house in Fort Valley after the house had been broken open; chains and locks broken. He was hung to a tree in front of the guard-house until he was dead. On the preliminary trial held the day previous, when brought up on a charge of burglary, he stated boldly that he was one of a gang of negroes who for the last eighteen months had been engaged in burglarious [sic] depredations in this and adjoining counties; that within a week they have broken into and stolen from two houses in Bibb county and one in Houston. He said he always went prepared to overcome any resistance, being armed with an axe; that he had been frequently under arrest and in jail, but had escaped and would do so again, and appeared to be a hardened desperado. Judge Simmons called up the grand jury and instructed them to inquire into the hanging, stating that he was greatly shocked to hear of the outrage and requiring them to summon, if necessary, every person in Fort Valley, and if possible discover and bring to justice the perpetrators of this outrageous murder, no matter who they may be.

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

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