Tuesday, July 26, 2016

August 26, 1916: Jess Hammet

Today we learn about a lynching in Louisiana through the pages of The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated August 27, 1916:


Jess Hammet Hanged to Telegraph Pole for Attempting to Assault Woman.

Shreveport, La., August 26.—A mob of about 1,000 citizens of the oil section of Caddo parish stormed the town jail at Vivian, 20 miles north of Shreveport, today, took possession of Jess Hammet, negro prisoner, and hanged him to a telegraph pole. Hammet had confessed to entering the bedroom of the wife of an oil driller armed with a butcher knife and making an attempt to assault her. The woman fully identified the negro as her assailant.

The attempt at assault occurred early Friday morning. Deputies captured Hammet later in the day and made an unsuccessful attempt to convey him to Shreveport in an automobile. They were forced to take to the woods with their prisoner, but were found there by the mob and compelled to surrender Hammet.

The mob threatened lynching, and appeals were made by several citizens to let the law take its course. Among those who asked the crowd to disperse were the parents of the woman. Word of the gathering of the mob was telephoned to Shreveport, and Judge John R. Land, District Attorney W. A. Mabry, Chief Deputy Sheriff L. E. Stokes and a number of special deputies left in automobiles for Vivian in an effort to prevent the lynching. They were on their way when the jail was stormed and the negro hanged.

No shots were fired by the mob. After the lynching the crowd dispersed. Hammet was employed for a number of years by the father of the woman, and nursed as an infant the woman whom he subsequently tried to outrage.

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

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