Wednesday, July 20, 2016

July 1, 1922: James Harvey and Joe Jordan

Today we learn about a double lynching in Georgia through the pages of The Index-Journal (Greenwood, S. C.) dated July 2, 1922:

Negroes' Reprieve Didn't Save Them

Jessup, Ga., July 1.—James Harvey and Joe Jordan, negroes, who were granted a thirty day reprieve Thursday after having been sentenced to hang for the third time, were taekn [sic] from officers and lynched in Liberty county early today.

The negroes were convicted last September of an attack on a white woman and were sentenced to be hanged, denied a new trial and sentenced again and after the state supreme court had upheld the conviction the hanging was set for last Friday. After the respite came officers were taking them to Savannah for safekeeping when a mob of about fifty men seized them and hanged them to a tree.

Our next article is found in the July 29, 1922 edition of The Broad Ax (Salt Lake City, Utah):


The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has announced the receipt of a letter from Governor Thomas W. Hardwick of Georgia regarding the lynching of Joe Jordan and James Harvey, two young colored men, convicted of assault, who were lynched on July 1 at Lanes Bridge, Georgia, after they had been granted a respite of 30 days by the Governor. In reply to the Association's request that not only the lynchers be punished but that Sheriff Rogers of Wayne County, Georgia and Deputy Sheriff Tyre, who permitted the mob to take the prisoners from him, be adequately punished. The Governor replied:

"As Governor of this State, I have offered the largest reward authorized by law for the perpetrators of this outrage, and I will instruct the court authorities and the Solicitor-General of the judicial circuit in which Wayne County is located, to present the matter to the grand jury at its approaching session. I will do all I can to vindicate the law in this matter."

Our next article comes to us through the pages of The Kansas City Kansan (Kansas City, Kansas) dated July 30, 1922:

Obstructionist Tactics

The expected efforts to lead discussion on the Dyer anti-lynching bill in the United States senate by senators from Southern states into the realm of sectional and racial prejudice have already begun, according to a statement by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at its national office, 70 Fifth Avenue, New York. On July 1, two colored boys, Joe Jordan and James Harvey, were lynched at Lane's bridge, Georgia, after Governor Hardwick had granted them a respite for thirty days. This action followed the gathering of evidence by the N. A. A. C. P. and presentation of that evidence to the governor by attorneys employed by the N. A. A. C. P. On July 10, the New York Times carried an account of a sermon by the Rev. P. T. Holloway, of Jesup, Ga., in which this white minister arraigned officers of the law for neglect of their duty and accused them directly of aiding the lynching party.

The N. A. A. C. P immediately sent to each member of the senate a copy of the Times clipping. Senator William M. Calder of New York inserted the clipping without comment in the Congressional Record of July 12. On the following day Senator Calder was viciously assailed by Senators Harris of Georgia, Shields of Tennessee, and Dial of South Carolina. These senators followed the usual custom is arguing that "the South should be left alone to settle the negro question . . . outside interference cannot help" and pointed to newspaper accounts of crime in New York city as evidence that the South should not be attacked for lynching. Nothing was said by any of the three southern senators regarding the newspaper clipping in which Reverend Holloway, a southern white minister, charged connivance between officers of the law and the mob that lynched the two boys. Rev. Holloway, in the sermon which aroused the ire of Senators Harris, Dial and Shields, charged that officers of the law practically invited the lynchings. In the course of his remarks he said:

"The morning after the unlawful execution I heard two men talking about a lynching, and one of them was an officer who took charge of the victims purposely to take them to Savannah. The general public wants to know why they should have been taken away from Jesup, and especially why they should have been taken away in a Ford car, when there were fast passenger trains going straight through to Savannah making no stop. We demand to know how a mob of men seventy miles away could find out when these prisoners were taken from the county jail, and where they got their information of the route taken. The general public would like to know why the officers who had these prisoners in charge stopped at Lane's Bridge thirty minutes and told that if anybody came along to tell them they were going to Savannah, and would probably have car trouble. The public wants to know why two men, whose names I could call, went to a citizen's house on Thursday and said:  'Let's get those two negroes and lynch them. The sheriff said it would be all right; that he would offer no resistance.'"

It will be remembered that when Sheriff L. W. Rogers of Wayne county received Governor Hardwick's telegram granting a respite of thirty days to Jordan and Harvey, the sheriff replied:  "Your order received with much sorrow."

We continue the tale with an article in The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated September 23, 1922:


Police Chief of Jesup and Wayne Deputy Among Five Indicted in Double Lynching.


Indictments Name I. W. and "Dock" Rhoden, J. R. Tyre, Bob Price and Carl Stuart.

Hinesville, Ga., September 22.—Indictments charging murder in connection with the lynching of two negroes were returned here today by the Liberty county grand jury against five residents of Wayne county, including Chief of Police I. W. Rhoden, of Jesup, and Deputy Sheriff J. R. Tyre, of Wayne county.

Others indicted are the chief's brother, "Dock" Rhoden, of Jesup, and Brunswick; Bob L. Price, of Wayne county, and Carl Stuart, now supposed to be in Telfair county.

This is the first time that indictments have been secured against alleged members of a mob in southeast Georgia. The lynching occurred the night of June 30, near Old Midway, in this county.

The negroes, James Harvey and Joe Jordan, were under sentence of death following their trial for murder. They had been reprieved by Governor Hardwick and were on their way to Savannah, to be held for safe-keeping. They were taken from the officers and hanged. The lynching created a widespread feeling of indignation in Liberty county.

Inquiry into the lynching was ordered by Judge W. W. Sheppard Tuesday at the opening of the fall term of Liberty county superior court. The fact that the prisoners had been reprieved by Governor Hardwick, on the ground of the discovery of new evidence, gave the prisoners the status of wards of the state. According to the judge's charge to the jury their murder while under the protection of the state was a particularly dangerous outrage against government.

Solicitor J. S. Daniels was in charge of the prosecution before the grand jury today. With the co-operation of other county officers he had previously investigated the lynching.

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

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