Tuesday, August 9, 2016

April, 1891: Roxie Elliott

Today we learn about a lynching in Alabama with contradicting articles. Our first article is found in The Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois) dated April 7, 1891:


A Negro Girl's Unnatural Crime

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., April 6—Miss Roxie Elliott, a negro school teacher, gave birth to an illegitimate child a few days ago, and in her effort to hide her shame she carried the babe to a dense thicket where she tied a rope around its neck and hung it to a tree. The child was discovered by hunters and the coroner's investigation brought out the facts. The mother is under arrest.


Our next article comes to us from The Austin Weekly Statesman (Austin, Texas) dated April 9, 1891:


Hanging to a Tree.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., April 4.—Roxie Elliott, a negro school teacher in jail at Centerville, Bibb county, charged with murdering her infant child was found hanging to a tree with her neck broken.


I found three newspapers with the first article and two with the second. The Tuskegee Institute listed Roxie Elliott as being lynched with no charge given. I tend to believe the second article is the true story mainly because I find it hard to believe someone would choose to hang an infant to hide their shame and because the second article gives a location. I think this is a case of a reporter or newspaper getting the information confused. 

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

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