Wednesday, August 10, 2016

July, 1894: Jack Brownlee

Today we learn about a lynching in Alabama through the pages of The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated July 19, 1894:


Masked Men Supposed to Be Kolbites Whip a Negro.

Anniston, Ala., July 18.—(Special.)—A few nights ago Jack Brownlee, a negro who lives int he lower portion of the county, was taken from his home by a party of masked white men, thirty or forty in number, and whipped. Brownlee is a democrat, and has been organizing Oates clubs among the negroes of that section. About two weeks ago he had Sam Comer, a white man, and a Kolbite, arrested for attempting to ravish his daughter, to which crime Comer plead guilty, and for which he was fined $25. The mob told Brownlee that he was being whipped for organizing the democratic clubs, and for having Comer arrested. He was told that if he did not leave the country he would be hanged. Although weak from the beating, he took the advice, and has left. Brownlee thought he recognized some of the mob as the leading Kolb men of that community, but, as he could not swear to it, no arrests have been made.

The Cheney Sentinel (Cheney, Kansas) dated July 26, 1894:

At Oxford, Ala., a mob of thirty whitecappers went to the home of Jack Brownlee, colored, shot his house full of holes, beat the doors down and took him to the woods, where he was stripped and whipped almost to death. He was ordered to leave the country. He has not been seen since, and he is thought to have been killed. Political causes are alleged. 

Brownlee is listed in both the Chicago Tribune's 1894 lynchings and the Tuskegee Institute's lynching list as being lynched for political activity.

Reuben Francis Kolb was a gubernatorial candidate running as a Populist in Alabama and his supporters were referred to a Kolbites.

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

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