Thursday, March 31, 2016

May 22, 1881: Billy Leroy and Samuel Potter

Today we learn about the lynching of a "noted robber"and his companion through the pages of The Ottawa Daily Republic (Ottawa, Kansas) dated May 24, 1881:


Lake City, Col., May 23.—The coach arriving this morning brings information of the capture of three men who robbed the coach of the mail and express and wounded Frank Bartlet. The noted robber, Billy Leroy one of the gang, would not surrender until severely wounded. They were captured in the vicinity of Powder Horn station, where the robbery was committed, about 15 miles from this city. The public excitement is very high, and the robbers have no doubt been lynched. The next coach arrives at 1 p. m., which will either bring the prisoners or the news of their deaths.

We learn about the fate of Billy Leroy through the pages of the Fort Wayne Daily Gazette (Fort Wayne, Indiana) dated May 24, 1881:


DENVER, COL., May 23—The United States marshal to-day received a telegram saying that Billy Leroy and a confederate calling himself Samuel Potter, were taken to Del Norte last night. An hour after the arrival of the prisoners they were lynched by the citizens.

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

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

July 26, 1872: James Sharpe

Today we learn about a lynching in Missouri through the pages of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette (Williamsport, Pennsylvania) dated July 29, 1872:

A Murderer Lynched.

KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 27. James Sharpe, who murdered John Erskine a week or two ago, was taken from jail at Warrensburg, Mo., yesterday morning by a mob of about three hundred persons, who represented themselves as leading citizens from all parts of the country, and hung him. The Sheriff resisted the mob, but they attacked the jail in front and rear, and making a breach in the wall took the prisoner out. He confessed to the murder. His body was delivered to his wife and three children.

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

Monday, March 28, 2016

October 31, 1893: Abe Redmond

Today we learn about a lynching in Virginia through the pages of the Highland Recorder (Monterey, Virginia) dated November 10, 1893:


Abe Redmond, who had been known for years as the worst man that ever lived in Charlotte county, was taken from a trio of officers and hung by a mob of unknown men.

Redmond was arrested at daybreak by an officer and a dozen assistants, and it was one of the few times that he was ever captured without trouble. He mistook the officer for a friend. A few days ago he was after a negro to kill him and caught the wrong one by mistake, but did not let him go without having beaten him nearly to death. He was taken before a justice of the peace and without any evidence was discharged.

Later, after threatening a number of the best citizens in the vilest manner, he acknowledged that he was the man who had served the negro so shamefully, and only wanted an opportunity to kill the right one.

The prisoner was taken to Dupres for examination before Justices Booth and Crafton. After a day spent in looking up witnesses he waived examination and was sent on to the grand jury. It being night Constable Crutcher was ordered to take the prisoner to his house, which was on the way to the courthouse, under the guard of three men, Messrs. Hamilton, Drigg, and Haynie.

They arrived safely at Crutchers house without any sign of disturbance. About 11 o'clock two of the guards wee asleep and one on duty when the door was broken in with a crash and pistols. Without a word the prisoner was taken out. It was a thoroughly organized crowd, every one knew his place, and in less than a minute every thing was as quiet as before the mob came.

One of the guards when asked the number in the party replied:  "Don't know. They came into the light like men coming up out of the ground and disappeared in like manner."

The body was found by a negro on Crutcher's place swinging from a tree white with frost. A coroner's inquest was held, and the verdict was that Redmond came to his death by the hands of a mob of unknown men.

Redmond's life was full of deeds of the blackest hue, and the community was in a state of terror while he lived No one felt safe around him. If a cow or a horse crossed his place he would often shoot them down.

Redmond was a man of means and his whole fortune was spent in paying lawyers.

When but a boy some hot words passed between him and his old father. Shortly afterward the old man was walking along with his gun on his shoulder, when he was suddenly shot by Abb [sic] from behind the corner of the fence. With the aid of the ablest lawyers in the State he got off with a few years in prison. Then came the burning of the house of a citizen. Redmond confessed to the burning, but said it was his own house.

Shortly after this the same man had a number  of his barns burned. Later a neighbor had a few words with Redmond, and in a day or two four of his horses were poisoned. An old negro was cut almost to death by Redmond, and for his crime he got two years in prison. When he came back he professed religion, joined the church, and pretended to lead a new life, but no sooner were liabilities removed then he went back to his old ways.

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

Saturday, March 26, 2016

June 3, 1909: John Maxey

Today we learn about a lynching through the pages of The Coffeyville Daily Journal (Coffeyville, Kansas) dated June 3, 1909:


Negro Who Shot Circus Man of Wichita, Hung by a Mob.

Frankfort, Ky., June 3.—John Maxey, negro who shot and seriously wounded B. C. Bowers, a circus man last night, was taken from the jail here early today and lynched. The jailer resisted the mob but he was overpowered.

Maxey narrowly escaped being lynched at the time of the shooting at the hands of a big circus crowd. The shooting was result of the negro's effort to get into the tent under the flap without a ticket.

Bowers' home is in Georgia. He formerly lived in Wichita, Kan. He was shot in the abonmen. [sic]

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

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

March 23, 1896: Ike Pizer

Today we learn about a lynching in Louisiana through the pages of The Pittsburg Daily Headlight (Pittsburg, Kansas) dated March 24, 1896:


A Louisiana Mob Avenges an Insult to White Women.

SHREVEPORT, La., March 24.—A negro named Ike Pizer was lynched at eight o'clock yesterday morning near Emporia station, on the Shreveport & Houston railway. Sunday afternoon two young ladies were walking home on the railroad track near Emporia. On their way they were stopped by the negro Pizer, who insulted them. The black brute knocked them off the track and was frightened from further violence by the screams of the girls. The negro fled to the woods and the girls hastened home and detailed what had happened. The news spread far and wide and soon a mob of armed citizens were out on the trail of the negro. The search was continued all night and early yesterday morning his hiding place was discovered. He was at once taken in charge and lynched by the infuriated mob.

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

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

June, 1879: John Elliott

Today we learn about a lynching in Texas through the pages of The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois) dated June 13, 1879:

—John Elliott, until lately a citizen o[f] Newark, O., a few days ago murdered two men in a drunken brawl at Dallas, Tex., for which crime he was lynched. When his father died he fell heir to a small fortune, since which time he has led a terrible life, having shot two and stabbed one man in Ohio, but always by some means escaped the law. His mother, two brothers and a sister reside in Newark.

The Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois) dated June 12, 1879:


Special Telegram to The Inter Ocean.

NEWARK, Ohio, June 11.—A dispatch from Davenport, Texas, says:  John Elliott, a former resident of Newark, shot and killed two men in a street fight. He was immediately lynched by a mob. He shot and cut two men in Licking County while residing here.

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

Monday, March 21, 2016

August 25, 1891: Will Lewis

Today we learn about a lynching in Tennessee through the pages of The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) dated August 26, 1891:


Remarkable Midnight Lynching in Tullahoma, Tenn.

A Negro Boy Hanged for Simply Being Drunk.

No Other Motive Discovered After Searching Investigation.

The People of Tullahoma Promptly Condemn the Deed.

Strong Resolutions Adopted Urging That the Offenders Be Brought Promptly to Justice.

TULLAHOMA, Aug 25.—[Special.]—This community was greatly shocked in the early hours of to-day at hearing that Will Lewis, a colored youth less than twenty years of age, had been taken from the city lock-up about 1 o'clock this morning and hanged to a tree a few yards from the prison.

Your correspondent heard of the affair about 6 o'clock this morning and immediately repaired to the scene of the hanging and found the lifeless body of the negro still hanging to the limb where he met his death. It was a horrible sight. the tongue was swollen and protruding from the mouth. The feet, from which the shoes had been removed, were tied together and the arms pinioned to the body.

The boy had evidently been dead for several hours, and upon inquiry of the three other colored prisoners in the calaboose, it was learned that the tragedy had occurred about 1 o'clock.

These prisoners stated that about 1 o'clock, a crowd of masked men, numbering, as well as they could estimate, some six or seven, came to the calaboose, broke the lock, entered and seized Will Lewis, and took him out, and relocked the door with another lock they had with them, and then, taking Lewis about twenty yards from the door of the prison to a tree swung him up to a limb until he was dead, and leaving the body hanging there, quietly took their departure.

The negro, Will Lewis, was a full-blooded African, small of stature and about 19 years of age and was a native of this place, where his mother Priscilla Lewis has lived for many years. Will was always an industrious, reliable boy, until about two years ago when he took to drink and became quarrelsome and rowdyish when under the influence of whisky. He recently worked out, on the streets, several fines for violation, when drunk, of municipal ordinances.

Yesterday he was on another drunk and was locked up to await his trial this morning before the Recorder.

When his body was discovered this morning Deputy Coroner Geo. W. Davidson was immediately notified, and he summoned a jury of inquest. The jury was in session several hours this morning examining witnesses and using every effort to bring out all the facts in the case, and ferret out the perpetrators of the horrible outrage and the cause that instigated them to do it. But the labor of the jury resulted in nothing beyond the fact that the negro was lynched, as stated above.

Who committed the diabolical deed and for what reason still seems shrouded in mystery, without a single clue to throw any light upon the dark and damnable deed.

The rope used in the hanging was a half inch jute, and shows marks of usage. It was adjusted around the negro's neck with the regular hangman's noose and knot. Nothing has been elicited by the searching inquiries of the jury or the volunteer detectives to satisfactorily account for the cause, if any cause there was, which impelled the murderers to their wanton midnight murder of the negro boy.

The negro when drinking was inclined to be boisterous, quarrelsome and impudent, but if he had been unusually so recently it is not known.

The citizens here are very much worked up about the affair, and a determined effort will be made to trace up the murderers and bring them to justice.

The Mayor issued a call for a public meeting in the following dodger:


of the citizens of Tullahoma is hereby called for 2:30 p. m. this afternoon at the Recorder's office, to give expression to their sentiments in regard to the hanging of Will Lewis, colored, by unknown parties, near the city prison on last night. In view of the atrocious nature of the outrage, I have deemed it right and proper that the citizens of Tullahoma should have an opportunity to express their detestation of such acts, and to take measures to bring the offenders to justice, and have called them together for that purpose. Let all good citizens who wish to see the law vindicated be present at the hour named.

G. C. RANEY, Town Constable.
Aug. 25, 1891.

Pierce B. Anderson Bivouac, Confederate Veterans, also held a meeting this afternoon and passed resolutions emphatically and unqualifiedly condemning the murderous outrage.


Every Effort Will Be Made to Capture Lewis' Murderers. 

TULLAHOMA, Aug. 25.—[Special.]—The citizens' meeting this afternoon was large and representative. The Governor was memorialized to offer a suitable reward for the arrest of the lynchers of Will Lewis. To-night at a called meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen the Mayor was instructed to offer a reward of $100 for the arrest of the murderers of Lewis. Every effort will be made to arrest them.

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

Friday, March 18, 2016

December 15, 1877: Kennedy

Today we learn about a lynching in the Wyoming Territory through the pages of the Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) dated December 16, 1877:


CHEYENNE, Wy. T., Dec. 15.—At Silver Springs, twenty-five miles south of here, a man of Company A, Third Cavalry, one of the three no en route to the Hills, named Kennedy, while under the influence of liquor yesterday, threatened the life of Sergeant of his company, named Schaffer, but was prevented at the time of carrying his threat into execution. Shortly after arriving in camp in the evening, Kennedy procured a carbine, went to the tent where he supposed Schaffer would be found, and, opening the flap, fired at the first man he saw, killing him instantly, but instead of Schaffer it proved to be John A. Van Molt, First Sergeant of the company. Kennedy was immediately disarmed and put under charge of a guard. Great excitement prevailed among the men of the company, by whom Van Molt was greatly respected, and some time during the night the guard was overpowered, a blanket being thrown over his head, and at daylight this morning the body of Kennedy was found suspended to the ridge-pole of the guard tent by the neck, life being extinct. Van Molt's body was brought here to-day, and will be forwarded to-morrow to Fort Laramie for interment.

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

Thursday, March 17, 2016

September 28, 1891: John Brown

Today we learn about a lynching in Alabama through the pages of The Brooklyn Daily (Brooklyn, N. Y.) dated October 2, 1891:


White Men Perpetrate an Outrage in Alabama.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., October 2.

Monday night masked white men visited the house of John Brown, a well to do negro farmer near Childersburg, Ala., and carried him off on the pretext that they were officers and had a warrant for his arrest. to-day Brown's body was found in a creek with a rope around his neck. He had been hanged to a bridge, and when dead the body had been cut down and thrown in the water. No cause for the deed is known, excepting that Brown was a witness against two white men charged with burning William Boaz's farm.

Another article named the owner of the burned barn as William Rose. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

March 16, 1900: George Ritter

Today we learn about a lynching in North Carolina through the pages of the News and Observer (Raleigh, N. C.) dated March 24, 1900:


George Ritten [sic], Colored, Shot to Death and Then Swung to a Limb.

(Sanford Express.)

Dr. Gilbert McLeod, of Carthage, who was in town Tuesday informed the Express that George Ritter, colored, was dragged from his home about seven miles west of Carthage on last Friday night by a body of masked men and after being shot to death his body was swung to a limb where it was found next morning.

The theory of the people who knew the negro and are acquainted with the details of the crime is that Ritter was tortured and murdered by moonshiners, who had reason to believe that he had given information to the government concerning their operations in that vicinity.

Ritter, who was about 35 years of age, is said to have been simple and inoffensive. It was first thought that he was connected with the burning of some barns and that he had been foully dealt with for that reason. This theory has been discredited, and it is the general opinion that he was disposed of by moonshiners, who believed that he had given information against them to the government.

Ritter lived on the plantation of D. S. Barret, seven miles from Carthage. Friday night four masked men appeared at the home of the negro, and were met by his wife, who was told that they desired to see George. The spokesman said that he had some questions for him to answer, and not to be uneasy. The negro responded to the summons and accompanied the four men with concealed faces. The party had not been gone five minutes when several pistol shots were heard.

The next morning the body of George Ritter was found swinging to a tree some 300 yards from his home. The head had been beaten with a club and other parts of the body horribly mutilated before the form was swung up.Everything connected with the crime points to the fact that the negro was barbarously tortured before he was killed.

The evidence accumulated by the coroner, Dr. G. McLeod, tends to show that an effort was made to hang the negro and that he got away and ran. He was followed a quarter of a mile where he was shot. The tracks of the pursued and pursuing were plainly visible.

The wife and daughter of George Ritter were taken to Carthage Monday for safe keeping. The two women think they know three of the white-cappers. Masks and hats have been found, and it is thought that these, together with the tracks observed, will lead to the identity of the perpetrators of the barbarous murder.

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

Monday, March 14, 2016

May 21, 1911: Mark Norris (Morris),Jr., Jerry Gusto and Four Negroes

Today we learn about the lynching of six men in Florida through the pages of the Altoona Tribune (Altoona, Pennsylvania) dated May 22, 1911:


This by a Party of Men at Lake City, Fla., Who Masqueraded as Officers.

Lake City, Fla., May 21.—Six negroes were lynched here early this morning after a party of more than a dozen men, masquerading as officers, appeared at the county jail and secured possession of the men by presenting a bogus telegram to the 16-year-old son of the sheriff, ordering the release of the blacks to the alleged posse of officers. The negroes were being held here for safe keeping on the charge of murdering B. B. Smith, a saw mill man of Dadesborough, Leon county, and wounding another man named Reamstor [sic] on May 12.

The men, who had come from Tallahassee to Lake City in automobiles, took the negroes about a mile outside of Lake City. They compelled the negroes to stand abreast and about ten men commenced firing with rifles and pistols until everyone of the six had been riddled with bullets. The firing lasted about half an hour, and a few straggling citizens at daybreak, found the negroes shot up beyond recognition, just after the automobiles left the scene of the lynching.

The plans of the lynchers were most daring, though but for a curious combination of circumstances they would never had been successful. the sheriff of Columbia county was out of the city and left the jail in charge of the boy, who, aroused in the early hours of the morning allowed the six negroes to be taken from the jail without knowing the sinister purpose of the mob.

The telegram which the leaders of the mob showed the boy was supposedly from the sheriff of Leon county and stated that the sheriff had received intimations that a mob was being formed in Tallahassee to take the negroes from the Lake City jail. The message ordered that the men be carried further south to frustrate the suspected mob. The telegram appeared authentic as the six negroes have been moved frequently.

Residents of Lake City knew nothing of the lynching until a fusilade [sic] of distant shots was heard. A few citizens went in the direction of the firing and found the bodies, but the lynchers had disappeared.

The wounded man's name appears to have been Register according to several other articles. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

February 22, 1884: John Heith (Heath)

Today we learn about a lynching in Arizona through the pages of The Record-Union (Sacramento, California) dated February 23, 1884:


One of the Bisbee Murderers Lynched.

TOMBSTONE, February 22d.—Yesterday morning John Heith was sentenced to imprisonment for life for complicity in the Bisbee murder. About ten minutes since his body was cut down from a telegraph pole at the edge of town, and is now at the Morgue awaiting the Coroner's inquest. Shortly before 8 o'clock this morning about 100 men, principally miners from the Contention and Grand Central mines, which had been shut down, went to the Court-house, and, selecting seven of their number from Bisbee, they went to the door leading to the jail and rapped for admittance. The remainder of the crowd stayed outside. It was about an hour before breakfast is brought to the prisoners, and jailer Billy Ward, thinking it was the man with the food, opened the door without looking  to see who his visitors were. Instantly he was covered by weapons and a demand made on him for the keys of the jail. Seeing that resistance was useless, he quickly gave them up, and the party proceeded to Heith's cell, and , unshackling him, brought him into the corridor of the jail. It was their first intention to hang him to the baluster of the stairs leading to the second story, but this plan was abandoned, and the crowd started for the telephone line at the lower edge of town. At the door of the Court-house they were met by Sheriff Ward, who, throwing up his hands, exclaimed with a show of authority, "Stop this! You have got to stop this right here." Before he could realize what had happened he was picked up and tossed down the steps, and the crowd proceeded with the prisoner down Toughnut street until reaching the place selected for the execution. The trip from the jail to the point mentioned was made on a run, Heith keeping in the lead. Arriving at the place, Heith pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and said, "Boys you are hanging an innocent man, and you will find it out before these other men [referring to Dowd and his pals, sentenced to be hanged on the 28th of March], are hung. Tie this handkerchief over my eyes. i am not afraid to die. I have one favor to ask—that you will not mutilate my body by shooting it after I am hung." His eyes were bandaged as desired, and in a moment his body was dangling at the end of the rope from the cross arm of a telegraph pole. Heith throughout showed great nerve, and had it not been for the absolute certainty of his guilt his life would probably been spared. No attempt was made to molest either prisoner under sentence of death, the community waiting to see them legally executed. If not disposed of in this way, they will follow the same road just traveled by Heith.

James Howard, O. W. Sample, Daniel Dowd, William Delaney and Daniel Kelly were executed on March 28, 1884 for the Bisbee murder. All men claimed that they were innocent and that Heith also was innocent. If you are interested in learning about the Bisbee murder, you can find information here. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Friday, March 11, 2016

August 28, 1920: Blucher Higgins and Dan Callicut

Today we learn about a lynching in Mississippi through the pages of The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated August 29, 1920:


Corinth, Miss., August 28.—Blucher Higgins and Dan Callicut, negroes, were lynched here early today by a mob numbering between 75 and 100 men, after J. D. King, jailer, had been forced, at the point of a gun, to give up the keys to the jail. Immediately after hanging the negroes to a telegraph pole near the jail the mob dispersed quietly and no further disorder took place.

The negroes lynched are said to have escaped from a chaingang with two others yesterday, after James Whitehurst, a guard, was knocked on the head. They returned and surrendered to the sheriff. A third was captured near here late today. Whitehurst is expected to recover.

A coroner's inquest into the lynching was begun Monday. Thomas H. Johnston, county prosecuting attorney, declared "at least one" of the negroes lynched was innocent of any part in the felling of Whitehurst.

I am sorry to have been on such a long hiatus but I am back now to bring you more articles . Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

September 21, 1878: Daniel McBride

Today we learn about a lynching in Limestone county, Alabama through the pages of The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) dated September 23, 1878:


Daniel McBride, the Negro Murderer, Lynched Saturday Night. 

Hung From a Limb Near the Spot Where the Murder was Committed.

Special to the American.

ATHENS, ALA., Sept. 22.—Last night, about eleven o'clock, a crowd of men, estimated from sixty to seventy-five, rode into town and went at once to the jail. They demanded the keys of the jailer, who flatly refused. They then demanded that he should open the doors, and after his refusal, they provided themselves with axes, hammers and crowbars, with which to force the doors. When the jailer saw that resistance would be folly, and that they were determined to go in, he reluctantly gave up the keys, whereupon they entered the cell and took therefrom Daniel McBride, the negro who murdered the white man on the railroad, six miles north of here, on the night of the 7th of this month. They took him to the identical place where he had cut the man's throat, and he made a full confession, stating that he killed the man for his money and got from him eleven dollars. While they had him under the tree several gentleman made speeches, urging that the law should take its course, and while the vote was being taken the crowd, having increased to one hundred and fifty, some four or five pulled him up, saying they had come for that purpose. No fear of lynching was entertained by our Sheriff, or, in fact, by anyone. But since the hanging, it has transpired that meetings had been held in the northern portion of the county for several nights, and the determination to hang him upon the spot was freely made several nights ago. The matter was conducted so quietly that few of the citizens knew that he had been taken from the jail until this morning. The Coroner held an inquest on the negro's body to-day, and the verdict was "death by strangulation by unknown parties." Public opinion is divided. most of the citizens preferred that he should have had a trial, while others say "served him right," as he was beyond doubt guilty, and it was saving time and expense.


I would like to apologize for not being as consistent in posting as I would like. My daughter is getting married this week-end and my time is spread thinly. After the wedding I should be better at posting regularly. Thanks for understanding.

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