Tuesday, August 30, 2016

December 5, 1931: Mack Williams

Today we learn about a lynching in Maryland through the pages of the Sedalia Weekly Democrat (Sedalia, Missouri) dated December 11, 1931:


Shot Sfter Killing Lumberman, He Is Dragged From Hospital Bed

SALISBURY, Maryland—Dragged from a hospital cot, his head swathed in bandages, Mack Williams, 35-year-old negro, was lynched here Saturday by a mob of 2,000 in the yard of the Wicomico county courthouse for the murder earlier in the afternoon of Daniel J. Elliott, a lumberman.

While the chief of police and the sheriff were guarding the front of the hospital as mob violence threatened, a small group of men entered by a side door. Mack had shot himself in the chest after killing the lumberman and the victim's son shot him in the head.

Mack was dragged from his bed and placed in the middle of the group and hustled out of the hospital across the street and walked three blocks to the yard of the courthouse.

More than 2,000 men were assembled in the yard and a shout went up as the group of men appeared with Mack. A rope was quickly produced, one end fastened about the neck of the victim, and the other tossed over a limb of a tree and fastened to a lamp post.

A dozen hands pulled the negro from the ground and as he swayed in the breeze another shout went up. There was no shooting.

A half hour later the mob cut the body down, placed it on a pile of boxes and other wood and burned it.

E. Murray Phillips, sheriff, said:  "After the mob had cut the negro down after the lynching I attempted to recover it but the mob overpowered me, retrieved the negro and carried him a few blocks distant where the cremation took place."

Twelve of the fourteen persons lynched in Maryland in the last 45 years have been negroes. The last lynching occurred in December, 1907.

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

Monday, August 29, 2016

May 30, 1928: Ocie Wilson

Today we learn about a Missouri lynching through the pages of The Monroe News-Star (Monroe, Louisiana) dated May 30, 1928:


Body Found Hanging on Tree in Missouri After Slaying.


Slew Another Negro in Gambling Game Yesterday.

By Associated Press.

MARSHALL, Mo., May 30.—Ocie Wilson, negro, who slew Romeo Logan, another negro, in a gambling game yesterday, was taken from Saline county officers on the highway between here and Slater early today and lynched. His body was found hanging from a tree beside the highway, three miles south of Slater.

Officers believed the 12 negroes were friends of Logan, a shop worker. 

The fact that Logan was highly respected by negroes in Slater led to the belief that Wilson was lynched by members of his own race. Little was known of Wilson, who arrived in Slater recently from Mississippi.

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

Friday, August 26, 2016

June 30, 1882: Unnamed Negro

Today we learn about a lynching in Illinois through the pages of the Harrisburg Daily Independent (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) dated July 1, 1882:

Lynched the Wrong Man.

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ill., June 30—John Jolly, a negro, attempted to force an entrance to the house of Mrs. Howe, at this place, yesterday morning. Failing he abused her until driven off by several neighbors. Soon afterward a crowd collected near Mrs. Howe's house, seized a negro supposed to be Jolly and hanged him from a tree. It is now believed that the lynchers hanged the wrong man.

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

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

December 1, 1886: Caesar Robinson

Today we learn about a lynching in South Carolina through the pages of The Parsons Daily Sun (Parsons, Kansas) dated December 3, 1886:

A Negro Ravisher Taken From Jail and Lynched.

COLUMBIA, S. C., Dec. 2.—C├Žsar Robinson, a negro, was lynched at Florence, S. C., last night for attempting to commit an outrage on a respectable white girl of that town. Robinson met the girl Monday morning walking on the railroad track, two miles from Florence, and was in the act of accomplishing his purpose when he was frightened away by the timely approach of a party of white boys. He was arrested yesterday and taken before his intended victim, who positively identified him, after which he was lodged in jail at Florence. Last night a large party of white men surrounded the prison.

At the same time several hundred negroes gathered in the same vicinity for the purpose of protecting the prisoner. The lynching party, however, divided their forces, one party kept the negro mob in front at bay, while the others attacked the rear end of the guard-house, effected an entrance, dragged Robinson out, hanged him to a tree in the rear, and riddled his body with bullets. The negroes fired several shots at the lynchers, but a volley from the latter dispersed the negroes in short order.

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

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

June 22, 1893: Dan Edwards

Today we learn about an Alabama lynching through the pages of The Scranton Republican (Scranton, Pennsylvania) dated June 26, 1893:


Hanged by a Mob for Assaulting a White Girl.

SELMA, Ala., June 25.—About one month ago Lelia Woods, daughter of a white farmer living near here, gave birth to a child whose black skin denoted its father was a negro. A few days ago Dan Edwards, a negro dwarf about twenty-seven years of age, was arrested on suspicion.

After much persuasion the girl confessed that the dwarf was the father of her child, but that about a year ago he had assaulted her, but on more than one occasion since she had been compelled to submit to him, as Edwards threatened to poison the whole family if she told. Thursday night, while officers were bringing Edwards to jail here, they were overpowered by a mob, who took the prisoner into the woods and hanged him. As the negro swung between earth and sky, the mob literally riddled his body with bullets. Upon his back was found pinned yesterday morning the following:  "Warning to all negroes who are too intimate with white girls. This is the work of 100 of the very best citizens of the South Side."

What I find most disturbing about this lynching is that they didn't try to find who was the father until the girl gave birth. According to multiple articles the girl was thirteen and according to one article "not possessed of good wit." It seems to me they should have been looking as soon as she was discovered pregnant and not once they saw that the baby had a black father. I don't know what the age of consent was in 1892 Alabama, but 12 or 13 would not be surprising. The question is whether a girl with lower than average intelligence could consent. I have no way of knowing exactly what "not possessed of good wit" means.  I guess everything was fine that this 13 year old "not possessed of good wit" daughter of a "poor but honest farmer" was pregnant until the race of the father was discovered. 

Quotes are found in an article in The Reidsville Review (Reidsville, N. C.) dated June 30, 1893.

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

Monday, August 22, 2016

June 2, 1892: Mob Violence in the South

Today's article is found in the Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) dated June 2, 1892:


For the information of the Chicago Herald, which just now is engaged in apologizing for the wholesale lynchings of negroes in the South upon the false plea that nine out of ten of them are lynched for rape, we subjoin the following statement of the operations of mob law for the month of May just closed:  There have been reported during the month 31 cases of lynching. Of these 31 were in the Southern States, 0 in the Northern. Of these 31 cases 26 were negroes and 5 were whites. Of the 5 whites one was lynched for murder, one for seduction, and three for advising murder. Of the 26 negroes 7 were lynched for rape, 11 for murder, and eight for robbery. There were but three Southern States which were not characterized by the usurption of justice—Kentucky, Virginia and Missouri.

That the crime of rape is prevalent among the negroes admits of no question if we assume that all those who are lynched for it are guilty, and no one will have any sympathy for the wretches, but that nine out of ten are lynched for that crime is false, and the Herald knows it. Last month seven were lynched for rape and nineteen for other offenses, and this proportion substantially will hold good for the last ten years. This is bad enough, but it does not afford any excuse for gross misstatements on the one hand or for the condemnation of a race because of the acts of individuals on the other. If the Herald has any reliable information as to the number of lynchings let it produce it and present name, date, and place. Give us the facts and THE TRIBUNE will do likewise.

The Governor of Georgia, where lynching has become very common, does not share the apologetic spirit of the Herald. He has been moved by an outrageous act of mob violence, the hanging of three negroes at once near Clarksville who were suspected of robbery, but against whom there was no proof, to declare that he will put a stop to lynching if the State will give him the necessary power, and he has authorized the Secretary of State to offer a reward of $200 for the arrest of all persons who participate in affairs of this kind. Whether his proclamation will stop lynching, however, remains to be seen. It is questionable whether public sentiment is yet ripe enough to give a negro the benefit of trial in the courts so long as a tree and a rope are handy. He is only "a nigger," and even if he is the wrong "nigger" it makes little difference. The Governor of South Carolina does not feel like apologizing for mob violence, either. Last week he was appealed to by some citizens of Gray Court to investigate the lynching of David Shaw, a negro, who was charged with stealing forty dollars' worth of goods from a store. His accusers took him away from the constable and killed him entirely upon suspicion. It is not the first time complaints have been made to him of the hanging of negroes upon suspicion, and in his impatience the Governor remarked that he supposed men would soon be hanged for cursing one another.

Granted the prevalence of crime among the negroes, granted that the offenders deserve punishment and are not entitled to sympathy, and granted that the odious crime of rape is a common one there is something wrong with the courts, something wrong with the operations of the law, and something wrong with public sentiment in the Southern States when the record of a single month shows that twenty-six negroes were lynched and but four hanged in those States. There is nothing political in this wretched business. It is purely a question of education. Education for the negroes on the one hand to lift them up from crimes which grow out of besotted ignorance; education for the whites on the other that shall make them observant of law and that shall make them demand that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. The best citizens of the South deplore this violence and lawbreaking. Education is the only remedy that can reach the evil among the masses.

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

Thursday, August 18, 2016

July 19, 1897: Dr. W. L. Ryder

Today we learn about a Georgia lynching through the pages of The Sun (New York, N. Y.) dated July 20, 1897:



A Georgia Community Unwilling to Brook the Law's Delay—Dr. Ryder Deliberately Shot and Killed Miss Sallie E. Owens in the Parlor of a House Where She was Visiting.

COLUMBUS, Ga., July 19.—Waverly Hall, a little town a score of miles north of this city, was the rendezvous of a mob to-night that met the Sheriff's party which had charge of Dr. W. L. Ryder, the murderer of Miss Sallie Emma Owens.

Ryder was taken from the officers just as they were boarding the train, and struggling and fighting his captors he was hurried away in the darkness. A posse was organized to pursue the mob, but they returned after a fruitless chase.

Ryder was taken back to Talbolton, where the crime was committed, and swung to a limb of a tree.

The immediate cause of this outbreak was the delay of the law. The second trial of the murderer was called at Talbolton this morning, on account of the illness of counsel the case was adjourned.

The people were in no mood to accept this delay, and when the Sheriff started across the country to the railway station to catch the first train for this city, where the prisoner had been confined since the murder, a mob organized and pursued the Sheriff.

The story of the crime is a story of insane love, ending in one of the most horrible tragedies in the history of this State. It was committed on April 15, 1896.

About 9 o'clock in the evening a gunshot was heard from the direction of the house of J. H. McCoy.

Citizens hurried to the residence, where they found Miss Sallie Emma Owens, a beautiful and highly accomplished young woman, who was a visitor to the McCoy family, lying on the floor dead.

Miss Owens had been seated on a sofa in the parlor conversing pleasantly with Capt. John S. Persons, when Dr. Ryder appeared in the doorway carrying a double-barrelled shotgun.

Without speaking and without a moment's hesitation, Ryder fired and the young woman fell to the floor. She died almost immediately.

Ryder at once left the house, but a few minutes later he was captured in a pond almost up to his neck in water, half a mile from the scene of the tragedy where he had made desperate efforts to end his own life by making gashes in his throat and ducking his head under the water.

Our next article is found in The Times (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) dated July 22, 1897:


His Two Brothers Make a Solemn Vow Beside His Grave.


Those Concerned in the Lynching Will be Prosecuted Vigorously.


One Brother, Fully Armed, Rode With the Posse, But the Sheriff Lost the Scent.

Special Telegram to THE TIMES.

MACON, Ga., July 21.

Beside the grave of Dr. W. L. Ryder, who was lynched near Waverly Hall last Monday night, his two brothers this afternoon solemnly vowed to avenge his death. They will to-morrow offer a reward for information that will lead to the identity of the men composing the mob and will secure the offer of an additional reward by the State.

They are two of the nerviest men in Georgia and belong to a family so prominent and influential as to insure a vigorous prosecution.

The Wild Ride of the Posse.

During the wild ride of the Sheriff's posse from Talbotton to Waverly Hall, Dr. Charles Ryder, one of the brothers, sat in a rear seat with a Winchester rifle across his knees and the side pockets of his coat full of cartridges. The posse passed the fifteen men who had Dr. W. L. Ryder in their custody, but the Sheriff was looking for a much larger party and did not know until he arrived at Waverly Hall that he had lost the scent.

Dr. Charles Ryder says that he recognized a number of the men in the buggies and that they are going to hear from him in a few days. It is not at all improbable that the disturbance caused by the original murder a year and a half ago, and which had led to so many sensations since, will now result in worse trouble than any which had preceded it.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated July 30, 1897:


Offers Rewards for Their Conviction, and Calls Upon the Grand Juries of Two Counties to Begin an Immediate Investigation.


The Brothers of the Man Who Was Lynched Tell the Governor All They Know, and He Acts Promptly—Rewards for the Griffin Lynchers to Come Next.

" I have offered a reward for information which will lead to the conviction of the men who lynched Dr. Ryder, but I propose to see that the prosecution of the lynchers does not stop with the offering of a reward. If one man had killed Ryder he would have been guilty of murder, and I fail to see wherein the fact that fourteen participated in the killing relieves any of them of individual guilt. The names of the lynchers have been placed in my hands and they will be prosecuted. I did not know until today that the Constitution's account of the lynching was the only truthful one published, for I have read conflicting stories in many papers, but from the testimony which I have heard today I am convinced not only that Mr. Cramer was present at the lynching, but that his report was accurate,"—Governor Atkinson.

The foregoing tells in brief the result of a lengthy conference yesterday between Governor Atkinson, Dr. Charles A. Ryder, Professor R. A. Ryder, George L. Bell and Secretary of State Candler, in the executive office of the state capitol. The Ryder brothers were present on invitation of the governor, and Mr. Bell came with them at their own solicitation to assist in laying plans for the identification and conviction of the men who lynched Dr. W. L. Ryder in Talbot county a week ago last Monday. Colonel Candler came into the conference to introduce Dr. Charles Ryder to the governor, and staid at the governor's request to participate in the discussion.

The Ryder brothers told the governor the plain and straightforward story of the lynching, and made no effort whatever in the line of urging him as to what his duty was under the circumstances. Their presentation of the case was manly and dignified, and when they concluded Governor Atkinson at once expressed not only his willingness to co-operate with them in their efforts to bring the guilty parties to justice, but he said that he would only be doing his duty in using every endeavor on the part of the state to accomplish that end. The details of the lynching were discussed at some length, and several facts not heretofore published were brought out.

The governor wanted to know how many men were in the lynching party, and Dr. Charles A. Ryder told him that the only information on that point had been contributed by The Constitution correspondent, whom he knew to have been present at the lynching and to have been with the mob from the moment that they took possession of their victim at Waverly Hall. The governor made several other inquiries on the same line, and in the end learned that The Constitution report of the tragedy was written by the only man who dared confess his knowledge of the facts, and that it was safe for him to proceed with his investigations on the lines laid down in The Constitution.

Governor Means Business.

There was no hesitancy on the governor's part as to offering a reward for the lynchers, but there was some question as to what shape the offer should be made in. The Ryder brothers said that in addition to The Constitution correspondent, they had the name of one young man who was present as a non-participant, and of several others whom they knew to have taken as active part both in the formation of the mob and in the carrying out of its deadly purpose. The young man referred to drove The Constitution correspondent into Talbotton early on the morning after the lynching, and was met at the Weston hotel by Mr. Charles Ryder, a fact which furnishes the only information which the brothers at present have against him.

Inasmuch as this young man is likely to play as important part in the investigation by the Talbot county grand jury, it is proper to state on the authority of The Constitution correspondent that while he was present at the lynching he took absolutely no part in it. He met the mob at Waverly Hall and followed it back to the Willis homestead, where Dr. Ryder was hanged, but neither on the trip nor during the execution did he in any way assist the lynchers or contribute to their horrible work. It is necessary to state this fact at this time because a great deal of injustice may be done the young man by irresponsible publications in future.

So far as could be discovered yesterday, the governor had no authority for believing that the rest of the men whose names were submitted to him, had been in the lynching party other than the words of the Ryder brothers, but this word means a good deal. Not only have the brothers secured much information by shrewd detective work since the lynching, but Dr. Charles Ryder is personally in a position to identify some of the lynchers. He sat in the wagon with the sheriff's posse which passed the mob near Waverly Hall, and he does not hesitate to say that he recognized some of the men composing it. All the names thus obtained have been submitted to the governor with the individual evidence concerning them.

Enough Evidence Already.

After yesterday's conference the Ryder brothers returned to their homes, refusing to say more to the newspaper men who interviewed them than that they were entirely satisfied with the developments of their case to date, and with the treatment they had received it at the hands of the governor. They have not weakened a bit in their resolve to avenge their brother's death, and seem even more determined than they did at Talbotton on the evening when the awful news was first brought to them. As soon as they left the governor's office in the capitol a proclamation in accordance with the facts as above stated, was issued, and today the formal notices will be sent all over the state.

The rewards offered by the governor are as follows:  $500 for the first two arrests and convictions of the Ryder lynchers; 100$ for each succeeding individual arrest and conviction of a lyncher; $250 for the arrest of and conviction of any person for feloniously preventing the arrest or detection of any person or persons engaged in the crime.

Governor Atkinson in discussing the situation after the conference said:

"Executive action in this case is not going to stop with the offer of a reward. Not only will the grand jury of Talbot county be compelled to make an investigation, but a similar responsibility rests upon the good people of Harris county. The fact seems generally to have been forgotten that Dr. Ryder was taken by force of arms from the officers of the law at Waverly Hall, which is in Harris county, and, although he was carried across the line and lynched in Talbot county, the people of Harris have a plain duty before them. The statement has been frequently made that the citizens of those communities indorse [sic] the lynching, but I do not for a moment believe that such is the case.

"We are told that a just and impartial investigation into the lynching is impossible because of the state of public feeling there, but I do not hesitate to declare this to be an untruth. We do not only have sufficient information already to justify me in predicting that the guilty parties will be brought to justice, but we are in the way of securing a good deal of additional information. The report of The Constitution correspondent that but fourteen men committed the crime only increases my belief in this respect. A coward bent on lynching feels that there is safety in a crowd, but each one of those fourteen is today as guilty of the crime of killing Dr. Ryder as if he himself had taken a knife and cut the doctor's throat."

The governor was asked what he believed to be the best plan for the state to adopt in regard to past and future lynchings, and he said, passing entirely from a discussion of the Ryder case:

How To Stop Lynchings

"Lynchings in the house have been, with rare exceptions, exclusively for the offense of rape. In nearly every instance this crime is committed by a negro on a white woman. The frequent occurrence of the offense is due to the increase in the number of desperate negroes, who regard neither moral nor municipal law. While a considerable element of the negro race has greatly improved its moral, material, intellectual and religious status since emancipation, it is unfortunately true that a very great number of them are vastly worse citizens than thought capable of on being freed. These have no conception of morality, no regard for the law or rights of others. During slavery, even covering the war period when our women were under the protection of slaves, there was no outrages upon them. The evil which lynching is chiefly intended to exterminate is the direct result of being given freedom to people who have not been prepared to assume the responsibility or discharge the duties of citizens.

"While lynching is to be lamented, and condemned, and must be stopped, there is no country in the world which if situated as we are in the south would not now have the same practice and would not now have to solve the same problem which confronts us. When the press, pulpit and leaders of thought speak out in unmeasured terms in condemnation of this abominable practice, the people will be taught that crime cannot be exterminated by a resort to crime, that patriotic pride, the preservation of government, their own safety, demands that no man be deprived of life save by the due process of law.

"Legislation can provide these remedies:  In order to enlist the taxpayers in each county in preventing lawlessness and in detecting and punishing criminals, to do justice to the heirs of the party lynched, the county from whose officers the party is taken and lynched should be liable in damages in a sum not less than $5,000, to be recovered in suit by the administrators of the party lynched. The governor should be authorized to remove from office any arresting officer from whom a prisoner is taken  by a mob when such an officer has failed to do his whole duty. The law should require officers having prisoners in charge when the mob attempts to take him from the officer to arm the prisoner and give him an equal chance with the men who seek his life in violation of the law. The crime of assault with intent to rape should be made a capital offense."

I did not find any other articles that told the story past this point except to say the insurance paid the $12,00 his life was insured for to his brothers. They claimed they were going to use the money for the reward for information and conviction of their brother's lynchers. I did, however, find a mention of the case in a September editorial. The only line referring to this case was "It is a significant fact that the newspapers that told of Mexico's drastic measures to put a stop to this hideous form of lawlessness contained a dispatch from Columbus, Ga., to the effect that the grand jury had refused to indict the lynchers of Dr. W. L. Ryder."  

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

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

May 9, 1903: Study of Lynchings

Today's article is found in The Morning News (Wilmington, Delaware) dated May 9, 1903:


Scientific Investigation by a Yale Man—J. Elbert Cutler Gives Interesting Statistics.

J. Elbert Cutler, a post-graduate student of Yale, is the first person who has been known to make a scientific study of lynchings. He has prepared the most extensive table ever collected on the subject and has secured data relating to its causes and remedies. Mr. Cutler says that he has found that the newspaper accounts have been corroborated in nearly every case by personal investigation.

"There is no motive for secrecy in lynching as there is in murder and suicide," says Mr. Cutler in the New Haven Register, "and the facts are open. A table of persons lynched in the United States the past twenty-one years gives a total of 3,233 up to January 1, 1903. Of this period the years 1884 and 1892 were the largest for lynchings. In the former year the Vigilantes in Colorado and Montana were responsible for the larger number. The victims were largely white men and they were largely lynched for depredations on property. In 1892 the lynchings were in the South, the victims were largely negroes and they were lynched for crimes against the person and through race prejudice and other race causes.

"There is a relation between legal executions and lynchings. If there are many legal executions there are in general fewer lynchings. The speedy working of the law seems to create respect for it and to decrease lynchings.

"The decrease in lynchings since 1892 has been steady, each successive year showing a smaller number. This fact has given rise to the hope that lynchings may soon disappear from the country, except in isolated cases.

"In the South the fewest lynchings take place in January, February, August and November months when the colored people are most largely engaged in some diversions or work. In August the month when the number of lynchings is fewest, the negroes are all at compmeetings [sic]. In December on the other hand, the negroes feel allowed to take the greatest liberties of the year because of the Christmas season.

"In the West the number of lynchings shows practically no variation for the different months of the year.

"There have been fewer lynchings for murder in the summer than in the winter months and more persons have been lynched for rape in the summer than in the winter months. The number lynched for acts of the desperado is greatest in December, and in October the greatest number of lynchings for theft have taken place. This shows a general conformity to the law of crime, that more offenses against the person are committed in the summer and more against property are committed in the winter.

"In the twenty-one years 1,872 negroes have been lynched, an average of 89½ a year. In that period 1,256 whites have been lynched, an average of 59 a year. There have been 61 women lynched in that priod [sic], 36 colored and 23 whites, nine of them for murder. Of the 615 white men who were lynched in the twenty-one years, 106 were for rape. In the South, 1,091 negroes were lynched and 593 whites. Statistics connot [sic] be made to show more than 35 per cent negroes lynched for rape.

"In the West 623 were lynched in the twenty-one years, about 43 per cent for murder.

Passing from statistics  to general reflections on the subject of lynching, Mr. Cutler says:

"The American people are no less law-abiding than those of other countries, but they have a different attitude toward the law. In the older countries the law is regarded as a sacred authority from a superior source. Here the law lacks long practice and the growth of tradition. In a democracy the people are a law unto themselves. In a monarchy the people who enforce the law are in no way responsible to the people upon whom they enforce it. Lynching has been generally resorted to in order to terrorize the lawless instead of to wreak vengeance. The plea of the lynchers is, 'let a past crime be met with a present crime to prevent a future crime.'

"The discussion of lynching which sprang up after 1892, and the formation of anti-lynching societies has led to the gradual decline of the practice. The educational agencies in the South can do more than any other single force to check lynching.

"The laws proposed for the suppression of lynching far outnumber those enacted and those which have been enacted have generally failed of their purpose. The United States have spent half a million dollars for indemnity of foreign subjects who have been lynched within its borders."

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

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

April 24, 1882: O. M. Garrett

Today we learn about a lynching in Indiana through the pages of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri) dated April 24, 1882:


Special to the Post-Dispatch.

GREENSBURG, IND., April 24.—O. M. Garrett, instigator of the murder of John M. Walton at St. Paul, Ind., was taken from the Decatur county Jail and hanged to a tree by a mob. It is feared that Frazer and Mrs. Walton will meet the same fate. Garrett was acquitted of murder and rearrested on a charge of arson. Frazer is the negro who committed the crime at the instigation of Garrett, who was intimate with Walton's wife.


CINCINNATI, O., April 24.—A Times-Star Greensburg (Ind.) special says a mob of fifty masked men at 3 o'clock this morning called on the Jailor and by choking him tried to get the keys, but failed. They then knocked in the jail door, took out O. M. Garrett and hung him to a silver maple tree, ten feet from the jail, and left, after placing a placard on the body with the following:  "This is a greeting to the Jennings county jury." Garrett had been acquitted in Jennings county of complicity in the assassination of Mr. Walton by a negro named Frazer, and after acquittal arrested on another charge. There are fears that the mob will next hang Frazer and Mrs. Walton.

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

Monday, August 15, 2016

July 11, 1879: Neal Wimbush

Today we learn about a lynching in Georgia through the pages of  The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated July 15, 1879:


Citizens of Clayton, and Not Fayette, Who Put Him Through.

The account of the lynching of the negro Neal Wimbush for an attempt to rape a young lady, which was contained in our Sunday's issue, had some mistakes as to the locality, which our Fayette county correspondent inadvertently made.

It appears that the offense was committed in Clayton, near Betsada, a church. Wimbush fled after making his devilish attempt, but was captured at the farm of Mr. William Betts near Jonesboro. He was taken under guard to the locality where he had made the attempt on the young lady. While there he was seized by a crowd of citizens and taken over into Fayette county, where he was found hanging to a tree last Friday morning. It appears that the people of Fayette county had nothing to do with this summary punishment of the negro.

The outrage for which he suffered was attempted on the daughter of one of the best families in Clayton county, and indignation over the affair was terrible in that county.

Saturday a coroner's jury was summoned and sat on the remains of the deceased Wimbush. The following was the verdict:

GEORGIA, FAYETTE COUNTY.—We, the coroner's jury, summoned and sworn by O. F. Banister, on the body of Neal Wimbush, who was found dead on the morning of the 11th inst., find that the said Neal Wimbush came to his death by being hung by the neck with, a hemp rope, to a limb of a tree, by the hands of unknown parties. And we further find that the said Neal Wimbush was a citizen of Clayton county, and had been arrested and was in the custody of an officer of Clayton county, and was taken from said officer by a body of men, and brought across the line into Fayette county and hanged. And we are satisfied from all the evidence and circumstances that the citizens of Fayette county were in nowise cognizant of, or in any way connected with the tragedy.

July 12, 1879.

A. E. STOKES, Foreman.
J. E. H. WARE, M. D.

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

Friday, August 12, 2016

November 23, 1920: Henry Jacobs

Today we learn about a lynching in Mississippi starting with an article before the lynching found in The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Florida) dated November 1, 1920:

Negro Assaults Wife of White Farmer In Mississippi

Tylertown, Miss., Oct. 31.—Following an assault upon the wife of a white farmer near here last night, a mass me[e]ting of citizens was held here today to determine what action should be taken in regard to Henry Jacobs, a negro, now in Magnolia Jail, said to have confessed to Sheriff Breeton that he was guilty of the crime. Notwithstanding the mass meeting this afternoon, feeling continued to run high.

An account of the lynching is found in The Evening Kansan-Republican (Newton, Kansas) dated November 24, 1920: 


Mob Cheated Court Lynching Negro Accused of Crime

Tyler, Miss. Nov. 24—No arrests have been made here so far in connection with the lynching yesterday of Henry Jacobs, Negro, who was taken from the court room after members of a mob had been refused admission.

Tylertown was quiet today. The body of Jacobs hanged to a tree after being dragged through the streets from the axles of an automobile, was cut down and buried.

The Negro lynched yesterday was a brother of Benjamin Jacobs lynched two weeks ago. The brothers are said to have confessed to attacks upon white women. A special term of court had been convened yesterday to try Jacobs. It was during the selection of a jury that the mob stormed the court room.

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

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.

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.

Monday, August 8, 2016

May 22, 1917: Ell Persons

Today we learn about a lynching in Tennessee starting with an article found in The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) dated May 18, 1917:


Sheriff Returns With Memphis Negro After Mob Scare Blows Over.

Ell Persons, of Memphis, confessed negro rapist and murderer of Antoinette Rappal, 15-year-old schoolgirl, who was removed from the Davidson county jail Wednesday night and taken to Springfield for safekeeping by Sheriff Wright and several deputies, was returned to Nashville early yesterday morning and again locked up in his same cell.

The sheriff took the negro to Springfield in an automobile shortly before 8 o'clock Wednesday night, after hearing that a mob had organized in Memphis and was on its way to this city to lynch the negro.

The removal of Persons from the jail caused considerable excitement throughout the city, and for a time, it could not be learned where the sheriff had taken his prisoner.

The sheriff received several calls by telephone stating that the mob had left Memphis and was due to arrive in Nashville at some time during the night. Every precaution was taken by the county officials to protect the negro, and a number of deputies were called in to guard the jail while the sheriff was fleeing to Springfield with his prisoner.

Sheriff Wright kept in close touch with the jail by telephone while at Springfield and closely guarded his prisoner until he returned to Nashville yesterday morning, after it was learned that the mob had never formed.

The local authorities stated last night that they had not heard from Sheriff Tate of Memphis since he left Nashville Wednesday morning. The Shelby county sheriff has been missing since noon Wednesday, when he escaped from a mob at Arlington, near Memphis. The last heard from Sheriff Tate he was speeding away from the mob in an automobile toward Mississippi. Reports from Memphis last night said that the Shelby county sheriff was still missing, and that even his immediate family had not heard from him since his escape from the mob.


MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 17.—(Special.)—Sheriff Tate has not returned to Memphis, but the avengers of little Antoinette Rappel have disbanded, after keeping a watch upon every train and guarding every road leading into Memphis for twenty-four hours in a search for her slayer, Ell Persons. Two of the deputies who accompanied the sheriff in his hurried cross-country race from Arlington Wednesday, returned to the sheriff's office at noon. They are A. L. Kirkpatrick and Ira Williams. They have refused to give any information as to the sheriff's present whereabouts, even to their closest friends. A statement was given out by Hunter Wilson, attorney-general; the two judges of the criminal court, Mayor Ashcroft and Office Deputy W. T. Condon that the sheriff is in no danger. He is believed to be with friends in Mississippi. A report was started tonight that he is really searching for John Revinsky, escaped murdered [sic] of Mae Goodwin, wealthy underworld queen.

Our next article also comes from The Tennessean in the May 22, 1917 edition:


Ell Persons Taken From the Deputies on Train at Potts' Camp, Miss.


Captors in Autos Carrying Negro to Scene of Crime, Where It Is Believed, He Will Be Hanged or Burned—Police Prepare to Act.

MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 21.—Ell Persons, a negro, who is said to have confessed that he killed and beheaded Antoinette Rappal, a school girl, on the outskirts of Memphis several weeks ago, has been taken from sheriff's deputies who were returning him from Nashville, where he was taken two weeks ago to avert mob violence, to this city, and is in the hands of a mob which at midnight was reported en route to the scene of the crime to lynch him, according to advices received here late tonight.

A dispatch from Potts Camp, Miss., stated that the mob of several hundred men met the train there aboard which the negro was being brought to Memphis, and after overpowering the guard of sheriff's deputies, seized the prisoner and escaped with him in an automobile after declaring their intention of hanging him to a railroad bridge near where the headless body of the child was found two days after her disappearance while en route from her home three weeks ago.

Up to a late hour no official confirmation could be secured of the report that the negro had fallen into the hands of the mob, but preparations had been made by the police and sheriff's office to meet any eventuality.

Expected To Reach Memphis After Midnight.

Potts Camp is about fifty miles from Memphis, and it was not expected that the mob will reach the scene of the crime with the negro until several hours after midnight.

Persons was taken to the penitentiary at Nashville two weeks ago for safe keeping before details of his alleged confession was made public. According to a statement made by Sheriff Tate, Persons, a wood chopper, admitted that he had attacked the girl, a fifteen year old child, when she passed the thicket in which he was at work, dragged her into the underbrush after knocking her unconscious with his axe, and fearing that she would recover consciousness and accuse him of the attack, chopped of her head, which he concealed with her mutilated body in the thicket. When the alleged confession was published a mob formed and searched the county jail and police stations here for the negro. Since citizens of the community in which the girl lived have kept a close watch on all roads leading into Memphis in the belief that an attempt would be made to bring Persons here secretly for trial. Late today it was learned that the negro had been taken from the Nashville prison, and several hundred men went to Potts' camp to intercept the train aboard which he was being brought to this city.


MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 21.—9Special.)—A mob of a hundred men left Holly Springs, Miss., at 12:45 this morning with Ell Persons, confessed rapist and murderer of Antoinette Rappal, after having taken him from a Frisco train early tonight. Within three hours it is said they will have the black before the mother of his victim in the suburbs of Memphis and burn him to death.

A crowd estimated to be composed of more than a thousand people is gathered near the scene of the crime and is hourly growing bigger. Memphis authorities are reticent at a late hour regarding any plan to thwart the plans of the mob.

It will take three hours for the mob to reach Memphis.

Negro Is Taken From Frisco Train.

The negro was taken from a Frisco passenger train early tonight at Potts Camp, Miss. The mob separated at Holly Springs awaited the arrival of the part of the mob which went to Byhalia before proceeding northward toward Memphis with forces reunited.

It is understood at Holly Springs that little resistance was offered the mob at Potts Camp by Deputies Wilroy and Thomas, who left Nashville with the negro early this morning, as instructions have been received from Memphis not to risk their lives in defense of the black when it was learned that so large a force of men were informed of the negro's whereabouts.

It is believed the plan of the authorities was to rush the prisoner into Memphis and have him arraigned secretly and rushed back to Nashville or some other point of safety. The citizens of the community where the crime occurred, however, evidently informed from Nashville, were awaiting the black's arrival when Potts Camp was reached.

Mississippi Authorities Powerless to Act.

The plan tonight, it is said, is to come to the environs of Memphis by way of Slayden and Mount Pleasant, Miss., then to cross the state line to Colliersville, Tenn., and then to the scene of the crime.

Mississippi authorities were powerless before the mob at holly Springs at midnight. A call for troops was suggested, but it was believed that the black would be beyond the boundaries of Mississippi before any armed force could be brought to protect him. Authorities in Memphis would make no statement regarding plans to protect the life of the negro.


On a release signed by Sheriff Mike Tate of Sherby [sic] county Ell Persons, confessed murderer of Antoinette Rappal, 15-year-old Memphis school girl, was removed from Davidson county jail shortly before 3 o'clock yesterday morning in the custody of Shelby county deputy sheriffs, R. B. Wilroy and G. E. Thomas, and taken from the city in an automobile.

Jail officials stated that the Memphis deputies refused to state their point of destination.

Every precaution was taken to slip the negro from Nashville without letting anyone know of their departure. Sheriff Wright was requested by the two officers to keep the negro's removal a secret. At what point or station the officers boarded the train with Persons is still unknown. 

The release signed by Sheriff Tate to Sheriff Wright read as follows:

"May 20, 1917.

"Sheriff Joe Wright, Nashville, Tenn.:

"Please deliver to R. B. Wilroy and G. E. Thomas, my deputies, Ell Persons, negro, you have been keeping for me.

"Yours truly,           MIKE TATE.
"Sheriff of Shelby County."

Persons was brought to the Nashville jail for safekeeping on the night of May 8. He was first taken to the state penitentiary, but remained only a few hours before being removed to the Davidson county jail.

A few nights ago Sheriff Wright was forced to remove Persons from the jail and take him to Springfield for fear of a supposed mob which was said to be en route to Nashville from Memphis. The mob did not materialize and he was brought back to jail the following morning.

Our next article comes from the next day's edition of the same paper:


No Further Trouble Expected After killing of Ell Persons.

MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 22.—(Special.)—Within one hundred yards of the spot where a few weeks ago 16-year-old Antoinette Rappel was brutally slain and her headless body concealed in a wooded dell, Ell C. Persons, the negro slayer, was burned at the stake at 9:30 o'clock this morning at the end of the long bridge across Wolf river bottoms, on the Macon road.

A crowd of some 5,000 men, women and children cheered gloatingly as the match was applied, and a moment later the flames and smoke rose high in the air and snuffed out the life of the black fiend.

Seated in an automobile on the crest of the levee which commanded full view of the execution place, where but a moment before she had sat in solemn judgment and pronounced sentence upon the negro, Mrs. Minnie Wood, mother of the murdered schoolgirl, and other relatives witnessed the burning.

Mrs. Wood called upon the crowd to make the negro suffer "ten times a much as he made my little girl suffer."

"We'll burn him," the crowd cried back willingly and eagerly.

"Yes—burn him on the spot where he killed my little girl," the mother entreated.

It was an execution probably without paralled in the history of the south. The approximate hour and place of the lynching were advertised widely, but the organized forces or law and order, operating through the medium of the courts, dared not say nay to the outraged community in which Antoinette Rappel lived.

Yet, throughout the entire performance there was perfect order. Leaders of the execution pact time and again implored the hundreds of men so eager to lay hands upon the negro not to shoot. The crowd was dominated by the committee which had planned and executed the capture of the black slayer from the state authorities, and none offered violence not countenanced by the summary court.

Persons went to his death terrified beyond the power of expectation. His animal eyes rolled and shifted unceasingly and he frequently moistened his parched lips, through which speech was scarcely audible, but he did not flinch when led to the funeral pyre, nor cry out when the oil flames surged over his body.

His death was almost instantaneous. The negro drank deep of the first sheet of flame and smoke, and relaxed upon his hellish couch. When the body had been burned sufficiently to satisfy the lust of the executioners, one man in the crowd cut out the negro's heart, two others cut off his ears, while another hacked off his head.

In his dying statement to the crowd at the lynching, Persons confessed his own guilt, but shunted part of the blame of the fiendish crime upon two other negroes, Dewitt Ford, a deaf and dumb woodchopper, and Dan Armstrong, whom the "dummy" previously had accused of implication in the murder.

There was an instant cry for the lives of the other two negroes, any [sic] many in the crowd yelled pledges to the schoolgirl's mother that they would be burned. Leaders counseled against another lynching, however, because they did not place full credence in the dying words of Persons, whom they knew had lied in other respects. They professed to believe that Armstrong might know something of the crime, but were inclined to let the courts define his guilt. Few believe that the "dummy" was guilty of implication.

Nevertheless, some of the more radical members of the mob slipped away in automobiles to find Armstrong and Ford in the vicinity of the National cemetery. They succeeded eventually in locating both negroes. Armstrong was taken before the committee, but was released after he stoutly maintained his innocence.

The Tennessean's May 25, 1917 edition:


May Hereafter Take Hand in Moulding Public opinion.

MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 24.—(Special.)—Clergymen of Memphis representing the Protestant, Catholic and Jewish faiths, met at the chamber of commerce today, and not only denounced mob law, but confessed their dereliction of duty in not having warned an inflamed public mind against the lynching of Ell Persons.

The meeting may mark an epoch in the history of Memphis and henceforth the ministers may take their rightful place in moulding public opinion and awakening civic conscience.

The resolution follows in part:

"We, clergymen of the city of Memphis, met in solemn assembly, do hereby resolve that we, as clergymen and citizens, confess our dereliction of duty in not having warned an inflamed public opinion against mob violence, when it was apparent to every reader of newspapers that preparations had been made for lynching the brute who had committed an unspeakable crime.

"We furthermore resolve that it should be brought home also to the consciences of other representative men and leaders of this community, that they, too, had failed to do their duty, that it appears also that the constituted servants of the law had failed by subservience to the will of the mob, and by inadequate preparations to resist their anarchistic designs, to take the proper measures to defend the dignity and majesty of the law and our civilization:  that the conscience of the community had been dulled to the apprehension of the enormity of such lynchings and their accompanying degeneracies."

May 27, 1917 edition of same paper:


Inflammatory Article in Regard to recent Lynching.

MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 26.—(Special.)—Sale of the "Chicago Defender," a negro weekly newspaper, was ordered stopped this afternoon by Police Chief Perry, because of the highly inflammatory story of the capture and lynching of Ell Persons, the negro axe fiend.

The Defender, under today's date, ran an eight-oclumn [sic] head, which read:

"Horrible Memphis Lynching Astounds Civilized World."

A "drop head" from this read:

"Millions Prepare to Leave the South, Following Brutal Burning of Human."

Then followed the story itself. It laid the blame for the lynching at almost every door of every profession and calling. it charged connivance of "officials, editors, sheriffs, judges, millionaires and merchant princes." It charged that newspapers incited the riot and fed the flame of resentment with extras every hour.

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

Friday, August 5, 2016

January 1, 1927: Views of Other Editors

Today we a featuring two editorials found in The Pittsburgh Courier (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) dated January 1, 1927:

Views of Other Editors


(From The Patriot, Harrisburg, Pa.)

Just how close Pennsylvania was to staging a lynching near Media may never be known. It may have been a nightmare, but the State and county acted with commendable zeal in taking measures to avert such a hideous crime.

Back of all the maudlin agitation was a Negro boy who brutally killed a white girl as she was returning from a shopping trip in Chester a few days before. The lad confessed and expressed a readiness to take his punishment. Apparently this was not enough for the followers of Judge Lynch and excitement resulted.

Such outbursts are unfortunate. They are especially hateful and painful to Negroes everywhere who have no more sympathy for the criminals of their race than the whites have for theirs. Even as remote from the scene of the threatened lynching, as this city, the colored folks of the better thinking class, felt the unpleasant reaction of the Media incident, deploring it as much as the law-abiding white.

One of the worst features of a lynching is that not only does it usurp the courts, but engenders hatred not merely of their victim but of their race. The result is that the innocent, law-abiding colored citizens become as much a target as the guilty and more so than the law-breaking whites.


(From the Phila. Daily News.)

Congress should pass the anti-lynching law pending before it. The lynching of Negroes is a national disgrace. In the South it is engaged in as part of the policy of "keeping the blacks in their place." Negroes in the South are regarded as inferior to whites, no matter how depraved, cruel and useless a white may be. Any white man, they believe, is better than a black or a colored one.

The idea is wickedly and cruelly false. It therefore produces nothing but wickedness and cruelty. And in doing it brings world-wide disgrace upon the United States.

The South will not correct the evil itself. It becomes necessary, therefore, to make the crime of lynching a Federal concern. It becomes the more necessary to do this because there have been incidents of lynching in the North and the steady migration of Negroes from the South appears to be encouraging the evil.

The crime of lynching must be abolished from America. Since the South, the chief offender, will not stop it, the nation through Congress must assume the responsibility.

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

Thursday, August 4, 2016

June 17, 1894: Lynchings In Four States

Today we have an editorial found in the pages of The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated June 17, 1894:


Official Statistics from South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Alabama. 

Editor Constitution—As a substantial and all sufficient answer to the charge of barbarism made against the south because of our repeated lynchings, I have to append a table, showing the lynchings in the states of Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Florida during the year 1893. I have taken these from the news columns of The Constitution for that period, and have selected those states, because their proximity insures an approximate correctness of the news service.

State Where         Color of         Color of      Fate of
      Perpetrated          Assailant      Victim      Criminal    

Alabama............Negro.        White.      Lynched.
Georgia......................Negro.    White.    Unknown.
South Carolina........Negro.    White.      Unknown.
South Carolina ......Negro.      White.      Unknown.
South Carolina ........Negro.      White.    Lynched.
Alabama............Negro.       White.    Hung by law.
Georgia............Negro.      White.    Unknown.
Florida............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
Georgia............Negro.     White.    Unknown.
Georgia............Unknown.     White.    Unknown.
South Carolina............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
Florida............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
Georgia............Negro.     White.    Unknown.
Georgia............Negro.     White.   Lynched.
Georgia............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
Georgia............Negro.     White.    Unknown.
Georgia............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
Georgia............Negro.     White.    Unknown.
South Carolina............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
Georgia............Negro.     White.    Unknown.
Georgia............Negro.     White.    Unknown.
South Carolina............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
Alabama............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
Georgia............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
Georgia............Negro.     White.    Unknown.
South Carolina............Negro.     White.    Unknown.
Georgia............White.     White.    Unknown.
Georgia................White.     White.    Unknown.
South Carolina.............*Negro.     White.    Lynched. 
Alabama............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
Alabama............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
South Carolina............Negro.     White.    Unknown.
Georgia............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
Florida............Negro.     White.    Unknown.
Georgia............Negro.     Negro.    Unknown.
Georgia............Negro.     White.    Unknown.
Alabama............Negro.     White.   Killed by woman. 
South Carolina............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
Alabama............Negro.     White.    Unknown.
Georgia............Negro.     White.    Unknown.
Alabama............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
Alabama............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
South Carolina............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
South Carolina............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
 South Carolina............Negro.     White.    Unknown.
Alabama............Negro.     White.    Unknown.
Alabama............Negro.     White.    Unknown.
Alabama............!Negro.     White.    Lynched.
Georgia............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
Alabama............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
Georgia............White.     White.    Unknown.
Alabama............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
Alabama............Negro.     White.    Lynched.
South Carolina............?Negro.     White.    Lynched.

*Two      !Four    ?Three

It will be seen that during the period named there have been in all fifty-four cases of criminal assaults on women, of these twenty-two were in Georgia, fourteen in South Carolina, Fifteen in Alabama, and three in Florida. In forty-eight cases they were by negroes, forty-six of which were upon white women and one case, color unknown, upon a white woman; to sum up, fifty-two of the victims were white women and two were negro women. The color of the unknown assailant could not be determined, because only the name was given. Three of the assaults were of a most atrocious character, one having been committed by two negroes, one by three negroes and one by four negroes, all upon white women, and I am happy to state that for these three assaults nine negroes were lynched.

The fate of the assailants shows that in twenty-seven cases, thirty-three negroes were lynched, one was hung by law, one was shot and killed by his victim and twenty-five are unknown, by which I mean that they were either in the custody of the law or escaped with a party of outraged citizens in pursuit. I should say that fifteen of this number would be a reasonable estimate of those "lost in the woods" or "in crossing the creek," which would bring the total number lynched up to forty-eight, and it is probable that the most of these in custody will be hung. It is possible that several may have made good their escape.

Of course we have no excuses or apologies to make, but if our northern brethren or British cousins insist upon shedding any tears or expending any sympathy on this subject, we submit that it could be more appropriately bestowed upon their Anglo-Saxon kinsmen, and that the chaste and innocent victims of the brutal lust of these negroes are much more entitled to their commiseration than the fiends incarnate, who committed these hellish crimes, and who only paid the just penalty of their deeds. If the people who are given to this mawkish sentiment are really so much concerned, the best thing for them to do is to address their entreaties to the negroes, for just as soon as the provocation ceases the lynchings will stop, and I may as well add—no sooner.

This is a question that involves both the security of our homes and the immunity of our women from these heinous assaults, and, however much we may desire the good opinion of the rest of the world, we cannot think of purchasing it at so fearful a cost, for our homes and our women are two objects on earth that southern men hold nearer and dearer and more sacred than all others. They constitute the very corner stone and crowning glory of our peculiar civilization, with which we are perfectly content, whatever others may think of it.

J. F. T.

I don't know why it mentions two Negro victims when only one is on the list. 

This is an example of how information can be manipulated. One, it pretends that the only reason for lynching was rape. Two, it uses only its own data. Three, it assumes every man accused is guilty. Four, it assumes all rapes are reported.

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

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

June 26, 1899: Lynchings in the South

Today we have an article found in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, N. Y.) dated June 26, 1899:


Booker T. Washington Gives Some Statistics of These Crimes.

Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee Institute writes a letter to the Montgomery, Ala., Advertiser, of which the following is an extract:

I fear that but few people in the South realize to what an extent the habit of lynching, or the taking of life without due process of law has taken hold of us and to what an extent it is not only hurting us in the eyes of the world but injuring our own moral and material growth. Lynching was instituted some years ago with the idea of punishing and checking outrage upon women. Let us examine the cold facts and see where it has already led us, and where it is likely further to carry us, if we do not rid ourselves of the habit. Many good people in the South and also out of the South have gotten the idea that lynching is resorted to for one crime only. I have the facts from an authoritative source. During last year 127 persons were lynched in the United States; of this 118 were executed in the South and 9 in the North and West; of the total number lynched 102 were negroes, 23 were whites and 2 Indians. Now let everyone interested in the South, his country and the cause of humanity note this fact—that only 24 of the entire number were charged in any way with the crime of rape; that is 24 of 127 cases of lynching. Sixty-one of the remaining cases were for murder, 13 for being suspected of murder, 6 for theft, etc. During one week last spring when I kept a careful record, thirteen negroes were lynched in three of our Southern states and not one was even charged with rape. All of these thirteen were accused of murder or house burning, but in neither case were the men allowed to go before a court so that their innocence or guilt might be proven. When we get to the point where four-fifths of the people lynched in our country, in one year, are for some crime other than rape, we can no longer plead and explain that we lynch for one crime alone. Let us take another year, that of 1892, for  example. During this year, 1892, 241 persons were lynched in the whole United States, 36 of this number were lynched in Northern and Western states and 186 in our Southern states. Of the 241 lynched in the whole country, 160 were negroes and 5 of these were women. The facts show that out of the 241 lynched in the entire country in 1892, but 57 were even charged with rape, or attempted rape, leaving in that year alone 184 persons who were lynched for other causes than that of rape. If it were necessary I could produce figures for other years. Within a period of six years about 900 persons have been lynched in our Southern states. This is but a few number short of the total number of soldiers who lost their lives in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. If we would realize still more fully how far this unfortunate habit is leading us, note the classes of crime, during a few months, which the local papers and the Associated Press reports say that lynching has been inflicted for—they include murder, rioting, incendiarism, robbery, larceny, self defense, insulting women, alleged stock poisoning, malpractice, alleged barn burning, suspected robbery, race prejudice, attempted murder, and horse stealing, mistaken identity, etc. The practice has grown until we are now at the point where not only blacks are lynched in the South, but white men as well. Not only this, but within the last six years at least half a dozen colored women have been lynched. And there are a few cases where negroes have lynched members of their own race. What is to be the end of this? What will the harvest of such a state of things be? Beside this, every lynching drives hundreds of negroes from the farming districts of the South, where they make the best living and where their services are of greatest value to the country, into the already overcrowded cities.

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