Saturday, August 5, 2017

December 12, 1917: Wade Hampton

Today we'll be looking at the lynching of Wade Hamilton in Rock Springs, Wyoming. It's unknown whether this was actually the man's name because only one article lynches it and it's facts differ from two other articles. Our first article is from the Ogden Standard (Ogden, Utah) dated December 12, 1917:


According to advices received in Ogden today, twenty- five infuriated and determined men appeared at the city jail in Rock Springs, Wyo., early today, overpowered the jailer, took an unidentified negro from his cell and hanged to a railroad bridge north of town. The negro had been molesting wihte[sic] women in the vicinity of Blairstown, a suburb of Rock Springs.

Details accompanying the abrupt execution of the negro are lacking. It is known, however, that the victim of the mob had been terrorizing the women residing near the mining camp for some time and that murmurings of a lynching had been in circulation. The men were unmasked when they appeared at the jail and demanded the culprit. Upon being refused they used such force as was necessary to obtain the keys and take the prisoner.

The body was left dangling to the bridge stringer. It was found there this afternoon by passersby. No snots[sic]were fired. The mob was well organized and orderly.

Our next little blurb is from the Gastonia Gazette (Gastonia, North Carolina) dated December 14, 1917:

Lynching in Wyoming

Rock Springs, Wyo., Dec. 12.—An unidentified negro charged with molesting women residents of Blairtown, a suburb, was taken from the city jail today and hanged to a railroad bridge. Twenty-five citizens overpowered the jailer at the city prison to secure the negro.

Our last article has a different take on the number of people involved in the lynching. It is from the Greeley Daily Tribune (Greeley, Colorado) and is dated December 20, 1917:


Cheyenne, Dec. 20—That the negro lynching at Rock Springs on the night of Dec. 11 was participated in by only three men in the surprising feature of the report of the affair received by Governor Houx. The prosecuting attorney states that if the "mob" had more than three members the others were invisible.

Wade Hamilton, the victim of the lynching, was arrested the day previous to his' death on the charge of assaulting three white women. The district attorney stated that the discovery of the identity of the three lynchers will be a matter of pure luck as they carefully safeguarded themselves the night of the lynching.

Thank you for joining us and, as always, we hope we leave you with something to ponder.

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