Tuesday, July 10, 2018

August 1,1922: Punk Harris

Today's lynching comes to us from the pages of Lincoln Journal Star (Lincoln, Nebraska) dated August 1, 1922:



Was Surprised While looting Home and Fatally Injures White—Body Dragged Thru Streets of Hot Springs.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark., Aug. 1.—"Punk" Harris, negro, was lpnched [sic] by a mob in front of the Como hotel here today and his body dragged thru the streets.

Harris was said to have shot and mortally wounded Maurice Conley, young business man, last night when the latter surprised the negro while robbing his home. Conley died this morning.

On August 3rd, The Argos Reflector (Argos, Indiana) printed a slightly different telling of the event:


Negro Suspected of Killing a White Man Is Hanged in Public Square.

Hot Springs, Ark., Aug. 2.—"Punk" Harris, a negro, was taken from officers here at nine o'clock in the morning and hanged in a public square following the death early in the day of Maurice Connelly, an insurance solicitor, who was shot by a negro burglar.

Harris, who was arrested early in the day was said by the police was said by the police to have answered a description given of a man seen running from the scene of the shooting. He protested his innocence. According to the police Harris had served a sentence in the Arkansas penitentiary for burglary.

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

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Sam Hose: The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same

Today I will start with an article covering the results of a private detective's investigation into the lynching. If you are like me, you were probably wondering how a man going around a town asking questions of everyone would get any answers. I had this whole image in my head of this dapper dressed gentleman asking people around town if anyone knew anything about the crime. I have a vivid imagination and it was quite funny in my head. Luckily he wasn't so obvious. Apparently, he posed as a vendor of hog cholera medicine in order to gain the trust of people and learn more about the crime. 

The Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) dated June 5, 1899:


Detective Reports That Mrs. Cranford Now Admits Sam Hose Did Not Attack Her.

Louis Le Vin, a private detective, who was sent by colored people of Chicago to Newman [sic], Ga., to learn the facts concerning the burning of Sam Hose at the stake, made his report yesterday afternoon at a meeting held in Bethel Church, Thirtieth and Dearborn streets.

"Hose had been employed by Cranford," he said, "and in a quarrel over wages Cranford ran into his house and came out again with a revolver. As he was about to shoot Hose seized an ax and struck Cranford in the head and killed him instantly. Hose fled to avoid arrest. Mrs. Cranford, who witnessed the tragedy, said herself that Hose did not say a word to her or in anyway touch her."

The men who sent the detective to Georgia will have his report printed and will distribute it all over the United States. 

Next is an article that is a reminder that there can be far reaching affects from something that happens in a small town. The article is found in The Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, N. Y.) dated November 6, 1899:


An echo in the distant Philippines of the fiendish atrocities perpetrated upon many colored persons in the South has been heard. It takes the form of an appeal to out colored troops thereto join the native insurgents in fighting against our flag, and sites the cases of Sam Hose and Gray, who were tortured to death by white mobs in the South.

There is no reason to believe that this appeal will have any effect upon the loyalty of the colored troops. They know that the American people at large and the government are in no sense responsible for the horrible atrocities perpetrated by those mobs, and they also know that the Filipino leaders who have invited them to join the insurgent cause are equal to the perpetration of atrocities as terrible as that which attended the death of Sam Hose.

But this Filipino call to the blacks shows how far-reaching may be the influence of such a crime. There is reason to believe that the Filipinos themselves are not solely responsible for this attempt to incite our colored troops to desert the flag and take up arms against it. The spirit of the treasonable anti-expansion movement in this country is entirely equal to such an infamous performance, and it is not at all improbable that some of the men who are indulging in bitter denunciation of the war and of our government have put the Filipino insurgent chiefs up to this despicable piece of business.

The incident itself is a scathing reflection both upon Aquinaldo's sympathizers in this country and upon the white sentiment in the South which instigated, perpetrated and approved the Sam Hose horror. 

Lastly, I have added an article from The North Carolinian (Raleigh, N. C.) dated August 22, 1901:


Mr. John Temple Graves charges up the prevalence of the crime that leads to lynching in the newspapers. Hear him:  

"My attention was first directed to these reflections by the reports of the Sam Hose burning exploited in the columns of the Atlanta papers three years ago.

"No sensational event of the decade has been more vitally and elaborately described in the papers than this weirdly horrible holocaust of the Palmetto rapist. Column on column of gruesome description pulsed under the glare of blazing headlines, and day after day the Journal and the Constitution went flaming northward and southward to carry from the scene of the tragedy the details of the crime crimes against the woman and the crime against the criminal, emphasized by all the lurid glow and color of local passion and excitement.

"Among thinking men the first sober reflection after the burning was that the action of the mob, deplorable and terrible as it was, would be a terrific warning to the demons of lust and an effective intimidation to the spirit of rape. 

"This was an ignorant and a lamentable fallacy.

"The Sam Hose burning was followed by a perfect carnival of rape. So far intimidating, it seemed to inspire the black demon to a most desperate and hellish activity. There were seven attempts at rape, in Georgia alone, and one of them within the same county.

"Why this sequence to so appalling an antecedent? The punishment was enough to intimidate. Its detailed publicity was well nigh perfect and universal.

"There can be no other explanation than that the criminal mind, unappalled by the horror of punishment, revelled in the lustful details of the crime, and rushed to an imitation of the inviting crime, reckless of the swift and inevitable Nemesis that followed on its commission."

If this indictment is true, the presses ought to be burned and the editors lynched. To show that the logic is bad, we need only to state that the brutes who imitated Sam Hose do not know how to read, they did not read the papers mentioned or see them, and therefore could not have been influenced by them. Booker Washington has often made the statement that no educated negro has been guilty of the crime which evokes lynching. So far nobody has denied his assertion. If the educated negroes, who read the papers, had elapsed into barbarism by the detailed accounts of the crimes, Mr. Graves might have support for his serious charge against the newspapers, but as the brutes cannot read and do not see newspapers, his indictment falls to the ground.

If Mr. Graves had confined his criticism to those accounts of such crimes as are so written and printed as to offend against decency, he could maintain his charge against some newspapers, but to saddle the whole responsibility upon the newspapers is so grave an accusation as to shock the newspapers and the newspaper readers. 

Along with a great deal of good, newspapers do some harm, but Mr. Graves has drawn an indictment that would warrant the lynching of the editors if it were true.

This article is such a disaster of logic. The first claim being made seems to be that being aware of the details of a crime will make someone commit the same crime. That is certainly a ludicrous statement. But not to be outdone, the author of the article chose to let logic fall by the wayside and throw in rampant racism as well. 

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

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

June 17, 1873: Martin Patterson, Orginie, and Adrien

Our lynching today comes from the New Orleans Republican dated June 18, 1873. A quick note, the New Orleans Republican is the only paper I could find that listed the names of the three lynched men.

[Special to the New Orleans Republican.]

NEW IBERIA, June 17, 1873.
Messrs. L. A. and Seymour R. Snaer started this morning from town on horseback in the company with Deputy Sheriff Moss. Arriving at a point about five miles from New Iberia, and near the spot where the unfortunate Lanet and Saner were murdered, they met a large assemblage of our citizens, white and colored, among whom were our oldest and wealthiest citizens, who were assembled for the purpose of taking some determinate steps for the apprehension of the murderers of those unfortunate gentlemen.

After some preliminary arrangements in the mode of procedure, Mr. Seymour R. Snaer, attorney at law, who came here yesterday expressly to see about this case, was chosen as the prosecuting attorney.

Suspicion rested on one Policot, whose hat and shirt were found with bloody spots on them. After close examination of about a dozen winesses suspician[sic] rested on three other men, who were immediately arrested. When Policot was brought to the stand and after a close examination he fully confessed that Martin Patterson, Originie and Adrien, in connection with him, were the assassins. Although he denied having taken an active part, he confesses himself to have been an accessory before and after the fact.

He stated that this murder was planned by the above named parties a week or more before; that they came in the store fully prepared with strong sticks and a double barreled shot gun, all of which were hidden under a shed outside of the store; that they drank freely and paid for it; that one of them wanted to tell Snaer something in the ear; that as soon as Snaer bent his head he was struck by another party.

Snaer was stunned a little, but took an ax handle and returned the blow, but was too weak to effect much harm. He was repeatedly struck over the head. So was Lanet. Both of them fell, when Originie jumped over the counter and cut their throats from ear to ear, and afterward dragged them to the barroom and sprinkled coal oil over their bodies and everywhere on the bedding. After robbing the contents of the safe and all valuables, fire was set and all consumed.

At this juncture the citizens began to be uncontrollable. At least 200 revolvers were drawn, and cries of "Shoot them!" were heard everywhere in the building. Mr. L. A. Snaer protested, as the Representative of this parish, against these summary proceedings. Mr. Seymour R. Snaer, the attorney, also protested, saying that he was sure that justice would be done if the prisoners were brought before the courts. But their protestations were to no avail. Seeing this they rode off in a quick gallop, not wishing to be present at the execution.

These parties are known to be of the worst character, and many crimes and robberies were commited by them lately.

After the departure of Mr. Snaer and his brother the prisoners were taken to town, and cries of "hang them" were heard everywhere. Mr. Seymour Snaer was called for by the people, whose number was at least 1000.

Mr. Snaer appealed to the people to spare the life of Policot, because he had promised to do all he could to save his life if he would make a full confession.

After that the people took Martin, Orginie and Adrien across the bayou and hanged them to a tree. Policot's life was aved through the appeal of Mr. Snaer.
This seems suspiciously like a case of rounding up the usual suspects. I don't know if the other two Snaers were related to the murdered man. If they were, then they were not impartial in prosecuting the four murderers. The fact that the other three "murderers" were lynched from Policot's confession is suspect. Much like the lynching of the Lige Strickland in the Sam Hose case in 1899.

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Sam Hose, After the Lynching

Today we are looking at "Negro" papers and their reactions to the lynchings. We are starting with The Topeka Plaindealer (Topeka, Kansas) dated April 28, 1899:


There Is No Other Designation to Be Placed to the Credit of Barbarous Georgia.


The Barbarians of That Sinkhole of Iniquity, Georgia, Have Surpassed All Previous Efforts at Savagery.


Such as the Bubonic Abhorrence, Should Be Visited Upon These Imps of Hell and Their Sympathizers.

Special Despatch [sic] to The Globe-Democrat.

NEWMAN [SIC], Ga., April 23.—A few ashes and some disgusting pieces of bone and flesh in the pockets of hundreds of morbid people, are all that is left of Sam. Hose, the Negro who last Wednesday a week ago murdered Alfred Cranford, four miles from Palmetto, and criminally assaulted his wife.

The above is the opening paragraph in the telegraphic reports from the South. Sometime ago we raised the question as to the probable number of degrees the Southern whites are removed from abject barbarism. The crime for which Sam Hose was burned at the stake is very graphically summarized by The Atlanta Constitution, as follows:  

An unassuming industrious and hard-working farmer, after his day's toll, sat at his evening meal. Around him sat his wife and children, happy in the presence of the man who was fulfilling to him every duty imposed by nature. At peace with the world, serving God and loyal to humanity they looked forward to the coming day.

Noiselessly the murderer, with uplifted ax, advanced from the rear and sank it into the brain of the unsuspecting victim. Tearing the child from the mother's breast, he flung it into the pool of blood oozing from its father's wound.

Then began the culmination which has dethroned the reason of the people of Western Georgia during the past week. As critics will howl about the lynchings, The Constitution will be pardoned for stating the plain facts.

A very intelligent Negro deplores the awful crime of Sam Hose and would insist that the full penalty of the law be given him. Such a crime merits the severest condemnation, and the question of color should in no sense be regarded as a mitigating circumstance.

But the telegraphic reports graphically portray two hideous pictures; the above is one; here is the other:  after committing his awful crime, Sam. Hose fled. He was captured by two farmers and delivered to the sheriff. A mob of 3,000 men, from three counties, dragged the victim with shouts and yells before the mother of the ravished woman who identified him; he was then taken to an open space two miles in the country and chained to a pine tree, divested of all clothing, except a gauze undershirt which was liberally saturated with kerosene oil.

It is this that must end forever mobbing and lynchings; the lynchings and mobbing, parading as they do the most degrading and brutal passions of a people, engender a disregard for human life that will not stop to consider the color of the victim. The mobbing of Sam. hose was as much a crime as the murder of Crawford and the rape of his wife. In neither case should the culprit escape the fullest extent of the law.

Then one of the members of the posse sprang forward and with a deft swing lopped off the Negro's right ear. Not a moan or the twitching of a muscle escaped the victim. Then another vicious slash brought off the other ear, and not a symptom of pain from Hose.

A match was struck, and tossed blazing, on the Negro's oil-soaked shirt sleeve. A tiny flame ran up the Negro's arm, scorching the flesh, and causing him to grasp quickly at the blaze. This gave the mob a cue, and immediately the fingers of the Negro at the second joint, were hacked off with pocket knives. Through this torture Hose passed like a stoic, never groaning or b[e]traying the slightest sign of pain. When the shirt had been burned from his trunk, badly singing the breast of the Negro, a blazing match was applied to the wood. The ankles w[e]re burned away, and the flames greedily started up the leg, at the s[a]metime enwrapping the whole of the body. All this time Hose did not murmur. As the fire struck his wounds, however, and he was tormented beyond endurance; he wrenched fiercely with his mutilated hands and arms, at the same time almost dislocat[i]ng his neck. Under such violent strain the detaining rope and wire gave away, and the Negro, gasping and twitching, fell out of the fire on the ground.


The vast crowd let him r[e]main out of the r[a]nge of the blaze for a few moments. Then one of the party walked coolly up to the reclining figure, and, cursing, kicked the smoldering form back on the pile. As this act of brutality was proceeding Hose opened his lips and feebly said, "This is my last hour." These were the last words he uttered. As his body was cast again into the flames, the mob appeared to tire of the revolting spectacle, and began to wind the chain tight around the tree and the blazing logs. When the body had been secured, the spluttering white-hot timber was piled up high on it, and sickening odor of burning flesh came from the pile.

The people moved b[a]ck, and as not a groan or murmur came from the blaze, the mob began to disperse, having as its destination the residence of Isaac Strickland, near Palmetto, the Negro preacher who, Hose asserted, gave him a$20 Confederate bill to murder Cranford, because the latter was supposed to have something to do with the shooting of the Negroes in the Palmetto warehouse.

Twenty minutes later a special train from Atlanta, bearing 2,400 people, reached Newman [sic], and the field was covered with morbid curiosity seekers. A few countrymen were still standing around the fire. The crowd made a dash for it, and, wrenching the logs right and left, extricated the charred remains of the mob's victim. Portions of the heart and liver were divided up through the crowd. The backbone and ribs went the same way, and the trees were levelled to the ground and split into kindling wood for souvenirs.

The last act int he drama of blood was the cruel, brutal hanging of Isaac Strickland, the preacher, supposed to be an accomplice of Hose. The mob promised Major Watson, Strickland's employer, that he would be delivered to the sheriff; he affirmed the innocence of Strickland and demanded his release. In return for this, Major Watson was ordered to leave the state or suffer the consequences of remaining and defending "niggers."

As a result of this awful crime, the white journalists of the South are advocating various methods of protecting the white women in sparsely settled districts. Ex-Governor North, editor of The Atlanta Constitution, is advancing the idea of transforming the cabin of the "poor white trash" into miniature arsenals, and that the white women of the South should be trained in the use of firearms, thereby enabling them to protect themselves against the brutal assaults of "black beasts."

The Negro believes in the protection of female virtue; the mute testimony of over five million mulattoes condemns the chivalrous Southerner, who has compelled Negro women to submit to his bestial desires. White women never have Negro children! If we must protect the one, we ought by the same parity of reasoning protect the other. A very prominent white gentleman, discussing the recent action of the Georgia mob says:  "The brutal action of the Georgia mob cannot be excused; the wretch, Hose, if guilty, would have received his just deserts before a court where all the machinery is in the hands of white men. This would at least have legalized the murder. And, again, the brutal, inhuman conduct of the mob is a very poor example to the ignorant Negroes who are supposed to draw inspiration for nobler lives from their environment. I do not believe this action will materially affect the collection for foreign missions in our churches next Sunday." This is a choice bit of irony pregnant with truth.

The spirit of mob violence in the South creates a disregard for law and human life, and it fills the hearts of those who participate with immoral impulses that eventually overthrow the race. The white men of the South have made the Negro what he is; for over two centuries they have debased Negro manhood and womanhood; they bought and sold their own children and debauched their own daughters by Negro women! Is there any wonder that the Negro, in the face of such awful examples, is anything else than a rapist and a brute? The depravity of Southern white men has made him so.Yet, never do we hear of the highly respectable white ladies of the South being assaulted; their protector is their dignity of womanhood; they have no need of Winchesters and pistols; but the "Magdalenes" must be surrounded by country police.

The Governor of Georgia is absolutely unfit to preside over the destinies of a dog kennel, much less to guide and direct a gang of incestuous social outlaws whose conception of law renders respectable the ignorant staggering of the South Sea Islanders. The creators and moulders of public sentiment of Georgia manifest a woeful ignorance of the past history of the people of their state or designingly shift the burden of their crimes upon the shoulders of Negroes whose manhood they helped to destroy.

Ex Governor Atkinson's repentance is rather late to bear good fruit; during his administration as many Negroes were lynched and burned as ever and not a word of protest came from his lips. We have no faith in a man who demands justice in one voice and in another suggests the creation of a police system which would justify the murder of every Negro in Georgia.

We desire to know that Ex-Governor Atkinson has sworn to complaints against the lynchers. This will be a proof of his sincerity; he is a reputable citizen and his statement should have weight in any court.

The Topeka Plaindealer dedicated the May 5, 1899 edition to the lynching of Sam Hose. On the front and second page, the paper included what was being written in, mainly, black papers about the lynching:


They Employ Strong Language Anent [sic] 
the Recent Burning of Sam.
Hose Down in Georgia.

How About the Beam?

From The Iowa State Bystander.

The government and American Christians can talk about the inhuman treatment of Cuba by Spain, the horrors of the Russian serfs and peasants, the cannibals, head-hunters of Simona, and the shocking butchery of Americans; but what think you about the United States suffering her own citizens to be hung, butchered and the bodies burned, the crisping parts of the charred bodies cut into pieces and sold as souvenirs?


More Brutal Than Hose.

From The Indianapolis Freeman.

As the white journals of the North unanimously agree, the mob was far more brutal than Hose, whose ignorance perhaps goaded him on to deeds of violence to an extent that his ignorance did not permit him to understand. The mob whose members pride themselves upon their proud Anglo-Saxon blood could have found it possible to have allowed the law to have taken its course, which, in the end, would have meant certain death.


One Thing Needed.

From The American Citizen.

The only thing needed to have placed this Georgia mob on a plane with the lowest order of savages was to have eaten their victim's flesh as they cut it off with their knives. Perhaps this will come next, for mob punishment is growing more and more diabolical in spite of the efforts made to check it. Such atrocities shame the nation and the race. No wonder that the civilization of the Old World meets with derision our boasts of refinement and established order.


Nineteenth Century Barbarians

From The Indianapolis Recorder.

What a picture for the close of the nineteenth century—a period that has marked such a rapid progress in the onward march to civilization! One-thousand men of a superior race dancing in fiendish glee around the body of a fellow-being roasted to a stake, scrambling like mad for bits of a charred remains to exhibit as relics of the ghastly scene, and the horrible mutilation of the body prior to the burning! What a record for a country that is engaged in a foreign war in the name of humanity!


The National Question.

From The Denver Statesman.

But a lynching is not a question of individual responsibility. It might have been so once, but it is no longer so in America. It is the whole nation's concern. It is a malady permeating the air which the mothers of the nation breathe and its spirits is distilled into the natures of coming generations. No matter whether we laugh or moan, condemn or excuse, rage or reason, pity or play, a harvest of abomination must rise up out of the lawlessness and barbarism which this nation is sowing, and soon or late, God's justice will prevail, and lynching reap its own pestilential reward.


Miserable Excuse.

From The Indianapolis World.

No one will suspect The World of condoning crime, by whomsoever committed. It favors the punishment of all criminals, regardless of race, color or station in life. But this question does not enter at all into the discussion of this Georgia case. If the victim was guilty of murder and rape, or either, as the mob alleges, let the fact be duly ascertained by fair investigation, and let the sentence of the law be carried out in its utmost severity. The miserable excuse always offered by mobs in extenuation of their atrocities, that the courts don't do their duty and let criminals escape, will not hold in this case at all. Everybody knows that the man was certain of speedy conviction and death at the hands of the Georgia court.


Absolutely True.

From The Dallas Express.

Elsewhere in this issue of The Express we print two news items, under the respective captions:  "Trouble at Palmetto," and "Race Trouble in South Carolina." The despatches were sent over the South in all the big white dailies. We print them that our readers might see what useless stuff great white newspapers carry to the world. We don't believe that anybody believes anything contained in despatches whatever. The Negro is not built that way. He is used to Southern outrage and he knows that insurrection and murdering white people by wholesale, are not the way to stop it. There are no Negroes in the South who think along the line of these despatches, and the white newspapers should know better than to print the trash.

The Negro wants to see the colored criminals, as other law-breakers, brought to justice. He knows that his security is in the enforcement of the law, and so knowing, he is waiting upon white men to enforce it. Let the officers of the law hunt down criminals, black and white,and when they shall have been placed in prison cells, let the mob disorganize and await the mandates of the court, and a better state of feeling will begin to exist, and wild, sensational stories of  Negro uprising will cease.


An Absurd Idea.

From The Christian Recorder.

The idea of using the hobby of assault upon woman in connection with the mob reign of savagery in Georgia is a subterfuge that will not work with sober, sensible people. However else Sam. Hose may stand condemned, and self-condemned as a murderer, there was no evidence to fasten the fearful crime of outraging his victim's wife upon him. When he admitted his guilt of murder to the howling mob that sought his life he knew there was no hope left him. He, therefore, had nothing to gain by denying the charge of assault even if he had been guilty. Governor Atkinson contended for the innocence of the alleged murderer rapist, only to be pushed aside by the mob and his life threatened with a revolver. The ex-governor was brave in his declaration that he knew the men who led the mob and that he will testify against them. Let him prove his manliness by keeping his word after the air had been calmed. It is only through men of his type that any hope is to be indulged for the South.


Let Us Have the Law.

From The St. Joseph Mirror.

While companies of Negro soldiers are being formed to start for the Philippine islands to do battle in defense of the stars and stripes, within the shadow of that emblem, "The United States flag," from which they rightly expect protection, other Negro men, women and children are being mercilessly shot down, lynched or burned at the stake. Now we do not desire to appear in the light of justifying crime or lawlessness on the part of our race, but in the name of the God of high Heaven, try every man by the law of the land and if he deserves death, give it to him; if innocent, turn him loose; that is all we ask—is it too much?


Ask the Lord.

From The Baptist College Journal.

How this government can spend millions of dollars and sacrifice thousands of the lives of its most loyal citizens in chasing the Filipinos about the forests, and then rest at ease of peace and conscience when the lives of its own loyal citizens are being wafted away upon flames of fire, bowie knives and shotguns, is a mystery that cannot be intelligently solved when applied to a Christian nation.



From The Washington Colored American.

Perhaps some member of the Georgia mob that burned Sam. Hose might be induced to accept an assignment to carry civilization and Christianity to the heathenish Filipinos. 


That's No Josh!

From The Larned Chronoscope (white).

The North Carolina Legislature has amended the militia laws of the state so as to shut out colored men. Yet it was the bravery of the colored troops that made San Juan a victory instead of a disastrous defeat.


Falling Away.

From The Western Enterprise.

The white people of Georgia are getting as far from civilization as possible. Their heathen actions at Newman [sic], not long ago, excel at the atrocious crimes ever committed by those cannibals against the Negro race.


Africa's Cannibals Respectable.

From The Omaha Progress.

Africa's interior may have her savages and cannibals, but none of them can play even second fiddle to the American cannibals in the South, nor compete with them, either in point of ferocity or barbarous cruelty—they will kill their victims before cooking.


No Excuses.

From The McPherson Republican (white).

The Old Negro question is breaking out in the South in bad shape. Some states are trying to eliminate the colored vote entirely. In Georgia and Arkansas terrible lynchings have occurred.In some cases there was awful provocation, but these were followed up by a general raid on the colored people. This has neither palliation nor excuse.


The Georgia Massacre.

From The Baltimore Republican-Guide.

The effect the horrible crime perpetrated recently in Georgia will have on the minds of civilized nations will be to destroy respect for a nation which claims to be the leading one in advancement along all lines of modern civilization. The mutilation of a live man and then burning him at a stake, distributing pieces of his flesh and bones at a competitive price to a crowd of murderers, will tell forever to the disgrace of the state of Georgia. Such crimes go far beyond the realm of so-called rowdyism. It was a horrible scene. it was a horrible massacre. The Apaches, the most savage tribe of Indians, would not be guilty of such an atrocity; it shows the brutality of the Southern white man's instinct. Hose was guilty of a brutal murder, and in the course of law, would have been justly killed; the effect thus produced would have done more to improve civil conditions. Lynchers are murderers, and the stain will follow on the lives of their children's children.


Negroes Have a Right to Protest.

From The Huron Herald (white).

The recent lynchings in Georgia have worked the people of the South into a frenzy. The Negroes feel that whatever the deeds committed may have been, the victims were entitled to a fair trial. The white people, on the other hand, are aroused to white heat in anger, and clamor for the summary execution of all Negro rapists by mob law. The excitement is running high and even the conservative citizens fear a race war. It is certain that the great majority of Negroes in the South are law-abiding citizens, upon whom foul criminals of their own color have brought a shadow. They have a right to protest, and the courts and power of the law should sustain them. The white people naturally feel bitter against the criminals who threaten the honor and the safety of their wives and daughters, but it is doubtful if mob law will help matters. One thing is certain. The decent Negroes in the South, and they are in the vast majority, should lend every assistance in their power to hunt down the guilty ones, and bring them to the speedy execution of justice. It should be known throughout the South that the ravisher of womanhood, black or white, can not expect anything else than the full penalty of the law, from the Negro as well as the white citizens.


Burned at the Stake.

From The New York Age.

We live in a Christian country and are governed by an elaborate and intricate mechanism of law, which Blackstone has defined to be "a rule of civil conduct, prescribed by the highest power in the state, permitting what is right and prohibiting what is wrong." We make loud proclamation to the world of our civic power and moral virtue, and we do it with such ostentation as to amount to offensiveness. If the outside world could be imposed upon by our loud mouthings we would be rated everywhere as a nation of saints instead of hypocrites, liars and murderers, such as we are.

Palmetto, Ga., is a small hamlet, and yet it has produced enough crime and savagery in the past forty days to damn the whole republic in the full estimation of Christian mankind.

The eight black men slaughtered there a few weeks ago for alleged incendiarism shocked  the nation, but that vile crime, which Governor Candler excused, has been outdone by the mob in the mutilation and burning of one Samuel Hose, by 2,500 mad and brutal white men for the alleged crime of murder and assault.

Talk about savagery! What shall we style this revolting crime against law and decency? Of course Governor Candler excused the lynchers and sought to throw the blame upon the black victim! But ex-Governor W. Y. Atkinson, who lives at Newnan, is built of other stuff. He drove to the scene and standing in his carriage pleaded to the mob to let the law take its course. Judge Freeman also did so. But their words were unheeded.

What does the civilized world think of the savage white men of Georgia? How long will the civilized world suppress its wrath and indignation at the constant exhibitions of brutality and savagery on the part of Southern white men? Black men all over this country are beginning to question the power or willingness of the state or federal authorities to protect them in their just rights under the constitution.

The situation is a critical one, and calls for wise deliberation on our part before deciding upon a course of advice or action.

There is no reason on earth why Governor Candler should not stop talking and send state troops to the scene of anarchy to protect the helpless black victims from the savagery of white brutes, and we think the country will hold him responsible for not doing so.


Barbarism in Georgia.

From The Omaha Enterprise.

Of all the hellish outrages perpetrated upon the Negro of the South, the recent burning and lynching at Newman [sic] and Palmetto, Georgia, stand unparalleled in the annals of crime. Other instances of the burning of human beings by senseless and blood-thirsty mobs of lawless white men, such as occurred in Texas some years ago, were merciful as compared with these of Georgia.

The former were merciful in that the victims were put to death speedily. In the latter instance the inhuman treatment accorded the condemned wretches before  applying the torch, was so revolting in its nature that even brutes must have sickened at the sight.

We do not pretend to palliate the crimes of which Holt and Strickland were accused. If they were guilty they should have been punished with such punishment as civilized people mete out. The law of this land always deals summarily with Negro offenders and there has never yet been a case recorded where it was necessary to resort to lynch law to bring a Negro to justice.

Admitting the guilt of Holt and Strickland, these crimes are nothing as compared with the brutality and barbarism inflicted upon them by the barbarians who put them to death. The consequences of the fiendish act of these Georgia outlaws will not alone attach to that state but to the whole country. And yet the federal government, through its attorney general, declares itself powerless to act in the situation. If the federal authorities cannot act, then, indeed, is the safety of the Southern Negro hopeless and the world may at any time expect to be shocked and horrified by frequent repetitions of the bloody deeds of white ruffians in the South.


Southern Chivalry.

From The Mail and Breeze (white).

The burning and torturing of a Negro murderer in Georgia recently and the hanging of another Negro against whom there was such flimsy evidence that it would not have been seriously considered by any respectable jury, was a crime as horrible as the crime with which the Negro, Sam. Holt, was charged.

If Holt was guilty of murdering a man and then ravishing the man's wife while her husband lay weltering in his blood before her eyes, then the Negro was a fiend who deserved to die, but the manner of his killing was as fiendish as his crime. The killing of the Negro preacher, Strickland, by the mob was without the shadow of justification. All the evidence there was against Strickland was the statement of the Negro ravisher and murderer that Strickland had offered him $12 to kill Chanford [sic]. On this statement, made by the murderer when he was in the hands of a howling mob ready to tear him to pieces, and at a time when in his terror he would be likely to say anything that might throw the blame for the crime he had committed onto another man, the unfortunate Strickland was beaten and brutally hanged while he was protesting his innocence. For the purpose of making him confess, the mob twice strung Strickland up to a limb, but as soon as he was let down and was able to speak, he reiterated his assertion that he was innocent. Then the mob, composed, we suppose, of Southern chivalry, concluded that they couldn't get anything out of the — nigger and hung him anyway.

The act of the mob is defended and excused by the leading Democratic paper of Georgia and an interview  with the Democratic governor of the state is given in The Atlanta Constitution, in which no criticism worth speaking of is made in regard to the mob, who hung one man without evidence of guilt and burned another at the stake and then carried his charred bones away as souvenirs of the entertainment. The Georgia governor, as we say, seems to have little fault to find with the mob, but he is severe in his criticism of Negroes who complain because members of their race are taken up on suspicion and burned at the stake.

Conditions in Georgia and all the other Southern states are tough on the colored race and the worst of it is that just now we don't see that the colored race have any particular recourse on their oppressors. The South is dominated by the children of men who held the black race in bondage for centuries. They are thoroughly imbued with the determination that law or no law, they will hold the black race in virtual bondage still. The make the Negro work for next to nothing. They forbid him to ride in cars with whites or eat in the same dining rooms, no matter how well educated, clean and refined the Negro may be. They deprive him of his political and civil rights. They hang him and burn him on suspicion, not so much as a punishment for the crimes he may be charged with as because he is a nigger and they want other niggers to keep their places.

The conditions are tough for the Negro in the South and there is mighty little prospect for their getting better.



From The Washington Bee.

The gushing Southern governors who are struggling to explain the horrible cannibalism displayed in the Southern states seem to have no compunctions in their attempts to mislead Northern people as to the real cause of the lawlessness and bloodthirstiness perpetrated against the blacks. It is stated by them that politics is at the bottom of it all. Such a statement, coming from a governor of a state, shows how thoroughly and completely the South is dominated by the spirit of hate, audacity and anarchy. In Georgia, where the recent horrible atrocities were committed, the masses of colored people are practically disenfranchised. They hold few if any political offices of importance worth mentioning and manifest no interest in politics. The election returns show that thousands of colored voters do not even go to the polls. The system of espionage has been so severe and widespread that colored people have thought it unprofitable to pay attention to politics. It is because of the absence of politics among colored people in Georgia that the whites have become emboldened to commit so many deeds of lawlessness and crime. The fact is that in the South where the colored people are allowed to vote, there are no alleged outrages such as we hear of from states where political rights are denied. The fact is that the poor whites are brutes and totally unfitted for citizenship and hence they satisfy their brutal tendencies by maltreating the colored people. The little game of associating outrage with every other crime committed by colored people is entirely too transparent to successfully hoodwink the good people of the North. The Northern people are conservative, but they are not fools and will be neither parties to nor sympathizers with murderers and moral lepers.


Inhuman Wretches.

From The Colorado Springs Sun.

The inhuman, bloody and cowardly crimes committed in the South by Southern white men surpass in atrocity and cruelty the most dastardly acts of cannibals and uncivilized men of any clime. The perpetrators have proven by their acts that they are utterly devoid of every human instinct—no honor, no justice, no sense of right and fairness, insensible to shame, disgrace and remorse. The teaching of morality and religion is a mere jest to them. Race hatred and prejudice saturate their homes, schools and churches, control their actions and the source of their darkest and deepest satanic aspirations. The flimsy excuse for these diabolical crimes (where they imagine that such an excuse is necessary) is that they must protect their women. A man or a community is thrice a liar, a coward and a bully, who will commit such crimes, and then seek shelter behind a woman's skirts. This is a clever ruse to avoid the effects of a powerful and outraged public sentiment. We know little or nothing of the condition of the Negro in the South;  We know not whether he is intelligent or ignorant. We do know that he exists there in great numbers, and we know, further, that if we were similarly p;laced,crime should follow crime, depraved cunning should be answered with depraved cunning. If they killed, we should burn; if they tortured, we would devise some instrument of the weak to answer them. We would fight, and fight and die, and in dying give evidence of our manhood and retain the respect of posterity.


What Must It Think?

From The Omaha World-Herald (white).

What must the world think of us who claim to be carrying the light of Christian civilization to the Phillipines while at the same time we burn men at the stake and carry fingers and toes and ears in our pockets as souvenirs of our brutality? What have we to do with the frost on our neighbor's tiles when the rubbish is piled mountain high before our own door?

The Newman [sic] horror is notice to us that it is high time to put a plug in the national switchboard and send the currents of destiny throbbing through our own body politic; it is notice to us to civilize ourselves before claiming the right to shoot civilization into those who live 7,000 miles from our shores.

There can be no possible excuse for the brutal lynching of Hose. Sentiment and pathos may be wrong and harped upon, but no excuses can be found for the horrible tortures of the brute who murdered an inoffensive man and outraged the wife in the blood of her murdered husband. The law had provided a punishment for crimes such as his, and it is not for men wrought to bloodthirsty frenzy to take the law into their own hands. Hose deserved death a thousand times over for his awful crime, but this even is no excuse for his lynching.


A Disgrace to the South.

From The Huntsville Journal.

Sunday at mob at Newman, [sic] Ga., took one Sam. Hose, colored, who was charged with rape and murder, and after cutting off his ears and fingers, poured oil on him and burned alive. The despatches say that the mad crown fought for pieces of his flesh, some paying 10 cents for a piece of his half cooked liver. It is said that Hose confessed to the killing and said that a preacher named Lije Strickland paid him $12 to commit the deed. So Strickland was taken to the woods Sunday night, and after being terribly mutilated, hanged to a tree. If it is true that Hose committed the crime charged to him he deserved death, but not by a mob, nor should the white citizens of Georgia who claim to be civilized, have been allowed to vent their hatred in such a savage way, but the worst of it is that the governor tries to palliate the offense by saying that politics is the cause. We have no apology to offer for those who commit crime, whether they be white or black, but we condemn in the strongest manner that we know how, the mobbing of a man for any cause. What are our laws if they can't handle such cases? The Georgians have gone farther than the Texans did some years ago. We advise our people to keep cool and live pure lives and as sure as there is a God, He will hold these vile murderers to account. "Vengeance is mine and I will repay, saith the Lord."

Continuing with The Topeka Plaindealer (Topeka, Kansas) dated May 19, 1899 we read the reactions of Southern papers to their original article about the lynching:


Of the Late Georgia Unpleasantness Is "Explained" by One Man and Several Jackasses.

A Letter from a New Yorker.
To The Plaindealer, Topeka, Kansas.

Marietta, Ga., April 30.—Gentlemen:  I read your text, "It Is Hell!" etc., etc., on which I have to offer:  The citizen or the community who or which would not in manner fully as cruel, as severe, avenge like offense is or would be unworthy to be classified "civilized" or unworthy the name of a citizen of the United States, nor would it matter if the offender were black or white, if the same outrage were perpetrated in Maine or in Texas, in Kansas or in "Barbarous Georgia" (your designation). Observe fact of his offenses:  He, Sam. Holt [sic], crept barefooted behind his employer and benefactor, Mr. Cranford, with axe in hand, brained his victim seated at supper table, surrounded by wife and four children, eldest less than seven years of age, youngest an infant at breast, little more than six months of age, and, with the instincts of his brutish nature, struck the child of three to four years, knocking it across the room; with uplifted axe he approached the defenseless woman, Mrs. Cranford, snatched the suckling infant from her breast, and threw it as if it were a bundle of rags across the room, there stripping her person of every thread of wearing apparel, holding her thus a prisoner three hours, during which time he twice more repeated the crime of rape, inflicting upon her some other nameless indignities for his sole amusement and delectation! besides lacerating the person by vicious bites thereof!

To make the crime all more horrible, the brute, Sam. Hose, was poisoned with — in its most aggravated form, for which loathsome disease Mr. Cranford was having him treated by competent and reputable physicians!

Once again, I say, no punishment, no torture could be inflicted to atone for the enormity of Hose's offense, nor would the person or people who would not deal with equal severity on such offenders be entitled to be called citizens of a civilized community!

I am a native of the state of New York, but would wreak similar offenses on whomsoever or wheresoever such might be perpetrated.

Emphatically yours,

Box 42, Marietta, Ga.


An Indorsment. [sic]

The Clinch County News, from, Homerville, Ga., comes with the following indorsement of THE PLAINDEALER:  "THE PLAINDEALER, published at Topeka, Kansas, has found its way to our sanctum and we find it unworthy of entering a decent man's door. By right's, in our opinion, it should be excluded from the mail. Such publications and such men as its editors will undoubtedly bring about more lynching than otherwise would be. The Negro is an inferior race and always will be, and when a white man tries to put him upon a parity with the whites, this man is lower than the Negro."


A Bouquet.

The editor of the Rome, (Ga.) Commercial Argus flings this bouquet at our feet, or head:  "THE PLAINDEALER, a Negro paper published at Topeka, Kansas, is red-hot on the Sam. Holt [sic] lynching. If the black rascal who edits this sheet were to venture down this way, he might be treated to a dose himself."


A Cowardly White Editor.

The editor of a white exchange at Lambert (Ga.) returns our paper with the following very complimentary remarks:  "If the editor will come to Georgia, and will let the people know who he is, he will not write any such articles again!  See! The editor is a d— s— of a b—".


An Invitation.

 The Colquit (Ga.) Courier sends us the following warm invitation which we decline for the reason that the Kansas climate is very agreeable:

"We have received a copy of THE PLAINDEALER, printed at Topeka, Kansas, in which the editor has a great deal to say about the lynching of Sam. Hose, and condemns the people of Georgia in a very vigorous way. The editor, we suppose, is a Negro, because we do not believe any living white man could crowd as many bare-faced lies into the same space as THE PLAINDEALER man has. We are certain Ananias could not hold a light for the Kansas editor to lie by.

"We will say this much for THE PLAINDEALER man, be he white skinned or be he black skinned, if he will come to Georgia and commit the same crime Sam. Hose did, we will guarantee he will receive the same reward Hose did, and will say this further, if he will bring a copy of his filthy, lying sheet with him and read and indorse it, we will guarantee him at least 200 stripes with a buggy trace well put on by willing hands and as a premium he will get a new suit of tar and feathers with probably a match stuck to it. So we advise said editor to go North or East when he wants an outing, never come to Georgia.

"We have scanned the columns of said paper closely but find not one word spoken about the lynching of a Negro by Negroes in his own state for simply killing a woman of his own color. Why is it that it is so fiendish in Georgia to kill a brute who would steal silently into a man's house, kill the husband and assault the wife, while it is not considered worth mentioning that a mob of Kansas Negroes did overpower the sheriff, let themselves into the jail and kill a man who had only been guilty of taking the life of a woman his own color?

"Stay away from Georgia is our advice."


Nuts to Crack.

Many schemes have been discussed to solve the Negro question by colonizing them in Africa and elsewhere, but perhaps the most sensible would be to equally distribute them over the United States, provided a cordon of troops be sent along with them should they happen to seek work in Illinois or to settle in many counties North and West where they will not permit a Negro to live. The papers North go into a fever of excitement over recent happenings in the South, but they are dumb as oysters over the manner in which the Alabama and Mississippi Negroes were murdered under order of the governor of Illinois for no other reason than they sought honest labor in the mines of that state; how Negroes were lynched in Chicago during the great fire for pilfering; how they were lynched in the streets of New York at the outbreak of the Civil War for no other reason than they were in part the innocent cause of that war, and numerous lynchings in the North and West for the crimes of murder and theft. "Consistency, thou art a jewel" never enters the mind of the Pharisees in the North.

[The Marion (Ga.) Patriot gives the above nuts to the white papers of the North to crack. Here's your chance, boys!]


An Idea of Hell.

Col. Ingersoll's theories of hell may be realized should he go South and hear what comforting words The People's Advocate of Carrollton, Ga., has to say:

"The American infidel, Bob Ingersoll, has fired off his bazoo in regard to the burning of Sam. Holt [sic] at Newnan. Bob is talking through a large but invisible hat when he refers tot he Southern people as savages. Robert, suppose you come South for your health? The 'savages' here in the South could make a luscious meal of your old infidel carcass, and we will guarantee that there will not be enough left to send to your 'Yankee disciples.'"


During the past few days, since the burning of Sam. Hose, we have been in receipt of a large number of Southern newspapers, and, also, letters containing bitter reflections on the management of this paper, promising us "a warm time" should we venture to accept the very cordial invitations to enjoy Southern hospitality.

I have chosen to end with an article not from a "Negro" paper, but I felt it was well placed in this post than another. The article comes to us from Buffalo Evening News (Buffalo, N. Y.) dated June 12, 1899:

The Other Side of the Negro Question

Editor Evening News:

I am so glad to learn from last night's NEWS that the case of Sam Hose is being investigated. I have worked among the colored people of the Black Belt for the last two years, and the story of Sam Hose as first published seemed very improbable to me, knowing the colored people as well as I do. The story as told in the NEWS of yesterday seems more like the truth, as many of the white people of the South think no more of shooting a "nigger" than a man in the North does of shooting a dog, and I have always felt a gross injustice was perpetrated in the case of Sam Hose and the colored ministers. It is time the people of the North took this business in hand. We have more important work in the "Black Belt" than in the Phillipines.

One important feature of the negro question I have never known spoken of by the papers is the question of the white men of the South and the colored girls. As far as my observations go, the men of the South look upon the colored girls as their prey, and the fathers and brothers are unable to protect them.

The colored people of the South live in constant fear of being shot by the white men, and if a colored man does a wrong they are likely to shoot not only the man who committed the wrong,  but any other men who may have been seen in the company of any near relative, so none of them feel safe, and the average negro of the black belt feels it would be very unsafe for him to come North, where there are so many white men. As one man expressed it:  "So many white men North I'd be a dead nigger, sure."

The colored people of the South, as I know them, make peaceable, good citizens, and although treated with great injustice in most cases, they submit, but they know right from wrong and have kind hearts and love of home and family the same as white men, and may not the treatment the colored girls received from the white men throw some light on the negro question? I think the white women of the South would be safer if they helped protect the colored girls from the white men.

This is from a worker among the colored people.
L. B.
Buffalo, Jan. [sic] 9, 1899.

I hope you found this post interesting and not too long. I have chosen to write "Negro" for the papers because that is what they were called at the time. I also plan one more post about this lynching. It will cover what a private detective learned afterwards.

As always, we hope we leave you with something to ponder. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

December 24, 1871: George Duncan

Today's lynching is very short as every article I could find on this lynching shared the same information. Our paper today is the Pittsburgh Daily Commercial (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) dated December 30, 1871:

Homicide and Lynching in Kentucky

CINCINNATI, O., December 29.—Last Friday evening, says a correspondent of the Times and Chronicle, a man named Browning, accompanied by others, went to the house of George Duncan, a colored man, in Braxton county, Kentucky, to whip the latter, or eject him from the house. Duncan showed fight, and on the door being broken down by his assailants he fired into the crowd, killing Browning. Duncan was captured and taken to the Brookville jail in his shirt and drawers. Sunday night at nine o'clock fifty-two disguised armed men took him from the jail and started in the direction of Powersville. Duncan made an effort to escape, but was recovered and finally hung to a tree a mile and a half from Brookville. There was great excitement in the place on Monday, and it was not easy to procure information.

A quick note: the Brookville mentioned is actually Brooksville, Kentucky which is in Bracken County. Some papers did have it listed as Bracken, some as Braxton. One Indiana paper, in a piece on lynching in Indiana, stated that the Brookville lynching was only an attempt but I could find no other papers to support that claim. Also Brookville is very clearly in Kentucky, on the Ohio side at that, and not in Indiana so I suspect the editor was mistaken. 

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

Saturday, May 26, 2018

June 4, 1871: George Sharkovich (Austrian George)

Today's lynching will point out just how easy it is for contemporary newspapers to mix up their information. Just a warning folks, this post is a bit long and slightly repetitive. Feel free to skim a little through the accounts. Now that you've had your warning I'd like to introduce you to the case of George Sharkovich (Austrian George, Australian George, Portuguese Joe.) George Sharkovich (Austrian or Slavic?) murdered a young woman known as Miss McDaniel's. After a day or two of running, he was found, shot by a group of men, and then burned by a mob in the remains of his cabin, which the mob tore down. I was only able to find two papers which mentioned his actual name, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Feather River Bulletin. Both papers are from California, where the murder occurred and most likely are the most accurate. Unfortunately I was not able to get a hold of the Butte Record, the paper of the county where the lynching took place. You may notice if you read through these accounts that the papers manage to mix up the lynched man's name, the murdered girl's name, the method of murder, the place it occurred, and the ethnicity of Mr. Sharkovich. Just a note, at the time that this lynching occurred, a gang was captured in which a member known as Portuguese Joe escaped. I have not included this article because it does not directly relate to the lynching, but the Portuguese Joe alias most likely comes from a misunderstanding along the wire. Our first paper is the Feather River Bulletin (Quincy, California) dated June 10, 1871. Although the Feather River Bulletin is not the earliest paper, I am putting it first because it claims that it got it's account from the Butte Record.

A Fiendish Murder.
It is but seldom indeed that the feeling of an entire community have been so shocked and their indignation aroused as they have been by the recent awful tragedy at Cherokee, in Butte county—a most beautiful, accomplished and amiable young lady, just on the verge of womanhood, all life, joy and innocence,—murdered—stabbed to the very heart by a fiend in human form, while in the company of her friends! The following account of the murder we take from the Butte Record or Saturday last:

"At about 2 o'clock on the morning of the 1st instant, Miss Susan McDanel, step-daughter of the late Thomas McDanel Esq, of Cherokee, was passing from the hall, where there had just been a dance, to the residence of Justice Glass, in company with Miss Maria Glass and Doctor Sawyer. Immediately in front of them were Mrs. Davis and family, and others standing around the hall and in sight. The three had reached within about ten feet of the gate that led to the residence of Justice Glass, when, hearing some one approach, Miss McDanel turned and remarked to Miss Glass, that her father was coming. Miss Glass turned and looked, and told her that it was not. A moment after, a miscreant by the name of George Sharkovich, an Austrian, rapidly approached the three, and seizing Miss McDanel by the hair, drew her head suddenly back, and thrusting the knife down into her neck until it reached her heart, withdrew the relentless weapon and fled. The blow caused Miss McDanel to swerve from her course, and running some ten or twelve feet in the direction the fiend had taken, she fell to the ground a corpse, without a word or sigh. The cry of "murder" from Miss Glass was heard, and that was all. Dr. Sawyer rushed after the villain, but finding he could not overtake, discharged his derringer after him, apparently without effect, and then returned to where Miss McDanel had fallen. Alas! she was beyond medical aid. Her pure spirit had fled! and she, who but a moment before was all innocence, joy and life, was stricken down forever! Was ever murder so foul?

"A few steps carried the flying murderer to the chaparral, and immediate pursuit in the darkness was vain. The excitement spread over town. A meeting was held at the Cherokee Hotel, for organized action, in searching for the fugitive murderer, and a reward of five thousand dollars was offered for his apprehension. The hut for the red-handed murderer began on the early morning. Indians were placed on his trail while others were dispatched to the hills in every direction. men organized into bands, and started out on a systematic search. A courier was dispatched to Oroville early in the morning for Sheriff Miller, and the authorities were soon on the alert."

Every road, trail, stream, bridge and ferry within twenty or thirty miles was vigilantly guarded by faithful sentinels, and the search continued until Sunday nigh last, when the fiend was captured. About 10 o'clock on that night, the murderer, while passing the bridge at Bidwell Bar, was confronted by Justice McBride, who escorted him to the toll-house, where, with the assistance of Mr. Ketchum, he was disarmed of his Henry rifle, the two gentlemen then took him to the house of Mr. J. S. Bendle. Here he was ordered to deliver up his knife, which he did. His revolver was next demanded. While pretending to comply, he suddenly placed the pistol to his head and pulled the trigger, but catching in his shirt, it missed fire. Bendle caught the weapon from him, when he broke away and ran for his life. Bendle fired, hitting him three times—twice in the back, and the last shot through the head, killing him instantly. His body was conveyed to Oroville, and from thence to his cabin at Cherokee Flat, the scene of the murder. A large crowd assembled to receive the body. Upon its arrival they became greatly excited. Sheriff Miller addressed them, advising moderation. A proposition was made to burn the body. All agreeing, the cabin was torn down, a large pile made of it in the open field, the body placed upon it, a can of oil thrown over the whole and the pyre set on fire; and, amid the shouting and rejoicing of the people, the body of George Sharkovich, the murderer, was reduced to ashes!
Although neither Miss McDanel nor her friends had ever permitted or tolerated the advances of the murderer, he seems to have entertained a most absurd and violent passion for her, and had frequently declared that she should marry him or no one. This appears to have been the sole reason from the commission of one of the most atrocious and diabolical murders, under the circumstances, which the annals of crime can show. And if, in the disposition of the miscreant's body, something akin to barbarism was evinced, it is not to be wondered at when one takes into consideration the tremendous excitement caused by the butchery of one who was endeared to the entire community by her purity, beauty, and worth.

There is a painful rumor afloat that Miss Glass, the bosom friend of poor murdered Susie, and one of the most respectable and worthy young ladies of Butte, was so perfectly horrified by the tragical even—sprinkled as she was by the life-blood of her dearest firend—that she has become bereft of reason, or at least that her reason is tottering on its throne. Should this prove to be the fact, it will be an event no less to be deplored than the fate of her who sleeps in her bloody shroud.

Our next paper is The San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, California) dated June 7, 1871. The Chronicle discusses the background of George Sharkovich before going into detail into the murder and lynching. I have left off the part about the murder and lynching because it is what most papers published.

The Slavonian Assassin.
"Austrian George" the Brutal Murderer of Miss McDaniels
His True Name, Place of Birth and Breeding—In the Murder He Carries OUt the Slavonian Law of Chivalry.

We have taken special pains to discover the true name, birth and breeding of the assassin known as "Austrian George," who so cruelly murdered Miss Susan McDaniels at Cherokee Flat on the 2d inst., and learn the following interesting particulars: The true name of the assassin was George Sharksovich (the literal translation of which means "son of a shark.") He was not an Austrian by birth, as was supposed, but a genuine Slavonian, having been born near Buka de Katarrah, Province of Dalmatia, one of the so called States of the now defunct Servian or Slavonian nation, a nation at present divided into three conquered provinces, governed respectively by Russia, Turkey and Austria. The assassin was a native of the portion under the rule of the latter county, and hence the nickname "Austrian George." He was 35 years of age, unmarried and of a coarse, brutal nature.


Is is a social law among the Slavonians that when a young man falls in love with a girl he may resort to any lawful or unlawful means to obtain her in marriage, whether she is willing or not, now matter what may be the difference between them in social position, education or surroundings. The lover may be a ruffian, robber or bandit, but, having once determined that a certain woman must marry him, he will have her, or, according to a proverb amongst them,


In love affairs of this kind the lover, when refused and jilted, watches a favorable opportunity to steal the unwilling maiden and carry her off to some local fortress, where he defends her with his life. The friends or relatives of the abducted woman follow in the chase, and bloody encounters ensue. If the abductor slays those pursuing him, the woman is his, and his bloody deeds are proclaimed throughout the land as being the very essence of chivalry. He is in fact, lionized, and becomes at once a prominent and petted member of society. If he is slain, it is believed that


And that his death is worthy of emulation. The capture, abduction and brutal treatment of young Slavonian women, who seek to have a mind of their own in affairs of the heart, has been carried on to such an extent that the Russian, Turkish and Austrian governments have enacted severe penalties for the purpose of putting down the barbarity. In Turkey the abductors are hanged to lamp-posts and suffer other odious treatment.


A very large element of the Slavonians are a rough, unlettered, vagrant rabble, given to drunkenness, gambling, licentiousness, robbery and murder. Bands of them, outlaws in every respect, roam through the gorges and fastnesses of montenegro (Black Mountain). in European Turkey, where they live by plunder, robbery, and assassination. Whenever they attempt to live civilized, they usually engage in keeping gambling resorts, whisky shops and houses of ill-repute. The savage murderer of Miss McDaniel would have been a ferocious bandit in his native mountains, but hereafter he will be ignominiously known as the "brutal assassin of Cherokee Flat."

It is in the papers outside of California that we start seeing a definite distortion of information. Our next paper is The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio) dated June 16, 1871:

The Cherokee Horror.
The Murderer Killed and His Body Burned in the Ruins of His Cabin.

The annexed account of a horrible sequel to a more horrible crime, is a from a dispatch, appearing in the Marysville (California) Appeal of June 6th. While a sympathizing people could feel that no punishment would be too severe for the inhuman monster, they were scarce prepared to counsel the treatment accorded the dead murderer; and yet it must be attributed to the rage and anger of a community that had lost, in so tragic a manner, one of its most loved members:.

OROVILLE, June 5th.

Yesterday afternoon at six o'clock the party engaged in hunting Austrian George arrived in town reporting that he had escaped from Bloomer Hill. All were at fault, and greater vigilance became necessary lest he should cross the river and find a hiding place in town. All the ferries, bridges and small boats were watched and every precaution taken to arrest him, should he attempt crossing. About ten P. M. two men watching heard a man crossing the Bidwell Bar Bridge which spans Feather River, nine miles above here. He was commanded to halt and proved to be the murderer. Surrendering his rifle, he was marched to the house of A. J. Bendle, to be bound. Arriving at the house he gave up his knife, but as they were about binding him he drew a revolver, placed it to his head and pulled the trigger, but the pistol catching in his shirt it missed fire. Mr. Bendle wrenched the weapon from him, when he broke away and ran for his life. Mr. Bendle fired at him with the revolver, hitting him three times; twice in the back, and the last went through his head, killing him instantly. His body was carried to Oroville, and from there to his cabin at Cherokee Flat. At the scene of the murder a large crowd had assembled to receive his body. Upon its arrival they became greatly excited. Sheriff Miller addressed them, advising moderation. The statements of Bendle and McBride, who had arrested him, were then given. A proposition was made to burn the body. All agreeing, the cabin was torn down, a large pile made of it in an open field, upon which his body was placed, standing, upon it. A can of oil was thrown over the whole and the pyre set on fire, and amid the shouting and rejoicing of the excited people it was consumed by flames. Eye-witnesses describe the scene of the burning as frightful in the extreme. Had he been captured alive his punishment would have been death by fire.

The Horrible Murder of a Young Lady in California.

The Marysville (Cal.) Appeal gives the following brief account of the cold-blooded and atrocious murder of Miss Lizzie McDaniels, a young lady, by a rejected lover, who, as the telegrams have reported, was afterward hunted down and shot by the enraged people:

"The deceased, Miss Lizzie McDaniels, was accompanied by a Mr. Wells and a lady. It appears that the murderer, called by some an Italian, by others 'Portuguese Joe,' had been paying his attentions to the young lady for two years past, though she tried to discourage his suit. He had told her he would kill her if she did not consent to marry him, but it seems that she regarded his threats rather lightly.
"From all we can learn regarding this unfortunate affair, this man, 'Portuguese Joe,' as we will call him, came up behind the ladies and their escort, seized Miss MecDaniels by her head, and bending it backward, plunged a knife in her throat and drew it downward, inflicting a horrible wound, laying the throat open the whole length, and even cutting her bosom.

"The attack was so sudden, so unexpected, that her escort, Mr. Wells, was taken completely by surprise, and knew no what was transpiring until the life blood of the victim showed him the horrid nature of the assault. As the murderer released his hold on the victim, Wells shot at, but missed him, and before he could fire again the villain turned a corner and escaped. Such, in brief, is a condensed account of the affair, taken from the many rumors flying about.

"Miss McDaniels was about eighteen years of age, an estimable lady and a general favorite. In one dispatch her name is given as Susie, in another as Lizzie. Her mother is on a visit to New York, and the melancholy news will fall doubly severe on her, who left her daughter in the full vigor of youth. The community has been thrown into a terrible state of excitement by this act, and have united in hunting down the wretch. Parties are scouring the surrounding county, and it seems impossible for him to escape. If taken it is probably that the courts will not be troubled with a trial. Judge Lynch will preside, and a stout rope and a short shrift will be given to the murderer of Miss McDaniels, a young and lovely woman, with all the glories of her life opening before her, stricken down by the hand of one who professed unbounded love for her and would have made her his wife."

The Cincinnati Enquirer is not the only paper to call Miss McDaniel Lizzie instead of Susan or Susie. Much more than names were confused in this lynching. If you believe the information in the New Orleans Republican (New Orleans, Louisiana) dated June 6, 1871 then the associated press had all of their facts wrong:

An American press association dispatch reads thus:

SAN FRANCISCO, JUNE 2.—A terrible tragedy was enacted here at an early hour yesterday morning in Kent county. It appears that a number of ladies and gentlemen were returning from a party to which they had been the night previous, and while walking along the road an Italian knowu[SIC] as "Austrian George" suddenly sprung into the road, and seizing a young girl named Lizzie McDaniel, drew a knife and cut her throat from ear to ear. Her death was instantaneous. She was eighteen years of age. The murderer had been her lover for the last four years and was incited to the commission of the deed by jealousy.

Our next paper is from the Evening Star (Washington, District of Columbia) dated June 17, 1871:


If the murder of Miss Susan McDaniel, at Cherokee Flat, Cal., by "Austrian George," alias "Portuguese Joe," because she would not marry him, was horrible—it will be remembered he came up behind her as she was going away from a ball with friends at 3 o'clock in the morning, seized her by the head, pulled it back, and plunged a knife in her bosom, ripping it open down to her heart—the vengeance of the excited neighbors was still more shocking. After a day or two's pursuit, he was come up with, and attempting to flee, his pursuers shot him dead. His body was then taken to his cabin, and the crown assembled declared it should be burned; whereupon, they tore the cabin down, made a funeral pyre of it, fastened the body standing in he[sic] center, poured petroleum over the whole, and then set fire to it. And so, with a shouting, rejoicing throng around, the murderer and his home were together reduced to ashes. Eye witnesses describe the scene of the burning as frightful in the extreme. Had he been captured alive his punishment would have been death by fire.

In our next article from The Valley Virginian (Staunton, Virginia) published June 15, 1871 you will see that the details of Miss McDaniel's death have changed and that George's name has changed as well:

A few days ago, a Miss McDaniels, in Cal. while passing along a road, was sprung upon by a concealed fiend, and her throat cut from ear to ear. She had refused the suit of a man known as Australian George, or Portuguese[sic] Joe, and it being satisfactorily established that he committed the deed, he was hauled out of his hiding place in the mountains, near Cherokee, by the infuriated citizens, and shot on Monday last, and his body burned to ashes.

In our final article from The Selinsgrove Times-Tribune (Selingsgrove, Pennsylvania) published June 30, 1871 you will see that the murder and lynching are now supposedly in Colorado:

At Cherokee Flat, Colorado, as a party was returning on foot from a ball, a man known as "Australian George," sprang out of a place of concealment, seized Miss Susie McDaniel, cut her throat, stabbed her to the heart, and then made his escape. The citizens are in pursuit, and will hang the murderer as soon as he is caught.

I wanted to include every single article with errors but thought that might be a bit excessive. A few more errors appeared in The Perry County Democrat (June 7, 1871) which reported that the murder occurred in Hunt County and called the murder victim Lizzie M'Daniels and The Weekly Oregon Statesman (June 7, 1871) thought that Miss Susie McDonald was murdered and reported that she died in the arms of her friend Miss Glass. It was very easy for papers to misunderstand information that came to them over the telegraph wires. If you've ever played a game of telephone as a kid, getting news over telegraph wires typically ended up in the same way. Although this case is perhaps the worst I have ever seen for misinformation. This is why it's important to always check your sources' sources (when possible.) When I originally found information on this lynching I had the name Australian George, which led me to Portuguese Joe, then to Austrian George and finally to George Sharkovich. It's hard to know if this is even a lynching, some accounts claim he was shot by the mob, some by a single person. Either way a mob burned his body and the fact that they chose to stand it up, something almost all papers report, is odd. We leave that for you to decide yourselves. If anyone happens to have the original article from the Butte Record, please share it with us in the comments and we'll gladly edit the post to fit it in. 

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