I have had multiple people ask about my sources. At the top of every article I list the newspaper the article came from. That newspaper is the source. If I post something from a book, I add the author and title. I do not claim to be an expert on lynchings. I do not even have a college degree. I do, however, have a curiosity of the past and an indignant rage about the murders of so many people. I grew up in the south and still live in the south, but I was never taught the depth of lynchings. I feel the very important history of people of color in America is not taught. I only wish to inform and to leave judgments to the reader. I try to cover lynchings from all over the country and lynchings of all races. I try to cover victims that were obviously guilty as well as ones who were most definitely innocent.
I come back today with the lynching of Sam Hose. If you are squeamish, I warn you that this lynching is grotesque. Sam Hose was mutilated before being burned alive. Please keep that in mind before reading the articles.
Given under my hand and the seal of the state, at the capitol in Atlanta, this the 14th day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-nine, and of the independence of the United States of America the one hundred and twenty-third.
A. D. CANDLER,
By the Governor.
PHILIP COOK, Secretary of State.
Description—Sam Hose is of a yellow color, five and one-half feet high, one or two front teeth out and carries his head a little to one side. Is 21 or 22 years old. When last seen was wearing a brown-spotted hat.
This article covers the search and comes from The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated April 16, 1899:
It was this party which is said to have taken drastic measures this morning to extract knowledge from a negro; but if the man knew anything, according to report, he did not tell it. He was found near Mountville, just after the party left that place, it is said, and was thought to know the direction in which the negro supposed to be Hose had gone. The strange negro represented that he knew nothing.
A rope is said to have been placed around his neck, and he was led to a nearby tree, where he was informed that unless he told in which direction the fugitive had gone, within two minutes opportunity for telling would be gone. With his knees trembling and with his entire body quaking with fear, the negro swore that he knew nothing. The party then allowed him to go, being satisfied that had he known he would have told.
A Frightened Merchant.
It was the same party which badly frightened a merchant at St. Marks, between Mountville and Hogansville today. With three days growth of beard on their faces and their clothes soiled from constant pursuit, the party trooped into the store of the merchant and the leader informed him that the members of the party would like to speak with him privately for a few moments.
The merchant stood still for a moment, his jaw dropping and then like a flash he darted through a rear door, leaving the party in possession of his store., He was seen running toward the woods as fast as his legs could carry him, and could not be induced to stop by friendly shouts. A resident of the neighborhood finally undertook to tell him who composed the party in his store, and the merchant returned to his place of business. He said he thought he had been attacked by brigands. He told what he knew of the direction taken by the negro and the searchers pushed on.
Searching the Neighborhood.
Sam Hose is believed by many to still be in the vicinity of the place where his crimes of Wednesday night were committed. Tonight a party assembled near the Cranford home to go on a quiet search for the negro throughout the entire neighborhood, and if he is there he will probably be captured before morning unless some of his friends learn of the intended hunt and warn him.
There are only a few in this party, not more than ten, and it is the intention to visit all the old haunts of the negro and to steal quietly through the woods with the hope of catching him in an unguarded moment.
An idea of public sentiment not only here, but in Coweta, Pike, Meriwether and Paulding, all of which counties have been visited by the searching parties, maybe be had from the aid given the various posses. Not only have women cheered them on while the men waved their hats and gave vent to other demonstrations of sympathy as the party passed, but practical aid has been rendered the searchers.
Horses and mules have been taken from between the plowshares to be ridden by the members of the posse and buggies have been given them. When the searchers left Palmetto and other places in this vicinity they were on foot; now they are mounted or on buggies. The horses and conveyances are driven about ten or fifteen miles and then sent back to their owners and fresh teams are secured.
If determination, energy and persistence count for anything, Sam Hose will pay the penalty for the crime and it is only feared here that his captors will kill him on sight instead of bringing him here for the death in contemplation for him at this place.
HOT ON THE TRAIL OF HOSE.
FLEEING NEGRO MAY BE CAPTURED NEAR LA GRANGE.
Posse Has Been Swelled in Numbers and Is Only a Few Hours Behind the Fugitive.
LaGrange, Ga., April 15.—(Special.)—In response to a telegram asking for help, a posse left LaGrange this afternoon at 5 o'clock to give chase to the negro Sam Hose, who so brutally murdered Mr. Cranford and then assaulted his wife near Palmetto.
Reports from Mountville tonight at 10:30 o'clock are to the effect that the posse, which has been increased by the crowd from LaGrange, is in hot pursuit of the negro, being only two or three hours behind him. It is thought he will be captured some time in the morning.
The negro has left the Hogansville and Mountville road and is headed toward Greenville. The surrounding country is aroused as it has never been before, and men who are fresh are taking the places of those who are worn out.
HOSE ALMOST IN THEIR GRASP.
FALSE REPORT SAVED THE NEGRO LAST FRIDAY NIGHT.
But for Being Called of Trail, Griffin Citizens Believe They Would Have Caught Murderer.
Griffin, Ga., April 15.—(Special.)—Had not some one sent a dispatch yesterday to the posse which for the past several days has been pursuing Sam Hose, the negro would have already paid the penalty for his horrible crime.
When the dispatch was received by the posse stating that Hose had been arrested and carried to Palmetto, they had the murderer and assailant located, and would doubtless have captured him before the sun rose this morning. After receiving the dispatch the men supposed they were on the wrong track and dispersed, leaving Hose to go on his way unpursued.
The persons sending the dispatch which called of his pursuers evidently had what they considered authentic information of the arrest of Hose, but it proved to be a serious mistake.
Abe Rogowskie, of this city, was one of the posse, and to a Call reporter today he related how the negro was tracked from place to place. Hose was first heard of at Digby, and from there he went to Drewryville, where he tried to pass a $5 confederate bill.
He was followed to Hollonville, and there he again attempted to pass the confederate money for some tobacco at Mr. Marshall's store.
The posse was not very far behind the negro and pushed on with all possible haste until they reached J. P Crawford's plantation, about a mile and a half this side of Concord.
They learned from Mr. Crawford that a negro filling the description of Hose had applied to him that morning about 10 o'clock, asking for employment, claiming he was from Jasper county. He was hired, and left saying he would return this morning and go to work.
In a negro house on this plantation were found the blood-stained clothes which Hose had left to be washed, with the understanding that he would call for them last night.
The pursuers were then satisfied they were on the right track and would capture the negro before midnight.
Shortly afterwards a dispatch was received stating that Hose had been captured and carried to Palmetto, where he would be dealt with at once.
The men were non-plused at this information and wired for fuller particulars, stating that they were sure they had the right man located.
The message came to them again that Sam Hose was beyond all doubt under arrest in Palmetto, and it was then that the neighbors of Mr. and Mrs. Cranford gave up the chase and hastened back to Palmetto hoping to get there in time to witness the death.
Mr. Rogowskie says a few members of the party remained in the neighborhood several hours longer, and then went to Concord for the night. He was indignant when he learned the negro had not been arrested, and was confident his party would have caught Hose but for the unfortunate dispatch.
Citizens living in Concord still believe the negro is in that neighborhood, and at 10 o'clock this morning wired to Griffin for a posse to come down and help them to capture him.
The posse was formed, and left about noon, but nothing has been heard from it, and it is feared the negro has escaped.
An Appeal Made.
Here they formed and ex-Governor Atkinson, of Georgia, who lives in Newnan, came hurriedly upon the scene and, standing up in a buggy, importuned the crowd to let the law take its course. Governor Atkinson said:
"My fellow citizens and friends: I beseech you to let this affair go no further. You are hurrying this negro on to death without an identification. Mrs. Cranford, whom he said to have assaulted and whose husband he is said to have killed, is sick in bed and unable to be hereto say whether this is her assailant. Let this negro be returned to the jail. The law will take its course and I promise you it will so quickly and effectively. Do not stain the honor of the State with a crime such as you are about to perform.
Judge A. D. Freeman, also of Newnan, spoke in a similar strain and implored the mob to return the prisoner to the custody of the sheriff and go home. The assemblage heard the words of the two speakers in silence, but the instant their voices had died away, shouts of "On to Palmetto," "Burn him," and "Think of his crime"arose, and the march was resumed.
Mrs. Cranford's mother and sister are residents of Newnan. The mob was headed in the direction of their house and in a short time reached the McElroy home. The negro was marched in the gate and Mrs. McElroy called to the front door. She identified the African, and her verdict was agreed to by her daughter, who had often seen Hose around the Cranford place. "To the stake" was again the cry, and several men wanted to burn him in Mrs. McElroy's yard. To this she objected strenuously, and the mob, complying with her wish, started for Palmetto.
Just as they were leaving Newnan word was brought that the 1 o'clock train from Atlanta was bringing 1,000 people to Palmetto. This was thought to be a regiment of militia, and the mob decided to burn the prisoner at the first favorable place rather than be compelled to shoot him when the militia put into sight.
Leaving the little town whose Sunday had been so rudely disturbed, the mob, which now numbered nearly 1,500 people,started on the road to Palmetto in a line of buggies and vehicles on all kinds, their drivers fighting for position in line, following the procession at the head of which, closely guarded, marched the negro.
Confessed the Crime.
One and a half miles out of Newnan a place believed to be favorable for the burning was reached. A little to the side of the road stood a strong pine tree. Up to this the negro was marched, his back placed to the tree and his face to the crowd, which jostled closely about him. Here was the first time he was allowed to talk. He said: "I am Sam Hose. I killed Alfred Cranford, but I was paid to do it. Lige Strickland, the negro preacher at Palmetto, gave me $12 to kill him."
At this a roar went up from the crowd as the intelligence imparted by the wretch was spread among them. "Let him go on; tell all you know about it," came from the crowd. The negro, shivering like a leaf, continued his recital. "I did not outrage Mrs. Cranford. Somebody else did that. I can identify them. Give me time for that."
The Horror Begins.
The mob could hear no more. The clothes were torn from the wretch in an instant. A heavy chain was produced and wound around the body of the terrified wretch, clasped by a new lock, which dangled at Hose's neck. He said not a word to this proceeding, but at the sight of three or four knives flashing in the hands of several members of the crowd about him, which seemed to forecast the terrible ordeal he was about to be put to, he sent up a yell which could be heard for a mile.
Instantly a hand grasping a knife shot out, and one of the negro's ears dropped into a hand ready to receive it. Hose pleaded pitifully for mercy, and begged his tormentors to let him die. His cries were unheeded. The second ear went the way of the other. Hardly had he been deprived of his organs of hearing before his fingers, one by one, were taken from his hand and passed among the members of the yelling and now thoroughly maddened crowd. The shrieking wretch was quickly deprived of other portions of his anatomy, and the words,
"Come on With the Oil"
brought a huge can of kerosene to the foot of the tree. The negro, his body covered with blood from head to foot, was striving and tugging at his chains. The can was lifted over the negro's head by three or four men and its contents poured over him. By this time a good supply of brush, pieces of fence rails and firewood had been placed about the negro's feet. This pyre was thoroughly saturated and a match applied.
A flame shot upward and spread quickly over the pile of wood. As it licked the negro's legs he shrieked loudly and began tugging at his chains. As the flames crept higher and the smoke entered his eyes and mouth, Hose put the stumps of his hands to the tree back of him and with a terrific plunge forward of his body severed the upper portion of the chain which bound him to the tree. His body, held to the tree only as far as his thighs, lunged forward, thus escaping the flames which roared and crackled about his feet. One of the men nearest the burning negro quickly ran up and pushing him back said:
"Get back into the fire, there," and quickly coupled the disjointed links of the chain.
The road for a distance of half a mile on each side of the burning negro was black with conveyances and was simply impassable. The crowd surrounded the stake on all sides, but none of these nearer than 100 feet of the centre were able to see what was going on. Yell after yell went up and the progress of the flames was communicated to those in the rear by shouts from the eye witnesses.
The torch was applied about half past 2 and at 3 o'clock the body of Sam Hose was limp and lifeless, his head hanging to one side. The body was not cut down. It was cut to pieces. The crowd fought for places about the smouldering tree and with knives secured such pieces of his carcass as did not fall to pieces. The chain was severed by hammers, the tree was chopped down, and, with such pieces of firewood as had not been burned, was carried away as souvenirs.
The Constitution's Summary.
ATLANTA, April 23.—The Constitution will say to-morrow: "The terrible retribution which Sam Hose was forced to pay for his crime will arouse a flood of discussion, carried on by those who know the facts on the one side and by those who do not care for facts on the other.
"But, while the form of the criminal' [sic] punishment cannot be upheld, let those who are disposed to criticise it look into the facts—and by these facts temper the judgment they may render.
"An unassuming, industrious and hard-working farmer, after his day toil, sat at his evening meal; around him sat wife and children, happy in the presence of the man who was fulfilling to them 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 up lifted axe, advanced in the rear and sank it to the hilt in 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 wounds.
"Then began that the culmination of which has dethroned the reason of the people of western Georgia during the past week. As critics will howl about the lynching, we will be pardoned for stating the plain facts.
"The wife was seized and choked, thrown upon the floor, where her clothing lay in the blood of her husband, and ravished.
"Remember the facts! Remember the dark night in the country home! Remember the slain husband, and above all, remember that shocking degradation which was inflicted by the black beast, his victim swimming in her husband's warm blood as the brute held her to the floor!
"Keep the facts in mind! When the picture is painted of the ravisher in flames, go back and view that darker picture of Mrs. Cranford outraged in the blood of her murdered husband!"
Special Train from Atlanta,
ATLANTA, April 23.—One special and two regular trains carried nearly 4,000 people to Newnan to witness the burning of Sam Hose, or to visit the scene of the horrible affair. The excursionists returning to night were loaded down with ghastly reminders of the affair in the shape of bones, pieces of flesh and parts of the wood which was placed at the negro's feet.
One of the trains as it passed through Fort McPherson, four miles out of Atlanta, wasstoned—presumably by negroes. A number of windows were broken, and two passengers were painfully injured.
Prepared for Trouble.
Governor Candler stated during the evening that he had been advised that a mob of citizens of Fayetteville and Woolsy were coming to Atlanta to take George W. Kerlin from jail here and lynch. Kerlin murdered Miss Pearl Knott near Woolsy several days ago and threw her body in the river. The Governor immediately ordered eight companies of the Fifth infantry (State militia) to be in readiness to march to the jail under orders. It is believed, however, that the troops are held in readiness to be sent to Palmetto in case of an uprising of negroes.
What Gov. Candler Says.
ATLANTA, April 23.—Gov. Candler to-night gave the Associated Press the following statement on the burning of Sam Hose near Newnan, Ga: "The whole thing is deplorable and Hose's crime, the horrid details of which have not been published, and are too horrible for publication, is the most diabolical in the annals of crime. The negroes of that community lost the best opportunity they will ever have to elevate themselves in the estimation of their white neighbors. The diabolical nature of the double crime was well known to every one of them; the perpetrator was well known, and they owed it to their race to exhaust every means to bring Hose to justice,[sic] This course would have done more to elevate them in the estimation of good people and to protect their race against the mob than all the rewards and proclamations of all the governors f9or the next 50 years. But they lost the opportunity, and it is a deplorable fact that while scores of intelligent negroes, leaders of their race, have talked to me about the Palmetto lynching, not one of them has ever, in the remotest way, alluded to either the burning of Palmetto, which provoked the lynching, nor the diabolical crime of Hose. I do not believe these men sympathized with Hose or the Palmetto incendiaries, but they blinded by race prejudice, and can see but one side of the question. This is unfortunate. They must learn to look at both sides. I want to protect them in every legal right and against mob violence, and I stand ready to employ every resource of the State in doing so, but they must realize in order to merit and receive the protection of the community, they must show a willingness to at least aid in protecting the community against the lawless element of their own race. The good and law-abiding negroes must separate themselves from the lawless and criminal element. They must denounce crime and aid in bringing criminals to justice, whether they be black or white. In this way they can do no more to protect themselves than all the courts and juries in the State can do. To secure protection against lawless whites, they must show a disposition to protect the white people against lawless blacks."
Information on the lynching of Lige Strickland can be found here.
Thank you for joining us, and as always, we hope we leave you with something to ponder.