‘Negro Who Frightened White Woman Lynched’ – This Week in Historical Lynchings

This week, we’ll have a look at four separate lynchings of black citizens by white mobs.

  • In Mississippi, a black man is hanged for the offense of frightening a white woman.
  • Four black Louisianans are taken from their cells and lynchings by whites who wished to make a “clean sweep” of the jails.
  • A black activist in Georgia is beaten and then drowned for spreading “incendiary propaganda.”
  • In Alabama, an black man out on bond was lynched by whites, even though the sheriff insisted that he was innocent.
    • Between the Civil War and World War II, the black community, especially in the South, was terrorized by an epidemic of lynchings. As opposed to public executions, the point of lynching was to avoid the court of law, judge and jury. Often times, the victim, in a holding cell for an offense, was kidnapped by a mob before even being arraigned. According to a recent report issued by the Equal Justice Initiate, there were 4,075 lynchings of black Americans across the South between 1877 and 1950. 1In this case, “The South” pertains to the dozen states where the most lynchings occurred: Mississippi (614), Georgia (595), Louisiana (559), Arkansas (491), Alabama (363), Texas (344), Florida (307), Tennessee (238), South Carolina (184), Kentucky (170), North Carolina (122), and Virginia (88). See the EJI site here.

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      Negro Who Frightened White Woman Lynched

      September 22, 1913

      Officers Searching for Him Find Body Hanging to Tree in Mississippi

      Louisville, Miss., Sept. 21 – Because he frightened a white woman by his strange actions, near her home, Henry Crosby, a negro, was lynched some time during last night, and officers searching for him found his body hanging to the limb of a tree today.

      The negro went to a farm house near here and questioned the woman as to whether her husband was present. The woman says that when he learned the husband was away he acted peculiarly and she grabbed up her infant child and ran to a nearby house, where she reported the affair. 2The Courier-Journal; Louisville, Kentucky; Mon, Sep 22, 1913 – Page 1. Here.

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      Wholesale Lynching

      September 20, 1884

      Four Negroes Taken from a Mississippi Jail and Hanged by a Mob

      New Orleans, Sept. 25 – Last Saturday night a mob of forty men visited the Franklin County Jail, overpowered the Jailer, took our four negro prisoners and lynched them to trees in the Court-house yard.

      One was charged with an attempt to rape a white girl, two with murder of other negroes, and the other with arson and robbery.

      Four other prisoners were in the jail at the time, one charged with rape and the others with arson, but they were unmolested.

      The mob left word with the jailer that if the Circuit Judge did not clean out the jail at the present term, they would return to make a clean sweep.

      The affair is greatly deprecated by a large majority of the citizens of Franklin County. This makes six men who have fallen victims to Judge Lynch in that county within the past eighteen months. 3Green Bay Press-Gazette; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Fri, Sep 26, 1884 – Page 1. Here.

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      Accused of Spreading Propaganda, Sumter Negro is Found Dead

      September 22, 1919

      Americus, Ga., October 3 – The body of Ernest Glenwood, a negro, was found yesterday in Flint river near the line of Sumter and Dooly counties by Tom Shirer, a fisherman. The negro, who formerly lived in the vicinity of Lily, Dooly county, disappeared September 22, when he was taken in custody by three masked men. John Graham, another negro, who was with Glenwood at the time, was not molested.

      Glenwood, it is charged, had been circulating incendiary propaganda among negroes in Dooly county, and when he was seized it was believed he would be whipped and made to leave the community.

      When the body was found yesterday a rope was about the neck and another stout cord about the right wrist. It is not known how Glenwood came to his death, but it is believed after he had been severely whipped and set free that he jumped from the river bridge, 14 miles from Americus and only a short distance from where the body was found. 4The Atlanta Constitution; Atlanta, Georgia; Sat, Oct 4, 1919 – Page 8. Here.

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      Tuscaloosa Mob Lynches Negro

      September 24, 1933

      Suspect Out Under Small Bond of Only $300

      Tuscaloosa, Ala, Sept 24 – Taken form his home by a group of men posing as officers, Dennis Cross, negro, was shot to death early today.

      white

      The negro was under bond on a charge of assaulting a Tuscaloosa white woman.

      Sheriff R. L. Shamblin, who, with police, began an immediate inquiry into the slaying, said officers had found no clues to the identity of the slayers.

      Sheriff Shamblin said he was told a group of men, six or seven in number, called at the negro’s home about 2am and, telling him they were officers, said he would have to go to the sheriff’s office and make a bigger bond.

      The party, Sheriff Shamblin said, then drove away. Neighbors of the negro called the sheriff’s office and reported the occurrence and the sheriff’s office called the police to ask if city officers had been sent to the negro’s home.

      When it was learned that no officers had been sent, Sheriff Shamblin said officers were sent to the home for an investigation. The officers failed to find a trace of the negro until daylight when his body, bearing three bullet wounds, was found near the Tuscaloosa Country club in the direction of the Warrior river.

      Sheriff Shamblin said the slayers drove away in an automobile and that prints of the car tires, together with bullets found at the scene were being studied by investigators in an effort to trace the slayers.

      The negro was arrested about two weeks ago following a report by a young white woman near the Country club. He had been identified by the woman as her assailant.

      After being held in jail about a week on an assault charge, the negro was admitted to $300 bail, furnished by Claude Hinton, on whose farm the negro lived.

      Sheriff Shamblin said the offense with which the negro was charged was a bailable offense and that the woman had not been attacked. 5Clarion-Ledger; Jackson, Mississippi; Mon, Sep 25, 1933 – Page 1. Here.

      Flag announcing lynching, flown from the window of the NAACP headquarters on 69 Fifth Ave., New York City. 1936.
      Flag announcing lynching, flown from the window of the NAACP headquarters on 69 Fifth Ave., New York City. 1936.

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      Sixty-five Other Lynchings This Week

      What follows is a list of all known racially-motivated lynchings between September 19 and September 25, 1877-1950. It should be in the forefront of your mind that the “crimes” listed are only what the victims of the lynchings were accused of committing. They were allowed no trials, and thus they were not guilty in the eyes of the law. Certainly some may have done what they were accused of doing, but in a constitutional society that values law and order over mob rule, each and every lynching was a miscarriage of justice and a horrible wrong. 6For more information on all of this, please see our post here.

      It must also be remembered that this list is incomplete. Not only were there unreported lynchings, but the databases I draw from are understandably inadequate.

      Year	Victim	  City State	Race	Sex	Form    Alleged Offense

      September 19

      1889	George Allen	   Tallahatchie	MS	Black	Male	Hanged					Arson and murder
      1896	Walter Brown		   Marshall	MS	Black	Male	Riddled with bullets	Robbery and murderous assault on a 75 year-old married white woman, the postmistress
      1917	Rufus Moncrief			 Oconee	GA	Black	Male	Riddled with bullets	Possibly for assaulted white girl; possibly for gambling
      1921	Edward McDowell			   Pike	MS	Black	Male	Hanged					Unknown
      1924	Herbert Taylor			Coahoma	MS	Black	Male	Riddled with bullets	Criminal assault on a 4 year-old white girl, a convict guard’s daughter
      
      

      September 20

      1882	Augustus Knight		  Jefferson	GA	Black	Male	Shot				Rape of “respectable” white woman
      1883	Dockery Johnson		   Richmond	NC	Black	Male	Hanged				Attempted outrage of a 10 year-old daughter of a planter
      1883	Richard Singleton		 Sumter	SC	Black	Male	Shot and beaten		Attempted rape and assault with a knife on two young white sisters
      1884	Andrew Cassels		   Franklin	MS	Black	Male	Hanged				Robbery and arson
      1884	Monroe Williams		   Franklin	MS	Black	Male	Hanged				Attempted rape of a white girl
      1884	Richard Taylor		   Franklin	MS	Black	Male	Hanged				Murder of a black man
      1884	Thomas Johnson		   Franklin	MS	Black	Male	Hanged				Murder of a black man
      1886	Stephen Flowers			  Amite	MS	Black	Male	Shot				Killed a white man and shot others
      1904	Ed Martin				 Talbot	GA	Black	Male	Shot				Race hatred
      1908	Charles Jones			  Yazoo	MS	Black	Male	Shot				Murder of a white man and two black men
      1916	Elijah Sturgis		   Randolph	GA	Black	Male	Riddled with bullets	Unknown
      1916	Peter Hudson		   Randolph	GA	Black	Male	Hanged/RwB			Murder of the Randolph Co. white sheriff
      1916	Henry White				 Walker	GA	Black	Male	Hanged				Attempted rape of 18 year-old daughter of white justice of the peace
      1925	Jim Ivy					  Union	MS	Black	Male	Burned				Attacked a white girl, daughter of a farmer
      1925	Willie Dixon		  Wilkinson	GA	Black	Male	Beaten to death with a pick handle	Murder of a white female nurse
      
      

      September 21

      1878	Daniel McBride		 Limestone	AL	Black	Male	Hanged - strangulation	Murder of a white man, a tramp
      1878	Thomas Dalton	West Feliciana	LA	Black	Male	Hanged					Testifying before the Congressional Investigating Committee
      1884	— Keife				 Claiborne	MS	Black	Male	Hanged					Attempted outrage of a white girl
      1884	— Short					  Hale	AL	Black	Male	Riddled with bullets	Outrage on a married white woman
      1892	Charles Taylor			Pierce	GA	Black	Male	Shot					Assault of married white woman
      1892	Gen. Allen				Pierce	GA	Black	Male	Shot					Assaulted a married white woman
      1893	Thomas Smith			Roanoke	VA	Black	Male	Hanged/RwB				Assault & robbery on a white woman, wife of a well-to-do farmer
      1895	Edward Smith		Tangipahoa	LA	Black	Male	Hanged					Murder and robbery of a white man
      1900	Charles Elliot		Tangipahoa	LA	Black	Male	Hanged					Robbery of a white family and choking the wife
      1900	George Beckham		Tangipahoa	LA	Black	Male	Hanged					Robbery of a white family and choking the wife
      1900	Iziah Rollins		Tangipahoa	LA	Black	Male	Hanged					Robbery of a white family and choking the wife
      1900	Nathaniel Bowman	Tangipahoa	LA	Black	Male	Hanged					Robbery of a white family and choking the wife
      1908	George Thomas			  Clay	GA	Black	Male	Riddled with bullets	Murderous assault on white sheriff
      1913	William Davis		  Franklin	TX	Black	Male	Hanged					Killing two white men
      1913	Henry Crosby			Winston	MS	Black	Male	Hanged					Acting strangely around a married white woman, a farmer’s wife
      1917	Bert Smith			Goose Creek	TX	Black	Male	Unknown					Attacking wife of an oil driller
      
      

      September 22

      1893	John Wesley			   Ouachita	LA	Black	Male	Shot					Race prejudice; working on the railroad
      1894	Henry Robinson			  Desha	AR	Black	Male	Hanged/RwB				Murder of a white man, a prominent merchant
      1894	Luke Washington			  Desha	AR	Black	Male	Hanged/RwB				Murder of a white man, a prominent merchant
      1894	Richard Washington		  Desha	AR	Black	Male	Hanged/RwB				Murder of a white man, a prominent merchant
      1905	Frank Brown			   Faulkner	AR	Black	Male	Hanged					Criminal assault on a married white woman, killing her 6-7 year-old son, and stabbing her baby daughter
      1907	Moses Dossett			 Mobile	AL	Black	Male	Hanged and shot			Attempted assault on a white 90 year-old widow
      1919	Ernest Glenwood			  Dooly	GA	Black	Male	Drowned					Urged blacks not to work for low wages
      

      September 23

      1892	William Sullivan  Plantersville	TX	Black	Male	Hanged					Outraged a woman
      1906	Zeb Long				 Fulton	GA	Black	Male	Hanged/RwB				“Flourishing a revolver”, according to the Georgian
      1916	Jane Hudson				Calhoun	GA	Black	Female	Riddled with bullets	Cursed white men and being the mother of an accused murderer
      

      September 24

      1883	Abe Stewart			   Richmond	GA	Black	Male	Shot					Argument/altercation
      1896	Jim Hawkins			  Jefferson	LA	Black	Male	Hanged					Slapped a white boy, the nephew of a policeman
      1903	Allen Small				  Moore	TN	Black	Male	Shot					Attempted criminal assault on a white woman
      1904	James Calvert Stuart  Greenwood	SC	Black	Male	Shot					Attempted criminal assault of a 14 year-old white girl, daughter of a well-known farmer
      1905	Moses Lovern			   Pike	KY	Black	Male	Whipped, beaten, and stoned	Assaulting a white man
      1906	Sam Magruder			 Fulton	GA	Black	Male	Riddled with bullets	Alledged accomplices in murder of white policeman
      1911	Unnamed Negro		  Habersham	GA	Black	Male	Shot					Assault on a white deputy sheriff
      1912	Samuel Johnson			  Caddo	LA	Black	Male	Hanged					Murder of a white man, a lawyer
      1918	Sandy Reaves			 Pierce	GA	Black	Male	Hanged/RwB				Assaulted 3 year-old white girl from a prominent family
      1933	Dennis Cross		 Tuscaloosa	AL	Black	Male	Shot					Attempted rape of a white woman
      

      September 25

      1889	Solomon Purnell		 Montgomery	MS	Black	Male	Hanged					Attempted criminal assault on a 14-15 year-old white girl, daughter of a prominent citizen
      1891	Hezekiah Rankin		   Buncombe	NC	Black	Male	Hanged					Fatally shot a white man following an altercation
      1891	Unnamed Negro #1 of 2	 Butler	AL	Black	Male	Hanged					Murder and robbery of a white man
      1891	Unnamed Negro #2 of 2	 Butler	AL	Black	Male	Hanged					Murder and robbery of a white man
      1897	Peb Falls			 Rockingham	VA	White	Female	Hanged					Unsavory character; keeping company with negroes
      1913	Walter Brownlee			Quitman	MS	Black	Male	Hanged					Assaulting a married white woman, wife of a farmer
      1920	Bob Whitehead			  Dooly	GA	Black	Male	Shot					Shooting a prominent young white farmer
      1920	Felix Cremer			 Greene	GA	Black	Male	Shot					Aided black man who shot prominent white farmer
      1930	William Kirkland		 Thomas	GA	Black	Male	Hanged/RwB				Attempted rape of 9 year-old white girl
      
      

      References   [ + ]

      Eric
      Eric has always had a love for history and the Civil War. During the 150th anniversary of the war, he wrote the Civil War Daily Gazette blog, which published daily for nearly five years. Wishing to continue the exploration, following the Charleston murders in 2015, and the activism around removing the Confederate Battle Flag, he decided to dig a little deeper into the causes and repercussions of the War.
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