This week, we’ll have a look at four separate lynchings of black citizens by white mobs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 [ + ]
|1.||⇡||In 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.|
|2.||⇡||The Courier-Journal; Louisville, Kentucky; Mon, Sep 22, 1913 – Page 1. Here.|
|3.||⇡||Green Bay Press-Gazette; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Fri, Sep 26, 1884 – Page 1. Here.|
|4.||⇡||The Atlanta Constitution; Atlanta, Georgia; Sat, Oct 4, 1919 – Page 8. Here.|
|5.||⇡||Clarion-Ledger; Jackson, Mississippi; Mon, Sep 25, 1933 – Page 1. Here.|
|6.||⇡||For more information on all of this, please see our post here.|