Susan Merritt was 87 years old at the time of her interview (1936-1938). She was born in Rusk County, Texas, but moved to Harrison County after she and her parents were freed.
A bit of a warning - this narrative is, in parts, surprisingly brutal. That is to say that
This week, our look at racially-motivated lynchings involves four specific events. Mobs numbering 200 to 3,000 broke open jails to hang, cut, shoot and burn to death victims without trial. As was normal, not a single member of these mobs was arrested for lynchings. All of the lynching in this
Gus Johnson was born a slave in Alabama, though most of his recorded memories are from Texas before and during the war. When interviewed between 1936-1938, he lived in a broken down lean-to in Beaumont, Texas, and had only a bed, trunk and stove for furniture. What follows is his
This week, we'll take a closer look at three separate lynchings, including that of a railroad brakeman whose alibi had been vouched for, another lynching in Texas where the mob numbered upwards of 5,000, and finally a fifteen year old boy who was tortured and burned to death in Georgia.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the brutal lynching of seventeen year old Jesse Washington in Waco, Texas. Washington, accused of murder and rape, was burned alive by a mob of 15,000.
Though he quietly entered a guilty plea, there remains much speculation to whether he was actually guilty of
Once again, we take a closer look at some of the sixty or so racially-motivated lynchings of black Americans that took place between May 9 and May 15. Included is the lynching of George Hughes and the riot and burning of the black section of Sherman, Texas that followed. We'll
This week, we'll take a closer look at some of the sixty or so racially-motivated lynchings of black Americans that took place between May 2 and May 8. Included is the lynching of a railroad porter for the crime of "insulting" a white woman. Another was lynched for stealing shoes
This week in history, we'll take a look at a pro-secessionist riot in Illinois, the beginnings of Bleeding Kansas, the Fifteenth Amendment, as well as the first black American elected to public office.
In weeks past, we've also detailed several lynchings that took place across this week in history.
William Moore was born a slave in Selma, Alabama, owned by Tom Waller. During the Civil War, the Wallers moved from Selma to Mexica, Texas, in the hopes of avoiding the United States soldiers. In this interview from the 1930s, Tom details the conditions of living as "Massa Tom's" property.
The actual history of the African-American vote is more complex than we often think. Across both the North and the South, the right was most often denied.