NEGRO LYNCHED TO AVENGE
ASSAULT ON WHITE WOMAN
February 18, 1900
Columbia, S. C., Feb. 17 Will Burts, a negro, nineteen years old, was lynched this morning in Aiken county. Three days ago he attempted to outrage Mrs. C. L. Weeks and failed.
A crowd of 250 tracked the negro fifty miles across last evening by a farmer, who received $100 from the posse. The party returned to Greenwood, and at daylight this morning the lynching occurred. Some wished to hold the man till tonight and make a public demonstration of it, but this was outvoted.
A clothesline was obtained, one end swung over an oak limb, and the other fastened to Burts' neck. He was then ordered to climb the tree and get out on the limb. This the negro did without hesitation. He was then shot from the limb. The rope broke, and, as Burts was not dead, he was again hoisted up and then shot to pieces.
LYNCH NEGRO WHO TESTIFIED FOR ANOTHER NEGRO
NEW ORLEANS TIMES-DEMOCRAT
March 24, 1900
Ripley, Tenn., March 23 This morning, in the heart of the city, the body of a negro, Louis Rice, was found dangling from a limb of a tree. The lynching grew out of a trial in Circuit Court of Lauderdale county, during the course of which Rice testified in favor of one of his color who was charged with murder of a white man named Goodrich.
AN INNOCENT MAN LYNCHED
NEW YORK TIMES
June 11, 1900
New Orleans, June 10 Last night a crowd went to the jail, secured Askew and Russ, hung them, fired into the bodies and then built a fire under them.
A mob willfully and knowingly hanged and burned an innocent man, as well as another who was probably innocent, near Mississippi City, Miss., between midnight and 1 o'clock this morning. The lynching was the result of impatience on the part of the people of Biloxi, a nearby town, over the failure of the officers of the law to produce the man who a week ago murdered Christina Winterstein, a schoolgirl who was returning to her home near Biloxi after attending the commencement exercises of her school.
The crime was an unusually atrocious one even for outrages of this nature, and naturally suspicion pointed to some unknown negro as the perpetrator. Many arrests were made, and two of the suspects, Askew and Russ, were placed in the Mississippi City jail for safe keeping. The proof against neither was more than remotely circumstantial. In the case of Askew the District Attorney made an examination and practically declared the man innocent.
The next night Askew was taken from the jail by a mob and tortured with fire to extort a confession. After the terrible ordeal the mob virtually declared the man guiltless, as they returned him to jail.
Yesterday, the District Attorney, at a public meeting at Biloxi, obtained a pledge from the citizens not to molest the prisoners if they were returned for examination. It is stated on good authority that he thought the men could prove their innocence, and the citizens were aware of his views. Some refused to pledge themselves, and yesterday afternoon it was openly asserted that it was out of the question to think of postponing the matter any longer, as the crime merited a lynching.
TWO BLACKS STRUNG UP; GRAVE DOUBT OF THEIR GUILT
June 11, 1900
Biloxi, Miss., June 10 Lynch law ran rampant in this section last night. Two negro men were lynched, possibly for one man's crime, early this morning at Mississippi City, and it is not absolutely certain that either victim of mob law was guilty. Henry Askew and Ed Russ, held as suspects, were taken out and strung up to a tree in a thicket, just behind the railway station at Mississippi City.
Attorney White had promised that they would be brought to trial on Monday and yesterday at a mass meeting held in this city urged the people to support the laws and see that justice was done through the proper legal channels.
Early las night Sheriff Ramsey, in order to protect Askew and Russ from mob violence, moved them to a bath house. After midnight the mob assembled near the bath house and afterward overpowered a deputy sheriff with whom the sheriff thought to protect his prisoners, and dragged the two negroes away. the crowd, which was supposed to know nothing of the negroes' hiding place, did not stop at the jail, but went straight to the bath house. the negroes were tied back to back and swung up to the same tree. Their bodies were riddled with bullets, and after death ensued, were set on fire. The nauseating smell of the burning flesh could be smelt for miles around.
Sheriff Ramsey and Marshal Moseley saw the members of the mob, but it is stated "were unable to recognize them on account of the trees casting shadows on their faces."
About 100 men gathered near the scene of the crime, waiting for the appearance of the posse with their prisoners, but were disappointed. The mob was impatient and did its work when the first tree was reached.
On June 2 Christina Winterstein, a 23-year-old schoolgirl, was outraged and murdered about two miles from Biloxi while on her way home from school exercises. Askew and Russ, both of who had been in the vicinity of the place where the outrage was committed that day, were charged with the crime.
*Note: Authorities (Sheriff Ramsey and Marshal Moseley) let this incident take place.
NEGROES BEGAN TO FIGHT BACK
Sneads, Fla., June 10 Ernest Hardwick, a white farmer was set upon by a gang of negroes several days ago and beaten so badly that he died in a few hours. Only one of the negroes was caught and sent to jail. Two nights after the murder a mob went to the house of John Sanders, a supposed accessory to the crime, and shot him to death. Another negro, innocent of the murder was also killed. Both bodies were literally shot to pieces.
MILITIA ARRIVES TOO
LATE FOR ELIJAH CLARK
July 24, 1900
Huntsville, Ala., July 23 Elijah Clark, the negro who yesterday was accused of assaulting Susan Priest, a thirteen-year-old girl, was taken from the jail in this city this evening and lynched near the spot where his crime was committed. His body was riddled with bullets.
Sheriff Fulgham defended his prisoner to the last, but a dense smoke, from a combination of tar, feathers and oil, fired by the crazed mob, was too much for him, and he was dragged from the jail and placed under a physician's care.
William Vining, an employee of the street railway company, who attempted to rush through the crowd and up the jail steps to assist the sheriff was shot and dangerously wounded. A crowd of one hundred and fifty men, principally employees of the big cotton mills at Dallas, a suburb of the big cotton mills at Dallas, a suburb of this city searched the woods all night for Clark, who was identified at the time he assaulted Miss Priest by her little sister.
No success attended their efforts, and early this morning Sheriff Fulgham started out with a posse, and before nine o'clock had captured Clark on Beaverdam Creek, ten miles from Huntsville.
He was soon in jail and by one o'clock the news of the prisoner's capture was heralded to all parts of the city. A mob composed of mill operatives and men of all callings was soon formed. They marched to the jail, where they stood for a time, apparently they were waiting for a leader.
Sheriff Fulgham, quickly seeing that he had a desperate crowd to combat, wired Governor Johnson the facts in the case. The governor responded to the effect that he had ordered the militia at Birmingham, Montgomery and Decatur to proceed with all haste to the scene.
The sheriff then telephoned Judge S. M. Stewart, and asked for an immediate trial of the negro, and the judge replied soon after that he had arranged for a special session of court at three o'clock before Judge H. C. Speake.
The mob by now had grown to an alarming proportion, and the sheriff, thinking to quiet the storm, appeared at at window and announced that a special trial had been arranged for the prisoner, and that he would be brought before the court at three o'clock in the afternoon. This was greeted with jeers by the crowd of citizens and the cry "Revenge!" went up.
The outer door to the jail, a wooden barrier, was soon battered down, and the mob gained entrance to the first floor. Here they encountered the sheriff's wife, who pleaded with them to refrain form violence, and let the law take its course. Sheriff Fulgham, however, on hearing the door being forced, took his prisoner to the third floor, where he locked himself in with Clark.
A large amount of tar, feathers and oil was secured and piled upon the cement floor of the jail, and a match applied. A suffocating smoke arose, and spread quickly throughout the jail. The sheriff retreated to the corner farthest from the fire, taking his prisoner with him. More tar and feathers were brought and ignited. Fulgham was finally dragged from the jail in a semi-conscious condition, and taken to the city hall, and doctors summoned.
The sheriff's departure was the signal for the mob to proceed to their work, and they quickly took complete possession of the stronghold. Fully an hour was consumed in breaking the lock to the cell in which the culprit was confined, but as soon as this was accomplished two men secured Clark and quickly appeared wit him on the front steps of the jail.
A plow line was placed around his neck, and guarded by twenty heavy-armed men in fours, he was dragged out of the jail yard. The mob was followed by fully 1,500 people. The doomed man was taken before his victim and positively identified.
The identification complete, the wretch collapsed, and had to be taken up and borne on the shoulders of his captors. The rope around Clark's neck was thrown over the limb of an immense tree by Miss Priest's brother. The negro was thrown across the back of a horse and the animal was led out from under him. The body was riddled with bullets.
Just as the work was finished the Decature militia arrived Huntsville.
LYNCHED BEFORE TRIAL
NEW YORK HERALD
July 24, 1900
Huntsville, Ala., July 23 Elijah Clark, a negro, twenty years old, was lynched at two o'clock this afternoon by an immense mob of citizens of Huntsville and the surrounding country. Clark was about to be removed from the Madison county jail to the court house for a preliminary hearing, when the mob compelled the officers to give him up, took him to the scene of his crime, hanged him and riddled the body with bullets.
*Note: During this period in history, Negroes (Black Americans) were convicted and accused of crimes against white women and young white girls, which they probably did not commit. Negroes were never given trials and most times the sheriff of the town (authority) let it happened. When reporters came in to write the stories of the incidents the authority would always said that he did what he could to prevent "legal lynching" of the prisoners. Perhaps, it should be said that it can be deducted that white women were assaulted most times by people they knew and trusted family members and friends of their families or indians who still harbored hatred for whites putting them on reservations and taking their land. And out of fear they accused Negroes (Black men) because they did not want their life to become worthless by telling the truth. Because truth had no place in the troubled south during the late and 1800 and 1900s, especially when one defended a Negro.
HOOSIERS HANG NEGRO KILLER
February 27, 1901
Terre Haute, Ind., Feb. 26 George Ward, the negro who murdered Miss Ida Finkelstein, the school teacher, last evening, was placed in jail at 11 o'clock this morning, and shortly before 1 o'clock was taken out by a mob, dragged face downward to the banks of the Wabash, only two squares away, at the wagon bridge at the foot of the main street of the city, thence to the draw, and hanged from a beam more dead than alive. Then his body was cut down and tumbled off the bridge on the west bank of the river and a fire built, on which he was burned.
For two hours the crowd came and went in thousands, while a few hundred gathered close to the fire and renewed it as it died down with oil and crates from a near-by poultry house.
A hat was passed around several times for money to buy oil. Some of the bridge weatherboarding was torn off for fuel. No effort was made by the authorities to stop the inhuman conduct, and so far as appearances went it was simply a big bonfire, watched idly by a great number of people.
When the crowd near the fire tired of renewing it after two hours, it was seen that the victim's feet were not burned. Some one called an offer of a dollar for one of the toes, and a boy quickly took out his knife and cut off a toe. The offer was followed by others, and the horrible traffic was continued, youths holding up toes and asking for bids.
Nothing has been done by the authorities as yet looking to the punishment of the lynchers. They were not disguised and there would be no difficulty in identifying them. Policemen stood on the river bank and watched the men and boys about the fire for an hour or more. Outside the jail a number of policemen tried to persuade the crowd to disperse, but when a man would not move on no further effort was made.
*Note: Negroes were lynched and burned for sport during this time. And white men and women would let their children watch. This accounts for the inhuman treatment of the Negroes being passed down from generation to generation; and the growth of the idea that Blacks were less than dogs, cats, cattle, horses or any animal that walked on fours. Philologically, white children had to accept the actions of their parents as right because if they didn't they possibly would be punished. So, inhumane treatment of Blacks because a way of life for whites.
CORONER'S JURY COMMENDS MOB FOR CREMATING NEGRO
March 14, 1901
Corsicana, Tex., Mar. 13 John Henderson, the negro accused of murdering Mrs. Younger, was burned at the stake by a mob of 5,000 persons in this city today. He purportedly had confessed his guilt. Subsequently, the coroner held an inquest over his remains and the jury returned a verdict commending the mob for its act of horror.
NEGRO SUSPECT ELUDES MOB; SISTER LYNCHED INSTEAD
NEW YORK TRIBUNE
March 17, 1901
Nashville, Tenn. Mar. 16 Ballie Crutchfield, a colored woman, met death at the hands of a mob at Rome about midnight last night.
The mob surrounded her home and took her to a bridge over Round Lick Creek, near the town. Her hands were tied behind her and after being shot through the head her lifeless body was thrown into the creek. The body was recovered today, and the jury of inquest returned a verdict that she met death at the hands of unknown persons.
The lynching was the result of a suspicion that the negress was in some way connected with the theft of the contents of a pocketbook containing $120, which was lost by Walter Sampson, last week.
The purse was found on the ground by a negro boy, who was on his way to return it to the owner, when he was met by William Crutchfield, a brother of the dead woman, who induced the boy to give him the pocketbook upon the representation that the contents were of no value. Mr. Sampson had Crutchfield arrested, and he was taken to the house of Squire Bains for safe keeping....?
SHOOTING AT LYNCHED BLACK, MOB KILLS BOY BYSTANDER
August 20, 1901
Pierce City, Mo., Aug.19 Eugene Carter and another negro named Godley were taken from jail tonight and lynched on the charge of assaulting and murdering Miss Casselle Wilds on her way home from Sunday school yesterday. When Godley was strung up there was much shooting at the body and a boy was killed and several persons wounded by the indiscriminate firing.
Just before his death Carter confessed that the real culprit was Joe Clark, a Pullman car porter, and the mob has arranged to meet him when he returns from his run and lynch him.
The feeling against the negroes is intense and twenty-five armed men are now raiding the colored quarter, shooting at every black they can find.
The murder of Miss Wilds was most atrocious. She was met near a railroad bridge, dragged into the woods, assaulted and her throat cut with a razor. A farmer working in a near by field witnessed the assault, but hearing no outcry did not go to her relief.
When he saw the negroes running away he gave the alarm. The body of the girl was found at noon today and the negroes were captured shortly afterward.
PIERCE CITY MOB DRIVES NEGROES OUT, BURNS HOMES
August 21, 1901
Pierce City, Mo., Aug. 20With the exception of a few car porters, who are known to be respectable, there is not a negro in this town. For fifteen hours an armed and furious mob coursed through the streets chasing away every negro.
The homes of five negroes were burned, and in one of them Peter Hampton, aged 71 and feeble, was cremated, as he was unable to escape.
Beginning Sunday afternoon, when the mangled remains of Miss Gazelle Wild were discovered in a ravine, where she had been murdered while struggling with a negro assailant, this community has been in a terrible fever.
Yesterday, Will Godley, a suspect, was arrested and last night he was lynched. His grandfather, French Godley was shot to death.
Eugene Carter, alias Barrett, also a suspect, was strung up until he confessed, and may die of his injuries.
A boy was fatally injured by a stray bullet during the raid upon the negro quarters last night, and the mob is thirsting to get its hands upon two other negroes suspected of complicity in the murder. If caught they will surely be lynched.
After the lynching of Godley last night it was thought the excitement would die down, but instead it became more intense, inasmuch as the impression grew that Godley was not the real culprit.
Early this morning the mob broke into the arsenal of the local militia company, secured the rifles and ammunition and started out to clear Pierce City of all negroes. The work was thoroughly done. The terrified blacks, bullets whistling about their ears and in some instances finding lodgment in their bodies, fled to the woods and nearby towns, where they are being hidden by friends.
This afternoon partial quiet was restored, but this fact is due to the lack of negroes to shoot upon. Citizens, mindful of several hideous crimes against women here-abouts in recent years, have decreed that no negro can hereafter live in Pierce City or pass through the place on pain of death. This may necessitate a complete change in the car porter system of four railroads centering near here.
New elements in the murder of Miss Wild developed today. It appears she started home from church alone, her brother lingering behind. About one mile from town the brother found her with her throat cut, lying lifeless near a culvert, under which her assailant had attempted to drag her. Evidence of a terrible struggle was shown.
A copper-colored negro was seen sitting on the bridge a short time before the tragedy occurred. It is supposed that the negro sprang upon her when she was passing and attempted to force her beneath the bridge. She fought with such desperation that he could not accomplish his purpose and cut her throat in the struggle. Her body was not violated.
Monday, bloodhounds were taken to the scene and the girl's bloody handkerchief was laid before them. They immediately caught the trail and ran at full speed to the home of Joe Lark, where on being admitted rushed into his bedroom and sprang upon the bed. It is believed that the man under arrest at Tulsa, I. T., who board with Lark, the Springfield suspect, slept upon this bed.
Note: This shows that someone white or someone of indian descent more than likely killed Miss Wilds. Because had Joe Lark been a Negro, the reporter would have described him as a wretch, negro or colored.
MOB SCARES WOMAN TO DEATH
October 9, 1901
SHELBYVILLE, Ky., Oct. 8 Mrs.. Ben C. Perkins, wife of the jailer at this place, died today as the result of shock and fright suffered Wednesday morning when a mob attacked the jail and lynched two negroes. At that time Mrs. Perkins was ill with a nervous attack, and Dr. W. F. Baird, her physician, declares that the raid of the lychers is responsible for the woman's death.
LYNCH MOB MAY HAVE ERRED
March 31, 1902
Savannah GA., Mar.,30 It is possible that in the search for Richard Young, the negro wanted for the murder of Dower Fountain in the southern part of this county, a negro now unknown has been caught by a posse and burned in error.
A bright bonfire was seen in the swamp in the direction a posse went Friday night and the members of the posse returned stating that they were satisfied with the night's work. It now developes, however, that their victim may not have been Richard Young, for whom the officers of the law are still searching. The remains of the burned negro were brought before the mother of Richard Young who says that they resemble her son in no particular.
MOB VICTIM PLEADS INNOCENCE;
PRAYS CULPRIT WILL BE FOUND
April 2, 1902
Rome, GA., April 1 Walter Allen, a negro, charged with assaulting Miss Blossom Adamson, a 15-year-old girl, in this city yesterday afternoon, was taken from the jail tonight by 4,000 persons, who battered down the prison doors and hanged him to an electric light pole in the principal portion of the city. A volley was fired afterward, and fully a thousand bullets entered the negro's body.
The sheriff tried to save Allen from the mob and refused to deliver the keys, but the crowd forced the jail door with sledge hammers. Allen was allowed to make a statement, in which he declared that he was innocent and prayed that the guilty party would be found.
NEGRO TORTURED TO DEATH BY MOB OF 4,000
May 23, 1902
Lansing, Tex., May 22 Dudley Morgan, a negro accused of assailing Mrs. McKay, wife of a Section Foreman McKay, was burned to death at an iron stake here today. A crowd of 4,000 men, most of whom were armed, snatched him from the officers on the arrival of the train.
Morgan was taken to a large field on the edge of town. An iron stake was driven into the ground and to this he was bound until he could only move his head. Heaps of inflammable material was then piled about him and he was given a few moments for prayer.
It was 12:12 when all arrangements were completed. The crowd by this time numbered at least 5,000. The husband of the woman Morgan was accused of abusing applied the match and the pyre was soon ablaze. Then began the torture of the negro. Burning pieces of pine were thrust into his eyes. Then burning timbers were held to his neck, and after his clothes were burned off to other parts of his body. He was tortured in a horrible manner. The crowd clamored continuously for a slow death. The negro writhing and groaning at the stake, begged piteously to be shot. Mrs. McKay was brought to the field in a carriage with four other women, and an unsuccessful effort was made to get her near enough to see the mob's victim.
The negro's head finally dropped, and in thirty minutes only the trunk of the body remained. As the fire died down relic hunters started their search for souvenirs. Parts of the skull and body were carried away.
The men who captured Morgan were then held above the heads of the mob while their pictures were taken.
The last words of the doomed man other than the incoherent mutterings made in prayer were: "Tell my wife good-by."
BURN A NEGRO BY SYSTEM
September 29, 1902
Corinth, Miss., Sept. 28 In the most methodical and deliberate manner possible Corinth devoted Sunday afternoon to burning a negro to death. Even the victim, Tom Clark, seemed to enter into the spirit of the affair and walked unhesitatingly to the stake where he was to meet death. Eying the pile of fuel critically he said:
"I am guilty. I am a miserable wretch. I deserve the punishment that is about to be inflicted on me."
Five minutes later Clark was dead.
The execution was carried out in accordance with a revised plan which involved a strange mockery of mercy. Clark had confessed on Saturday, and it was decided to hang him to a telegraph pole on that afternoon. Clark, however, asked that the execution be delayed until today so that he could have a farewell interview with his mother and brother, who live in Memphis. The request was granted, much to the dismay of the newspaper correspondents who had bulletined the city papers that the execution was sure to take place that afternoon.
Meanwhile the news of the negro's arrest and confession spread rapidly over the surrounding country and today's incoming trains brought hundreds of people into the city to witness the execution.
At noon today it was found that the negro's relative could not be located, and then, as if to make the execution as spectacular as possible for the benefit of the visitors, it was decided to burn Clark. The main street of the town was ordered cleared, and it was announced that it had been decided to burn the negro at 3:30 o'clock. This statement was met with cheers and the crowd shifted to the place selected for the enactment of the tragedy.
The committee of twelve and many of the representative citizens of Corinth vigorously opposed burning the negro and argued that he should be hanged. J. B. Henning of Birmingham, Ala., brother of Mrs. Whitfield, would not consent to this proposition and insisted that Clark should be burned.
At 2 o'clock pine faggots and larger pieces of wood were laid about an iron rod, which was driven deep into the ground, and half an hour later it was announced that "all was in readiness."
At 3 o'clock the prisoner, heavily manacled, was taken from the jail by a posse of armed men and led to the east gate of the negro cemetery, in the western part of the city.
Clark made a statement, saying he deserved his fate, then asked that a letter be delivered to his mother and brother. He appealed to his brother to raise his children properly, admonishing them to beware of evil company.
The word was given to fire the funeral pile. The husband and brother of Clark's victim stepped forward. They applied torches, and in a moment the flames leaped upward, enveloping the negro in smoke and fire. Soon flames were fed by the crowd until the body was burned to a crisp. Then the executioners and the crowd dispersed.
The crime for which Clark was executed was the murder of Mrs. Carey Whitfield on Aug. 10 last. Mrs. Whitfield, the wife of a well known citizen, was found dead in her home, her head practically severed from her body.
diligent search failed to disclose the murderers. Two Chicago detectives were employed, but their efforts were fruitless. Several suspects were arrested, but in each case an alibi was proven.
Finally a committee of twelve citizens were named to continue the search for the murderer. Last Monday it became known that Clark had quarreled with his wife and she threatened to disclose the secret of a crime. Members of the committee visited the woman and she told enough to warrant belief that Clark had murdered Mrs. Whitfield.
Clark was arrested and yesterday was taken before the committee of twelve. To the surprise of all the negro confessed to the murder and also told of other crimes he had committed. He stated that several years ago he stole $1,500 from a physician at French Camp, Miss.
TWO WHITE GIRLS WHIPPED
NEW YORK TIMES
April 27, 1903
BLOOMINGTON, Ind., Apr. 26 Thirty-eight unmasked men broke into a house here early today and whipped Misses Rebecca and Ida Stephens, white, aged thirteen and sixteen years, and also whipped Joe Shively, a negro, aged fifty years. The Stephens girls live with their mother. Shively has a room in the house. The negro was whipped with a barbed wire and was hit in the eye with brass knuckles. The older girl was whipped with barbed wire and the younger one with apple switches but neither is dangerously injured.
Many of the assailants were recognized, and warrants will be sworn out for their arrest. Motive for the whipping appears to be local objection to a colored boarder living with a white family.
NEGRO DRAGGED FROM CELL
AND TORTURED TO DEATH
NEW YORK HERALD
June 8, 1903
Belleville, Ill., Sunday With the dawn of Sunday the full import of a wild night's work done by a mob of fully tow thousand citizens stood revealed today. David Wyatt, a negro schoolteacher, who made am attempt to assassinate Charles Hertel, County Superintendent, in his office last evening, had been taken from a supposedly impregnable jail, hanged to a telegraph pole in the center of the public square and his body burned.
Two hundred men, armed with sledge hammers, marched up to the jail in the night attacked the rear doors with vigor. In half an hour the doors gave way to repeated hammer blows. Wyatt was confined in the lower section of a double tier of cells. The chilled steel bars were cut away with chisels, and when the door swung open a mighty shout informed the waiting crowd that the negro was in the hands of his pursuers.
Wyatt was six feet three inches tall and of powerful build. He tried to defend himself but he was doomed to quick death. His head was mashed almost to a pulp before he was dragged out of the cell.
A rope was placed about his neck and the dying negro was dragged down stairs and into the street. Hundreds of men jumped upon him and literally kicked and tore the bleeding form to shreds. Two men climbed the telegraph pole. Willing hands tossed up the loose end of the rope and the battered body of the negro quickly swung free in the air. Yelling like mad men, the mob surged around the victim. Knives were drawn and the body was slashed right and left.
Volunteer runners appeared with cans of benzine and gasoline. Signs and pickets from neighboring fences were tossed into a pyre and flames shooting as high as the improvised gallows soon enveloped the negro.
All this was done while the mob knew that the negro's victim was alive and had a fair chance to recover. The excuse given is that the lawless element among the negroes has been doing all sorts of deviltry, and that it was determined to teach the negroes a wholesome lesson.
Wyatt's crime was provoked by the refusal of Superintendent Hertel to renew his teaching certificate. The negro demanded favorable action, and on its refusal fired one shot at the superintendent while he was sitting at his desk.
BELLEVILLE IS COMPLACENT OVER HORRIBLE LYNCHING
NEW YORK HERALD
June 9, 1903
BELLEVILLE, ILL., MONDAY Although the men who lynched David S. Wyatt; the negro teacher who shot Charles Hertil, County Superintendent of Schools, on Saturday night, worked without masks for six hours, in view of hundreds, including all the city and county officials, and although the few men who did the actual killing are known to scores, it is unlikely their prosecutions will follow.
State Attorney Farmer said today he had not been able to find anybody who would identify any of the lynchers.
At the inquest today no testimony which would tend to implicate any one in the lynching could be elicited from the witnesses examined. The Coroner's jury declined to wait for the arrival of all the witnesses, and after hearing ten men, including Mayor Kern, a verdict that Wyatt met his death at the hands of parties unknown was returned.
In the main, Belleville views the lynching and its attendant horrors with complacency. There were strong expressions of condemnation in all the churches yesterday, but many who are accounted leading citizens express approval of the lynching. The men who took part in the disorder believe they are safe.
Those who condemn the lynching urge that it could easily have been prevented. Not more than fifteen men did the actual work of breaking into the jail and lynching the negro. No attempt was made to defend the jail. Not a shot was fired. The authorities took no stand. Mayor Kern is understood to have given orders that no shots be fired. State Attorney Farmer resented the suggestion that the mob could have been dispersed by the use of firearms.
It is doubtful if a lynching has ever been attended by such remarkable circumstances. The lynchers did not constitute a real mob. The mob spirit was entirely lacking. The attack on the jail was made by a comparatively small number of men, predisposed to disorder, who seized upon the opportunity which public indignation gave them to indulge their penchant for violence without incurring the usual risk. Actively aiding them was a somewhat larger number of youths. The rest of the crowd was made up of men of respectability, well dressed women-many leaning on the arms of escorts and boys and girls.
The sentiment of the crowd was as remarkable as its composition. It was as if all had turned out for a frolic. They had gathered for a spectacle, and they made merry over the prospect. Loud laughter greeted jokes with violent death as their theme. Demands for blood were cheered. Women were in front of the jail with baby carriages.
Mayor Kern, State's Attorney Farmer and former Judge Schaefer consulted and agreed that to oppose the crowd with force would not be good policy.
A suggestion was made that the fire department turn water on the crowd. Mayor Kern opposed this on the ground that it would make the people angry. Somebody rang the fire bell, however, and a hose cart dashed down the street through the crowd, reeling off hose by way of polite intimation of what it was proposed to do. The crowd calmly separated the hose into sections of convenient length and tied these into knots. The firemen went back to their house with all the hose the crowd would let them have.
For an hour and a half after the assailants got inside the jail the sounds of heavy blows were heard through the windows, which had been shattered by boys. Youths appeared frequently at the windows and shouted information meant to be humorous. The crowd was none too exacting as to the quality of humor offered and each sally about the progress made toward "the nigger" was greeted with cheers and laughter.
It was twenty minutes to twelve o'clock when the self-appointed announcers rushed to the windows and shouted gleefully, "We've got him!"
"They're taking him to the square," somebody shouted a few minutes later, and the well dressed throng moved, with many a jest, toward the square to see "the big show."
The crowd in the jail had broken into Wyatt's cell. He had fought fiercely for his life. A blow from a sledge hammer felled him. A rope was tied around his neck. He was dragged out into the corridor, down the stairs and into the jail yard, then into Spring street, up to Main street and to the center of the square.
A man riding on a white horse led the way to an electric light pole in the square. The end of the rope was thrown over it. The body was drawn up above the heads of the crowd, who cheered and waved hats. Men on the pole kicked Wyatt in the face. The swaying form was stabbed repeatedly. Mutilations followed.
Kerosene was bought and poured over the body and it was set on fire, while the crowd cheered. The rope burned through and the body fell. More kerosene was poured on the body as the flames slowly consumed it.
Mayor Kern telephoned to the police station half an hour later and ordered that an undertaker be directed to remove what remained of the body. This was done.
Police and other officials say they could have held the jail if they had used their revolvers, but they did not do so because they were "afraid somebody would be hurt." Sheriff Thompson was out of the city. Mr. Hertel's condition is improving. His recovery is expected. He greatly regrets the lynching.
NEGRO MURDER SUSPECT BURNED
NEW YORK TIMES
June 23, 1903
WILMINGTON, Del., June 22 -A mob of 2,000 persons tonight took George White, the negro suspected of murdering seventeen-year-old Helen S. Bishop last Monday, from the Workhouse, burned him at the stake and riddled his body with bullets. Guards attempting to repulse the crowd inadvertently shot a man and a boy.
NEGROES ASK $100,000,000 TO RETURN TO AFRICA
NEW YORK TIMES
June 26, 1903
Montgomery, Ala., June 25 -The National Colored Immigration and Commercial Association, meeting here in convention, today adopted a petition to President Roosevelt and the National Congress requesting an appropriation of $100,000,000 to secure transportation of members of their race who desire to settle in Liberia. Wrongs which the colored race was said to suffer from in the United States was cited as the reason for this request.
ONE NEGRO LYNCHED; 4 BEATEN
July 2, 1903
NORWAY, S.C., July 1 -Charles Evans, colored, suspected of the murder of John L. Phillips, was taken from the jail here last night and lynched by an unmasked mob. Four other negroes who were confined in the jail were also taken by the mob and beaten into insensibility. Evans was charged with murdering John T. Phillips, a one armed confederate soldier.
MOB LYNCHES NEGRO MAN, FLOGS THREE NEGRO WOMEN
July 2, 1903
Columbia S.C., July 1 -A dispatch just received here from Piedmont, Anderson county, says that Ruben Elrod, a respectable old negro, was shot and killed at his house last night by a mob of fifty men. Three women who lived in the house were taken out, stripped, and flogged severely, and then warned to leave the county. No reason for the attack was given.
RAPE VICTIM WITNESSES LYNCHING OF ATTACKER
July 15, 1903
EASTMAN, Ga., July 14 -Ed Claus, a negro, was lynched near here tonight , while his victim, Miss Susie Johnson, was looking on. Claus was captured after being chased through seven counties by fifty farmers.
Claus attacked Miss Johnson last Thursday as she was returning from a small school which she teaches. The negro kept her prisoner for several hours, and she was found next morning by a searching party. A posse was organized and the negro was trailed from here almost to Savannah before he was overtaken.
He was brought here tonight by his captors and taken to the home of Miss Johnson. The young woman identified him, and when asked what she wanted done with him, she said:
"He ought to be killed."
The negro was then tied to a tree and the members of the mob fired at him until he was literally cut to pieces.
WRONG MAN LYNCHED AS RAPIST
July 27, 1903
SAVANNAH, Ga., July 26 -Several days ago a negro, supposed to be Ed Claus, was lynched near Eastman, Ga., for assaulting Miss Susie Johnson, a young school teacher. The negro protested he was not Claus and asked for time to prove his statement. But the mob was merciless. It now transpires that the negro was not Claus and had never seen Miss Johnson. Claus, who assaulted the girl, has been located near Darlen, Ga., and officers passed through here tonight to secure him. It is believed Claus will be taken from the officers and lynched.
WOMAN PLEADING INNOCENCE LYNCHED AS CHILD POISONER
July 27, 1903
SHREVEPORT, La., July 26 -Jennie Steers, a negro woman, who, it was charged, gave 16 year old Elizabeth Dolan a glass of poisoned lemonade, causing her death was lynched on the Beard plantation near here last night. The mob took her to a tree, placed a rope around her neck and demanded a confession. The woman refused and was hanged.
MOB TERRORIZES NEGROES AFTER POLICE SPOIL LYNCHING
August 13, 1903
WHITEXBORO, Tex., Aug. 12- An attempted attack today on Mrs. Hart caused the arrest of eight negroes, seven of whom were released. The other was held for identification., About 8 o'clock tonight a mob took possession of him and hanged him to the limb of a tree. He had not been unconscious when officers arrived from Sherman, and, making their way through the mob with a rush, cut the negro down. He is being hurried to Sherman tonight, but there is talk of going there to take him from jail.
After the negro had been forcibly taken from the mob its members began terrifying the colored residents of the town. Guns were fired promiscuously in the negro section and the terror stricken negroes were ordered to leave town at once. As a result outgoing trains on all roads were filled with negroes.
NEGRO AND WIFE BURNED
NEW YORK PRESS
February 8, 1904
DODDSVILLE, Miss., Feb. 7 -Luther Holbert and his wife, negroes, were burned at the stake here today by a mob of more than 1,000 persons for the killing of James Eastland, a prominent white planter, and John Carr, a negro, on Wednesday, at the Eastland plantation, two miles from this city.
The burning of Holbert and his wife closes a tragedy which has cost eight lives, has engaged 200 men and two packs of bloodhounds in a four days' chase across four Counties, and has stirred this section of Mississippi almost to frenzy.
Following are the dead: Luther Holbert and wife, negroes, burned at the stake by mob; James Eastland, White, planter, Killed by Holbert; John Carr, a negro, killed by Holbert; John Winters, negro, killed by Eastland, three unknown negroes killed by posses. The killing of Eastland, Carr and Winters occurred Wednesday at Eastland's plantation. Holbert and Winters were in Carr's cabin when Eastland entered and ordered Holbert to leave the plantation. A difficulty ensued, in which it is alleged that Holbert opened fire on Eastland, fatally wounding him and killing Carr. Eastland returned the fire and killed Winters.
When news of the tragedy reached Doddsville a posse was formed and left immediately for Eastland's plantation. Arriving there further shooting occurred, and an unknown negro was killed. Holbert and his wife had fled. Posses were formed at Greenville, Ittaben, Cleveland and other points and the pursuit of Holbert and wife, worn out from traveling over 100 miles on foot through canebrakes and swamps, were found asleep in a heavy belt of timer three miles east of Sheppardstown and captured. The two negroes were brought to Doddsville and this afternoon were burned at the stake by a large mob in the shadow of the negro church here.
Yesterday two negroes were killed by a posse near Belzoni, Yazoo County. One of the negroes bore a striking resemblance to Holbert, and was mistaken for him by members of the posse.
Eastland was a member of a wealth Mississippi family, and a reward of $1,200 was offered by relatives for the capture of his slayers. Two brothers of Eastland participated in the chase and capture of the Holberts and both were present when Holbert and his wife were burned.
The dead couple leave a young son.
LYNCHED NEGRO AND WIFE WERE FIRST MUTILATED
VICKSBURG (MISSISSIPPI) EVENING POST
February 8, 1904
An eye-witness to the lynching of Luther Holbert and his wife, negroes, which took place in Doddsville yesterday, today gave the Evening Post the following details concerning retribution exacted from the couple prior to their cremation yesterday:
"When the two Negroes were captured, they were tied to trees and while the funeral pyres were being prepared, they were forced to hold out their hands while one finger at a time was chopped off. The fingers were distributed as souvenirs. The ears of the murderers were cut off. Holbert was beaten severely, his skull was fractured and one of his eyes, knocked out with a stick, hung by a shred from the socket.
"Some of the mob used a large corkscrew to bore into the flesh of the man and woman. It was applied to their arms, legs and body, then pulled out, the spirals tearing out big pieces of raw quivering flesh every time it was withdrawn."
NEGRO HATERS FIRE TOWN
NEW YORK HERALD
March 9, 1904
Springfield, Ohio, Wednesday -As a result of the murder of a white policeman and the subsequent lynching or Richard Dickerson, a negro, a serious race war is on tonight.
One entire square in the levee district inhabited by negroes is in flames and seven companies of the Ohio National Guard are on the scene, holding a crowd of five thousand excited people in check.
All yesterday muttering were heard by the negroes, who, in their determination to revenge the lynching of Dickerson, threatened to kill all the policemen in the city. On the other hand the whites openly announced that they would burn the district during the night.
Alarmed by preparation for hostilities Mayor C. J. Bowlus, Sheriff Routzahn and several prominent citizens called on Governor Herrick for troops. The Governor quickly responded and five companies were ordered to
assist the two local companies in preserving peace.
In the mean time crowds gathered in the street, and at night fall five hundred young men organized at the post office and started for the levee, shouting, "Burn the niggers."
Each man was armed with a rifle or shot gun and firing at random or command.
By half-past nine o'clock a crowd of about two thousand men had assembled along the Big Four railroad tracks, almost blockading Washington street. Two hundred negroes were clustered together just west of Fountain Avenue, in the levee district near the place called "Honky Tonk."
The negroes were unusually quiet and seemed to be waiting for a start to be made by the white men. The other crowd was boisterous and there frequent yells and several pistol shots heard, although no one has been reported injured so far.
Mayor Bowlus, Sheriff Routzahn, and the other officials were stationed in the Mayor's office. It was announced by the Mayor that the militia was coming as quickly as the cars could bring them.
No effort was made to use Company A, Ninth Battalion, composed of negroes, because of fear of race prejudice.
At midnight the crowd, realizing that the troops were about to arrive, applied a torch to the saloon occupied by "Les" Thomas.
Preceding the firing of the building the mob, at a distance of a hundred feet, shot at the front of the building for half an hour, but it is not known whether any of the occupants had remained in the building, and if they did whether any fatalities resulted from the shooting.
The fire spread both ways from Thomas' place and the mob would not tolerate any effort of the department to put out the fire in the levee district, but offered no resistance in the attempts to confine the fire to the buildings along Washington Street, known as the levee. These buildings are dilapidated frame structures, ranging from one to three stories in height. They are for the most part saloons, dwelling and small rooming houses of negroes.
The militia had not yet arrived in sufficient numbers to attempt to quell the mob.
At midnight one whole square was in flames. The militia had been reinforced by the Urban Company and a crowd of five thousand, under military check, were viewing the destruction of the levee resorts with great satisfaction. Half a block away cheers were heard as the building fell in.
While the eastern portion of the levee is doomed it is thought that the department will be able to confine the conflagration to the region east of Spring Street.
Members of the mob openly declare that when their work in the eastern levee district is completed they will transfer their efforts to that portion west of the Big Four station and the Arcade Hotel. This portion of West Washington Street is also known as the levee and the buildings are similar to those in the eastern portion.
The arrival of the additional militia alone can save these places, and a trainload of troops from several towns between here and Cincinnati are anxiously awaited. Apparently the negroes all over the city are becoming intimidated and their boasts made earlier in the evening are no longer heard.
The Coroner held an inquest today over the body of Dickerson, but none was blamed for the lynching, which took place in the center of the city last night before a mob of two thousand persons. The Coroner rendered this verdict:
"After having heard the evidence and examined the body I find that the deceased came to his death at the hands of a mob which forcibly broke into the county jail, overpowering the authorities, and lynched the said Richard Dickerson. I am unable to determine the direct cause of death, but found him hanging by the neck to a pole at the southeast corner of Main Street and Fountain Avenue, in Springfield, with a number of bullet holes in his body. I have been creditably informed that he was placed there about a quarter after eleven o'clock P.M., March 7, 1904. I am unable to fix the responsibility for his death."
CONFEDERATE VETERANS DEPLORE LYNCHING EXCEPT FOR RAPE
NEW YORK SUN
March 22, 1904
New Orleans, March 21 The Confederate veterans of Mississippi are determined to give their assistance to try to stop lynching by burning. The W. R. Barksdale Camp of Confederate Veterans of Mississippi has adopted resolutions calling for the strict enforcement of law and order and denouncing mob violence as antagonistic to liberty and leading ultimately to anarchy, desolation and ruin. The resolutions say:
"As Confederate veterans and law abiding citizens of Mississippi and of the United States we are violently, vehemently and eternally opposed to the practice of burning a human being for any crime whatsoever. We appeal to all Confederate veterans, their wives and daughters, and to that great and glorious organization the Daughters of the Confederacy, one and all, to arise in their might and by precept and example, voice and pen, moral force and influence, help put a stop to this diabolical barbaric, unlawful, inhuman and ungodly crime of burning human beings. We are unalterably opposed to the lynching of a human being, except perhaps for the one unmentionable crime."
(*The story below is the first encounter with lynching where the men were covered with a mask.)
IS LYNCHED BY "ORDERLY" MOB; SUSPECTED OF COW KILLING
NEW YORK TRIBUNE
March 18, 1906
Planquemines, La., March 17- William Carr, Negro, was lynched without ceremony here today by an orderly party of thirty masked men who hurried him to a railroad trestle and hanged him. He had been accused of killing a white man's cow.
LYNCHED AFTER RECEIVING SUPREME COURT REPRIEVE
NEW YORK TRIBUNE
March 20, 1906
Knoxville, Tenn., March 19 A message from Chattanooga to "The Journal and Tribune" says that Ed Johnson the negro convicted of rape, in whose case the United States Supreme Court granted an appeal today, was removed from jail at 11 o'clock tonight and lynched.
INTER-RACIAL COUPLE'S 'CONDUCT' RESULTS IN LYNCHING OF MAN
March 26, 1910
Pine Bluff, Ark., Mar. 25 Resenting alleged improper conduct on the part of Judge Jones, a Negro, and a young white woman, a mob of forty men gathered at the county jail here tonight, overpowered the jailer and his deputies and hanged the Negro.
9 LYNCHINGS IN ONE WEEK
NEW YORK PRESS
March 26, 1904
Little Rock, Ark., Mar. 25 A special from Dewitt says five negroes have been taken from the guards at St. Charles, this county, and shot to death by a mob.
This makes nine negroes who have been killed in the last week in the vicinity of St. Charles on account of race troubles.
15 NEGROES ARE SHOT DOWN
August 1, 1910
Palestine, Tex., July 31 At least fifteen and perhaps as many as twenty negroes, all of them probably unarmed, were hunted down and killed by a mob of 200 or 300 men in the Slocum and Denison Springs neighborhood of Palestine last night and yesterday. Sheriff Black said today that the negroes were killed "without any real cause at all."
After returning from a 24-hour investigation in the Southeastern part of Anderson County, Sheriff Black made the following statement this morning:
"Strong race feeling prevails in that part of the county. Men were going about and killing negroes as fast as they could find them, and so far as I have been able to ascertain, without any real cause at all. These negroes had never done anything that I could discover. There was just a hot-headed gang hunting them down and killing them.
"We found eleven dead bodies, but from what I have heard the dead must number 15 or 20. We came across four bodies in one house. We won't know the final number killed until the locations of all bodies are revealed to us by the buzzards.
"I don't know how many there were in the mob, but I think there must have been two or three hundred. A misunderstanding over a promissory note is said to have been the cause of the trouble."
NEGROES FLEEING FOR LIVES
August 4, 1910
Pensacola, Fla., Aug. 1 Telephone wires to the vicinity of Dady, Fla., were cut tonight and negroes were reported to be fleeing for their lives from that section.
Business was reported suspended late today while farmers left their fields to join posses bent on carrying forward vengeance for the murder of the little school girl, Bessie Morrison, who was slain last Friday.
Today it was reported that a negro had loaned an amulet for good luck to one of the colored men alleged to have slain the child. This negro, whose name has not been learned here, was captured, a rope placed around his neck and as he swung from the limb of a tree, his body was hot almost to pieces.
According to information here he is the fourth negro lynched for this murder. The cutting of the telephone wires made it impossible to learn the cause of the hunt for negroes said to be in progress tonight.
ANGRY MINERS LYNCH NEGRO
October 13, 1910
Centreville, Ala., Oct. 12 Grant Richardson, a negro, who lived near Braehead was lynched last night by unknown parties while Deputy Sheriff Cam Riley was on his way to jail with the prisoner. Riley was overpowered and the negro shot to pieces
A white woman named Mrs. Crow gave birth some months ago to a child which was thought by many to be doubtful color, but the woman strenuously denied the charge, till a few days ago when she declared that Richardson had assaulted her and that he was the father of the child. The miners and others living near Braehead, which is a mining camp about five miles from Blocton, were so incensed over the affair that they decided to inflict summary vengeance on the negro as soon as it was known that the sheriff had apprehended him.
Chief Deputy Charles Oakly left for the scene of the lynching early this morning as soon as the news reached him of the affair, but everything had quieted down, and it is not thought he will be able to get any clues to the members of the mob. It is supposed that a coroner's inquest will be ordered as soon as a special coroner is appointed.
It is not known here whether or not any charges have been preferred against the woman. This is the first lynching that has occurred in Bibb county, and the affair is deeply deplored by the best citizenship of the county. Grant Richardson has lived near Blocton for many years, and heretofore has borne a fair reputation, it is said.
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