January 23, 1912

Hamilton, Ga., Jan. 23—A mob of 100 men tonight broke into the Harris County jail, overpowered Jailor E. M. Robinson and took four negroes, three men and one woman out and hung them to trees one mile from town.
They then riddled the bodies with bullets. It is estimated that 300 shots were fired.

Last Sunday, while Norman Hadley, a well-to-do young married farmer, was sitting in his home, a shot was fired through the window and he fell dead.

That afternoon four negro tenants, Belle Hathaway, John Moore, Eugene Hamming and "Dusty" Cruthfield, were arrested, charged with the crime.

Sheriff Hadley, who is an uncle of the dead man, feared no lynching and tonight he is in Columbus. Public sentiment, however, had been crystallizing here all day to day and by nightfall there were a great many country people in Hamilton.

Their number was constantly augmented and by 9 o'clock fully 100 men had congregated in front of the court house in which the jail is located. Despite the pleas of Jailer Robinson they advanced on the calaboose and, throwing him to one side, broke the doors down. The terrified negroes were hustled out at the point of guns and marched outside the town. There they were quickly strung up.

Immediately their writhing bodies became silhouetted against the sky, revolvers and rifles blazed forth and fully 300 shots were fired before the mob dispersed.
The negroes protested their innocence to the last, but the mob would have none of it.


April 10, 1912

Shreveport, La., April 9 —Tom Miles, a Negro, aged 29, was hanged to a tree here and his body filled with bullets early today. He had been tried in police court yesterday on a charge of writing insulting notes to a white girl, employed in a department store, but was acquitted for lack of proof.


September 13, 1912

Princeton, W.Va., Sept. 7 —The authorities now believe that a mistake was made in lynching Walter Johnston, a colored man, last night.

A statement was issued today by Mayor Bennington, Sheriff Ellison, Judge Maynard and Prosecuting Attorney J. O. Pendleton stating that there is plenty of evidence that Walter Johnston did not commit the crime for which he was lynched.

A mob lynched Johnston last, allegedly for attacking Nite White, 14-year-old daughter of a railroad man. Today's statement said that Johnston fell far in dress and physical appearance of the man described by the girl.


November 11, 1912

Wetumpka, Ala., Nov. 10—One negro is killed and a posse of infuriated citizens in the neighborhood of Floyd, Elmore County, are hunting a second negro with the aid of the State penitentiary dogs tonight. The two negroes earlier in the day killed John Christizberg, an Elmore County farmer, and later one of them, Berney, killed Claude Kidd, one of his pursuers.

It is learned here that Mr. Christizberg's two daughters were on their way to church when they met the two negroes, driving in an opposite direction. The young women drove as far to the side of the road as possible, it was reported. But the wheels of the vehicle driven by the negroes locked those of the Misses Christzberg's buggy, causing the horse to run away, that was reported too.

A party of young men passing by, said that they repaired the harness, and took the two young women to church, and returned to punish the two negroes. The party of young men passing by also said that they informed Mr. Christzberg, the father of the two daughters whose buggy had been wrecked. They said after they told Mr. Christizberg what happened he joined them in the pursuit of the negroes.

Continuing they contented, overtaking two Negroes in advance of his party, Mr. Christizberg attempted to horse whip both, when one of them shot Mr. Christizberg through the body, inflicting serious, if not fatal, wounds. After the shooting the negroes took to the woods, and it was necessary to get the penitentiary dogs to follow.

A large number of the citizens joined the man hunt. The occupants of a negro cabin stated that the parties sought were not there. Not believing what the negroes said about who was in the cabin, some them went inside and noticed a loft overhead.

Claude Kidd, one of the pursuers, mounted a rickety table, while some of his companions held it, and with a pole pushed up one of the planks of the loft. As he did so, a pistol shot from the loft rang out and Mr. Kidd fell to the table dead, the ball striking him in the top of the head, coming out under the lower jaw.

The others who had intruded into the house came out and made the negro owner of the house (cabin) bring Mr. Kidd's body out. They told the negro to go back and tell the negro that did the shooting to come out or they would burn the house down. They were apparently afraid of being shot themselves and knew they had no right to be in the cabin.

At that point after hearing what had taken place the intruders said that the negro who did the shooting told the owner of the cabin that he refused to come out and he threatened to kill him (the owner) if he came back.

So as usual, a crowd had gathered. The crowd proceeded to set fire to the cabin, the negro seeing that he would be burned, made a dash for liberty, shooting at the crowd as he ran, they said, fortunately no one was struck. But, the negro was killed, his body being completely riddled with bullets. The second negro made his escape.

Note: Again two Negroes were accused of a crime that could not be proven. It was a group of young white boys who said that two young black men caused all the problems to include murder. Since, Mr. Christizberg was dead he could not report what happened. It was the word of young white males against two black males, during this time who would the people of all white court believe say to be right? Of course, we all agree it would not have been the Negroes.


February 9, 1913

Houston, Tex., Feb. 8 —A mob of 1,000 persons conducted a mock trial in the courthouse yard here today, found David Rucker, negro, aged 30, guilty of murdering Mrs. J. C. Williams, and, in the presence of a sheriff and two deputies who were powerless to act, chained him to a still pump in the middle of the yard, soaked his clothes with oil, piled wood about him and burned him alive.

Rucker was the second negro to die for the murder of Mrs. Williams who was clubbed to death in her home in the daytime Thursday. Friday, a mob hanged a negro named Andrew Williams for the same crime. Williams' innocence has since been established.

Note: These convictions by unjust and illegal lynch mobs seem to show that any Negro could be found guilty of a crime just to clear the books and keep whites from putting pressure on government to find the guilty party. Therefore, it stands to reason that the authorities were just as guilty as those who actually committed lynchings of Negroes.


February 27, 1913

Marshall, Tex., Feb. 25 —Two negroes were lynched here last night. A negro named Anderson was hanged by one mob for reasons unknown. Robert Perry was shot to death by another mob which charged him with horse-stealing.


March 13, 1913

Henderson, N. C., Mar. 12 —Two negroes, a woman and a child, were killed and two negro men probably fatally wounded early today when unidentified persons after pouring kerosene on the home of Joe Perry, a negro living ten miles from this place, set it on fire, and poured a fusillade of bullets into the blazing structure as its occupants attempted to escape. The dead are Joe Perry's wife and her child and the wounded Joe Perry and his brother John. There are no clues. Sheriff Royster has gone to the scene.


June 6, 1913

Beaumont, Tex., June 6 —Richard Galloway, negro, accused with two others of attacking a party of white men last Saturday, was riddled with bullets today as he left the jail after electing to go free on bail. His two companions have decided to remain in prison pending a hearing.


June 22, 1913

Americus, Ga., June 21 —Four negroes are wounded and one is dead tonight as a result of the shooting today of Chief of Police William C. Barrow. The dead negro, William Redding, is purported to have fired at Chief Barrow as the Chief was attempting to arrest him for intoxication.

Redding was taken to jail after his altercation with Chief Barrow but was soon seized by a mob of 500 who strung him up to an overhead cable. Shooting at him then began from every direction and four other negroes, all innocent bystanders, were wounded, one of them apparently fatally. Miraculously, no whites were wounded.

Before the shooting began, Rev. Robert Bivins, pastor of the Furlaw Lawn Baptist Church, pleaded with the leaders to spare the life of the negro. His pleadings lasted during the twenty minutes required to string the body up to the cable, and then yells of the crowd and the shots from many pistols drowned out his voice.


August 9,1913

Spartanburg, S.C., Aug. 8 —"Gentlemen, I hate to do it, but so help me God, I am going to kill the first man that enters that gate!"

So spoke Sheriff W. J. White of Spartanburg county today to a mob of his friends and fellow citizens who were trying to lynch a negro prisoner in his charge.

None of the mob advanced past the gate.


August 12, 1913

Laurens, S. C., Aug. 12 — Richard Puckett, a young negro charged with attempted criminal assault near here yesterday, was taken from the jail here at 12:30 o'clock this morning by a mob estimated to number 2,000 men, and hanged to a beam of a railway trestle near the Laurens depot.

Several hundred bullets were then fired into his body, and the mob dispersed, leaving the body hanging to be examined by a coroner's jury today.

Puckett made a denial of his guilt just before he was strung up by the mob. He was charged with having attacked a young woman who was driving in a buggy along a lonely road near here yesterday morning.
It is said he dragged her from the buggy, but fled when she called to her two brothers who were following her in another buggy.
Laurens officers arrested Puckett soon after they had begun the search, but the young woman who had been attacked failed to identify him. However, it is said, blood hounds were then used to fasten guilt on him.


August 21, 1913

Spartanburg, S.C., Aug. 18 —Three men, Frank Eppley, J. C. Owensby and John Turner were seriously wounded tonight when a mob stormed the county jail in an effort to lynch Will Fair, a negro prisoner, charged with assaulting a young white woman near here today.

Sheriff White and a deputy, facing the mob alone repeatedly drove them back and with pistol shots when they advanced with battering rams.

Members of the mob finally returned the fire and in the darkness the three men were struck. They were not fatally wounded but were taken to hospital for attention.

The young woman was assaulted in a lonely farm house this morning in the absence of her husband.
Several charges of dynamite were exploded late tonight by the mob in an effort to enter the jail here. After they had blown down a portion of the outer wall they were impressed by the show of strength inside the jail and retired, but threats were made to return later with nitroglycerine which proposed, it was said, to obtain from a railroad construction camp.

Hundreds of pistol and rifle shots were fired when the dynamite was let off, but so far as can be learned others were injured.
Gov. Blease was appealed to late tonight to call out the militia to protect Fair. He refused, but announced that he would order a special term of court to try the negro.


September 27,1913

Spartanburg, S.C., Sept. 20 —Despite the positive statement of a respectable white matron of high intelligence that he had assaulted her, Will Fair, a Negro, was found not guilty this afternoon at a special term of General Sessions Court called for the trial of the case. The jury was out 20 hours.

The verdict caused no surprise and was quietly received. A few people not entirely familiar with the case were reported to be muttering this evening. Fair was told it might be inadvisable for him to remain in this vicinity. He thought so himself. A position was offered him in a railroad construction camp 300 miles from here. He left for there this evening.

The acquittal of Fair is a vindication of Sheriff W. J. White, who at the risk of his life, saved the Negro from being lynched. He stood off a large mob who stormed the jail on the night of Fair's arrest and went so far as to blow open the outer gate with dynamite. Hundreds of pistol-shots were fired and three men were wounded. Policeman S. J. Alverson, who alleged to have shot one of the men and who was impelled by the force of public opinion to resign in consequence, has been exonerated by the City Council and today was reinstated on the force.

People were saying here tonight that Fair's trial and acquittal were epoch-making in South Carolina and made the best argument that has ever been advanced against lynching.

The woman is believed to have accused Fair in good faith, but to have been laboring under a delusion due to her physical condition. The circumstances surrounding the case did not bear out the woman's statement, although Fair admitted that he passed her house about the time of the alleged assault.

The jury, it is authentically reported never considered a verdict of guilty. On the ballot six stood for acquittal. The other six wanted to report a mistrial and shift the burden upon another jury. Thus they stood until about 10 minutes before they finally brought in the verdict. Then Judge George W. Gage bade them be men. They filed into their room and soon emerged with the verdict.

Judge Gage had asked them: "Do you think I may not say anything to help you in arriving at a conclusion in this case?"

The foreman, Joseph Lee of Landrum, president of a hosiery manufacturing company: replied "We are hopelessly disagreed."
"It is next to impossible for us in matters of this kind to put away all outside considerations. I speak from my own experience and out of my own heart and my own knowledge. I was raised on a plantation with Negroes and I think I know them as well as any man knows them. I know their weakness and I know our weakness. They are here by a strange providence, but they are here. How our final relationship with them is to be determined no man knows and no man need question himself. If we go to our duty day by day and do justice man by man, the end will come and the God who made us and who made them and who put us heret t
ogether will bring us safely to some common end.

"I know that men are almost incapable of weighing a nice balance of truth where the contest is between one race and another race, especially where the one race is charged with the awful crime of assault. I know the awful peril our country women are subject to. I was raised in the country, and I know its duties and its beauties, its glories and its perils, its joys and its sorrows and burdens; but the question for you in this case is: Did this man assault this woman and under all the testimony is it true beyond a reasonable doubt? If it is, it is your duty to declare, it is your duty to say 'Guilty.' If it is not true as you see it, if it is not true beyond a reasonable doubt, then to write a verdict of 'Guilty, in answer to anybody's demand would be to crucify the law, to degrade our courts and to stultify you men. I know there is such a thing as public opinion that drives and whirls men like a sandstorm, but I tell you this: a wave of public opinion in time of excitement is sometimes the most uncertain thing in the world.

The only certain thing is the knowledge which points to the truth, and which never errs. If you follow it, you are in the sure path, and if you leave it you are in quagmires all the way."
Then the jury reported that they found Fair not guilty.

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