It is estimated that between the years of 1870 and 1900, an estimate of 50,000 t0 150,000 Blacks were lynched; that's why we are afrain of the noose!

You see them two niggers in the background of the picture. The ones on the bikes... you see 'em, at the bottom of the picture. They're looking up and saying, "Dog, we told you to leave them rotten crackers alone. Now, look at you, dog?

ATLANTA CONSTITUTION
February 23, 1916

ALL FIVE LYNCHED NEGROES WERE GUILTLESS, SAYS KEITH

Tifton, Ga., Feb.22-Jim Keith, sentenced to a life term in prison for complicity in the killing of Sheriff Moreland of Lee county, talked freely of the crime today as he was carried to Richmond county to begin serving his term. He declared that Rodius Seamore and old man Lake and his three sons, who were lynched last month for Sheriff Moreland's death, were entirely guiltless. "I shot the Sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy! " said that rotten nigger Jim Keith. You got niggers like him today, lying on others to protect themselves from the white man.

This fact is now generally believed. While fleeing from the place where he shot Moreland, Keith said, he stopped at the home of the Lakes because it was the first negro house in reach. The old man was gone and did not get back until a few minutes before the posse came. Keith had no opportunity to tell him about the trouble, and old man Lake did not know that Keith was wanted by the officers, Keith said. They didn't care if they got the right person or not!

ATLANTA CONSTITUTION
February 7, 1917

KEITH ACQUITTED BY JURY

Sylvester, Ga., Feb. 6-Jim Keith, a negro, who, charged with the murder of Sheriff Moreland of Lee county, on December 18, 1915, was saved by Worth county officials from a mob which lynched five other negroes for the crime, was acquitted by a white jury in superior court here last night.

At his first trial here a year ago, Keith was convicted on the theory that he was in the conspiracy which resulted in the murder of the Lee county sheriff and was given a life term. Further evidence, however, has led to the general belief that another negro, who escaped, is the murderer. Keith, in Janary of 1916, was removed from the Worth county jail and carried to a place of safety shortly before a mob, supposedly from Lee county, took five innocent negroes to Starkesville, in Lee county, and there lynched them.

EDITORIAL FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES
February 12, 1917

THE AFTERMATH

A Georgia sheriff was murdered something over a year ago. Naturally, there was intense excitement in Worth County where the crime was committed and of the six negroes who were arrested, five were promptly hanged by a mob. The sixth, Jim Keith, chanced to be rescued from the lynchers, much to their indignation. He was put on trial and convicted of complicity in the murder, but not of actual participation in it, and he was sentenced to imprisonment for life. Recently some new facts came to light and in the second trial that was accorded to Keith, because of their importance, not only was he cleared by the jury of having any hand at all in the killing, but it was also proved that the five negroes who were lynched were equally guiltless.

EDITORIAL IN THE CHICAGO DEFENDER
February 12, 1916

HOW MUCH LONGER?


In four weeks the intelligent and cultured citizens of the commonwealth of Georgia have lynched sixteen colored people, which is a record. Despite the emancipation proclamation and constitutional amendments, ostensibly conferring equal rights, the world knows how cheaply the life of a black man is held in those regions that are still stained by the memory of a legalized system of servitude.

But it would seem by this time that the people of the South would have made at least some small progress toward controlling and finally eliminating mob murder. Instead of diminishing, the number is increasing, and in at least four instances it later developed that the persons put to death were innocent of the offenses charged.

Whenever Georgia is able to execute legally the leaders of a lynching mob she will have made a step forward that will promise much for her future. The discouraging part is that as disgraceful and degrading as these occurrences are, the "best citizens" appear to have developed a pride in this hideous work. It is a species of provincialism and local conceit of a peculiarly ugly and grotesque kind that produces such a felling, but it is plain that something of the kind exists among a large class there. As ghastly as are the horrors of the European war, man's inhumanity to man is not confined to our brethren across the sea. We have this same hideous story every year. Are we ever going to do anything about it?

BIRMINGHAM VOICE OF THE PEOPLE
April 1, 1916

BUMPS INTO GIRL; IS LYNCHED

Cedar Bluff, Miss., March 31-Jeff Brown was lynched by a mob here late Saturday afternoon. Brown was walking down the street near the car tracks and saw a moving freight going in the direction in which he wanted to go. He started on the run to board the moving train. On the sidewalk was the daughter of a white farmer. Brown accidentalyy brushed against her and she screamed. A gang quickly formed and ran after him, jerking him off the moving train. He was beaten into insensibility and then hung to a tree. The sheriff has made no attempt to find out who the members of the mob were. Picture cards of the body are being sold on the streets at five cents apiece.

ATLANTA CONSTITUTION
April 4, 1916

LYNCHED FROM COURTHOUSE

Idabel, Okla., April 3-After listening to the evidence at the preliminary hearing here today of Oscar Martin, a negro charged with having attacked a 13-year-old girl, a mob of five hundred men overpowered court attaches and hanged the negro from a second story balcony of the courthouse.

Evidently at a previously arranged signal the mob sprang up from among the spectators at the conclusion of the evidence and while court officers were held prisoners, dragged the negro to the balcony from which he was thrown after one end of a rope had been placed around his neck and the other made secure to a post.
The mob dispersed withing a few minutes. Tonight the town is quiet.

NEW YORK WORLD
May 16, 1916

15,000 WITNESS BURNING OF NEGRO IN PUBLIC SQUARE

Waco, Tex., May 15-Screaming for mercy until the flames silenced him, Jesse Washington, a negro of eighteen years, was burned to death by a mob in the public square here today. Many women and children were among the 15,000 who witnessed the lynching. Just a week ago the lad assaulted and killed Mrs. Lucy Fryar, a white woman, in her home at Robinson, seven miles from here. There was no question of his guilt, and he got one of the quickest trials on record in this part of Texas. The proceeding ended this forenoon, when the jury brought in a verdict of guilty, carrying with it the death penalty.

"I'm sorry I done it," said the prisoner in a whisper, shaking with fear as he saw the crowd in the court room rising threateningly all around him with the pronouncement of the verdict.

"Get that nigger!" was the shout raised by some, and it was chorused by the mob. The leaders made a rush, sweeping officers and lawyers aside. The negro was seized and then was dragged from the court room.

The first suggestion was to hang him from the suspension bridge, and a chain was tied around his neck and he was dragged, yelling in that direction.

"Burn him!" roared hundreds of voices all raised at once, and the idea pleased the mob. So the negro was dragged by the chain to the City Hall square. There the ringleaders stood him under a tree and threw the chain ove a limb. Boxes and sticks of wood were piled around him and then he was hoisted over the pile.
His clothing was saturated with oil and a match was applied. At a signal the negro was hoisted further in the air, then was let fall into the flames.

It was all over one hour from the rendering of the jury's death verdict. When the fire had burned itself out the charred body was put in a sack and was dragged behind and automobilt to Robinson, where it was hanged to a telephone pole for the colored populace to gaze upon.

NEW YORK WORLD
July 29, 1916

NEW YORK NEGROES STAGE SILENT PARADE OF PROTEST

Leaders among the negroes of New York City decided that a silent parade would be the most dramatic and effective way to make felt the protest of their race against injustice and inhumanity growing out of lynch law.
And this silent parade was staged with real impressiveness and dignity and with an indefinable appeal to the heart in Fifth Avenue yesterday afternoon.

From the time that the 3,500 or 4,000 men, women, and children marchers left Fifty-sixth Street shortly after 1 o'clolk until they were completing their dispersal in Twenty-fourth Street about 3 no note of discord was struck.

Police Inspector Morris, who, with upward of one hundred policemen, was in charge of the arrangement down to Forty-second Street, expressed his warm admiration for those in the silent lines.

"They have done everything just right," he said to a reporter for The World. "They have been lovely." And it might be mentioned that this was the first time that the reporter, who has observed many parades in the past few years in New York, ever heard a police official use the adjective "lovely" to describe those whom it is his task to keep in order.

Of the many printed signs prepared by the marchers, Inspector Morris doubted the good taste of only one. It showed a colored mother crouching protectively over tow cowering children with the caption, "East St. Louis."

And then it showed a photograph of President Wilson and his assertion that the world must be made safe for democracy.

"I asked them if they did not think it was in bad taste too," the Inspector said. "And they agreed that it was and put it aside. They made every effort to have this parade exactly what it was planned to be."

The only sound as the marchers passed down the avenue was the slow, -Tum, tum, tum-tum-tum. And wxcept for little cries of sympathy and admiration from women when they saw a tiny, bright-eyed, kinky-haired baby peeping solemnly over the moist neck of its marching mother, the silence of the parade spread to and enveloped the watchers on the sidewalk too.

There must have been as many colored men and women and babies on the sidewalk as there were in the parade. Probably there were more. And they too showed the same restraint and sense of decorum that governed the marchers.

The parade was led by a drum corps of boys in khaki. Then there were fourteen lines of young girls. After them were six rows of boys, eight-five rows of women, many of thm mothers with babies in their arms, and fifty-five lines of men. The lines appeared to average twenty persons.

In the line of march were doctors, lawyers, ministers, school teachers and trained nurses. Many veterans of the Spanish-American War were there too. The Grand Marshal, Capt. Hubert Jackson, served in Cuba and the Philippines as Captain of Company L of the Sixth Massachusetts. Clifton G. A. French, a lawyer, was in the Twenty-third Kansas. He explained the purposed of the parade this way:

"We love our Government. and we want our Government to love us too." The banners carried aloft bore the following inscriptions:

"Thou shalt not kill."
"Unto the least of these, my brethren."
"Mother, do lynchers go to heaven?"
"Suffer little children and forbid them not."
"Give me a chance to live."
"Mr. President, why not make America safe for democracy."

"The first blood for American independence was shed by a negro, Crispus Attucks."
"Put the spirit of Christ in the making and the execution of laws."
"Your hands are full of blood."
"We have 30,000 teachers."
"Race prejudice is the offspring of ignorance and the mother of lynching."
"Ten thousand of us fought in the Spanish-American War."
"Three thousand negroes fought for American independence un George Washington."
"No negro has ever betrayed his country of attempted to assassinate a President or any official of the Government."
"Patriotism and loyalty presuppose protection and liberty."
"America has lynched without trial 21,867 negroes in thirty-one years. Not a single murderer has suffered."
"Memphis and Waco, centres of American culture?"
"Twenty thousand black men fought for your liberty in the Civil War."
"The world owes no man a living, but every man an opportunity to earn a living."
"Thirty-four negroes have received Carnegie hero medals."
"Our music is the only American music."
"A square deal for every man."
And there was another one to the effect that if there is any fault to be found with color, either white people or God is responsible.

ATLANTA CONSTITUTION
August 20, 1916

5 HANGED ON ONE OAK TREE

Gainesville, Fla., Aug. 19-Five negroes, three men and two women, were taken from the jail at Newberry, Fla., early today and hanged by a mob, and another negro was shot and killed by deputy sheriffs near Jonesville, Fla., as the result of the killing yesterday of Constable S.G. Wynne and the shooting of Dr. L.G. Harris by Boisey Long, a negro. The lynched negroes were accused a of aiding Long to escape.

PHILADELPHIA ENQUIRER
August 27, 1916

LYNCHED DESPITE PROTESTS OF RAPE VICTIM'S PARENTS

Shreveport, La., Aug. 26-A mob of 1000 yesterday took Jess Hammet, a negro, from the jail at Vivian, twenty miles north of here, and hanged him to a telegraph pole. He was identified by a white woman as the man who had attempted an assault upon her. The woman's parents pleaded with the mob to desist. Hammet, as a servant years ago, cared for the woman he is said to have attempted to outrage.

PROVIDENCE BULLETIN
August 31, 1916

SHERIFF NEARLY LYNCHED

Lima, O., Aug. 31-Sheriff Serman Ely of this county was slashed, kicked and nearly lynched by a mob of 3,000 last night when he refused to divulge the location of a negro prisoner wanted by the mob.

The mob descended upon the local jailhouse before dusk and demanded surrender of Charles Daniels, a negro, held ofr questioning in connection with the assault of Mrs. John Barber, a white woman. The Sheriff refused to surrender him.

The mob smashed its way into the jail, searched it cell by cell and realized that the prisoner had been spirited away and hidden elsewhere. The mob seized the Sheriff, stripped him of his clothes, kicked, beat and cut him, dragged him to the principal street corner of this town and tied a noose around his neck threatening to hang him to a trolley pole unless he told where he had hidden the negro.

With blood streaming from a dozen cuts and with two ribs fractured, the sheriff refused. The mob then dispersed.

MINNEAPOLIS TRIBUNE
September 3, 1916

LYNCH LEADERS DECLARE LYNCHING WAS "HUMANE"

You have heard about Southern chivalry all your life. Now a new phase of it has developed in the application of ethics to lynching.

If you were to be lynched by a mob, you would appreciate it greatly if you were "shown every courtesy" during the proceeding. To all persons who yearn to be the guest of honor at what used to be facetiously termed a necktie party, therefore, the gentlemanly and humane mob of Stuttgart, Ark., is recommended without reservation. Now, you tell me if these cracker ain't crazy, and they are over us.

Down is Stuttgart last week a negro was lynched. He had been accused of attacking the daughter of a white planter near the twon. The mob worked quietly and expeditiously, but necessarily without the limelight. After it was all over unauthorized versions of the affair were circulated and accepted by the public. It was to set the public right that the lynchers decided to proclaim just how genteel it really was. So the following "card" was sent to the Free Press, the town's newspaper, which published it on August 11:

"We, members of the committee that hanged the negro Wednesday morning, have, after listening to the false stories about the affair, concluded that it is due to the public that they may be made acquainted with the true facts.

"The criminal was taken from jail at De Witt, brought to the scene of execution, and hanged in as humane a manner as possible.

"Quite recently, in England, a man was hanged for high treason. He suffered the tortures of strangulation for nine minutes before he was pronounced dead by the attending physicians. We give you our word that the criminal we 'lynched' did not live nine seconds after his feet left the ground, as the bullet wounds on his body will prove.

"The only request made by the criminal was that he be hanged or shot, and not tortured or burned. That his request was granted was self-evident to everyone who saw the remains. "For obvious reasons we must withhold our names and beg to sign ourselves:

"Yours for the proper and unfailing enforcement of the law, "The Committee."

ATLANTA CONSTITUTION
September 30, 1916

TWO SAVED FROM FIRST MOB ARE LYNCHED BY SECOND MOB

NOWATA, Okla., Sept. 29-Two negroes were saved from lynching today by the eloquent plea of a Methodist minister only to be lynched later on by a second mob.

John Foreman, negro, and another negro, unnamed, were arrested on the outskirst of town last night in connection with the shooting of Deputy Sheriff James Gibson. Foreman was wounded in the course of the arrest and was not immediately molested by the mob. The unwounded negro, however, was seized by the mob, which had grown to large proportions, and a parade through the principal streets began with the negro, at a rope's end, screaming for mercy.

When the mob reached the Methodist church a large tree offered the opportunity the rope around the negro's neck suggested. "Let's lynch the nigger on holy ground., shouted one man. The prisoner was swung clear and being choked to death when Rev. Perry E. Pierce appeared, attracted from his study by the negro's screams. He rushed into the midst of the crowd and began his pleadings for the seemingly doomed man's life.

"Men, I beseech you in the name of God not to desecrate this holy ground," pleaded Mr. Pierce. "Do not stain the name of our city by going into this terrible affair."

With great earnestness he demanded that the law be allowed to take its course. Five minutes the pastor spoke until one of the mob leaders, turning to his fellows, said: Men, Mr. Pierce is right. Take the nigger back to jail and let the law take its course."

The suspended negro was cut down, unconscious but alive. The mob led him back to jail.
Nowata was quiet following the episode, but quiet was only the lull before the storm.

Shortly after the dinner hour Foreman and the other negro who had been rescued in the afternoon were taken from the jail by another mob, a larger one, and were strung up on the grounds of the courthouse.

ATLANTA CONSTITUTION
October 9, 1916

NEGRESS TAKEN FROM JAIL AND RIDDLED WITH BULLETS

ARLINGTON, Ga., Oct. 4-Mary Conley, the negro woman whose son, Sam Conley, killed E. M. Me.vin, a prominent white planter, near here Monday, was taken from the guardhouse in Leary some time during the night and lynched. Her body, riddled with bullets, was found by the roadside by parties coming into Arlington during the early morning hours. When Melvin reprimanded Sam Conley for the way the latter was negleccting his work the negro's mother showed resentment. It is claimed that Melvin then slapped and grappled with her, whereupon Sam Conley picked up an iron scale weight and struck the white man on the head in defense of his mother. Melvin died a short time later.

Conley escaped, but his mother was captured and put in jail here.

The mob had no difficulty in breaking into the guardhouse, which was unguarded, the officers not anticipating trouble. The lynching was very quiet.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER
October 10, 1916

NEGRO INSULTS WHITE WOMEN:
IS SHOT AND STRUNG UP

DeWITT, Ark., Oct. 9-Frank Dodd, a negro, who was arrested yesterday charged with having insulted two young women, was taken from jail here early today, and hanged. His body was riddled with bullets and left hanging to a tree in a negro settlement on the outskirts of DeWitt.

NEW YORK EVENING GLOBE
October 16, 1916

2 LYNCHED; 1 HAD VOICED APPROVAL OF OTHER'S MISDEED

PADUCAH, KY., OCT. 16-Two Negroes were lynched by a mob ere today and their bodies burned. One was chared with attacking Mrs. George Ross, a white woman, at the home in the suburbs last Friday, while the other was accused of voicing approval of his action.

Back to home page