Lynching is the practice whereby a mob--usually several dozen or several hundred persons--takes the law into its own hands in order to injure and kill a person accused of some wrongdoing. The alleged offense can range from a serious crime like theft or murder to a mere violation of local customs and sensibilities. The issue of the victim's guilt is usually secondary, since the mob serves as prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner.
Burned at the Stake: A Black Man Pays for a Town’s Outrage
In early 1893, a white reporter, writing in the New York Sun, offered a grisly account of the burning at the stake in Paris, Texas, of a black man accused of molesting a white girl.As press accounts like this make clear, to witness a lynching—or even just glimpse its aftermath—could be a searing experience for those who were the most likely victims of the lynch mob—young African-American males.
From 1889 to 1918 more than 2,400 African Americans were hanged or burned at the stake. Many lynching victims were accused of little more than making "boastful remarks," "insulting a white man" or seeking employment "out of place."
On June 15, 1920, police arrest several young black men accused of raping a white woman. That evening, three of them – Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie – are taken from jail by a mob and lynched.
Emmett Louis "Bobo" Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was an African-American boy who was murdered in Mississippi at the age of 14 after reportedly flirting with a white woman. Till was from Chicago, Illinois visiting his relatives in the Mississippi Delta region when he spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the married proprietor of a small grocery store.
From a list of lynchings known to have taken place in various Maryland counties between the 1860s and the 1930s, this project will seek to document the events as recorded in the press. When at all available, the local press will be used, moving out to the more regional presses only as fallback options. The dates listed for each lynching incident are fairly accurate (+/- 10 to 12 weeks). Most of the newspapers to be used are weeklies, so where date inaccuracy exists it should not pose a major problem.
Lynching arose from the ashes of a ruthless and costly war that pitted brother against brother and father against son. The Civil War left a trail of blood and bitterness that twisted its way through successive generations and set the stage for a frenzy of so called mob justice that killed thousands of men, women and children, most of them black.
Lynching in America: Statistics, Information, Images
Lynching, the practice of killing people by extrajudicial mob action, occurred in the United States chiefly from the late 18th century through the 1960s. Lynchings took place most frequently in the South from 1890 to the 1920s, with a peak in the annual toll in 1892.