25 June 2017

A Perplexing Proposition: Feminism & Naming Patterns in 1914

Just thought I'd share:

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
28 March 1914 – pg. 4

perplexingpropositionA Perplexing Proposition

Mrs. George Middleton insists that she be known as Miss Fola LaFollette on the ground that every woman, whether married or single, should be called "Miss" just as every man is called "Mr." She objects to the public branding of married women as "Mrs." and contends that their right to retain their maiden names inherent.

Passing over the more serious features of this proposition, including the choice of a surname for the children and questions of legal inheritance, we come to the interesting inquiry as to whether this "progressive" lady has paused to reflect that there is really no such thing as a maiden surname.  Is it less of a humiliation to hear her father's surname than her husband's? Even if she took her mother's so-called "maiden" surname, she would really take it from her grandfather on her mother's side, for all the surnames have come down from the first males who were granted or assumed them.  The only "maiden" names in the true sense are found among those we call Christian of given names.

So it would appear that, in order to be quite consistent and fully independent, Mrs. George Middleton would need to print "Miss Fola" only on her visiting cards as long as present customs survive.


22 March 2017

Wedding Leads to Use of Rifle by John Daniel

I've written in this space about several duels that took place in Georgia's history.  While I wouldn't consider this one "traditional," the headline caught my eye…

viennanewsVienna News (Georgia)
9 September 1910, pg. 1

BABY IS KILLED IN BLOODY DUEL

Tragedy in Troup County --- Wedding Leads to Use of Rifle By John Daniel.

Hogansville, Ga., Sept. 7. – Reports have reached here to the effect that in a duel yesterday between John Daniel and Doc. Bell both well known Troup county planters, Bell's 2-year-old daughter was shot and killed by a bullet from Daniel's Winchester.

It is stated that John Daniel was searching for Hoye Bell, brother of Doc, who Sunday married Miss Cora Daniel, niece of John Daniel.  The duelists engaged in a quarrel when John Daniel asked Doc. Bell as to the bridegroom's whereabouts.

It is reported that Daniel was wounded and disappeared.  The bridal couple, it is said, have so far eluded the irate uncle.

More "dueling" items on this blog:

20 February 2017

Timeline of Events Leading to the Lynching of Tom Allen

Before he even had a trial.

According to MonroeWorkToday, the lynching of Thomas "Tom" Allen is referenced in A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings, 1882-1930 and Fitzhugh Brundage's Lynching in the New South: Georgia and Virginia, 1880-1930.

Here is a timeline of events, based on Georgia newspaper articles, from arrest to conclusion, of the lynching of Tom Allen in Walton County, Georgia.  Beginning with an overview of the alleged assault from the 14 April 1911 edition of the Macon Telegraph.

FIENDISH ASSAULT IN WALTON COUNTY

Unconscious Woman Is Found Half Buried in Mud of Pasture.

POSSES HUNTING NEGRO

Beleef [sic] Is That He Has Already Been Arrested and Spirited Away.

MONROE, Ga., April 13. – Posses tonight are scouring Walton County for the negro who committed a criminal assault on Mrs. Leila McKnight at her home ten miles from Monroe late yesterday afternoon.  Two suspicious characters were arrested today, but it is believed the guilty negro has not been captured.

Mrs. McKnight had gone to a nearby pasture for a cow.  When she failed to return near nightfall her mother went in search of her.  Mrs. McKnight was found lying unconscious in mud, the earth showing she had been dragged a considerable distance.  She had been struck on the head from behind and there were indications that the woman had put up a desperate fight before being overcome.

Sheriff Stark was immediately notified and went to the scene with bloodhounds, but because of the wet condition of the ground the dogs failed to take the scent.  Tracks, however, led to the home of a negro named Tom Allen, and it is believed by many that he has been arrested and will be spirited away to Athens or Atlanta.  Officers in charge of the case, however, state that Allen still is at liberty.

Mrs. McKnight, the victim, is in a critical condition tonight, but had recovered sufficiently to make a statement.  She declared the negro, Allen, was the first to assault her, and that he was followed by another whom she did not know, but would be able to identify.

A mob of several hundred citizens surrounded the jail here tonight in the expectation that Allen would be brought here.  Early in the evening a committee from the mob was permitted to search the jail and found no trace of the prisoner.  Excitement is intense and if the negroes are captured a double lynching is almost certain.

As far as I can tell, no other individual was apprehended in the case.  After his arrest, Tom Allen was immediately transported about fifty miles to Atlanta in Fulton County, for his own protection:

Macon Telegraph
15 April 1911, pg. 6 [Viewable online in its entirety at GenealogyBank.]

TOM ALLEN LODGED IN THE ATLANTA JAIL

ATLANTA, Ga., April 14. – Tom Allen, the Monroe, Ga., negro, accused of attacking Mrs. Leila Knight, near Monroe last night, was brought to Atlanta today by members of the sheriff's posse and lodged in the tower to prevent mob violence.  He will be held here until the time for his trial…

Tom Allen's trial was scheduled for May 26th.

Macon Telegraph
21 May 1911, pg. 9

ALLEN TRIAL FRIDAY.
MONROE, Ga., May 20. – The trial of Tom Allen, a negro charged with criminal assault, has been set for Friday of next week.  It is not believed there will be any interference with the course of justice.

The trial was postponed, however, because the victim was unwell.  Following from 27 May 1911 edition of Augusta Chronicle.  Notice the militia was involved in transporting the prisoner.

TOM ALLEN CASE POSTPONED.

Monroe, Ga., May 26. – Because of the ill health of Mrs. Leila Knight, the trial of Tom Allen, the negro charged with criminal assault, which was scheduled for today was postponed until Mrs. Knight could appear.  Allen and his father, accompanied by the four companies of militia from Atlanta, returned this afternoon to Atlanta, where the negro will be held for safe-keeping.

An article published the day before in the Columbus Daily Enquirer states "an appeal to the governor was made" by "authorities at Monroe" for a military escort due to "numerous threats of violence…" The same article described the scope of military support provided.

MILITARY ESCORT FOR THIS NEGRO

FOUR COMPANIES GEORGIA MILITIA

Atlanta, Ga., May 25. – For the first time since the administration of Governor Allen D. Candler, four companies of the national guard of Georgia, have been ordered to escort a prisoner to trial, remain on guard at the court house, and bring the prisoner back to the county jail of Fulton.

…Including the fourth company from Athens, the total command…will number approximately 200 men…

After the postponement, trial was re-set for June 27th.

Just days before Tom Allen was supposed to have his case heard in Monroe, it became clear the judge was not going to request military support from the governor.  So the defendant's lawyer asked for a change of venue, claiming "the people in Walton county are arming themselves to kill the negro…"

Augusta Chronicle
24 June 1911, pg. 3 [Viewable online in its entirety at GenealogyBank.]

A CHANGE OF VENUE ASKED BY TOM ALLEN

Special to The Chronicle.
Athens, Ga., June 23. – In answer to a petition received by Judge Brand and signed by the cross mark of Tom Allen, charged with assault on Miss Leila Knight, in Walton county, Judge Brand tonight issued the following order:

…[T]he judge is compelled to decline to take jurisdiction of this petition and act thereon…

In other words, request denied.

Via GenealogyBank

As the second trial date loomed, lawyers and court officials still feared bloodshed if Tom Allen was returned to Monroe without military escort.  Article after article reported such.  According to Georgia (1911) law, it's not up to the governor to make the call about whether to provide military support.  County officials must request it if they feel it's needed.  The 25 June 1911 edition of the Macon Telegraph quoted the Georgia code:

"Whenever any judge of the superior court, or a city court, county court, county sheriff, mayor of any incorporated city, town, or village, in this state, whose authority shall rank in the order named, shall have reasonable cause to apprehend the outbreak of any riot, rout, tumult, insurrection, mob, unlawful assembly, or combination to oppose the enforcement of the law by intimidation, force, or violence within the jurisdiction of which such officer is by law a conservator of the peace, which cannot be speedily suppressed or effectually prevented by the ordinary posse comitatus and peace officers, it shall forthwith become the duty of the judge, sheriff or mayor to report the facts and the circumstances to the governor and to request him to order out such portion of the militia of the state as many be necessary to preserve the peace; etc., etc., etc."

The judge in the case was notified of the situation, and according to the same article, he "declared that there exists no necessity for the presence of the military…"

Account of lynching from 28 June 1911 edition of Columbus Daily Enquirer (viewable in its entirety online at GenealogyBank):

TWO NEGROES LYNCHED IN WALTON COUNTY

Judge and Sheriff Failed to Call on Governor Brown for Troops.

GENERALLY FEARED WOULD BE LYNCHED

Unless Troops Were Sent to Guard Tom Allen to Monroe – Taken Off Train at Social Circle – Jail Was Stormed Later.

Monroe, Ga., June 27. – Two negroes were lynched in Walton county today as the result of the fury of crowds of Walton citizens, who sought to avenge the criminal assaulting of a prominent white woman in this county some time ago.  Tom Allen, who was directly charged with having committed the assault, was hanged three miles out from Social Circle early this morning soon after the midnight train brought him from Atlanta on his way to Monroe for trial.

Twelve hours later a crowd stormed the Walton county jail at Monroe and secured a negro named Joe Watts, who was charged with having acted suspiciously about the home of Mr. Bud Haw, a prominent citizen, who lives in Blasingames district, this county.

…Tom Allen, colored, charged with having committed criminal assault in the eastern part of Walton county some time ago, and who had been for some time in Fulton county jail for safe keeping, was taken from the officers from Atlanta on the midnight train to Social Circle this morning, and carried about two miles north of the city and hanged to a telephone pole.  His body was riddled with bullets…Allen was to have been tried in Monroe today, but there was no military escorts.

…The bullets, it is said, whizzed with such velocity and force that the large plow line by which Allen was suspended, was cut in two, and the negro allowed to slide down the pole, and was then retied and re-filled with bullets.  There were some 40 people in the crowd, and those who observed them in passing along the roadway said they were the most orderly.

Allen Denies Guilt.
Allen it is said, denied his guilt to the very last and acted in absolute indifference to what was being done to him…

Matt Allen, father of Tom Allen, was not brought to Walton county, but remained in Atlanta.  It was anticipated by Sheriff Stark that, in the event Tom made it through safe he would then bring Matt…

thatwaltonlynching

Then there's the aftermath.  Who should get the blame for Tom Allen's murder?

Columbus Ledger
28 June 1911 [Viewable online in its entirety at GenealogyBank.]

Efforts Being Made to Place Responsibility for Lynching of Two Negroes

…Sheriff Stark places the entire responsibility for the lynching on the shoulders of Judge C. H. Brand, through the remarks he made to the citizens of the county when Allen was taken to Monroe the first time for trial under the escort of military force.  As reported by Atlanta newspapers, the time Judge Brand in effect, apologized for the presence of the soldiers.

…Sheriff Stark said it was against his judgement to try to take Allen back without a heavy guard, but that as Judge Brand was over him in authority, he did [not] feel called upon to go over his head in orderingg [sic] out troops.

The governor denied culpability based on the Georgia law explained above, though he did argue he conversed with the judge about the rumors of violence.  Ultimately, the decision to have a military presence was up to the judge.  Following from same article:

Stood Ready to Aid Civil Authorities.
The official information received by me…did not authorize me to order out the military and thus seemingly to place the civil authorities in subordination to the military…  While I was ready and stood willing to aid the civil authorities, the facts as presented to me…did not authorize me, as commander-in-chief of the military forces in this state, to order out the military and send them to Walton county in charge of the prisoner when no civil official of said county, nor the judge of the superior court of that circuit had requested me to do so, but on the contrary, had written me that they would no request such action on my part.



From NY Public LibraryA simple search on Google will give you the statistics. The Tuskegee Institute kept track of lynchings in America from 1882 - 1968. There were 581 in Mississippi, 531 in Georgia, 493 in Texas, 391 in Louisiana, 347 in Alabama, and so on. Total from all states: 4,743. That's more than one lynching and victim a week.

I feel a little like I should try to explain why I would give the horrible acts – those committed by the criminal, as well as those committed on the criminal – voice on this blog. There are no (at least to my knowledge) statistics showing the accuracy of the lynchers. How many times was an innocent person hung, riddled with bullets, and mutilated in the name of "justice?" I mean, we probably agree there are innocent people sitting in jail right now – with supposed checks and balances in place. Imagine when there were none. Shouldn't those innocent people be remembered?

Now, make no mistake, sometimes the lynching party "punished" the right person. As in, sometimes the true perpetrator was indeed apprehended – and then disposed of, often in a barbaric fashion. Even if you take the literal "eye for an eye" death penalty approach, I would not be surprised if that would have been an applicable punishment in only an infinitesimal number of cases. People were lynched for stealing, people were lynched for "insubordination," people were lynched for literally being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And let us not be cowards and leave out the racism debacle that lingers to this day. So another reason for giving voice to these past atrocities is in the same vein of "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

As a family historian, I am saddened to think (1) these revolting deeds took place, and (2) while statistics are easy to find, the names and stories of the individual victims are much harder to locate. A list of lynching victims will unfortunately never be complete. I hope that in a small way, posts such as these will serve as a memorial to those who were victims of Judge Lynch and his frightful law.

18 February 2017

White Man and 8 Negroes Lynched by Watkinsville, Georgia Mob (1905)

According to MonroeWorkToday, the lynching of Sandy Price (one of the men from article below) is referenced in A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings, 1882-1930.  The "Carnival of Death" was also noted in Fitzhugh Brundage's Lynching in the New South: Georgia and Virginia, 1880-1930.

As the Augusta Chronicle (Georgia) tells it:

30 June 1905, pg. 1 [Viewable in its entirety online at GenealogyBank.]

Accumulation Of Crimes In Oconee Results In Carnival Of Death.

ALL JAIL PRISONERS RIDDLED WITH BULLETS

Less Than Hundred Men Participated – The White Man Begged Piteously For His Life – One Escaped With Serious Injury – Atempted [sic] Rape Precipitated Crisis.

Watkinsville, Ga., June 29. – (Special.) – This morning at 2 o'clock a mob entered the jail at Watkinsville and took therefrom nine prisoners, eight of whom were shot to death and the ninth escaped by being thought dead by the mob.  The prisoners taken out and lynched were Lon J. Aycock, white, charged with the murder of F. M. Holbrook, and wife, of Oconee county, and seven negroes, Rich Robinson, Lewis Robinson, Claud Elder, charged with the murder of the Holbrook couple; Sandy Price, a young negro, charged with attempted rape upon the person of Mrs. Weldon Dooley; Rich Allen, a negro convicted and under sentence of death for the murder of Will Robertson, another negro; Gene Yerby, another negro charged with the burglary of a rifle from Mr. Marshall and Bob Harris, a negro, charged with shooting another negro.

The mob came quietly upon Watkinsville a little before 2 a.m.  There were about fifty to seventy-five men in the crowd.  All were heavily masked and no one knows whence they came or to what point they returned.  They went at once to the house of Town Marshal L. H. Aiken and quietly called him to the door.

As he put his head out of the door, he was seized and told that he must deliver the jail keys.  He refused and the men put pistols in his face and overpowered him, he being a rather small man…The mob next seized Courtney Elder, a blacksmith, and made him bring his tools along with him…

Cool, Sober, Determined.
[A man they met on the way to the jail] begged the men to desist and let the law take its course, especially pleading for Aycock, on the ground that the evidence had not been secured to warrant his conviction.  He also begged them not to lynch those not charged with capital crimes.  They told him that they were cool, sober and determined and that he might as well go back home and go to bed.  The jail was then opened by the town marshal under the cover of several pistols and inside the jail the mob held up Jailer Crow and demanded the keys to the cells.  He refused at first, but surrendered them after being menaced with guns.  [Mr. Crow begged the same as the first man, but] Members of the attacking party told him to shut his mouth.  They knew what to do, they said, and they were going to clear out the whole jail.

One Prisoner Escaped.
The mob got every prisoner in the jail [except one who was not noticed].  The prisoners were carried to a point some one hundred yards from the jail and tied to three fence posts by their necks.  Aycock protested his innocence until the last…  While the general belief in Oconee county is that Aycock was not guilty, still there were many who did not believe so…

After the prisoners had been tied to the fence posts the mob lined up and fired five volleys into their bodies.  All died without a struggle with the exception of Joe Patterson, a negro, who was charged with pointing a gun at Albert Ward.  Patterson was shot several times in the body but was alive after the mob left and will recover.

Aycock's body was fairly riddled with shot, a great hole was torn through his right breast.

The mob left quietly after doing its work.  It is believed that the men were from neighboring counties, as the report was brought to Watkinsville yesterday afternoon by A. N. Bostwick of Morgan county, that a mob would likely attack the jail last night…[T]he purpose of the mob was accomplished so quietly that the sheriff, who lives a mile from the jail, knew nothing of the occurrence until this morning and the residents of Watkinsville were taken completely by surprise.

The people of Oconee county are horrified at the occurrence…

The impelling cause of the lynching without a doubt was the attempted rape by Sandy Price, which excited the people all over this section.

Gov. Terrell Will Investigate.
Atlanta, Ga., June 29. – In an interview tonight with a correspondent of the Associated Press, Gov. Jos. M. Terrell said that he deplored "the horrible affair at Watkinsville."

Governor Terrell stated further that he was making a rigid investigation of the affair, and that he intended to do everything in his power to bring the guilty persons to justice…



From NY Public LibraryA simple search on Google will give you the statistics. The Tuskegee Institute kept track of lynchings in America from 1882 - 1968. There were 581 in Mississippi, 531 in Georgia, 493 in Texas, 391 in Louisiana, 347 in Alabama, and so on. Total from all states: 4,743. That's more than one lynching and victim a week.

I feel a little like I should try to explain why I would give the horrible acts – those committed by the criminal, as well as those committed on the criminal – voice on this blog. There are no (at least to my knowledge) statistics showing the accuracy of the lynchers. How many times was an innocent person hung, riddled with bullets, and mutilated in the name of "justice?" I mean, we probably agree there are innocent people sitting in jail right now – with supposed checks and balances in place. Imagine when there were none. Shouldn't those innocent people be remembered?

Now, make no mistake, sometimes the lynching party "punished" the right person. As in, sometimes the true perpetrator was indeed apprehended – and then disposed of, often in a barbaric fashion. Even if you take the literal "eye for an eye" death penalty approach, I would not be surprised if that would have been an applicable punishment in only an infinitesimal number of cases. People were lynched for stealing, people were lynched for "insubordination," people were lynched for literally being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And let us not be cowards and leave out the racism debacle that lingers to this day. So another reason for giving voice to these past atrocities is in the same vein of "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

As a family historian, I am saddened to think (1) these revolting deeds took place, and (2) while statistics are easy to find, the names and stories of the individual victims are much harder to locate. A list of lynching victims will unfortunately never be complete. I hope that in a small way, posts such as these will serve as a memorial to those who were victims of Judge Lynch and his frightful law.

17 February 2017

Charlotte Harris Lynched, Yet Innocent

I haven't come across many articles such as this one.  A concession that a woman lynched – hung without due process – was, in fact, innocent.

Marietta Journal (Georgia)
26 April 1878, pg. 1 [Viewable online at GenealogyBank]

LYNCH - LAW.

Along with the news of the lynching of three men – two negroes and one white – at Huntsville, Ala., for the murder of a white man, comes the story from the Valley of Virginia that the innocence of a colored woman, Charlotte Harris, who was hung there some weeks ago, has been fully established.  This woman was hung by a mob for the offence of burning a barn, and of course the evidence must have been satisfactory to the minds of the parties engaged in the horrible work, or they would not have ventured upon a measure so extreme, and one subjecting themselves in any aspect of the case to a prosecution for murder.

That a mob has no right to punish an evil-doer in any way will not be denied, and the only plea that any one can put up in defense of Lynch law is the probability, or the the [sic] possibility, of the escape of evil-doers either through a weak prosecution or in some other way.  Now, when we look this plea fairly in the face, we see that it wants one of the first elements of truth – that is, candor.  The very men who engage in this unlawful way of pretending to mete out justice are the parties to whom the law looks for assistance and help.  They help to make the lists of jurors, officers and witnesses, who are relied on for a proper execution of the law, and in thus confessing the weakness and uncertainty of the law, they but confess their own weakness.  A good strong dose of the law against such conduct, administered to those guilty, will prove beneficial to society, and will make all those who witness its infliction willing to let the law take its course, and willing also to lend their assistance to a proper enforcement of the law. – Rome Courier.

An article published almost a week earlier in another Georgia newspaper provided more details of the criminal acts:

Augusta Chronicle
20 April 1878, pg. 1 [Viewable online at GenealogyBank]

LYNCHED, YET INNOCENT.

A Woman's Life Taken by a Virginia Mob, Who Now is Proved Guiltless.

RICHMOND, VA., April 16. – The barbarous lynching of an unfortunate colored woman named Charlotte Harris, who was accused of being the instigator of a barn burning, had a fitting sequel today in the acquittal of the boy Jim Ergenbright, who was imprisoned at the time for setting fire to the barn.  The poor woman was pursued, captured, brought before a magistrate and committed for trial.  That night a party of ruffians, with blackened faces, rushed into the room in which the woman was confined, took her from the guard, and after dragging her about a mile hung her in a most horrible manner to a black jack sappling [sic].  Her body remained suspended from this tree from the 6th of March until noon on the 9th, when it was finally cut down and interred.  The Governor issued a proclamation for the arrest of the murderers, but owing to the existing secrecy maintained by the lynchers and public sympathy for them none of them have been arrested.  It is now fully established in the acquittal of the boy Jim Ergenbright, who was accused of burning the barn and of being instigated by Charlotte Harris, that the woman was equally guiltless.



From NY Public LibraryA simple search on Google will give you the statistics. The Tuskegee Institute kept track of lynchings in America from 1882 - 1968. There were 581 in Mississippi, 531 in Georgia, 493 in Texas, 391 in Louisiana, 347 in Alabama, and so on. Total from all states: 4,743. That's more than one lynching and victim a week.

I feel a little like I should try to explain why I would give the horrible acts – those committed by the criminal, as well as those committed on the criminal – voice on this blog. There are no (at least to my knowledge) statistics showing the accuracy of the lynchers. How many times was an innocent person hung, riddled with bullets, and mutilated in the name of "justice?" I mean, we probably agree there are innocent people sitting in jail right now – with supposed checks and balances in place. Imagine when there were none. Shouldn't those innocent people be remembered?

Now, make no mistake, sometimes the lynching party "punished" the right person. As in, sometimes the true perpetrator was indeed apprehended – and then disposed of, often in a barbaric fashion. Even if you take the literal "eye for an eye" death penalty approach, I would not be surprised if that would have been an applicable punishment in only an infinitesimal number of cases. People were lynched for stealing, people were lynched for "insubordination," people were lynched for literally being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And let us not be cowards and leave out the racism debacle that lingers to this day. So another reason for giving voice to these past atrocities is in the same vein of "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

As a family historian, I am saddened to think (1) these revolting deeds took place, and (2) while statistics are easy to find, the names and stories of the individual victims are much harder to locate. A list of lynching victims will unfortunately never be complete. I hope that in a small way, posts such as these will serve as a memorial to those who were victims of Judge Lynch and his frightful law.

16 February 2017

Charley Anderson Lynched for Murder of Marshal

According to MonroeWorkToday, the lynching of Charley Anderson is referenced in A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings, 1882-1930.  The article immediately below, from a Florida newspaper, gives the particulars.  Following that, a somewhat surprising opinion of dissent from a Georgia newspaper.

Tampa Tribune (Florida)
27 September 1909, pg. 1 [Viewable online at GenealogyBank]

NEGRO IS LYNCHED FOR MURDER OF MARSHAL

LYNCHING TAKES PLACE ALMOST AT THE SPOT WHERE NEGRO SHOOTS OFFICER AND IN FRONT OF SHOESHOP

FIGHTS WHEN ARRESTED

MEETS WHITE OFFICER AT DOOR WITH A PISTOL

Body Riddled With Bullets and Allowed to Hang From Tree Limb for Some Time Before Moved

(By Associated Press)
LIVE OAK, Fla., Sept. 26. – Swinging from a limb in front of his shoeshop [sic] in Perry, Taylor county, the dead body of Charley Anderson, a negro, was found early this morning, a mob having imposed the death penalty as required for the bullet the negro sent into the heart of Marshal Hawkins, of Perry, last night.

The place of the lynching was almost at the spot where Marshal Hawkins was slain, the officer having been in the act of placing the negro under arrest when he met his death.

Anderson was wanted for a minor offense and was in his shoe shop when the officer went to arrest him.  Hawkins was at the door of the shop when the negro appeared armed with a pistol and before the officer could defend himself, Anderson shot him to death.  Anderson was caught several hours later and at 2 o'clock was in the hands of a mob which made quick work of him.

Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)
28 September 1909, pg. 6 [Viewable online at GenealogyBank]

THE LYNCHING IN FLORIDA.
To shoot down an officer of the law in the discharge of his duty, and for attempting to make an arrest, is a terrible crime.  Certainly, in such cases, the law must be strong enough to mete out the severest penalty, quickly and positively.  The most thorough protection and support are to be given the men who are employed in the name of the law to enforce the machinery of the law.

The man who kills a law officer because he is a law officer commits a double crime.  That his punishment for such an act shall be swift and sure and the severest possible is the unanimous demand.  In fact, there are those that hold that the responsibility of the state does not end with the punishment of the criminal in such cases, but that this responsibility should further extend to the caretaking of those dependent on the victims of such outrages against the law.

When the negro Charley Anderson shot and killed Marshal Hawkins, at Perry, Fla., the murderer deserved to be put to death for his act.  Whether there was real of fancied cause for the attempted arrest of the negro by the marshal is not to be taken into consideration.  That is of no consequence.  When the marshal sought the men in the name of the law, the authority of the law represented in the officer demanded respect and obedience.  But the negro, who was wanted to answer for petty infraction, instead of giving obedience, shot down the marshal [and] opened fire on the law.  For his act he deserved death.

But not at the hands of a mob.  Where the law is not strong enough to assert itself, where its enforcement must be turned over to a crowd of enraged citizens, there is not much law.  Nor will there be respect there for the law.  The men who lynched this Florida negro committed an awful crime, but against their community, their neighbors and themselves.  They outraged the law.  They set it up that they and their people have no respect for law and are incompetent to make and enforce law.  They insulted the law as did the culprit whose life they exacted, though of course in a different manner.  They made invitation that the machinery of the law be disregarded.

Lynch law is never right in a government like ours.  There was no excuse for it in the Florida case.  The people there are not ready to say that they wish to conduct their affairs by mobs and crowds.

The negro murderer merited death, but at the hands of law and not at the hands of a gathering of law breakers.



From NY Public LibraryA simple search on Google will give you the statistics. The Tuskegee Institute kept track of lynchings in America from 1882 - 1968. There were 581 in Mississippi, 531 in Georgia, 493 in Texas, 391 in Louisiana, 347 in Alabama, and so on. Total from all states: 4,743. That's more than one lynching and victim a week.

I feel a little like I should try to explain why I would give the horrible acts – those committed by the criminal, as well as those committed on the criminal – voice on this blog. There are no (at least to my knowledge) statistics showing the accuracy of the lynchers. How many times was an innocent person hung, riddled with bullets, and mutilated in the name of "justice?" I mean, we probably agree there are innocent people sitting in jail right now – with supposed checks and balances in place. Imagine when there were none. Shouldn't those innocent people be remembered?

Now, make no mistake, sometimes the lynching party "punished" the right person. As in, sometimes the true perpetrator was indeed apprehended – and then disposed of, often in a barbaric fashion. Even if you take the literal "eye for an eye" death penalty approach, I would not be surprised if that would have been an applicable punishment in only an infinitesimal number of cases. People were lynched for stealing, people were lynched for "insubordination," people were lynched for literally being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And let us not be cowards and leave out the racism debacle that lingers to this day. So another reason for giving voice to these past atrocities is in the same vein of "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

As a family historian, I am saddened to think (1) these revolting deeds took place, and (2) while statistics are easy to find, the names and stories of the individual victims are much harder to locate. A list of lynching victims will unfortunately never be complete. I hope that in a small way, posts such as these will serve as a memorial to those who were victims of Judge Lynch and his frightful law.

15 February 2017

Murder of Dr. Bozeman, and Lynching of the Slave Perpetrators

Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)
Tuesday, 29 October 1861 - pg. 1 [Viewable online at GenealogyBank]
ANOTHER MURDER. -- The Atlanta Confederacy has the following:

CHUNNENUGGEE, ALA., Oct. 24, 1861. -- Dr. R. L. G. Bozeman who lived near this place, was cruelly murdered on Tuesday last, by two of his own negroes. The two negres [sic] had run away about a week previous, and on their return, the Dr. took them -- his overseer being absent -- to the black smith shop to correct them. While addressing one with his back to the other, he was struck on the back of the head, either with a sledge hammer or other piece of iron, fracturing the occipital bone. The boy who killed him has escaped. The one at home charges the killing upon the fugitive. We learn these negroes were given to Dr. Bozeman by his aunt, living near Milledgeville, Georgia.

Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)
Saturday, 2 November 1861 - pg. 1 [Viewable online at GenealogyBank]

Dr. R. L. G. Bozeman, of Chunnenuggee, Alabama, was recently killed by a refractory negro. The Doctor was formerly from Baldwin county.

Southern Recorder (Milledgeville, Georgia)
26 November 1861 - pg. 4 [Viewable online at Georgia Historic Newspapers; notice originally ran around 25th October, before lynching]

STOP THE MURDERER!
$100 REWARD!

THE ABOVE REWARD will be paid for the apprehension of the boy DOLPHUS, called Dol, who brutally murdered his master, Dr. R. L. G. BOZEMAN, on the 22d instant.

Said boy is of a copper color, about 24 years of age -- has a high, narrow, receding forehead and long Roman nose -- is about five feet eight or nine inches high -- heavy muscle, and weighs about one hundred and seventy to 75 pounds. He was raised near Milledgeville, Ga., and may attempt to return to that place; but the boy who was accessory, states that a white man promised them a pass to a Free Country.

Lodge in jail or deliver to the subscriber, J. R. HERRIN.
Chunnenugee, Ala., Oct. 25th, 1861.

Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)
Tuesday, 12 November 1861 - pg. 3 [Viewable online at GenealogyBank]

LYNCHING OF SLAVES AT CHUNNENUGGEE. -- The three slaves, Willis, Adolphus and Bill, concerned in the recent murder of Dr. R. L. G. Bozeman, of Chunnenuggee, Alabama, were lynched on Friday, the 8th inst., by the hanging of Bill and the burning of Willis and Adolphus. We have received a statement of the proceedings by a citizen of Chunnenuggee, which will appear in our Monday's issue. Meantime the author desires a suspension of public opinion respecting the affair. -- Columbus Sun.


From NY Public LibraryA simple search on Google will give you the statistics. The Tuskegee Institute kept track of lynchings in America from 1882 - 1968. There were 581 in Mississippi, 531 in Georgia, 493 in Texas, 391 in Louisiana, 347 in Alabama, and so on. Total from all states: 4,743. That's more than one lynching and victim a week.

I feel a little like I should try to explain why I would give the horrible acts – those committed by the criminal, as well as those committed on the criminal – voice on this blog. There are no (at least to my knowledge) statistics showing the accuracy of the lynchers. How many times was an innocent person hung, riddled with bullets, and mutilated in the name of "justice?" I mean, we probably agree there are innocent people sitting in jail right now – with supposed checks and balances in place. Imagine when there were none. Shouldn't those innocent people be remembered?

Now, make no mistake, sometimes the lynching party "punished" the right person. As in, sometimes the true perpetrator was indeed apprehended – and then disposed of, often in a barbaric fashion. Even if you take the literal "eye for an eye" death penalty approach, I would not be surprised if that would have been an applicable punishment in only an infinitesimal number of cases. People were lynched for stealing, people were lynched for "insubordination," people were lynched for literally being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And let us not be cowards and leave out the racism debacle that lingers to this day. So another reason for giving voice to these past atrocities is in the same vein of "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

As a family historian, I am saddened to think (1) these revolting deeds took place, and (2) while statistics are easy to find, the names and stories of the individual victims are much harder to locate. A list of lynching victims will unfortunately never be complete. I hope that in a small way, posts such as these will serve as a memorial to those who were victims of Judge Lynch and his frightful law.

12 February 2017

Fain Family of Fannin County on Both Sides of the Civil War

To be fair and inclusive, the Fain family of which I am discussing is also rooted in Gilmer County, Georgia and the state of North Carolina.  Preliminary research also suggests a good number went West, but that's for another time.

I've only just begun researching the area including and surrounding Fannin County, Georgia.  In this very early stage of studying – to be honest and clear, and maybe show you how easy it is to begin – all I've really done is pay attention to historical markers, street names, cemeteries, and the like.  In doing so, I'm seeing overlaps of family names and such.  This simple observation has pointed me, for one example, in the direction of the Fain family.

100_7627In Blue Ridge (Fannin County), near a magnolia tree in the downtown city park, is a historical marker placed for the 150 year commemoration of the Civil War.  The subject is William Clayton Fain: Georgia Unionist.  The text reads as follows:

One of the leading Unionists in the state during the Civil War, William Clayton Fain was born in Georgia in 1825.  A Fannin County lawyer and state representative, he served in the 1861 Secession Convention, where he opposed Georgia leaving the United States and refused to sign the Ordinance of Secession.  During the Civil War, Fain was an outspoken supporter of the United States and an anti-Confederate leader among the sizeable number of Unionists in Fannin and adjoining counties.  In 1864, the U.S. Army authorized him to raise recruits, which he conducted into Federal lines.  Fain was captured and killed by Confederates near Ducktown, Tennessee, on April 6, 1864.  He was one of many Southerners who opposed the Confederacy, including 400,000 – primarily from the Upper South – who enlisted in the U.S. armed forces.

William Clayton Fain was a son of John Fain (b. abt 1797), who was a son of pioneer and patriot Ebenezer Fain (1762-1842).

The Other Side

Last June, on opening day of farmers market season, I visited the old Blairsville Cemetery in adjoining Union County, Georgia.  Though I wasn't looking for a Fain connection, I found one.

100_7770

JANE ADELINE FAIN
Beloved Wife Of Col.
JOHN S. FAIN
BORN FEB. 15, 1833
DIED SEPT. 13, 1861
A dear and loving mother gone to rest.

Jane, daughter of March and Sarah Addington, was a wife of Colonel John Simpson Fain.  Col. Fain was born in the Spring of 1818, a son of David and Rebecca Moore Fain.  David (b. 1782) was a brother of William Clayton Fain's father and another son of Ebenezer.

John Simpson Fain was a military man who served in three wars, including the Civil War.  According to an entry by Jeanette Fain Cornelius in the United Daughters of the Confederacy Patriot Ancestor Album (1999, Turner Publishing Co. Paducah, Ky), "In the Civil War he [Col. Fain] organized a company of North GA mountain men in February 1861 and served as captain of Co. G, 1st Regt. GA Regulars.  On May 21, 1862 he was elected lieutenant colonel of 65th GA Inf…" Short of a year later, he was promoted to the rank of colonel.  He served until June of 1863, when he tendered his resignation due to a medical condition.

The common ancestor of William Clayton Fain and John Simpson Fain is their grandfather, Ebenezer Fain.  As I mentioned before, Ebenezer was a pioneer and a patriot.  He was a pioneer of Southern Appalachia from a young age and throughout his full life.  Though born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, when Ebenezer was a young boy, the Fain family moved to southwest Virginia.  Before he was 16, the family moved down into what was then North Carolina.  About 1783, the then married Ebenezer Fain continued the moving tradition of his father by relocating to South Carolina.  Twenty years later, Ebenezer and family returned to what would eventually become Buncombe County, North Carolina.  Finally, about 1819, Ebenezer Fain and family were in north Georgia.  Each move advanced the family to more sparsely populated areas within the Southern Appalachia region.

Prior to his marriage and "settling down" with a family of his own in 1781, Ebenezer served his country in the American Revolution.  He enlisted on five distinct occasions.  One of those included service at the famous Battle of King's Mountain.

Travis H. McDaniel, a descendant of Ebenezer Fain, has written much about his family.  And some of that writing has appeared in the Georgia Backroads magazine.  One such article, "A Man in the True Sense of the Word: Southern Appalachian Pioneer Ebenezer Fain," was published in the Summer 2013 edition.  The following is from that article:

Just a few months later Ebenezer, his father, and several brothers enlisted in the militia at the request of Colonel John Sevier, who would later become Tennessee's first governor.  Sevier's militia, referred to as the Overmountain Men because they came from settlements west of the main crest of the Appalachian Mountains, played a key role in the Battle of King's Mountain, North Carolina, in 1780…This was a turning point in the southern operations during the Revolution.

Ebenezer Fain remained in Georgia until his death in 1842, spending some of his old age in the Hot House area of Fannin County.  Apropos to this posting, is a statement on the passing of Ebenezer attributed to his grandson, John Simpson Fain (also from Mr. McDaniel's article referenced above):

"I was a sort of a favorite child of my grandfather, and he principally raised and educated me, and I learned to love him when quite a child and I can never forget him.  My grandfather was a man in the true sense of the word, physically and mentally and morally.  His death was calm, and without a struggle…"

Ebenezer Fain and his descendants have left a lasting legacy in the mountains of north Georgia.

[Note:  Travis H. McDaniel wrote another article about his Fain family that may be viewed online >>> Clayton Fain's Last RideIn that writing, Mr. McDaniel delves deeper into the death of William Clayton Fain at the hands of the Confederacy.] 


19 January 2017

Arsenic Used (an Attempt at Hoodoo?)

Mississippi Hoodoo-DoctorWhile conducting some other historical research, I came across the following newspaper article.  As someone with an interest in "folk medicine" and herbalism, I found the item interesting.  While I claim no expertise on the subject of Hoodoo, that is indeed what the article reminded me of.

Using the definition provided at ConjureDoctor.com, Hoodoo is

Southern folk magic grounded in centuries of African American heritage within the southern United States. Hoodoo is often known by other names including: conjure, rootwork, root doctoring, laying tricks, working roots or doing the "work". It is important to note, that contrary to what some authors may write in their books, Hoodoo is NOT Voodoo (Vodou). Hoodoo blends together the magical technology of Congo slaves that were taken from Africa in the slave trade, combined with Native American herbal knowledge, bits of European folk magic and Jewish mysticism.

Here's the article.  I'd love for anyone who has studied this more than I to weigh in on the subject.  Am I correct in drawing a correlation to Hoodoo?

Houston Home Journal (Perry, Georgia)
29 November 1888 – pg. 3 [Viewable online at South Georgia Historic Newspapers.]

Arsenic Used.

On Tuesday of last week Mr. Charlie Dasher and a Mr. Hicks were poisoned by drinking coffee at the home of Mr. S. F. Dasher, at Myrtle.

Immediately after drinking the coffee, the gentlemen named became deathly sick.  As soon as possible medical attention was secured, and it was ascertained that they had swallowed arsenic.  Further investigation revealed the fact that the arsenic was in the coffee they drank, no other person at the table having taken coffee: no one else became sick.

Suspicion was directed to Kate Allen, a negro woman, whom Mr. S. F. Dasher had threatened to whip for raising a disturbance on his premises.  Evidently Mr. S. F. Dasher was the person saught [sic] to be injured.

On Friday Kate Allen, and her cousin Henrietta Allen, were arrest[e]d and placed in the jail at Perry.  They confessed that it was through them that the poison was administered, but claimed that they did not know it was poison, but thought it was only a "conjure" powder that would "down the fuss."

Henrietta Allen placed the poison in the coffee while she was in Mr. Dasher's kitchen visiting the cook, a sister of Kate Allen, who gave it to her.

Kate Allen declares that she received the powder from "Dr." Ransom, a negro man, known among the negroes as an "Indian doctor." He is a travelling character, and was in Houston several years ago.  The negroes regard him with great veneration, and think his power to cure diseases and "conjure" people without limit.  He was arrested in Macon Tuesday, and county Bailiff Tuttle went up after him yesterday.  This so-called doctor is believed to be only the paid agent [of] another negro who treasures a "grudge" against Mr. S. F. Dasher.

It is almost certain that the really guilty party will be apprehended and brought to justice.  The two women were before the Houston county court yesterday, and were committed to the Supreme court for trial.

Messrs. Dasher and Hicks have about recovered from the effects of the poison.

*Image credit:  Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division, The New York Public Library. (1926). Mississippi hoodo-doctors. Retrieved from The New York Public Library Digital Collections. No known US copyright restrictions.