30 December 2017

Dynamite Put Under Negro

I failed in finding any words to add.  The backstory is Mr. Jackson was accused of killing Lem Sanders, an employer of his, one summer night in 1915 Cochran, Bleckley County, Georgia.  After the alleged killing, Jackson secured himself in his home.  When Marshal W. Sumter Hogg and Oscar Lawson came to arrest Jackson, they were "shot down" (presumably by Jackson) and killed.

Columbus Ledger (Georgia)
Thursday, 15 July 1915 - pg. 1 [via GenealogyBank]

Dynamite Put Under Negro

Black Who Killed Three Whites is Blown Up and Shot to Pieces.

------ [Following printed as an update.]
Cochran, Ga., July 15. – Two negroes, suspected in giving aid to Peter Jackson, alleged slayer of three white men near here Tuesday, were lynched last night near Hawkinsville.  A posse yesterday killed Jackson.

Cochran, Ga., July 15. – After three white men had been killed by James Jackson, a negro, in Bleckley and Pulaski counties, another negro [was ordered to] put dynamite under the house where Jackson had barricaded himself, touched off the charge and blew Jackson to that place where all bad negroes go.

…It is believed that the charge of dynamite killed the negro, but if it did not, the shots that were fired after the explosion put an end to his existence.

It's difficult to know for sure the names of the three individuals dynamited, shot, and lynched that July.  Two different forenames are even given in the article transcribed above.  Another article suggested they were James Jackson, his brother (also a Jackson), and Peter Lambo.  Peter's surname has also been recorded by other research organizations as Jambo and Fambrough.

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.

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