14 February 2019

Underwater Ghost Towns of North Georgia Book Review

Title: Underwater Ghost Towns of North Georgia
Author: Lisa M. Russell
Publication: 2018, The History Press (Charleston, SC)
Paperback edition has 208 pages.
Back of the Book: "North Georgia has more than forty lakes, and not one is natural. The state's controversial decision to dam the region's rivers for power and water supply changed the landscape forever. Lost communities, forgotten crossroads, dissolving racetracks and even entire towns disappeared, with remnants occasionally peeking up from the depths during times of extreme drought...Lisa Russell dives into the history hidden beneath North Georgia's lakes."

I had no idea this book existed until I was leaving my local library one day and noticed it in the section set aside for new arrivals. The title grabbed my attention, but I think one of the lines on the back cover sold it as a must-read for me: North Georgia has more than forty lakes, and not one is natural. Well. The "not one is natural" part was news to me.

The map below is one I created with Google Maps. My one criticism of the book is the lack of something similar.


Regardless of this slight irritation, the book was very interesting. Ms. Russell profiles sixteen lakes, dividing them into three sections: The Army Corps of Engineers Lakes, The Georgia Power Lakes, and The Tennessee Valley Authority Lakes. Before and after type images are included, such as locations and buildings that were demolished, relocated, or simply drowned. A central theme throughout the book is the question of whether or not those rives dammed to create the lakes really should have been tamed. The reasons often offered were flood prevention and bringing power to more people. Was the progress (if one agrees with that term) gained worth it? The author does not attempt to answer this question for the reader, but simply asks that it be pondered.

I have not been to all the lakes located in North Georgia, nor have I been to all the lakes profiled in Ms. Russell's book. But I have been to some, and stories of those were (of course) the most captivating for me.

Allatoona Lake

Ms. Russell writes, "Allatoona has more identifiable towns underneath its waters than all the great lakes of North Georgia...Allatoona has been the subject of archeological studies that reveal a civilization that predates these forgotten towns."

We used to camp often at Red Top Mountain State Park, located on Lake Allatoona. On one occasion, we visited the Allatoona Pass Battlefield. The Star Fort, deep railroad cut, and the battlefield in general was preserved. The lands that lay beyond, however, were drowned. You can see the lake waters not far behind state memorials placed to commemorate the lives of soldiers who fought and died there.


Richard B. Russell Lake

Ms. Russell writes,
The University of Georgia conducted archeological studies on the Russell Lake area before the dam was closed in 1970. Researchers found prehistoric and pre-ceramic artifacts that proved the area had a small band of archaic hunters. Three prehistoric fish traps were located within the Savannah River channel at Cherokee Shoals and Trotters Shoals. Other items found in the lake basin included a farm, a mill site and a nineteenth-century ferry crossing.
The construction of Richard B. Russell Lake also drowned the lands on which the Revolutionary War Battle of Cherokee Ford was fought.

Battle of Cherokee Ford
11 Feb 1779

In honor of the brave militia men under Robert Anderson...who fought a
superior Tory force led by Col. Boyd at the mouth of Van(n)'s Creek and the
Savannah River. This encounter weakened Col. Boyd's Tories three days
prior to the Battle at Kettle Creek.

Lake Blue Ridge

I was aware of several Cherokee Removal Forts in North Georgia, but not this one that is now underwater. Ms. Russell writes:
During the government's takeover of Cherokee land, Native Americans were forced into one of the fourteen collection points. The collection sites were the beginning of the Trail of Tears. Under Lake Blue Ridge was one of these forts, Fort Chastain.

Lake Chatuge

Though I have no personal connection to this particular lake, the genealogist in me cannot let this post end without sharing this from Ms. Russell's book:
In the path of Chatuge, 20 cemeteries with 2,200 graves had to be moved. An unnamed engineer wrote: "After identifying all possible graves and determining the wishes of the nearest relative that could be located, it was found necessary to move 581 graves in five cemeteries..."
I shudder to think what happened to the rest.

I recommend this book. Especially if you have an interest in the rivers and environment, history, and/or people of this region.

This seems like a good time to point you to a post from five years ago >> Relocated Southern Cemeteries Index, 1787-1975 << about the Tennessee Valley Authority's Cemetery Relocation Database. One final note: All the "lake" images above are from my personal collection, and will not be found in the book.

(There are affiliate links in this post.)

30 January 2019

Defending It All: the Lynching of Dave Goosby, Part III

You have arrived at part III of The Lynching of Dave Goosby in 3 Parts -- defending the lynching. [Part I is here.] [Part II is here.]

According to MonroeWorkToday, the lynching of Dave Goosby 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. Following excerpt from the latter:
...Sensational crimes -- murder, rape, or attempted rape -- that typically incited the formation of posses were also those for which summary punishment was widely condoned by white southerners.

Because posses were, in the eyes of whites, protecting law-abiding citizens and carrying out justice, they enjoyed popular blessing. Newspapers routinely applauded the heroism of posses and raised few questions about either their legitimacy or the bloodshed they caused...
As you'll read below, members of the local Thomasville, Georgia community (in their newspaper) did a masterful job of absolving themselves of any wrongdoing with the lynching of Dave Goosby.

Firstly, the sheriff prostrated himself before his constituents and explained that he felt as they did, but still had to do his job.

Daily Times-Enterprise (Thomasville, Georgia)
21 September 1894 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]
To the Citizens of Thomas County.
About 7:30 p.m., on the 15th inst., I was informed by Mr. Jas. Jones, an upright and trustworthy citizen residing in the neighborhood of Mr. Martin Butler had been murdered, and that he had come to request me to take steps for the arrest of the murderer.

...[A] warrant, issued by Coroner B. C. Johnson, charging Dave Goosby with the murder of Susie Butler was placed in my hands, and soon after I was notified by the sheriff of Dougherty county that he would not hold the prisoner longer. I at once laid the whole matter before the judge of the superior court, who immediately handed me the order printed below, and in compliance with it, I placed Goosby in the jail at Valdosta.

I exhibited no weapon to the parties who first delivered Goosby to me, I made no threat, nor show of force, and only took out my pistol when I had reached a point 25 or 30 yards from where I had received him, this to prevent him from escaping. In all my conversation with his captors I was calm, considerate and respectful. The man was quietly and voluntarily turned over to me, as an officer sworn to execute faithfully all writs and processes delivered to me and to see to it that "no person shall be abused in being arrested, while under arrest or in prison." I received him and though a wretch whose life was "a thousand times forfeit" and though my indignant horror at his infernal crime would have prompted me as an unofficial citizen to secure for him the swift vengeance that awaits this worse than murderer, yet my duty to a prisoner delivered to my keeping and to the law which I have twice sworn to observe and obey, left me no alternative.

And now, having stifled as best I could the feeling that was uppermost for the moment, and done what I had solemnly sworn to do, I submit with confidence to the just judgement of the people I have served so long, the integrity of my motive, and the uprightness of my conduct. I am your obedient servant, R. P. Doss, Sheriff.
Less than a week later, a letter from Judge Hansell was published. He wholeheartedly endorsed the sheriff as a "faithful officer of the law." The day following the sheriff's letter to the citizens of Thomas County, the newspaper felt the need to address detractors:
To Our Critics.
It is a notable fact, that many, very many, colored people approve the lynching of Goosby.

"I believe that there are one hundred good colored men in Thomasville," said a prominent gentleman yesterday, "who would have joined a crowd to lynch Goosby."

The English committee, Ida Wells and Northen fanatics, should make a note of this.

The better element of colored people favor prompt and swift punishment of any of their race who commits the crime for which Goosby was lynched.
Rationalizing for the rest:
Judge Lynch.
This grim judge has again presided in a case in Georgia. Dave Goosby has paid the penalty of his crime -- that crime of all crimes -- with his life. The particulars of the affair appear in another column...

There is another side to the question. The crime was the most cruel, brutal and revolting in the history of such crimes. The victim was frail, delicate girl of eleven years of age, in fact almost a child. Her assailant was a powerful negro man. He was deaf to her cries for mercy. After accomplishing his purpose he cut her throat and left her for dead.

The fiend acknowledged to Sheriff Doss, and to numerous prominent citizens in Valdosta, that he committed the crime. It is any wonder that the cry for speedy, swift and sure vengeance went up? The English committee may regret the fate of Dave Goosby, but we regret the sad and untimely fate of Susie Butler, as her frail little body, torn and mangled, sleeps in an [sic] humble grave among the pines. Her fate has been avenged. The warning should not be lost.

If England, the North, the negroes, or any one else, wants to stop lynching let them stop the nameless crime, for just so sure as God reigns in heaven, will this crime always be punished, and swiftly punished, in the South. Southern manhood has sworn that Southern women shall be protected and that oath will be kept. Aye, kept to the letter, and at all hazard.
Note: I did see a single blurb about it being reported in the Atlanta newspapers the governor of the state of Georgia was offering a reward for the "arrest and conviction" of the lynchers. Nothing after that one item, though, while the lynching account was repeated over and over, across several days.

And on the "English committee" mentioned a couple of times above: I think the newspaper was referencing an overseas anti-racism organization called the Society for the Recognition of the Brotherhood of Man, founded in 1893. It was inaugurated with meetings addressed by Ida B. Wells on the lynching of blacks in America.

29 January 2019

Swung Up: the Lynching of Dave Goosby, Part II

You have arrived at part II of The Lynching of Dave Goosby in 3 Parts. [Part I is here.]

We left off yesterday with the local Thomasville, Georgia newspaper touting the "universally approved" decision by a judge to get the accused rapist and murderer, Dave Goosby, into court the first Monday of October 1894. (This would have been just a few weeks after victim Susie Butler's death.) In fact, the final sentence from the author of this blurb was the following:
If justice was meted out to this class of criminals more swiftly there would be less lynchings.
And one more thing before diving into more newspaper articles. Don't forget these sentences from the latter part of the item chronicling the crime of which Goosby was accused:
Yesterday Judge Hansell ordered Sheriff Doss to remove the prisoner from the Albany jail and carry him to another county to prevent any possible trouble. The Sheriff left at once to carry out the order and by this time Goosby is safe in one of the best jails in South Georgia. [Emphasis mine.]
The following paragraph was published on page 1 of the 19 September 1894 issue, Columbus Daily Enquirer (Georgia).
SAVED FROM LYNCHING.

THE NEGRO GOOSBY LOCKED IN THE TIFTON JAIL.

TIFTON, Ga., Sept. 18 -- [Special] -- Dave Goosby, the negro rapist who assaulted and murdered little Susan Butler near Thomasville last Saturday, was brought here this morning from Albany. He admitted his guilt to a citizen of this place. He was in charge of the sheriff of Thomas county. He was kept as secretly as possible.
You'll see in the next couple of articles the Thomasville newspaper asserts Goosby was in jail in Valdosta. The two towns are less than fifty miles apart, so maybe there was a layover in Tifton before the accused was brought down to Valdosta. Or maybe the Columbus paper got it wrong. No matter the scenario, I'm highly skeptical of this line: He admitted his guilt to a citizen of this place.

I'm including two articles detailing the lynching. This is not to be gratuitous, but instead to show the premeditation and (dare I say it) recruitment.

Daily Times-Enterprise (Thomasville, Georgia)
Wednesday, 19 September 1894 - pg. 1 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]
PROBABLY LYNCHED.

The Thomas County Rapist Probably Strung Up.


Information was received here yesterday afternoon that the citizens of Valdosta were preparing to lynch Dave Goosby, the Thomas county rape fiend, who was carried there yesterday by Sheriff Doss for safe keeping.

There was considerable quiet talk here about a crowd going down on the 9:30 train to take part in the lynching.

We wired Valdosta late in the afternoon to find out the feeling there and received a reply stating that there would be no trouble unless a crowd went down from here.

We have it from a reliable source that a crowd of perhaps twenty-five or thirty went down on the 9:30 train, and it was also rumored that a number would join the party at Boston [Georgia].

It was reported that news was received from Valdosta about nine o'clock that everything was fixed and the lynching would take place on arrival of the Thomasville delegation. If all these reports be true, and they probably are, there is very little doubt but that Dave Goosby paid the penalty of his awful crime last night. He has, in all probability, traveled the route that all rapists travel.
Prophecy Proven

Daily Times-Enterprise (Thomasville, Georgia)
Thursday, 20 September 1894 - pg. 1 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]
GOOSBY SWUNG UP.

THOMAS COUNTY'S RAPIST MEETS HIS FATE.

A Mob Takes Him From the Valdosta Jail and Hangs Him to a Convenient Tree -- His Black Carcas
[sic] Riddled With Bullets.

Dave Goosby, the black brute who committed an outrage upon little Susie Butler and afterwards cut her throat, was taken from the Valdosta jail at midnight on Tuesday night, strung him up to the limb of a tree and filled full of bullet holes.

The crime committed by Goosby was one of the most revolting and atrocious that has ever occurred in this section and the feelings of every citizen of the county, and in fact of this whole country, were wrought up to the highest tension. Had the brute been brought to Thomasville there is no doubt but what he would have been lynched on sight.

It will be remembered that although the negro was in the hands of several men living in the neighborhood of where the crime was committed for three or four hours before Sheriff Doss arrived, as soon as he was taken in charge by that officer, there was an effort to take him away and put him to death. Before the crowd could organize for action, however, Sheriff Doss had managed to get him out of their reach. He carried his prisoner to Camilla and from there sent him to Albany for safe keeping. Learning that an effort would be made to lynch the negro in Albany Judge Hansell ordered the Sheriff to take him from there and carry him to Valdosta. From what we learned this was done none too soon, for he would likely have been lynched there the night Capt. Doss took him away had he been allowed to remain.

The Sheriff had no trouble in taking the negro to Valdosta, but as soon as the people there knew that he was in town, the excitement became very great and it was reported here that he would be lynched that night. Our paper yesterday morning gave these rumors.

It is said that a number of Thomasville people went down on the night train believing that the negro would be lynched and being desirous of taking a hand in it.

Yesterday morning when the news was received that Goosby had been hung, we wired to Valdosta for a special and received the following:

"Valdosta, Ga., Sept. 19. -- Soon after the arrival of the east bound train last night -- about midnight -- a mob went to the jail and with the use of sledge-hammers and other implements, forced an entrance and took Dave Goosby out to a pine thicket on the northern border of the town and swung him to a limb and riddled his body with bullets. The crowd seemed to be well organized and determined. The sheriff and jailor were powerless to resist them. The parties who did the work are not known here, so far as the public knows at this writing, Wednesday morning. The people here in no sort of way condone the horrible crime committed by Dave Goosby, but there is a very general feeling of deep regret that he was sent here and that this affair occurred in our community. Nine-tenths of our population knew nothing of what was going on, and awoke to a surprise this morning. Dave Goosby was brought here yesterday, and half the people in Valdosta did not know that he was in our jail."

Judge Hansell had called a special term of court to try Goosby and most all of our people hoped that as he had not been lynched at the time of capture he would be allowed to go to trial and hung according to law, but he has gone to a higher court for trial.

Goosby met the inevitable fate of the rapist. Just so long as the fiendish crime is committed just so long will lynch law be resorted to.
And let us not forget the extraordinarily obvious sensationalism, complete with graphic humiliation.

Daily Times-Enterprise (Thomasville, Georgia)
23 September 1894 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]
A photograph of Goosby, the negro who was lynched a few days ago in Valdosta, taken while he was hanging from tree, was being shown on the streets yesterday. The ghastly picture attracted no little attention.
According to the 1880 Duncanville, Thomas County, Georgia Federal census, Dave was born about 1870 in Florida. Same record shows he was a son of Joe and Silvy Goosbie. Furthermore, Georgia county marriage records show a Dave Goosby married Lydia Waldon on 5 April 1889 in Thomas County.

Finale here: Defending the lynching (to absolve the community of any wrongdoing).


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.

28 January 2019

A Horrible Crime: the Lynching of Dave Goosby, Part I

In this space will be a short series of posts I'm calling The Lynching of Dave Goosby in 3 Parts. You have arrived at Part I -- about the crime and alleged criminal. A young girl was murdered outside the southwest Georgia town of Thomasville -- population about 5,600 -- in the year 1894.

Daily Times-Enterprise (Thomasville, Georgia)
Tuesday, 18 September 1894 - pg. 1 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]
A HORRIBLE CRIME.

SUSIE BUTLER ASSAULTED AND MURDERED

By a Black Brute in Human Form. One of the Worst Crimes Known to This Country -- The Fiend Narrowly Escapes Justice at the Hands of Judge Lynch -- The Coroner's Verdict.


At our hour for going to press Sunday morning the full details of the horrible crime which was committed across the river on Saturday evening and which has shocked and created the most intense excitement throughout the county could not be obtained.

Since then the crime with all its awful details has been learned and it is the most horrible and fiendish that was ever committed in any civilized country.

Susie Butler, about eleven years of age, a sallow complected, puny looking girl, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Butler, living on the Bowen place, seven miles from town, went to the spring, a short distance from the house, after a bucket of water. It was about five o'clock in the afternoon. She procured the water and had started back to the house with the pail on her head, when Dave Goosby, a negro farm hand living in the neighborhood, rushed upon her, knocked the pail from her head and assaulted her. After he had accomplished his hellish purpose he held the half-dead child upon the ground with one hand, took a pocket-knife from his pocket with the other, opened it with his teeth and deliberately cut her throat. Thinking, no doubt that he had killed the girl, and that she should not be able to tell on him, he went to his house a short distance away and remained there until he was arrested.

The girl, covered with blood, which gushed from the gaping wound in her neck at every breath, struggled to her feet and staggered more dead than alive towards the house. She did not get more than half way before she fell to the ground from exhaustion caused by loss of blood.

Her parents, becoming alarmed at her long absence, began to call, and hearing a feeble answer coming from towards the spring, the father started in a run and had gone but a short distance when a most heart-rending sight met his gaze. There, on her knees in the middle of the road, was his daughter, completely covered with blood, her little head held to one side to close the gash in her neck and prevent as much as possible any further bleeding. In a voice weakened to a whisper by the loss of blood she told her father what happened. She was carried to the house and when some of the neighbors arrived she again told her awful story and said that Dave Goosby, whom she described, had committed the crime. Two or three men went to Goosby's house, arrested and brought him to the girl, when she promptly identified him as the man. She also described the knife with which she had been cut, and this knife, with the blood still on it, was found in Goosby's possession.

As soon as the crime was discovered and before the brute who perpetrated it had been caught, a messenger was sent to town to notify the Sheriff. Upon receipt of the information, Sheriff Doss, knowing it would be almost useless to go after the negro without dogs to track him, wired to Sheriff Patterson of Bainbridge to bring his dogs by a special train which Mr. Doss had arranged for. As soon as they arrived, which was some two hours after the news was first received, the Sheriff, with a large posse, left for the scene of the crime.

When he arrived there a considerable crowd was guarding the negro, some of whom wanted to lynch him, while the majority were keeping them off. Capt. Doss, realizing that delay would be dangerous, immediately took charge of the negro, and, with pistol in hand, forced his way through the crowd, which was growing more excited every second, to his wagon, and hustling the negro into it, drove rapidly off. Before the crowd could get their horses and start in pursuit, he had made a good start, but they managed to surround him. The crowd had, by this time, turned into a howling mob, bent upon lynching the brute, and many guns were leveled upon the negro, but for fear of shooting the Sheriff they were not discharged. Sheriff Doss is noted for his coolness and bravery, and this is one time those qualities stood him in good stead. He, in common with all white men, has no sympathy for a rapist, but his duty as an officer demanded that he protect the prisoner in his charge. In the excitement and among the large number of vehicles the wagon containing the Sheriff and his prisoner disappeared and they were seen no more that night. In some manner, unknown to many who were in the party, Capt. Doss had gotten his wagon out of the crowd and disappeared with it in the darkness of the forest. The crowd, after searching for him some time, gave it up and came to town. Capt. Doss carried his prisoner to Camilla, and from there to Albany, where he was put in jail. The Sheriff returned here Sunday night.

Yesterday Judge Hansell ordered Sheriff Doss to remove the prisoner from the Albany jail and carry him to another county to prevent any possible trouble. The Sheriff left at once to carry out the order and by this time Goosby is safe in one of the best jails in South Georgia. Judge Hansell has ordered a special term of the Superior Court to try the fiend on the first Monday in October.

Dr. J. G. Hopkins responded to the call for a physician and went to see the wounded girl. He found a gash in the throat about three inches long and deep enough to penetrate the jugular vein and wind-pipe, the right eye-lid badly contused, a slight cut in the left breast and numerous scratches over the breast as though made with finger nails, besides cuts and bruises on other parts of the body.

It was found necessary to administer a little chloroform in order to sew up the wound in the neck. Nausea and vomiting resulted, and during the act of vomiting the bleeding from the jugular vein began and though the doctor caught and held the vein, stopping further bleeding, the child sank and could not be resuscitated.

On Sunday Coroner Johnson held an inquest over the body of the murdered girl, and the following verdict was rendered:

"We, the jury, sworn by the coroner to investigate the cause of the death of Susan Butler, find that the deceased came to her death on the morning of September 16, 1894, in said county, from a wound inflicted in the neck with a knife in the hands of Dave Goosby, colored, and we further find the deceased was raped and that the killing was murder..."

The excitement in town Saturday night and Sunday was up to fever heat. Nearly everybody that could went out to the scene of the killing. Had the deed been committed in town or the black brute brought here there is no doubt but that the English committee would have had another southern lynching to investigate.

Now, however, that the negro is in the custody of the Sheriff the law will be allowed to take its course.
And following from same newspaper (same issue, same page):
Swift Justice.
As will be seen elsewhere, Judge Hansell has ordered a special term of Thomas superior court to convene on the first Monday in October, to try Dave Goosby, colored, charged with rape and murder. This action of Judge Hansell will be universally approved, and is an example which might properly be followed in similar cases. If justice was meted out to this class of criminals more swiftly there would be less lynchings.
Unfortunately, that sentiment was not universal. Part II -- the lynching -- is here.

27 January 2019

Daniel Odwell Lynched a Year Removed from Alleged Crime (Or was it Henry Barnes?)

According to MonroeWorkToday, the lynching of Daniel Odwell 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. Following excerpt from the latter:
Private mobs, unlike terrorist mobs, usually murdered victims who were already in legal custody. In Georgia between 1880 and 1930, 80 percent of the victims of private mobs were taken from law officers...Without question, local law officers, whether through woeful incompetence or complicity, often aided the work of the mobs.
Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
Friday, 17 September 1886 - pg. 4 [via GenealogyBank]
LYNCHED AFTER A YEAR.

DANIEL ODWELL, A YOUNG NEGRO, LYNCHED YESTERDAY.

A Year ago He Assaulted a White Girl Eleven Years Old -- Arrested Wednesday -- On the Way to Jail He was Taken and Hanged.


MILLEN, September 16. -- About a year ago, Daniel Odwell, a negro, twenty-six years old, raped a white girl, aged eleven years, seven miles from here. He was apprehended yesterday, committed to the Sylvania jail this morning, in charge of Constable D. M. Brinson. A party of men overtook him two miles out, hung the negro, and riddled his body.

Another report is that the darky was burned.

IS HE THE SAME MAN?
By Associated Press.
AUGUSTA, GA., September 16. -- Henry Barnes, colored, was lynched to-day at Rogers' Station on the Central railroad. A party of masked men did the lynching. Barnes was taken from a train near Millen and riddled with bullets.

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.

26 January 2019

The Ty-Ty Tragedy: Ed Henderson was Lynched for the Usual Crime in 1899

According to MonroeWorkToday, the lynching of Ed Henderson 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. Following excerpt from the latter:
...Posses, which shared with mass mobs broad communal participation and support, claimed more lives in southern Georgia than in any other region of the state...Moreover, the tradition of man-hunting became for white men a welcome opportunity to demonstrate their civic commitment in a region where independence and isolation otherwise were the rule. Whites had long boasted that southern Georgia was "white man's country," and the pervasiveness of racial violence by mass mobs and posses demonstrated that large numbers of whites were only too ready to resort to violence in order to maintain the boast.
Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
Friday, 15 September 1899 - pg. 1 [via GenealogyBank]
THE TY-TY TRAGEDY

How Negro Brutes Attacked and Outraged the Woman.

CITIZENS TO RESCUE

THEY RUSHED IN FROM ALL DIRECTIONS TO AVENGE.

It Has Been Reported That All the Negroes Were Backing up the Rapists -- Old Man Boynton's Supposed Treachery -- Lynching of One of Wretches.


TY TY, Ga., Sept. 14. -- This morning a frightened and humiliated family breathe more freely, for they feel that at least one of the brutes who deliberately blighted their happiness and flushed the cheek with shame is no longer a terror to the helpless and unsuspecting.

The bare facts that an outrage upon a defenseless woman has been committed, that several negroes have been arrested and that one has been identified and hanged, have already gone out to the world, but there are numerous details and attendant circumstances which render the event unique. A full account, therefore, would be of interest to the public.

As already chronicled, the rape was committed on Monday afternoon at Ty Ty. The unfortunate woman is 22 years old and lives with her father, Mr. Johnson. Her name was Jennie Johnson. She married a man named Ash, but she has been a widow something more than a year.

On last Monday afternoon she and her little brother, about 10 years old, and not her little son, as some of the dispatches have stated, were picking cotton in a field within the corporate limits of the town. They were within less than a quarter of a mile of the depot and quietly at work, when they were both suddenly surprised by two negroes attacking her from behind. She was in a stooping posture when one of them caught her by the shoulders, pulled her backward and began choking her. She and the little boy began screaming. The negroes demanded them to hush or they would kill them. But almost the instant of the attack the boy ran toward the depot crying for help. Before he reached the depot he met his father going to the rescue and said: "Pa, two negroes are down yonder killing sister." Mr. Johnson said: "Who are they?" The boy replied: "One of them is the negro that was around here this morning with old Henry Boynton, but I don't know the other one."

Before Mr. Johnson could get a gun and reach the spot the negro who was choking Mrs. Ash succeeded in executing his devilish design, while the other negro held her feet.

The negroes, hearing Mr. Johnson and the boy coming, released Mrs. Ash before the negro who held her feet could carry out his intention to treat her as the other had done, and they both escaped into a branch close at hand.

Mrs. Ash said that the negro who held her feet was a short, chunky black negro, with thick lips and bushy hair, and that he wore an old brown hat and blue overalls, with apron front supported by suspenders. The negro who assaulted her was tall and black, but not so dark as the other, and wore a blue-checked shirt and a broad-brimmed black hat, turned up behind.

A large posse of men were soon in pursuit of the negroes, and later the service of hounds was secured, but they were young and untrained and were really of little service.

Quite a number of negroes were carried before Mrs. Ash from time to time. Among them were two who answered fairly well the description of the tall negro. She said as each was presented that he looked very much like the one, but the little boy persisted that he was not the man.

Yesterday morning the negro who was lynched was arrested at Tifton while working at Mr. Ridgen's gin. He was carried to Ty Ty yesterday afternoon and as soon as he made his appearance in the town the little Johnsonu [sic] boy declared emphatically that he was the negro who assaulted his sister. The citizens of the town knew him to have been with old Henry Boynton all the morning of the day of the crime. He was carried before Mrs. Ash, who instantly identified him, although he wore different clothes and hat from those described above.

A messenger was sent from Tifton with the clothes and hat which he wore when he reached Tifton from Ty Ty on the day of the crime. Mrs. Ash recognized them at once. The broad black hat, from having been worn that way, stood turned up behind. When it was presented to Mrs. Ash the turned up part was held out straight and she was asked if that was the hat worn by her assailant. She replied:

"That's exactly like it; only his was turned up behind."

This said, the man holding the hat removed his hand, and the part held by him assumed its former turned-up position.

There were about 100 men in Ty Ty, all heavily armed with repeating rifles, shotguns and pistols. They were very cautious, and without the slightest friction or discord were a unit in favor of not hurting any innocent negro, and, as already stated, several were turned loose unharmed. But the difference of carriage and countenance presented by the negro lynched and that of the other negroes carried before Mrs. Ash was noticeable in the extreme. He stoutly declared his innocence, but made a dozen conflicting statements, all placing him in a very awkward light.

Soon after the crime was committed the negro's sister bought three tickets to Tifton, but there was only one negro with her. Just as the train was pulling out her brother came hurriedly up and boarded the train. His name, I have not yet stated, was Ed. Henderson. His uncle, old Henry Boynton, seemed very officious in helping the white people to hunt the guilty negroes, and told a great tale about seeing two negroes going across the field and hiding in a barn, and presently it was found that Henry had disappeared from the scene. The people the decided that his feigned help was only for a decoy until the guilty parties could get a good start.

Ed. Henderson, who was lynched, was not suspected as the guilty party until the day after the crime. This being so, he was asked why he left as he did, his sister getting the ticket for him, and he coming in at the last moment. He answered: "Well, I had heard that some devilment had been done, and old man Henry dent [sic] and told me that the white folks was done and after me with guns and things, and I had better skip out."

Just after dark Wednesday night, the night of the lynching, several circumstances had accumulated to the effect that the citizens suspected the negroes were massing themselves in a thicket in the edge of town. Immediately Tifton, Sylvester, Sumner and Poulan were notified. In response to the message a special train from Tifton carried forty-three men, and others went from there by private conveyance. An east-bound through freight was held up at Sylvester and seventeen men boarded it for Ty Ty, afterwards taking as many more from Sumner and Poulan. Before 11 o'clock more than two hundred cool, sober, sensible, determined men, armed to the teeth, were congregated on the streets of Ty Ty.

About 12 o'clock the crowd moved away from the depot, and later they came back. As the special train went back to Tifton there could be seen through the radiating beams thrown out from the engine's headlight the ghastly figure of a condemned rapist dangling twenty feet in the air suspended from the cross beam of a telegraph pole 300 yards from the depot.

The negro was allowed to pray before he was hanged. In the prayer he said that he was going to hell or heaven, one of the other, but he didn't know which.

On the telegraph pole from which he was suspended was tacked a card bearing this inscription: "Given a fair trial and found guilty. Negroes must keep their hands off white women."

The quiet, concerted action and perfect order of the crowd was remarkable. Every man was sober, not a shot was fired or a shout uttered. Nothing was heard above a conversational tone. A protracted meeting was being held at the white Methodist church on the opposite side of the street from the home of Mr. Johnson, where the prostrated woman lay, and from dark until all were gon e the entire town was as quiet as a Sabbath morning, and some of the words of the preacher could be understood by men in the crowd.

The west-bound passenger train arrived at Ty Ty a little after 1 o'clock, after the lynching had occurred, and on it came an additional force of men from Willacoochee. They had heard that trouble with the negroes was expected and they seized the opportunity to give help.

Mr. Johnson, the father of the unfortunate woman, has lived with his family for sixteen years in Worth county, and during the last six years of that time he has lived in Ty Ty. He and his family are poor, but honorable. The best people of Ty Ty say that nought has ever been charged against the character of any member of the family. And when brutal negroes dare to treat them this it is enough to "turn the coward's heart to steel, the sluggard's blood to fire."

Everything is quiet in Ty Ty this morning and the search for the other negro will be continued. Information has been received that a negro from Worth county and answering the description of the negro wanted is in jail in Albany.

Before Ed Henderson was hanged he said that old Henry Boynton committed the rape himself, but this is not believed, for he is known to Mrs. Ash and her little brother, and they do not accept this statement.

After old Henry slipped off from Ty Ty he was caught up at Sumner and was being brought back. He told such a smooth tale that he was released, so some say; but others say that he attempted to jump from the buggy in which he was being carried and fell and broke his neck. This latter statement is pretty generally doubted. The fact remains, however, that old Henry is not to be found around Ty Ty.

The people of this section are quiet, law-abiding, home-loving people, and will protect the virtue of their women so long as blood courses in their veins.

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.

24 January 2019

Storming a Negro Cabin: Masked Mob Shot Adam Mallard Down with a Load of Buckshot in 1887

When searching for newspaper articles about the 1887 murderous mob violence toward Adam Mallard, I found a few in periodicals from New York, Indiana, and (of course) Georgia. The one transcribed below seems to be the fullest account, coming from a local Cuthbert, Randolph County, Georgia source.

Cuthbert Enterprise and Appeal (Georgia)
15 September 1887 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]
Assassination -- An Old Negro Shot by an Armed Mob.
Yesterday morning about 2 o'clock a mob armed with pistols and shot guns, went to the house of Adam Mallard, an old negro man living about five miles from town, on Mr. Seab Shepherd's plantation and calling to the occupants within demanded the three sons of old Adam, stating that they had warrants for their arrest. The old man answered them to the effect that two of the boys were not in the house, and that the third, Ransom, was present, but unable to come out, owing to a gunshot wound, received recently in a difficulty. It seems that the other two sons of old Adam, having previous warning of the approach of the mob, sought shelter near the house under a wide-spreading fig bush. They were young men, tenants on Mr. Shepherd's farm. Nothing could be done or said, however to satisfy the armed party and they began firing into the rear of the house with shot guns loaded with buckshot, riddling the weather boarding and slightly wounding one of the women inside in the leg. Adam went out about this time at the front door and started off in the direction of Mr. Shepherd's house, which was about three quarters of a mile away. When about thirty steps from the cabin he was fired upon and a load of buckshot lodged in his right side and breast, which doubtless killed him instantly. When the old man was shot the two men under the fig bush sprang from their hiding place and started in a run across a cotton field in the rear of the house. This was a signal for another volley from the mob. While they were endeavoring to kill the fugitives the wounded negro in the house went out the back way and his under a work bench, near the house. After daylight one of the negroes who ran off through the field before the hot shot of the assassins, returned home with a slight scalp wound made by a pistol ball. The other had not been heard from up to noon yesterday, and it was the prevalent idea that he was mortally wounded the night before, and had died in the woods[.] Mr. Shepherd came to town yesterday and reported the occurrence to the proper authorities. Coroner Coleman was not long in reaching the seat of battle and after a lengthy hearing from the family of the deceased, the jury rendered a verdict of killing by gun shot wounds in the hands of an unknown party, or parties, and that the same was murder. Negroes who testified before the jury did not state positively that any member of the mob was recognized by them. It was dark, and impossible to distinguish a white man from a negro at any distance. Why such a tragedy should have been enacted in this community, heretofore noted for its quiet, and law abiding citizens, is simply conjecture. It is an occurrence greatly to be deprecated by every good citizen.
For the 1880 U.S. Federal census, Adam (age 70) and family were residing in Quitman County, a western neighbor of Randolph in south Georgia. He was listed with wife Cordelia, daughter Emma, and three boys: Ransom (age 19), Allan (age 18), and David (age 15). The first two were noted as sons of Adam, and the last a grandson.


Three years after witnessing the melee detailed above, Ransom married Sarah "Sallie" Johnson on 1 September 1890 in Macon County, Georgia. By 1900, the couple was residing at 975 Jackson Street in Americus, Sumter County, Georgia with son Morris. By 1910, there was an additional son named Richard.


At the time of the murder, Allan/Allen had been married less than eight months. He and Mattie Brown -- "free persons of color" -- were wed January 1887 at Randolph County. By 1910, the couple was in Terrell County, Georgia.


David "Dave" Mallard and wife Matilda were in Early County, Georgia by 1910 -- the parents of fourteen children. Dave's "sudden death" came on 11 August 1926 at Albany, Dougherty County, Georgia. According to his death certificate, Dave's parents were Bill and Marie Diled or Dileal. Though Marie's maiden name of Mallard was not provided, the 1870 U.S. Federal census shows patriarch Adam Mallard did have a daughter named Marie. So David being Adam's grandson seems to fit.

(Note: Dave's wife Matilda died ten years later and was buried in Riverside Cemetery at Albany.)

If these three boys/men were the ones at Adam's house in 1887, I suggest all survived. Unless there was another son present (relation as described in the news article), no man "under the fig bush" was "mortally wounded" and "died in the woods."

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.