San Francisco Chronicle, July 28, 1918. I thought I could go cold turkey with the acid-throwing, but after 48 hours I’m seriously jonesing for a phial. But I’m not sure this actually is an acid-throwing incident. It makes no sense on any level, and the reporter’s use of the passive voice certainly doesn’t help. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that some sort of attack actually took place, how the hell was it determined that the assailant mistook the “poisonous acid” for some non-existent hybrid of roofies and eau de cologne? Was this testimony carefully coaxed out of poor Jim Brown before the mob strung him up? The fact that the alleged assault victim wasn’t “seriously injured” seems dodgy too. But that’s all par for course during the golden age of Southern-fried race lynchings.
The Texas town of Benhur seems to have acquired its name from the bestselling 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. A deeply religious community, ostensibly.