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Category Archives: Lynching

Atlanta Constitution, January 31, 1907. “Undersized,” hey? Well, you never know who the Big Fella is gonna deputize to serve His mysterious ways. And someone was definitely looking out for Harry Howard when that angry mob came knocking. Shooting four guys and burning down the billiard hall would have been a pretty strong case for ol’ Judge Lynch in Wild West Virginia circa 1907.

New Hampshire Sentinel, January 27, 1827. Gee, I wonder what their problem was?

Chicago Inter-Ocean, August 11, 1874. It was strongly talked of, see? It was not the passing subject of gay badinage and persiflage, nor something obliquely alluded to in a manner that went over the heads of most. The talk of lynching was strong.

New York Herald, April 4, 1892. If the otherwise “quiet and inoffensive” Gid Crane of Texas was ostensibly willing to play along with the blue gum mystique, he was playing a pretty dangerous game, as this horrific item illustrates. Again, the parallels to identifying/being indentified as a witch are pretty strong here. I’m puzzled by the above assertion that “few have ever been found who have ever seen such a person.” Our Northern correspondent must not have kept very close track of the Southern press, because BGNs were in the news all the time. Read More »

Ths Brattleboro, Vermont, Reporter, June 14, 1806. Hoo boy, heref a meffed-up ftory about a terrfically unhappy family. Bafically a confpiracy of children to kill their drunken, violent old man before he killed again. Gotta feel forry for the kidf, though my guess is the teenage murdereff probabaly fwung for thif. Read More »

eminent domainNew York Times, October 4, 1854. There’ll always be some folks who just don’t cotton to the concept of eminent domain.

line in useChicago Tribune, May 1, 1898. Ah, the good old days, when lynching was a subject fit for the funny pages. Roll over, Bil Keane.

urban mobNew York Tribune, March 25, 1899. This is another perennial story: the urban wife-beater rescued from a street mob by the police. The scenario differs from a rough music or white cap action in its spontaneity.

lashed masked
whitecapsNew York Tribune, April 17, 1899, and June 30, 1890, respectively. “White cap” was a standard synonym for vigilante. Makes it sound like Klan shit, but the white cap tradition preceded the KKK. The latter never were a terribly original bunch.

tarSan Francisco Chronicle, May 31, 1892. Even if I blogged 24/7/365 strictly about wife-beating, I’d never live long enough to exhaust the available supply of these anecdotes about masked men enforcing community standards with a rope and a whip. As mentioned before, such incidents are part of an ancient tradition called the “rough music.” This one’s interesting for its ferocity plus the stipulation that it was the local gentry who were taking care of business. But when, I wonder, was the last time someone was tarred and feathered by his neighbors in this great country of ours?
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