The Lynching Project: Madison County
Madison County, GA: The Hidden Secrets and Crimes
Madison County Lynching Exhibit
Creator: Gabrielle Erin Gantley
Madison County, like most place in Georgia, was hostile and deadly in the early to the mid 20th century and in some cases still is but with the timeline of lynchings in Georgia, the ones in Madison County most were rarely reported or were covered up due to the corruption of the Sheriff’s department. The only crime of racial hate and murder in the county was that of Lemuel A. Penn in 1964 on July 11th and on the side of highway 172 in Madison County, GA just before the Elbert county line while he was making his way from Fort. Benning to Washington D.C. in a Chevy 1959 Biscayne.
The day before in Athens, Ga two members of the Madison Ku Klux Klan chapter, Joseph Howard Sims and Cecil Myers threatened and intimidated three World War 2 Veterans, with Howard Sims stating that if they did not hurry and get out of their state that he would hang them. From the FBI report from the UGA microfilm, the Veterans were wary of this and the three continued to travel as planned but the two KKK members followed the Biscayne out of Athens in the early morning hours of the 11th of July, nine days after the passage of the Civil Rights Act. eventually the trailing vehicle went past the Biscayne and Sims shot at it a few times with a shotgun causing the car to crash and stop and in turn, killed Mr. Penn. When the two criminals went to trial they did state that they were going to hang them after they shot them and leave them on the side of that highway. Sims and Myers were acquitted on the local level of justice based on an all-white jury, and the case was appealed to the supreme court. Where both were found guilty of violating Penn’s civil rights under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The two criminals did six years in Federal Prison. Sims went back some years later for shooting his wife because she held an African-American newborn, at the hospital she worked at. There is a is historical marker at the site of the crime put up by the Georgia History Society. Penn’s murder help make the base for the 1966 Supreme Court case of United States vs. Guest.
At first, Georgia was not a slave work-base plantation economy, thanks to the Georgia Trustees of the 1730s but sadly the attractions of the substantial profits from cotton in the highlands and rice in the lowlands made Georgia change their tactics of the state economy. Georgia held on to slavery with a firm grip through the anti-slavery movement was well underway and raging in the north. Georgia put measures and clauses in place within the New U.S. Constitution by the South Carolina and Georgia delegates of 1787 to ensure to keep slavery in place and the backbone of the Southern economy. Georgia plotted to snatch the land from the Native Americans since the 1780s by the politicians and succeed with the expulsion of the Cherokees. From there the growth of cotton and rice plantations grew dramatically over most of the state. Then with the creation of the cotton gin, by Eli Whitney in 1793, helped with expansion. The planners of this land needed to find a workforce they could pay cheaply or not at all, and at the time the best scenario for them was using the African-American population for slave labor. Despite the law prohibiting slaves to be imported into the county, implemented by the Georgia Assembly. The planters of Georgia did not care and paid it no attention.
The population of slaves grew rapidly from the importing some 48,000 African-Americans. Even with the Congress made a ban on African slave labor trade in 1808, the slave population in Georgia and south never declined a bit. The population continued to grow exponentially and “ on the eve of the Civil War (1861-1865), some 462,198 slaves constituted 44 percent of the state’s total population” (Georgiaencyclopeadia.org), this made Georgia have the most slaves in the Lower South comparatively to slaveholders with Virginia coming in second in the whole of population.
In the mid-1800’s the judicial system of the south and Georgia propped the support of slavery and later Jim Crow, thus taking the rights of African-Americans away. This idea has subjected the children of slave mothers to be known as “chattel slaves” (Georgiaencyclopeadia.org) and could not have any status that the father had. The laws that supported this and slavery, in general, strengthened the notion of slaveholders not freeing their slaves due to the laws of the antebellum times. There were other clauses and laws that banned the circulation of abolitionist writings and made it capital punishment. Additionally, during the same time made the teaching reading and writing to slaves illegal to keep them “ignorant” of their positions in legal and social systems of the South. Even though the laws of Georgia technically made the abuse of a slave and the killing of a slave illegal slaveholders did not stop. When a white slaveholder was accused and prosecuted most times the white individual was acquitted and went scot free continuing their everyday routines. The legal system was completely against the African-American slave community in many ways.
Slaveholders use a variety of measures to keep strict control over their slaves, and many methods were violent using whips, branches, wooden paddles, bare-knuckle beatings, “hot-boxes”, and violent threat for cesarean of sexual relationships with slave women. The south justified this with the bible and would state “that slaves should "give single-minded obedience" to their "earthly masters with fear and trembling, as if to Christ" (Georgiaencyclopeadia.org). As for known slave cases in Madison County, there is no mention. However, from surrounding areas like Athens, Elberton, Oglethorpe, and other counties like Macon, an overview can be built on the treatment of Madison County slaves.
During colonial Georgia the Governor James Wright term, the land was gradually ceded from the hands of Creek and Cherokee, the original inhabitants. Madison County was created on the 5th of December by an act of state legislature in 1811. Named for the United States’ President, James Madison, at the time. The land was constructed into two counties at creation, Wilks, and Franklin. The Georgia General Assembly then re-organized counties lines that we know of today as, Clarke, Ebert, Jackson, Franklin, and Oglethorpe to be Madison County, Georgia’s 38th County.
In 1865 Madison county recorded the Amnesty oaths to the United States of America. Of the towns in Madison County, only about 4 had railroads. Other than an early devoted agriculture county of food crops and cattle, and still is today with the addition of poultry production, not much else is really known of the way of life in Madison County. The Population in 2010, by the U.S. Census, was 28,120 which is a considerable jump from the 2000 Census of 25,730.
The definition of a cover-up is “a device or stratagem for masking or concealing” or a usually concerted effort to keep an illegal or unethical act or situation from being made public(www.merriam-webster.com)” either work. I am sure we all know of examples of this action. The history and knowledge of this in Madison County is very little, but people who are close to, related to, involved with officers and the sheriff’s department know very well. In the early 1900s, it was murder, which there is an example of, now it is the drug busts they supposedly have. The tradition of concealing information in Madison is rampant even today is a lot of here-say from the natives of the county and goes back to the early 1930s and most likely even further back.
The tradition of racial hates and segregation is ingrained into the older generations of Madison County and Athens. From personal experiences my grandfather I have heard referred to African-Americans as the N-word and stated that they need to be beaten and put in their place and the same with women in his eyes. My mother is a bit more forward thinking in ways of gender roles and having some feminist ideals but in the way of race, she is the same as her father. She is not as outspoken as my grandfather but when I had African-American friends over for a sleepover or had a couple of longtime coworkers and friends pick me up I saw and heard that my mother is racist. This disgusted me to a level where I wanted to throw up. I know this from the snide remarks, sassiness, and overall disgust and contempt in her voice. My coworkers were older and told me stories of when they were young in the 70s and 80s. They would stick away from relationships with white girls due to the social climate at the time and when they would go into the stores that were originally for white Americans they would keep their eyes open and always go in with their twin. My coworkers stated that they never would go to Madison County either.
Upon hearing these stories got me thinking of crimes and of minorities are still in danger. Personally, I do think there is still an element of danger to modern society through most of the minorities face it with confidence, courage and fight back with indignation. To this day there are still reports of hate crimes and vandalism across Georgia. There not any stories closely related to Madison County that was published in newspapers but there are stories you will find only by word of mouth of the hatred and segregation. The high-schools were segregated and had roughly 10 miles of distance between them and was integrated in the 60s after the pass of the Civil Rights Act.
The infamous lynching legacy of Georgia is very well known in the country. The infamous ones of Madison County are Lent Shaw in 1936 and the murder of Lemuel Augustus Penn in 1964. The county only official recognizes the latter that happened within the confines of county lines, but personal research found that more happened. The lynching of Lent Shaw is recognized by the surrounding counties to happen in Madison with a little ambiguity of location of the crime and death. Let us implore this macabre and murderous tale of history from the earliest account to the most recent.
Unknown Victims and Questionable Cases
1884- Possible Lynching
Unnamed Individual (Most Likely Nick Wooten/Woten)
I relied on a newspaper article from the New York Times where the event took place on August 22, 1884, with the article being published on August 23, 1884, of an unnamed individual (most likely Nick Wooten). The individual is accused of raping one of Mr. A. D. Barnett’s daughters, either Lizzie or Ida Barnett. One of the daughters awoke that night, in the wee hours, with the feeling of her clothes removed, the girl screamed from seeing what seemed like the features of a “coal black negro”.
The events from there were that he jumped out of the nearby window in the supposed room and escaped capture. Later Andrews, Carter, and Barnett used a bloodhound to track the “culprit” and did so to the front door of Nick Woten’s home, which was roughly a three-mile distance of the accused raping. With men on either side of the house, firearms in hand, Nick was forced on his knees with the coming daylight. Nick admitted to entering the home and room of the Barnett’s but opposed profusely of the crime of rape, and that his only reason upon entering the home of Barnetts’ was for food. The same day at a later hour Nick was brought to the small town of Winterville for trial and Nick repeated his statement and confessions on the accused crime.
The courthouse of Winterville was surrounded by a mob angered and screamed for “summary punishment”. A clever move by the magistrate judge was able to safely get Nick of the Courthouse to be sent to Danielsville for the trial. As the mob discovered the misdirect it became more angered and the whole of the mob took off to Danielsville as well, “Starting on hot pursuit of the wrench”. This report of this from riders coming from the directions of Danielsville noted that at the time of their leaving, roughly five miles in span, and with every probability the prisoner, Nick, was or would be lynched before the help of others could be achieved.
The sources for these victims are not biased from what I can tell when reading the books and I was able to look at the Tuskegee university documents since I and the class did not have access to them other than the datasheet.
Tom Moss (aka Jim Morse)
In using a database called Monroe Work Today Complete Datasheet I found listed, a black male by the name of Tom Moss (his known alias Jim Morse) in Madison County, Ga on November 15th, 1889. He was reported to be lynched over race troubles. The only known source is a book called Festival of Violence by Tolnay and Beck (1995). I did look on Ancestry.com and in the book itself and did not find anything in the book and only a Wills, Probate records, and Deeds of a Tom Moss in Madison County, GA were available.
In using a database called Monroe Work Today Complete Datasheet I found listed, an unknown black male in Madison County, Ga. That was reported to be lynched over an unknown reason on October 2nd, 1898. The only known source is a book by Lynching in the New South by Brundage (1993) and it says nothing about Madison County or the year mentioned an unknown individual
In using a database called Monroe Work Today Complete Datasheet I found listed, a George Herbert was a black male in Madison County, Ga. He was reported to be lynched over a murderous assault on July 1, 1907. The only known sources is a book called Festival of Violence (1995) Tolnay and Beck, which is noted to be uncertain and corrects the place of the murder to be Cowan, Morgan County by the Tuskegee University and the University's documents named TUA 132-020. I did look in the book itself but found nothing of relevance to the name.
In using a database called Monroe Work Today Complete Datasheet I found listed, a black male by the name of Oglesby in Madison County, Ga on September 1, 1910. He was reported to be lynched over the attempted burglary. The only known source is a book by Tolnay and Beck, Festival of Violence (1995) and Brundage, Lynching in the New South (1993) and did not find anything on the topic. The book Festival of Violence by Tolnay and Beck is noted to be uncertain. I did look in the book itself and did not find anything of relevance.
In using a database called Monroe Work Today Complete Datasheet I found listed, a black male that is an Unnamed Individual in Carlton, Madison County, Ga on September 5th, 1911. He was reported to be lynched over attempted rape and robbery. The only known source is to be a document of Tuskegee University, in their box 132-020.
1921,1925,1930: The Cover-Ups
When I mention a cover-up I am looking at the information available at hand. I am seeing when given multiple documents on the same person if the handwriting is the same and matches up. I look at the occupations of the individual, the cause of death, information of where they come from on the death certificates. I try to put a narrative for the victim together but in some cases, it is quite hard. A perfect example of the type of cover-up I am referring to is that of John Skelton JR. at the end of this section
Willie Simpson- 1921 ADD Narritive
Walter Stevens- 1925
The story of Walter Stevens is very curious at the time of his untimely death he was 28-29 years old with very suspicious, conflicting information based on other evidence found on him. I will provide evidence to show conflicting information and reports.
1918 World War 1 Registration Card - June 5th, 1918
As you can see we have Mr. Stevens’ World War 1 registration card. It clearly states his birthday (highlighted in orange) July 28, 1896, that he is originally from Sandy Cross, Franklin County, GA not Oglethorpe.
Honorably Discharged due to Demobilization - January 15th, 1919
Secondly, we have his service card or papers which again states his birthday, that he was a private in the military, his place of birth as Sandy Cross and his lives in Comer, Madison County, GA.
1920 U.S. 14th Census - January 20th, 1920
I did find a Census, on Ancestry.com, from 1920 where Walter Stevens: age 23 was accounted for as well as his wife and son, Clara Stevens: age 19, and Joe G. Stevens: age 4 years and 3 months. All three individuals are stated the be black and Walter and Clara can read and write both are from Georgia. The occupation of Mr. Stevens is stated to be “Worked Out” and that his industry is “Wagon” which means he was a wagon and carriage manufacturer. Mr. Stevens rented his home.
Death of Walter Stevens and the Ambiguity - July 24th, 1925
When comparing the information I gave from above you will notice big differences in certain places of this death certificate. The stated birthday here is July 19th, 1897 and his occupation was a convict and his place of origin is Oglethorpe County, GA. The close proximity of the dates and year of birth and the origin place is very suspicious. Finding these record on Ancestry.com this is the only Walter Stevens I came across to fit the time frame, supposed occupation, age, and the surrounding social issues of the time. The cause of death seems to be “Burned practically all over the body” where some misreading can happen due to handwriting differences.you can clearly see that Mr. Stevens’ wife is Clara Stevens. You will also see that the undertaker on line 20 is stated as“none” which is unusual. The time like of Mr.Stevens is very good and I do believe he was lynched and that this is an attempt to hide it by Madison County Sheriff and police too, “perverse the good name of Madison County”. This man fought for his country in World War 1 and comes home seeming to be normal but is murder by cause of lynching, it seems, only 5 or 6 years later. The timeline of Mr. Walter is to “perfect” I will say in lines with the year of death.
John Skelton Jr.- 1930
Mr. Skelton Jr., born sometime during June of 1897 or 1896, was a man of four siblings, Arthur, Sadie, Johnny (himself), and Ida. John was the second eldest boy. John’s parents were Lula and John Skelton Sr. Senior was a farm laborer all his life but Junior did serve in World War 1 at the age of 27 where he was single at the time. Skelton Junior as the age of 13 was a farm laborer like his father but then at the age of 21, in 1920, became a mechanic for an auto garage. After the war, Skelton Jr. became a farmer laborer again to help support and take care of his family at the time. Arthur Skelton was always a farmer like his father. Skelton Senior, in 1920, at the age of 30 and windowed was a weaver in a cotton mill. Both father and son at this time stayed in boarding houses. From this point on Mr. John Skelton Jr. did get married to a Mrs. Luca Swifts. Originally his father, Skelton Sr. was from Georgia and the rest of the family was from South Carolina. Junior for some unknown reason was in Colbert, Madison County, Ga, maybe to visit another family from his father’s side or visiting his brother Arthur. On February 10th, 1930 John Skelton JR. died of “Sudden death from a gunshot wound” and at the age of 32. The informant of this tragic event was his brother Arthur Skelton which lived in Colbert at the time.
This event seems cut and dry from the death certificate but there was an amendment to the death on May 30th of the same year, 1930, ruling that the death by gun wound was an accident but the interesting part is how handwriting of the physician does not match on the documents. As you can see below the name G. L. Loden on the death certificate is very loopy, smooth, and circular whereas the signature of the physician on the amendment seems rushed and it's sharp, angled, and choppy almost I would say. Look also at the way the fives are done differently too. The fine in the top left corner of the death certificate has space and is not connecting the top of the 5 together and the hook does hook around whereas the 5 on the amendment is connected at the top and the hook is more of a line and not coming around. The “G”s are completely different as well. Anyone can see this is a forgery.
The handwriting of a person does change over time but it takes years not 3 or 4 months to do it. I do honestly believe this is a forgery and a cover-up. This was a deliberate cover-up of documents or more accurately the adding of documents to shift the blame off the county sheriff and police. Those of us who are natural born Athenians know that the ruling authority was and still is corrupt but in Madison County, it was a plague of the worst kinds. Two native Madisonians have confirmed this, and even say that to this day that the county still is corrupt.
Compare for yourself
Other pictures associated with John Skelton Jr.
World War 1 Registration Card
The Lynching of Lent (Lint in Newspapers) Shaw
The Story that is Known
This justice giving the report on a covered-up lynching taken place, on April 28th, 1936, is that this successful 42-year-old, black farmer and father of 11 children were reported to have raped Avalth Ola Franklin (Chastain) and was accused by her. The place of said crime was roughly half a mile from Shaw’s home in Colbert, Madison County, GA. Ms. Franklin placed blame on Lent immediately and in turn, Shaw was arrested immediately.
On his way to the Madison County Jail in Danielsville, it was reported that Shaw assaulted the officers while in route to the jail and in turn the officers shot him 3 times and administered no first aid at the jail until he left for Atlanta to Grady Memorial Hospital. At which time he gives his side of the story to the Atlanta Daily World while under guard. The reason for the “prisoner” transfer was due to the mob forming in Danielsville around the jailhouse. The Sheriff at the time T.L. Henley stated that he tried to stop and disperse the mob but his actions were ineffective and resorted to calling in Judge Berry T. Mosely.
The judge implored the mob to stop violating the law by their forced entry into the jailhouse. With the failed efforts made by the judge, the sheriff deputizes a few of the male mob members thinking that it would make them uphold the law instead of breaking it. Sadly, this too was in vain as this attempt did not help either. This is when Judge Mosley resorted to using the National Guard to escort Shaw to Grady Memorial Hospital. It was stated that the sheriff recognized a few members of the mob but did not arrest them giving the excuse of letting the judge decided. No charges were sought out or pressed.
Interviews with Lent Shaw and the Court Cases
While at the Hospital Mr. Shaw gave details of his version of the story and accused crime while receiving treatment for his gunshot wounds. Stating to the Atlanta Daily World, a well known black newspaper of the time, he was in his living room by the fire when he started to hear shouts from a distance and shushed his children to hear better. He heard the noise again and thought it sounded like a screaming person. When he went to investigate more at his door he could tell the screaming was a good distance away. After borrowing his son's coat he notices cars with other people in the vehicles and so Shaw went with them to see if he could help at all and later at the jail the female stated Shaw was her attacker. This was his only recorded statement on the criminal accusations. After being arrested and shot 3 times Shaw was held in Atlanta for 17 days and then brought back to the Madison County jailhouse on April 27 only to be greeted by yet again another violent mob of white men mostly. At this point, Sheriff Henley made the decision to send Shaw to a Royston jail but this was not far enough to deter the mob after they found out. Around midnight that night, the mob forcibly removed and dragged Shaw out of his cell and made the trip of about 20 miles back to the “scene of the crime” of attacking Miss. Franklin, in Colbert, where the crime occurred, the mob strung Lent Shaw up and shot him multiple times only eight hours his trail on April 28th.
Shaw’s body was found following the next day by a local farmer. The Corner of Madison County launched an investigation into the murder and six men were appointed to make the investigating team. There was no time spent on the case at all and it was closed the same day more or less because there were no witnesses. Shaw’s wide Georgia Hill was interviewed by the Atlanta Daily World stating that during the lynching she was scared for her and her children's’ lives. The huddled together until the shouts and noise turned to the quiet calm serene of the countryside again. Mrs. Hill knew her husband was being flown to his death quickly with all the shouts, hollering, and yelling from the passengers of the passing vehicles. Mrs. Hill never saw her husband after his arrest on April 10th and did not try and claim his body due to the fear she felt of meeting the same fate.
The Potential Act of Covering-Up the Lynching
This family was terrorized and Evan Lewis wanted to give some type of closure for his family and himself. When Lewis did visit Colbert, GA for the first time in 2015 he did not know what he would find but he did expect not much of a paper trail on the gruesome event. Lewis started with the City Hall and the clerks Vicky Smith and Ann Waggoner. They were not much help when questioned about local historians to talk and comment on the city’s history. The clerks did offer the city’s history book and the small museum in the back of the City Hall building, but there sadly was nothing even remotely relatable to the information or clues Lewis was looking for.
Upon the clerks saying that they didn't even know of Lent Shaw the recommended Lewis to the City Adviser and husband John Waggoner. The Adviser approached Lewis with confidence but when the reasoning of the visit was revealed John’s dementor and stance changed with that he started fidgeting quite a bit. The only thing that John remembered was people talking of the event, readings, and clipping of old newspapers stating that the mob took Shaw to Colbert and was hung from a pine tree. John did recall a barbershop conversation of Lent Shaw from when he was 12 years old and the only from the overhearing of an old man when he talked with FBI agents stated from John’s retelling “He stated that this fella (Shaw) came up around his house, stole a rope at his barn and went and hung himself up on that tree, sarcastically”(www.azcentral.com). John continued to say that it was just something no one in town talked about and what he told Lewis was all he knew. Lewis was a bit disappointing but expected this since a lynching was something people wanted to cover up and try to erase from the record and the person(s) is targeted.
There is no known exact location of the lynching event of Shaw only that it happened along a creek. I did find it interesting that the names of the roads do not match up from the map Mr. Lewis provided on the website and from updated google maps also you can see the deforestation close to the creek. By stating Shaw died in Royston, the wrong location of his death, the renaming of roads from Colbert Road to Smithsonian-Colbert Road, and the absence of a paper trail other than the newspaper readings again show the corruptness of the county and the dehumanization that lynching inflicted upon the victim's families and generations. Lewis decided the take a few stones from the creek as mementos for his great-grandfather a small way to have a piece of him with Lewis. Lewis thought it was important to min and the family that he embarked on this journey of trying to find the truth, saying “I don’t want to live with that fear in myself or tag that down to future generations so I feel that it’s important for a cycle like that to be broken,”(www.azcentral.com)
Lewis feels his business unfinished in Georgia for Shaw’s memory. Lewis is working with Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project to find much needed and deserved justice in the situation. He does want to find about and try to possibly obtain the land Lent Shaw originally owned and he is open to a plaque to honor Shaw’s memory. He would be fine with an official apology but he has made is supremely clear that he does not and will not accept the apology that “ he can't stand up there and pretend all is forgiven...I feel just as much of a responsibility to Lent himself that we kind of establish a record and set the record straight. Not just in terms of how he was killed, but how he lived”(www.azcentral.com) and I wholeheartedly agree with his stance in the matter.
The Anti-Lynching Movement
Ida B. Wells
Since the Federal Government took back the rights and laws that put forth equality, there have been numerous activists trying to fight against the segregation, discrimination, and hate. One of these activists was Ida Barnett-Wells. Since she was young she had a strong belief that the tides of equality would burst forth like a rushing river breaking form a dam. She was born as a slave during the Civil War in Holly Springs, Mississippi July 16th, 1862. When her family and she was freed they immediately became involved with the Reconstruction politically and instill the drastic need and value of education for Ida. She went Rust College but was later expelled for causing a dispute with the President of the college.
After the death of her parents the youngest sibling due to the yelow fever she moved to Memphis Tenneesee with her 2 remaining siblings. She wanted to keep the family together and to do so she made herself appear older and worked as an educator. Ida's first action of activists rebellion was to sue a train car company in Memphis due to unfair treatment based on her skin color. Though she won the local case and lost the Supreme Court appeal neither stopped her. Ida's attention turned to the mob violence happening against male African-Americans and when she reported on a lynching case from 1892, it enraged the white community around her and in turn, the community acted out against her. They threatened and burned her story and press which caused her to be forced out of Memphis and move the Chicago for safety.
She is known as an influential journalist with a prominent voice again her community. With her skilled wordplay and thinking, she exposed the injustices of the Southern African-American. These injustices included racism and the exclusion of African-Americans of the World's Colombian Exposition and the negative view of the black community, the violence, and dehumanization of lynching and exposing the crimes as they were internationally when she traveled to foreign audiences, and sexism in the form of supporting women's suffrage. Though Ida B. Wells was despised and "black-balled" in the women organizations of the United States it did not stop her one bit.
Even though the crimes of lynching in the 1930s and 1940s were on the decline, much was not done in the way of having legislation on anti-lynching actions and movements. The strides the organization took in legal means and cases went very far in desegregating everyday life for the black man and woman, but most individuals do not realize that the NAACP primary goal of the first part of the 20th century, “from 1909 to 1939 (edsitement.neh.gov)” was to have an anti-lynching law in progress of on the books. It is sad to see that this struggle was demoted to only a footnote in our history books, at best, within our schooling. The NAACP fought ferociously against the injustice of the crime, but the result was anti-lynching bills failing to pass in the Senate. We can start to find understand why based on how individuals understood the Constitution, Americans implied or presumed the state and federal legal process, acknowledgments and actions to the demands for social justice, white or black.
The first attempt at an anti-lynching law was proposed in 1900 by a North Carolina Republican Representative, Mr. George Henry White, but was sadly defeated and stopped in the committee. In 1918 a Missouri Republican Representative of a majority African American district of the state, by the name of Leonidas C. Dyer helped sponsor a bill that would make lynching illegal in the U.S.A. and make it a federal crime. Mr. Dyer was distraught of the escalating numbers of lynchings around him and was appalled at the local and state governments not even trying to engage in an indictment of the cases and the blatant disrespect and scorn for the law. This galvanized the creation of Dyer’s bill.
The bill raced, with approval and the large majority, through the House of Representatives, but sadly it was halted from the vote in the Senate in the years of 1922, 1923, and 1924 because of Southern Democratic parties and persons as a result of filibusters. The Senators of the South based opposition of the anti-lynching bill on the justifications of reasoning being more frequent crimes being committed, higher un-wedlock births, and governmental assistance and all shoved on the shoulders of the black man and woman. This justified the South’s harsh, immoral, and unlawful treatment of black men and women and why they needed to have strong controlling measures placed on them.
The Memory and Methods of Racial Terrorism Changing
Even though the publicness and mutilating murders stopped the racial hate, crimes, and terrorism did not the African-American community. I personally believe that the reasoning behind lynching was transformed into other means like the white policemen being more abusive and using excessive force to detain someone, banks rejecting loans to black patrons, the lack of higher and better education access for minority groups, and race riots breaking out, and of all things making interracial marriage illegal until 1965.
Examples of said racial riots and re-formalized terrorist methods are the riot that broke out, in Chicago, over the 1955 lynching of Emmett Louis Till that transpired in Mississippi, the Miami-Dade riot in the 1980s with the beating of Arthur McDuffie, and the 1992 Los Angeles riot and the filmed, by police, beating of Rodney Glen King. Which is most of these cases the perpetrators, police usually, were acquitted. The racial terrorism traditions of the United States is still alive and well but it is a lot more discreet than the early 20th century. The public lynching of being hung from a tree transformed into public police detaining beatings or resisting arrest beatings, and verbal abuse to the victims. People say word never hurt unless you let but in reality they do and they cut deep and the word escalate to acts of violence and murder as the murder case of Lemuel Augustus Penn in July of 1964.
Bibliography and Links
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Registration State: Georgia; Registration County: Madison; Roll: 1558448
Year: 1920; Census Place: Comer, Madison, Georgia; Roll: T625_268; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 83
Ancestry.com. Georgia, World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
Ancestry.com. Georgia, Deaths Index, 1914-1940 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. (Georgia Department of Health and Vital Statistics; Atlanta, Georgia)
John Skelton Jr.-
Ancestry.com. Georgia, Deaths Index, 1914-1940 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. (Georgia Department of Health and Vital Statistics; Atlanta, Georgia)
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. (Registration State: South Carolina; Registration County: Anderson; Roll: 1852492; Draft Board: 1)
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. (Year: 1900; Census Place: Varennes, Anderson, South Carolina; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0065; FHL microfilm: 1241517)
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.(Year: 1920; Census Place: Anderson Ward 3, Anderson, South Carolina; Roll: T625_1684; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 23)
Year: 1910; Census Place: Varennes, Anderson, South Carolina; Roll: T624_1449; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0066; FHL microfilm: 1375462 (Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.)
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.(Year: 1920; Census Place: Varennes, Anderson, South Carolina; Roll: T625_1685; Page: 25A; Enumeration District: 60)
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. (Year: 1920; Census Place: Anderson Ward 3, Anderson, South Carolina; Roll: T625_1684; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 23)
Bibliography and Links for AFAM