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The Lynching Project: Monroe County

         

BACKGROUND

            Monroe County is a Georgia county located in middle Georgia. It was created May 15, 1821. The county is small only holding around 400 square miles of space. Monroe county has been a mostly rural area throughout it's conception. The county is named after James Monroe, the 5th president of the United States. As of 2010, the county is around 73% white and 23% black with every other race being below 1%. Monroe county is one of the less popular locations in the state. This area of Georgia does not make headlines often. This is mostly due to the county being in a rural area, but also due to the county not being populated heavily (around 26,000 as of 2010).

            Lynchings started around the 19th century ,and it was defined as an act of terror meant to spread fear among blacks. The purpose was to maintain white supremacy in the US. Lynchings became popular during reconstruction when black towns were becoming more abundant. These were disgusting public events that took place for over 100 years. There were various ways the lynchings were drawn out including hangings, burnings, gunfire, and guillotine. Lynchings took the racism for slavery and continued the path for black hatred. As history continues, oppression and racism persist in different ways ,and it is important to examine previous points in history to understand how we can progress together as people on this earth.

The Milledgeville News article that talks about the lynching of John 'Cocky' Glover

John "Cocky" Glover

            The case of John Glover was different from the typical lynching case. The 5 men involved with the lynching were indicted for their crime (Troy Raines, Nathan Unice, H. McSwain, D. L. Wood, and Gordon Herndon). John Glover was lynched by a mob on October 23, 1899. A few of the individuals tried to escape the trial, but they were unsuccessful. In most cases, there is no trial for those who are committing lynchings on African Americans. The family of victims are given no closure some times not even aware of the incidents that have take place. This case is unique due to their somewhat being justice served through the judicial court system.

John Jossey

            John Jossey was lynched by getting shot to death on June 17, 1894. He was accused of assaulting a black female school teacher. This case is unique because usually the accusation on the lynch victim has to deal with something they've done to a white individual. In most cases, an African American is accused of doing harm to someone white which in turn causes an uproar and eventually leads to their death. 

Owen Ogletree

       Owen Ogletree had a more typical case for lynchings during the late 1890s to early 1900s. He was accused of attempting to rape a white doctor's wife. Most of the time, the accusations that lynch victims have against never actually occurred. The public fabricates a story to either get a crowd riled up or to cover up a different scandal that was the doing of a different individual. Owen Ogletree was shot to death by a mob on March 13, 1895 after the false accusations spread around town. 

Amos Gibson

            Amos Gibson had a more typical case. He was accused of assault a white woman. There is a pattern of cases that end in lynchings when the accusations deal with the harming of white women. It seems that when white men feel that white women are in danger this is when lynchings happen. Amos Gibson died on May 22, 1895 found hanged and riddled with bullets. One thing thatis interesting about this case is the excessive damage done to Mr. Gibson. Lynchings usually end with just one means of distruction. In this case, Amos Gibson was hung after already dying by being shot to death, almost as a symbol for the deed that these men have committed. There is no shame in the killing of these African American men. 

            

Charles Fuller

            Charles Fuller's case followes in the same footsteps as Mr. Gibsons'. There begins to form a pattern of accusations of harm toward a white woman, and the brutal ending of a black man's life. An infamous example of this would be the story of Emmitt Till. White men will go to extreme lengths when there's even a possible chance of black males harming white women. Fuller was accused of attempting to rape a 12 year old white girl. While there is no definitive proof, a vast majority of these cases are fabricated truths. To ensure white supremacy, various white people would lie to give them excuses to kill African Americans. Charles Fuller died on August 7, 1897 for lynching of a mob. 

Headline the day Henry Etheridge's body is found

Henry Etheridge

            Henry Etheridge has the most realistic case when it comes to his accusation for reason of lynching. Etheridge was accused of trying to recruit blacks to create an African colony. As comes with most of these lynchings, his accusation does not fit his punishment. Mr. Etheridge was shot to death by a mob on August 11,1897 after being confronted. The racism is abundantly clearly with the simple fact that there aren't many (if any at all) lynchings of white people.

Aaron Taylor

            Aaron Taylor was hung by a mob on August 30, 1892. He was accused of killing a young white man. Similar to every other case, we do not have definitive proof of what happened. It seem interesting that in this case Mr. Taylor was not hung and shot at. I feel that this shows the importance of protecting white women more than white men. White people want to protect their people, but when a white women is in danger, it means more to the lynchers. 

Unnamed Black Victims

            Reconstruction was riddled with lynchings with no identity attached to them. To coincide with this, there were also those who got lynched, but they were falsely named or given a nickname. The dehumanization of the African American's that were lynched is unfathomable. These people were no different than those doing the lynchings other than the color of their skin, and it is a shame the way that they were treated in this era. It is extremely tough on the family's of these unnamed victims. They never find out what happens to their family member due to others not caring enough to at least figure out a name before committing a lynching. The statistics on lynchings are so erroneous due to the killing of African Americans with no way of tracking those being lost. Lynchings were most likely worse than the statistics show, but since we do not have comprehensive data, we must dig and research to find the most information possible on lynchings. 

Sources

  • English, Shanna. “MONROE COUNTY, GA - HISTORY  Lynchings.” USGenWeb Archives - Census Wills Deeds Genealogy, files.usgwarchives.net/ga/monroe/history/lynch.txt.

  • “Lynching in America.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/emmett-lynching-america/.

  • “Monroe County.” Georgia.gov, 18 Apr. 2012, georgia.gov/cities-counties/monroe-county.

  • “Remembering Mary Turner.” Remembering Mary Turner, maryturner.org/.

  • Studio, Auut. “MonroeWorkToday.org.” Monroe Work Today, www.monroeworktoday.org/.

  • “Your Peachy Past.” Henry Etheridge Lynched for Securing Recruits for an African Colony, 28 Nov. 2017, peachypast.blogspot.com/2017/11/henry-etheridge-lynched-for-securing.html.EXHIBIT CREATED BY JAYLIN TAYLOR