There are two purposes for Comments in the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Comments can either add information to aid in the understanding of the entry or add information that provides an alternate interpretation of the historical record.


Information included in this section is not fact checked by the Encyclopedia staff. The author of the Comment is entirely responsible for its content.


I found the comments here concerning an alternate story of John Carter—that he calmed out-of-control horses for women driving a cart to town—fascinating. I did extensive research about the lynching for my recent book, Carry the Rock: Race, Football, and the Soul of an American City, and found that this narrative has persisted for decades in the African-American community, though there's no evidence for it in the contemporary record, even among those who were sympathetic to Carter, like the NAACP. What's indisputable is the horrific outcome. Chapter 2 of my book covers the lynching in detail for those interested and builds upon the fine work Brian Greer has undertaken here and elsewhere.  
Jay Jennings
Little Rock, AR


This man lost his life and his family. His life was cut short due to hate. He had nothing to do with any killing or hitting any white woman. This man had a wife and five little children; his baby son who was two years old at the time never got to know his father. No one has ever gone to trial for the killing of Mr. John Carter. There is even no headstone for him. Is there a grave? Where? And this is justice?


Linda Carter
Moreno Valley, CA


This story was repeated to me by my father several years ago. His version of events differ from what is written in the encyclopedia. Instead of assaulting the woman and her daughter, John Carter was actually coming to their rescue. The incident began after a horse pulling the buggy the woman and daughter were riding in spooked and started running down the street completely out of control. The woman lost hold of the reins, and John Carter saw this. He ran and caught up with the wagon, got up on it, grabbed the reins, and brought the horse to a halt. The woman began to scream and people saw this and thought she was under attack. John Carter panicked and ran away but was later tracked down and lynched.

Jerome Owens
---, CA


I was talking to an older gentleman today about how race and racism have changed over the past several decades. The killing of Emmett Till was mentioned and, later, he actually mentioned this case. This information, of course, will be anecdotal.  

As he remembered the details of this crime, it started because a horse and buggy had gotten out of control with a white woman and child in it. A black man, I guess John Carter, ran after them and tried to stop the runaway horse and buggy. Some white men assumed that he was trying to attack the woman and her daughter. Even though the woman tried to tell the men that the black man was trying to help them, the white men killed him. Then they dragged his body past Bethel AME church on 9th and Broadway.   


John Boswell
Little Rock, AR


This article has information I had never heard. Floella McDonald would have been my great aunt. She was the youngest child of a Russian immigrant who was assigned the name Charles McDonald by Boston immigration agents.  
The name Lonnie Dixon is a name I grew up hearing. I have looked up at the belfry at the First Presbyterian Church for as long as I can remember and listened to the story of the lynching of, until today, a nameless African-American man who was shot out of tree on what is now 12th Street.

Greg Bryant
Little Rock, AR