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In August 1892, an African-American man named Bob Jordan was shot by members of a mob near Camden (Ouachita County) for allegedly insulting a white woman.
According to the Arkansas Gazette, a Constable Wright had arrested Jordan and was en route to Camden with his prisoner on the night of August 8. Along the way, six miles from town, a group of masked men intercepted them. The men told the constable to leave and then shot Jordan. The incident was reported in a number of newspapers across the country, with the Postville, Iowa, Graphic reporting that Jordan had attempted to assault a woman.
Historian Kenneth C. Barnes, in his book Journey of Hope, noted that the incident was indicative of the racial tensions in Ouachita County and neighboring counties during this period. After Jordan’s death, area whitecappers passed out circulars notifying black workers at Pott’s Mill, a sawmill located south of Camden, to leave the area or face death. Soon afterward, in nearby Calhoun County, what is known as the Calhoun County Race War erupted.
For additional information:
Barnes, Kenneth C. Journey of Hope: The Back-to-Africa Movement in Arkansas in the Late 1800s. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005.
“Insulted a Woman.” Arkansas Gazette, August 10, 1892, p. 3.
“Put to Death.” Logansport Pharos (Logansport, Indiana), August 12, 1892, p. 2.
Untitled. Brandon Sun (Brandon, Manitoba, Canada), August 18, 1892
Untitled. Graphic (Postville, Iowa), August 18, 1892.
Nancy Snell Griffith
Davidson, North Carolina
Last Updated 12/31/2018
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