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Lynching

Lynching was an extra-legal form of group violence, performed without judicial due process. Scholars enumerating cases of lynching consider only those cases in which an actual murder occurs, though some states had laws against the crime of “lynching in the second degree,” in which death did not result to the victim. Lynchings, especially in the American South, have typically been perpetrated on marginalized groups—predominately African Americans, but also Jews, immigrants, homosexuals, and criminals. One scholar estimates that, during its peak in the state (roughly the 1860s to the 1930s), at least 318 documented lynchings occurred, 231 victims of which were black.

Prior to the Civil War, most lynchings were carried out by individuals or mobs who sought to impose vigilante justice on white criminals. Because they were a form of property, slaves were rarely lynched. Reconstruction-era lynching, however, stemmed from the social disarray wrought by the war’s end. One common justification—since debunked—is that lynchings were frequent after the Civil War because justice was lacking and criminals often went free or were subjected to light sentences. Other motives were economic. “Whitecappers” (also known as “baldknobbers” and “nightriders”) were vigilante, primarily poor whites, who grouped together, beginning in the late 1860s, in order to intimidate African Americans into leaving a particular area, sometimes killing them. These poor white Arkansans often found themselves competing with freed slaves for land and jobs. In one instance that occurred along the Jefferson-Lonoke county lines, black tenant farmers were driven off their land in January 1905 by a group of poor whites known as the “Lonoke County Club.” The competition for land took form as a struggle not only between blacks and whites, but also between whites and Hispanics. Indeed, a mere month after the incident in Jefferson and Lonoke counties, whites warned migrant Hispanic laborers to leave the area or face violent consequences. In one rare case, in Phillips County in 1889, black whitecappers rose up to chase other blacks out of the area. However, the primary purpose of lynching was as a form of social control designed to keep African Americans subjugated and in a state of fear. Lynchings were also highly sexualized affairs, and one of the more common reasons given by whites who committed such acts was the pervasive need to protect white womanhood. The stereotype of the “black beast rapist” perpetuated the notion that lynching was a necessary measure to keep order.

The most notorious perpetrator of lynchings during Reconstruction was the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), which first appeared in Arkansas around 1868. The Klan’s initial motives were primarily to disrupt the 1868 elections and thereby prevent freed blacks from voting for Republican candidates. The fall of 1868 witnessed a slew of lynchings as the November elections approached. Governor Powell Clayton sought to restore order by sending militia groups to combat the Klan. In one incident, Monticello (Drew County) sheriff William Dollar was kidnapped by fifteen masked men and tied to a black man, Fred Reeves. The two were then dragged 300 yards and shot. To signify the sheriff’s attitudes on racial matters, their bodies were posed in an embrace and left in the middle of the road to rot in the sun. In what had been largely a Unionist area, northwest Arkansas witnessed fewer lynchings in the late 1800s than other parts of the state, although in Fayetteville (Washington County), Klan members were reputed to have broken up church services held at all-black St. James Methodist Church.

The worst violence occurred in southern Arkansas. Little River County endured a number of lynchings during the Reconstruction era, while in Crittenden County, highly organized Klan groups terrorized local blacks, gained complete control of the county, and hanged and murdered scores of people (though an exact death count will never be known). In the late 1860s, hundreds of blacks in Crittenden County periodically sought protection from plantation owner E. M. Main, who was a Freedmen’s Bureau official succeeding his murdered predecessor.

The number of lynchings perpetrated against blacks increased in the 1890s, when Jim Crow segregation statutes were implemented. Indeed, lynching remained a part of life in Arkansas as the state moved into the twentieth century. While lynching declined around the turn of the century, the ratio of black victims compared to whites rose steadily, peaking in the 1920s. The nature and methods of lynchings also became more gruesome and terrifying. The March 1904 lynching in St. Charles (Arkansas County) represented a particularly horrific example, in which thirteen black victims were murdered in a four-day frenzy of violence.

Lynching was closely related to the practice of racial cleansing. For example, the Harrison race riots of 1905 and 1909 in Harrison (Boone County) effectively drove all but one African American from the area—creating, through violence and intimidation, a virtually all-white community. Only one person was killed during the riots, in 1905, but the fear of lynching, especially in 1909, motivated black residents to flee. Municipalities throughout Arkansas forbade black people from living in a particular town, usually through campaigns of intimidation. Such “sundown towns” as Alix (Franklin County) were far more prevalent in the northern half of Arkansas (where more than 100 such towns existed) than in the rest of the state. In northern and western Arkansas, some entire counties, such as Boone and Polk, refused to allow black residents. Sundown towns were at their peak in the late 1960s, thus surviving long after lynching in Arkansas had declined.

Occasionally, lynching was sanctioned by Arkansas leaders, who inflamed racial passions as a means of achieving their own political ends. Former governor Jeff Davis (who was born in Sevier County in 1862 and served as governor of the state from 1901 to 1907) was quite willing to defend the practice of lynching. When President Theodore Roosevelt visited Arkansas in 1905, Davis famously remarked, “[W]e have come to a parting of the way with the Negro. If the brutal criminals of that race…lay unholy hands upon our fair daughters, nature is so riven and shocked that the dire compact produces a social cataclysm.” Thus lynching represented not only a way of asserting white supremacy but also a political tool wielded by demagogues.

On the evening of September 30, 1919, the notorious Elaine Massacre erupted, which marked the deadliest racial episode in Arkansas history. The lynchings and murders that occurred in Elaine arose out of white fear and distrust of a black union organization in Phillips County. A shooting at a church in Hoop Spur (Phillips County) sparked the conflict; the presence of about 100 sharecroppers attending a meeting of the Progressive Farmers and Household Union quickly spurred massive violence by whites against blacks throughout the county. Although the exact death toll remains unknown, historians have estimated that hundreds of black citizens were killed, while five whites died in the incident.

Perhaps the most notorious isolated lynching in Arkansas history is that of John Carter. In late April 1927, Little Rock (Pulaski County) witnessed mob violence against African Americans following the murder of a twelve-year-old white girl named Floella McDonald. The alleged murderer, Lonnie Dixon, was quietly spirited out of the city to Texarkana (Miller County) in order to avoid the growing mob of angry whites in the capital. Then, on May 4, 1927, thirty-seven-year-old black Little Rock resident John Carter was accused of assaulting a local white woman and her daughter. Enraged whites scoured the area in search of Carter. He was found late in the day, hung from a telephone pole, and shot. Later, his body was set ablaze and dragged through the streets of Little Rock to the corner of 9th and Broadway streets—the heart of the city’s black community.

This was the beginning of the end of lynching in Arkansas. Local business leaders and government officials were concerned that the negative publicity would hurt the state’s efforts both to attract investment and, more immediately, to garner federal relief funds in the wake of the Flood of 1927. By the early 1930s, a number of factors had combined to spell the end of lynching in the state: the spread of Progressive-era reforms (which led to improved law enforcement measures); the negative publicity surrounding extra-legal violence; the gradual unwillingness of the state government to ignore lynchings; and finally, the agitation of outside groups like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Jim Crow segregation of the 1890s was perhaps most influential in causing the demise of lynching, because disfranchisement and political marginalization of black Arkansans meant that they no longer posed a credible threat to white supremacy. As such, whites felt less of a need to strike out against them, and when they did, it was often a byproduct of white fears of miscegenation.

Finally, lynching declined because white Arkansans gradually relinquished control over meting out justice in favor of allowing the courts to decide criminal matters. Moreover, the slow but steady process of urbanization within the state led to larger and more effective law enforcement, which often proved willing to stand up to angry mobs and to investigate lynchings. Of the hundreds of lynchings that occurred in Arkansas in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, most were racially motivated. Yet beyond this fact, the causes of lynchings were myriad and resulted from a deadly combination of social, economic, and political factors.

Date

Name

County

Race/Gender

Reason

8-?-1836

         Bunch

Chicot

black male

tried to vote, assaulted white man

6-29-1839

John Richmond

Washington

white male

murder, arson

6-29-1839

James Barnes

Washington

white male

murder, arson

6-29-1839

Jackson Turner

Washington

white male

murder, arson

12-?-1839

William Bailey

Washington

white male

murder, arson

9-?-1857

Jack

Ashley

black male

assault, murder of white woman

9-?-1857

Ike

Ashley

black male

assault, murder of white woman

5-2-1860

(unreported)

Washington

black male

murder of master

11-21-1865

Jerry Atkins

Union

black male

murder to two white children

8-28-1868

Dan Humphries

White

black male

member of Dem. org.

5-22-1869

William Clossen

Arkansas

white male

murder

9-15-1869

Jeff Johnson

Prairie

black male

rape

12-8-1869

         Gifford

Franklin

white male

assault

12-25-1870

         McDonald

Marion

white male

horse theft

3-15-1871 (?)

George Washington

Baxter

black male

assault, rape

8-18-1871

Frank Harris

Cross

black male

rape and murder

12-22-1871

Robert Norwood

Hempstead

white male

murder

1-27-1872

Elias Holt

Mississippi

white male

horse theft

5-7-1872

George Cole

Randolph

white male

spousal abuse

11-5-1873

Dock Eagle

Ashley

white male

attempted to catch thieves

11-5-1873

Will Eagle

Ashley

white male

attempted to catch thieves

11-5-1873

R. J. Eagle

Ashley

white male

attempted to catch thieves

8-3-1874

         Dumas

Sebastian

black male

murder

8-6-1874

William G. Harris

Logan

white male

horse theft

8-6-1874

Randolph Harris

Logan

white male

horse theft

8-6-1874

Robert Skidmore

Logan

white male

horse theft

6-28-1875

John Hogan

Pope

black male

assault of a white girl

7-20-1875

John Randolph

Mississippi

black male

robbery and murder

10-19-1875

         Dugan

Arkansas

white male

murder

8-24-1876

         Johnson

Monroe

white male

murder

6-23-1877

         Green

Ashley

black male

murder

7-14-1877

George Jackson

Ashley

black male

murder

8-6-1877

         Lebow

Polk

white male

horse theft and murder

9-22-1877

         Elligin

Arkansas

black male

murder

9-22-1877

         Anderson

Arkansas

black male

murder

10-4-1877

Henry A. Jackson

Desha

black male

murder

12-7-1877

Wash Atkinson

Clark

black male

murder

7-20-1878

Mose Kirkendall

Boone

black male

attempted rape

10-9-1878

William Solly

Jefferson

white male

(unreported)

10-26-1878

(unreported)

NW Ark.

white male

horse theft

10-26-1878

(unreported)

NW Ark.

white male

horse theft

11-6-1878

         Neely

Johnson

black male

rape

11-17-1878

(unreported)

Little River

white male

murder

1-26-1879

Ben Daniels

Clark

black male

robbery, arson, assault

1-26-1879

son of Ben Daniels

Clark

black male

robbery, arson, assault

1-26-1879

son of Ben Daniels

Clark

black male

robbery, arson, assault

3-12-1879

Elias Henson

Clay

white male

horse theft

5-22-1879

         Yancey

Bradley

white male

horse theft

9-14-1879

Henry Owens

Monroe

white male

assault

5-28-1880

Dr.         Cromwell

Miller

black male

attempted rape

10-6-1880

         Rowland

Jackson

white male

murder

10-6-1880

         Dickson

Jackson

white male

murder

1-10-1881

Jerry Ramsey

Lee

white male

attempted rape

1-18-1881

Sharpe McNeil

Lincoln

white male

murder

3-12-1881

Green Harris

Craighead

black male

murder

3-12-1881

Giles Peck

Craighead

black male

murder

3-12-1881

John Woods

Craighead

black male

murder

3-12-1881

Burt Hoskins

Craighead

black male

murder

5-25-1881

(unreported)

Sevier

black male

murder

5-25-1881

(unreported)

Sevier

black male

murder

5-25-1881

(unreported)

Sevier

black male

murder

6-13-1881

Cal Embry

Pope

white male

rape and murder

7-9-1881

Henry Smith

Searcy

black male

murder

9-10-1881

Henry Allen

Jackson

white male

(unreported)

9-12-1881

J. F. Bruce

Yell

white male

murder

9-12-1881

John Taylor

Yell

white male

murder

10-31-1881

Charles Jones

Johnson

black male

attempted rape

11-23-1881

Jim Holland

Yell

white male

murder

5-28-1882

Jim Sanders

Pulaski

black male

attempted assault

6-1-1882

Joseph Earl

Lonoke

black male

rape

6-1-1882

Taylor Washington

Lonoke

black male

rape

6-1-1882

Thomas Humphreys

Lonoke

black male

rape

8-23-1882

        Smith

Pulaski

black male

assaulted a white woman

8-25-1882

Frank Lane

Crawford

white male

murder

12-26-1882

Charley Branch

Lincoln

black male

rape, murder

3-31-1883

Albert Williams

Union

black male

rape

5-25-1883

Joseph Young (aka James)

Little River

black male

rape

5-26-1883

(unreported)

Lee

black male

arson

8-4-1883

         Barker (aka Baker)

Grant

white male

murder

9-8-1883

John Coker

Yell

white male

aiding an outlaw

9-8-1883

Dr.         Flood

Yell

white male

aiding an outlaw

10-16-1883

Wyatt Ames

Stone

black male

murder

2-20-1884

Thoman Wilson

Faulkner

black male

attempted rape

7-28-1884

Dan C. Oliver

Logan

black male

attempted rape

9-10-1884

         Orton

Desha

white male

arson

11-2-1884

Charles Mitchell

Little River

black male

rape and murder of a white woman

7-23-1885

David Scruggs

Jefferson

black male

incest

9-2-1885

George Crenshaw

Lafayette

black male

murder

9-6-1885

         Polk (bros.; aka Ford)

Pike

white male

murder

9-6-1885

         Polk (bros.; aka Ford)

Pike

white male

murder

10-6-1885

Dan Hunley

Jackson

black male

assaulting a white girl

10-20-1885

         Churchill

Pike

white male

murder

10-26-1886

James Page

Searcy

white male

murder

10-26-1886

         Moore

Searcy

white male

murder

12-1-1886

Buck Hunter

Drew

black male

assault

12-16-1886

James Howard

Miller

white male

spousal abuse

1-20-1887

         Hamilton

Bradley

white male

murder

1-20-1887

         Ludberry

Bradley

white male

murder

5-21-1887

Andrew Springer

Lawrence

black male

rape

6-5-1887

Leach Magee

Monroe

black male

rape

6-30-1887

Henry Hamilton

Bradley

white male

murder

7-25-1887

William Morrison

Carroll

white male

child abuse

8-1-1887

Leonard Boyd

Jackson

white male

murder

12-29-1887

William Herrig

Clay

white male

murder

6-10-1888

         Bryson

Yell

white male

attempted rape

8-24-1888

         Graves

Sevier

black male

rape

10-9-1888

John Kirkland

Ashley

white male

desperado

12-?-1888

Dan Reynolds

Phillips

black male

marriage to a popular black woman

5-20-1889

Americus Neely

St. Francis

black male

murder and politics

12-15-1889

(unreported)

Pulaski

white male

robbery and murder

12-15-1889

(unreported)

Pulaski

white male

robbery and murder

12-15-1889

(unreported)

Pulaski

white male

robbery and murder

12-15-1889

(unreported)

Pulaski

white male

robbery and murder

12-31-1889

(unreported)

Phillips

black male

robbery and murder

1-1-1890

(unreported)

Phillips

black male

complicity in murder

2-13-1890

George Corvett

Crittenden

white male

rape and murder

2-14-1890

Henry Larkin

Ouachita

black male

murder

6-3-1890

Joe Parrent

Yell

white male

murder

8-10-1890

William Beavers

Bradley

black male

rape

6-23-1891

Henry Jones

Ashley

black male

murder

7-9-1891

James Bailey

White

black male

rape

7-19-1891

John Farmer

Chicot

black male

murder

9-29-1891

(unreported)

Lee

black male

cotton pickers’ strike

9-29-1891

(unreported)

Lee

black male

cotton pickers’ strike

9-29-1891

(unreported)

Lee

black male

cotton pickers’ strike

9-29-1891

(unreported)

Lee

black male

cotton pickers’ strike

9-29-1891

(unreported)

Lee

black male

cotton pickers’ strike

9-29-1891

(unreported)

Lee

black male

cotton pickers’ strike

9-29-1891

(unreported)

Lee

black male

cotton pickers’ strike

9-29-1891

(unreported)

Lee

black male

cotton pickers’ strike

9-29-1891

(unreported)

Lee

black male

cotton pickers’ strike

10-1-1891

Edward Peyton

Lee

black male

rioting

10-1-1891

Ben Patterson

Lee

black male

rioting

11-7-1891

William Rice

Conway

black male

(unreported)

12-12-1891

(unreported)

Nevada

white male

attempted rape

12-21-1891

J. A. Smith

Arkansas

white male

murder

12-21-1891

Floyd McGregory

Arkansas

white male

murder

12-21-1891

Mose Henderson

Arkansas

black male

murder

2-8-1892

Henry (Jim) Beavers

Drew

black male

assault

2-10-1892

Hamp Bisco

Lonoke

black male

resisting arrest

2-10-1892

son of Hamp Bisco

Lonoke

black male

-

2-10-1892

pregnant wife of Hamp Bisco

Lonoke

black female

-

2-14-1892

John Kelley

Jefferson

black male

murder

2-14-1892

Gilbert Banks

Jefferson

black male

accomplice to murder

2-20-1892

Edward Coy

Miller

black male

rape

2-23-1892

George Harris

Lincoln

black male

murder

5-14-1892

Henry James

Pulaski

black male

rape

5-21-1892

Charles Stewart

Perry

white male

murder

5-30-1892

         MacArthur

Perry

white male

advising murder

5-30-1892

         MacArthur

Perry

white male

advising murder

5-30-1892

         MacArthur

Perry

white male

advising murder

6-29-1892

(unreported)

Cross

black male

criminal assault

6-29-1892

Robert Donnelly

Lee

black male

rape (black mob)

7-13-1892

Julius Mosely

Desha

black male

rape (black mob)

7-30-1892

Eugene Baker

Ashley

black male

murder of white man

8-8-1892

Robert Jordan

Ouachita

black male

insulted a woman

8-22-1892

         Bowles

Clark

black male

criminal assault

12-3-1892

G. P. F. Lightfoot

Jackson

black male

fraud

1-10-1893

Paul Stubbs

Monroe

black male

murder and robbery

1-10-1893

Henry Allen

Monroe

black male

murder and robbery

4-19-1893

Flanegan Thornton

Conway

black male

murder

5-9-1893

Abe Craine

Ouachita

black male

murder and robbery

5-9-1893

Doc Benson

Ouachita

black male

murder and robbery

5-9-1893

Jim Stewart

Ouachita

black male

murder and robbery

7-15-1893

John Cotton

Lincoln

black male

attempted rape

8-5-1893

Will McClendon

Woodruff

black male

murder

11-13-1893

Dan T. Nelson

Lincoln

black male

murder

12-2-1893

Robert Greenwood

Cross

black male

(unreported)

2-9-1894

Henry Bruce

Van Buren

white male

murder and robbery

2-9-1894

Robert Plunkett

Van Buren

white male

murder and robbery

2-9-1894

Charles Plunkett

Van Buren

white male

murder and robbery

2-27-1894

Anderson Carter

Baxter

white male

murder and robbery

2-27-1894

Bud Montgomery

Baxter

white male

murder and robbery

3-?-1894

(unreported)

Pulaski

black female

(unreported)

5-21-1894

J. H. Webster

St. Francis

white male

arrested whitecappersi

6-22-1894

Henry Capus

Columbia

black male

attempted rape

7-11-1894

(unreported)

(unreported)

black male

(unreported)

7-11-1894

(unreported)

(unreported)

black male

(unreported)

9-22-1894

Luke Washington

Desha

black male

murder

9-22-1894

Rich Washington

Desha

black male

murder

9-22-1894

Henry C. Robinson

Desha

black male

murder

12-11-1894

(unreported)

Howard

black male

rape

6-17-1895

Rev. Frank King

Ashley

black male

adultery and shooting

7-14-1895

Jack Ware

Calhoun

black male

murder

7-14-1895

Jim Ware

Calhoun

black male

murder

8-22-1895

James Jones

Drew

black male

murder

9-10-1895

Will Caldwell

Mississippi

black male

murder and robbery

9-10-1895

John Thomas

Mississippi

black male

murder and robbery

11-3-1895

Albert England

Faulkner

white male

burglary

4-18-1896

Jefferson Gardner

Bradley

black male

rape

5-13-1896

James Redd

Drew

black male

murder

5-13-1896

Alex Johnson

Drew

black male

murder

7-30-1896

Godfrey Gould

Monroe

white male

assault (rape)

5-13-1897

Presley Oats

Pope

black male

stealing food

7-24-1897

         Crownover

Saline

white male

theft

8-23-1897

Bill W. Douglass (aka Wyatt)

Izard

black male

murder

9-11-1897

D. T. Watson

Lonoke

black male

race prejudice

10-13-1897

Thomas Parker

Cleveland

black male

murder

11-13-1897

Henry Phillips

Mississippi

black male

murder

12-6-1897

James Murray

Sebastian

white male

arrested a coal miner

1-?-1898

         Devoe

Ouachita

black male

attempted assault

1-?-1898

         Huntley

Ouachita

black male

attempted assault

1-7-1898

Charley Wheelright

Calhoun

black male

murder, robbery

1-7-1898

A. A. Martin

Calhoun

black male

murder, robbery

7-4-1898

Jim Cone

Calhoun

black male

murder, robbery

7-4-1898

Goode Gray

Cleveland

black male

murder, robbery

3-12-1898

(unreported)

Stone

black male

burglary

4-2-1898

William Mercer

Cleburne

white male

rape and murder

6-3-1898

Bud Hayden

Miller

black male

assault (rape)

6-12-1898

G. W. Ricks

Monroe

black male

rape

6-13-1898

Moses Ricks

Monroe

black male

rape

7-4-1898

Goode Gray

Cleveland

black male

murder

7-14-1898

James Redd

Drew

black male

murder

7-14-1898

Alexander Johnson

Drew

black male

murder

8-9-1898

Manse Castle

Monroe

black male

murder

8-9-1898

Dennis Ricord

Monroe

black male

murder

8-9-1898

Will Sanders

Monroe

black male

murder

8-9-1898

Rilla Weaver

Monroe

black female

murder

8-9-1898

Susie Jacobs

Monroe

black female

Murder

3-21-1899

General Duckett

Little River

black male

murder

3-22-1899

Edward Goodwin

Little River

black male

providing food to Duckett

3-22-1899

Moses Jones

Little River

black male

providing food to Duckett

3-22-1899

Joseph Jones

Little River

black male

making offensive remarks

3-22-1899

Benjamin Jones

Little River

black male

making offensive remarks

3-22-1899

Joseph King

Little River

black male

making offensive remarks

3-22-1899

Adam King

Little River

black male

making offensive remarks

3-22-1899

(unreported)

Little River

black male

-

4-17-1899

W. H. Hardin

Van Buren

white male

murder

4-30-1899

Willis Sees

Mississippi

black male

barn-burning

7-7-1899

Bud Brake

Clay

white male

complicity in murder

7-23-1899

Chick Davis

Ashley

black male

murder

5-?-1900

John Brodie

Lee

black male

murderous assault

5-25-1900

S. A. Jenkins

White

black male

robbery

6-17-1900

Nat Mullens

Crittenden

black male

murder

6-18-1900

William Woodward

Searcy

white male

murder

2-20-1901

Peter Berryman

Polk

black male

assault

3-22-1901

George Shivery

Randolph

white male

murder

4-5-1901

May Hearn

Mississippi

white male

murder

5-12-1901

Lee Key

Johnson

black male

terrorism

7-29-1901

         Siegler

Nevada

black male

murder

3-9-1902

Hosey McCoy

Little River

black male

rape

7-27-1902

Lee Newton

Columbia

black male

attempted rape

9-3-1902

Hog Wilson

Ouachita

black male

attempted rape

10-20-1902

Charles Young

St. Francis

black male

rape and murder

11-20-1902

Isaac Wells

Cross

black male

assault

4-6-1903

John Turner

Bradley

black male

attempted rape

4-23-1903

Alex Thompson

Clark

black male

assault

7-20-1903

Crane Green

Jefferson

black male

assault (rape)

7-22-1903

John Gilbert

Crittenden

black male

murder

9-18-1903

         Hellom

Mississippi

black male

assault

10-5-1903

Edward McCollum

Grant

black male

murderous assault

11-3-1903

Henry Johnson

Chicot

black male

murder

11-8-1903

Zallie C. Cade

Monroe

white male

murder

2-18-1904

Glenco Bays (aka Days)

Ashley

black male

murder

3-24-1904

Aaron Hinton

Arkansas

black male

race riot

3-24-1904

Randall Flood

Arkansas

black male

race riot

3-24-1904

Will Baldwin

Arkansas

black male

race riot

3-24-1904

Will Madison

Arkansas

black male

race riot

3-24-1904

Kellis Johnson

Arkansas

black male

race riot

3-24-1904

James Smith

Arkansas

black male

race riot

3-24-1904

Charles Smith

Arkansas

black male

race riot

3-24-1904

Mack Baldwin

Arkansas

black male

race riot

3-24-1904

Abe Bailey

Arkansas

black male

race riot

3-24-1904

Garrett Flood

Arkansas

black male

race riot

3-25-1904

Perry Carter

Arkansas

black male

race riot

3-26-1904

Henry Griffin

Arkansas

black male

assault

3-26-1904

Walker Griffin

Arkansas

black male

assault

8-30-1904

         Stover

Union

white male

(unreported)

8-30-1904

Smead Smith

Union

black male

frightened a woman

8-30-1904

         Bates

Union

black female

(unreported)

9-4-1904

(unreported)

Ashley

black male

assault

12-31-1904

Louis Allwhite

Jackson

white male

rape and murder

12-31-1904

White Jetton

Hempstead

black male

shooting

4-17-1905

John Barnett

Lee

black male

murder

7-5-1905

Joe Woodman

Drew

black male

eloped with a white girl

9-22-1905

Frank Brown

Faulkner

black male

rape and murder

7-8-1906

William Anderson

Drew

black male

robbery and assault

10-7-1906

Homer G. Blackman

Pulaski

black male

mistaken identity

10-9-1906

Anthony Davis

Miller

black male

attempted rape

3-18-1907

(unreported)

Lafayette

black female

assault

3-18-1907

(unreported)

Lafayette

black female

assault

6-19-1908

Ernest Williams

Ashley

black male

obscene language

1-18-1909

John Dillard

Hempstead

black male

attempted assault

5-24-1909

Lovett Davis

Jefferson

black male

robbery and assault

5-29-1909

Joseph Blakely

Ashley

black male

brother of murderer

12-19-1909

George Bailey

Prairie

black male

shooting

3-18-1910

Robert Austin

Crittenden

black male

jailbreak

3-18-1910

Charles Richardson

Crittenden

black male

jailbreak

3-25-1910

Judge Jones

Jefferson

black male

harassed a white woman

4-4-1910

Frank Pride

Lonoke

black male

murder of spouse

4-4-1910

Laura Mitchell

Lonoke

black female

murder of spouse

5-13-1910

Doc McClain

Little River

black male

assault

6-13-1910

William Hunter

Lincoln

black male

assaulted a woman

7-5-1910

(unreported)

White

black male

mistaken identity

7-6-1910

Sam Powell

Union

black male

robbery and arson

12-26-1910

Oscar Chitwood

Garland

white male

murder

9-9-1911

Arthur Dean

Woodruff

black male

murder and rape

9-27-1911

Charles Malpass

Desha

white male

married to a black woman, father of murderer

10-16-1911

Nathan Lacey

St. Francis

black male

attempted rape

10-17-1911

Charles Lewis

Hempstead

black male

threats

3-23-1912

Sanford Lewis

Sebastian

black male

murder

7-4-1912

John Williams

Conway

black male

murder

8-19-1912

Monroe Franklin

Pope

black male

assault and rape

6-19-1913

Will Norman

Garland

black male

murder and attempted rape

10-25-1914

Howard Davis

Jackson

black male

murder

3-2-1915

H. M. Candy (aka Gandy)

Monroe

black male

theft

3-2-1915

Jeff Mansel

Monroe

black male

theft

6-15-1915

Loy Haley

Lafayette

black male

murder

7-8-1915

Warren Fox

Crittenden

black male

murder

8-11-1915

Bert Springs

Mississippi

black male

murder

8-12-1915

Andy Crum

Mississippi

white male

murder

12-3-1915

William Patrick

St. Francis

black male

murder

1-15-1916

Will Warren

Garland

black male

slapped white boys

5-26-1916

Felix M. Gilmore

Nevada

black male

attempted assault

8-9-1916

(unreported)

Arkansas

black male

attempted rape

10-8-1916

Frank Dodd

Arkansas

black male

insulted women

2-8-1917

James Smith

Crittenden

black male

murder

7-30-1917

Andrew Avery

Little River

black male

robbery and assault

8-8-1917

Aaron Jimerson

Little River

black male

shooting

9-13-1917

Samuel Gates

Lonoke

black male

indecency with girls

12-18-1918

Willis Robinson

Jackson

black male

murder

1-30-1919

John Kelfer (aka Keifer)

Newton

white male

murder

4-23-1919

Samuel McIntyre

St. Francis

black male

murder

5-21-1919

Frank Livingston

Union

black male

murder

6-13-1919

Clyde Ellison

Lincoln

black male

attempted rape

9-1-1919

Clinton Briggs

Lincoln

black male

indecent proposals

10-20-1919

Alexander Wilson

Lee

black male

murder

11-11-1919

Jordan Jameson

Columbia

black male

murder

11-20-1919

T. T. Lee

Baxter

white male

murder

12-23-1920

J. W. Gibson

Phillips

black male

carrying an unloaded gun

12-26-1920

Wade Thomas

Craighead

black male

murder

1-26-1921

Henry Lowery

Mississippi

black male

murder

3-15-1921

Browning Tuggle

Hempstead

black male

rape

3-22-1921

Philip Slater

Drew

black male

assaulted a woman

5-11-1921

Leroy Smith

Desha

black male

assaulted a couple

11-18-1921

William Turner

Phillips

black male

rape

11-23-1921

Robert Hicks

Chicot

black male

wrote to a white girl

2-2-1922

John Harris

Hot Spring

black male

frightened girls

5-19-1922

Hullen Owen

Miller

black male

murder

7-28-1922

John West

Hempstead

black male

quarrel with a white man

8-1-1922

Gilbert Harris

Garland

black male

murder, burglary

12-9-1922

Less Smith

Conway

black male

murderous assault

1-16-1923

E. C. Gregor

Boone

white male

railroad striker

8-10-1923

Edward Brock

Union

black male

insulted a woman

5-29-1925

George         

Ouachita

black male

attempted rape

5-26-1926

Albert Blades

Mississippi

black male

attacked a girl

8-11-1926

Charles Powell

Lafayette

black male

murder

10-30-1926

Bud Nelson

Lincoln

black male

murder

5-4-1927

John Carter

Pulaski

black male

attacked women

6-8-1927

Owen Fleming

Phillips

black male

murder

8-25-1927

Winston Pounds

Ashley

black male

attempted rape

9-15-1932

Frank Tucker

Ashley

black male

assaulted a police officer

4-29-1936

Willie Kees

Poinsett

black male

attempted rape

 

 
For additional information: 
Buckelew, Richard. “Racial Violence in Arkansas: Lynchings and Mob Rule, 1860–1930.” PhD diss., University of Arkansas, 1999.

CSDE Lynching Database. http://lynching.csde.washington.edu/#/home (accessed July 1, 2016).

Finley, Randy. From Slavery to Uncertain Freedom: The Freedmen’s Bureau in Arkansas, 1865–68. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1996.

Greer, Brian D. “The Last Lynching: A New Look at Little Rock’s Last Episode of Deadly Mob Justice.” Arkansas Times. August 4, 2000, pp. 12–19.

Hill, Karlos. “Black Vigilantism: The Rise and Decline of African American Lynch Mob Activity in the Mississippi and Arkansas Deltas.” Journal of African American History 95 (Winter 2010): 26–43.

———. “Resisting Lynching: Black Grassroots Responses to Lynching in the Mississippi and Arkansas Deltas, 1882–1938.” PhD diss., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009.

Lancaster, Guy. “Before John Carter: Lynching and Mob Violence in Pulaski County, 1882–1906.” Pulaski County Historical Review 64 (Spring 2016): 2–22.

Lewis, Todd. “Mob Justice in the ‘American Congo’: ‘Judge Lynch’ in Arkansas during the Decade after World War I.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 52 (Summer 1993): 156–184.

Moneyhon, Carl. The Impact of Civil War and Reconstruction on Arkansas. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1994.

Stockley, Grif. Blood in Their Eyes: The Elaine Race Massacres of 1919. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2001.

“The Body Count: Lynching in Arkansas.” History Matters. http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5467/ (accessed July 8, 2016).

Vinikas, Vincent. “Specters in the Past: The Saint Charles, Arkansas, Lynching of 1904 and the Limits of Historical Inquiry.” Journal of Southern History 65 (August 1999): 535–564.

Whayne, Jeannie M. “Low Villains and Wickedness in High Places: Race and Class in the Elaine Riots.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 58 (Autumn 1999): 285–313.

Brent E. Riffel
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Related Butler Center Lesson Plans:
Jim Crow Is Here (Grades 5-8); Jim Crow and the Poll Tax (Grades 7-12)

Last Updated 8/10/2016

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