Howard County Reported Lynching of 1894

Brief accounts of lynchings sometimes appeared in newspapers across the country but were later corrected or contradicted by local newspapers. Such was the case with an unidentified African-American man who was supposedly lynched in Howard County in December 1894.

In mid-December, several out-of-state newspapers—including Memphis’s Commercial Appeal, the Indianapolis Journal, the New York Sun, the New York Times, and the Raleigh News and Observer—reported that on Monday, December 10, a Black man had “outraged” a small white child (some reports say that she was only two years old) near Center Point (Howard County). He was allegedly chased away by two women but was caught and jailed. On the night of December 11 (some sources say December 12), a mob removed him from jail and hanged him from a tree limb.

On December 28, however, the Monticellonian of Monticello (Drew County) refuted these allegations: “No lynching occurred in Howard County as reported in Little Rock and telegraphed over the country. A mob undertook to lynch a negro who had attempted a diabolical crime, but the sheriff simply wouldn’t have it that way, and induced the mob to disperse and let the law take its course.”

For additional information:
“Arkansas Gleanings.” Monticellonian, December 28, 1894, p. 4.

“An Arkansas Lynching.” Raleigh News and Observer, December 14, 1894, p. 1.

“Negro Lynched.” Indianapolis Journal, December 13, 1894, p. 2.

Nancy Snell Griffith
Davidson, North Carolina


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