Dan Hunley (Lynching of)

On October 6, 1885, an African-American man named Hunley (or Hunly) was murdered for an alleged attack on a young white girl near Tuckerman (Jackson County).

Although most reports identify the girl as Priscilla Bundy, census records reveal that her name was probably Drucilla Bandy. One account identifies Bandy’s attacker by the last name Hunly, but it is probable that Dan Hunley was the alleged perpetrator, as, in 1880, a widow named Nelly Hunley was living in Breckenridge Township of Jackson County with her two sons, Anderson (thirteen) and Dan (nineteen), and a daughter, Judy (ten).

At the time of the 1880 census, nine-year-old Drucilla was living in Bird Township of Jackson County with her parents, farmer George W. Bandy and Drucilla S. M. Bandy. They had four children, of whom Drucilla was the youngest. This would have made her fourteen at the time of the incident. According to the Arkansas Gazette, the Bandys were respected members of the community, and Drucilla was “a universal favorite” among local residents.

On October 5, 1885, Drucilla Bandy was riding her horse near Tuckerman. According to the Gazette, Bandy had just left Tuckerman, heading for home. When she was only a short distance out of town, she was attacked by a “burly negro,” who “struck her with a club, knocked her from her horse, and attempted the crime of rape.” Her clothing was “cut and torn from her body, and she was frightfully bruised.” She screamed and frightened “the black devil” away before he could accomplish his purpose. Then, “more dead than alive,” Bandy managed to crawl home and tell her parents. Local residents began an immediate search of the area. At 4:00 p.m. the next day, Hunley was found hiding in a cotton field near Newport (Jackson County).

Accounts vary as to what happened then. The Gazette reports that at 10:00 p.m., a group of about forty armed men took Hunley away from his guards and “hurried him off into the woods, since which time he has not been heard of.” On October 8, the Daily Alta California reported that Hunley had been taken into the woods and shot to death. The Columbus Journal reported on October 14 that Hunley had been found “hanging to a tree dead” in the area.

Drucilla Bandy survived the attack and married Josephus S. Graham in 1895. He died in Hot Springs (Garland County) in 1920, and she married W. M. Tims in 1923. She died on February 5, 1933, in Tuckerman.

For additional information:
“Judge Lynch’s Work.” Daily Alta California, October 8, 1885. Online at http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=DAC18851008.2.57.1# (accessed September 2, 2021).

“News Notes.” Columbus Journal (Nebraska), October 14, 1885, p. 2.

“A Would-Be Ravisher.” Arkansas Gazette, October 8, 1885, p. 3.

Nancy Snell Griffith
Clinton, South Carolina


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