George (Lynching of)
On May 29, 1925, an African American man identified only as George was shot by a mob near Camden (Ouachita County) for allegedly attempting to attack a white woman in nearby Louann (Ouachita County).
George, originally from Little Rock (Pulaski County), was working in the oil fields that had sprung up around Camden in the early 1920s. According to a later report, early on May 29, George had come to the home of a widow near Louann, where she lived with her three children. He approached her on the porch and said he had been watching her for some time, “waiting to get [her] alone some time, and now’s good enough.” He grabbed her, but she managed to escape. At 10:00 a.m. on May 29, she went to the sheriff and described the man, and he drove her around Louann until she recognized him.
George was arrested and put in the Louann jail, but a crowd soon began to gather outside the jail. Officers, fearing for George’s life, then put him in a car and attempted to take him to the county jail in Camden. The mob of twenty to fifty oil workers followed them, and around 1:00 p.m., when they were about halfway to Camden, the mob split into two and approached the car from both front and rear. According to the Arkansas Gazette, “There was not a sound from the mob. Only one gun was visible, and not a single revolver.” Members of the mob then took George to some brush near the road and shot him four times. The officers waited until the mob dispersed and then went and found the body. They reported to the sheriff, but when a deputy accompanied them to the scene, there was no sign of the mob. The incident was reported in several newspapers across the United States, and even one in Canada. These reports referred to the victim only as an “unidentified Negro.”
For additional information:
“Arkansas Mob Shoots Negro.” Houston Herald (Houston, Missouri), June 4, 1925, p. 2.
“Negro Lynched by Oil Field Crowd.” Arkansas Gazette, May 30, 1925, p. 1.
“Negro Shot by Mob.” Evening Star (Washington DC), May 30, 1925, p. 21.
“Negro Was Taken from Officers by a Mob and Riddled with Bullets.” Sherbrooke Daily Record (Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada), May 30, 1925, p. 11.
Nancy Snell Griffith
Davidson, North Carolina
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