George Corvett (Lynching of)

A white laborer named George Corvett was lynched on February 12, 1890, two miles west of Crawfordsville (Crittenden County) for having allegedly raped and murdered a young woman named Ada Goss.

According to the Arkansas Gazette, Ada Goss was the daughter of H. C. Goss, “a highly respected citizen,” and the Goss and Corvett families were related by marriage, with George Corvett working for H. C. Goss. The 1880 federal census records an Ada Goss, then about five years old, living with her parents, H. C. and Laura Goss, and two siblings. Her father worked as a farmer. The census does not record anyone named George Corvett (or similarly named) living in the vicinity.

On the night of February 11, Ada Goss went missing, and, according to a brother-in-law of hers who was the chief informant for the report, “a thorough search was made but without success until daylight, when her mutilated corpse was found about 300 yards from her house.” She had been raped, “hacked with a hatchet in a terrible manner,” and then shot full of buckshot. Upon the discovery of her body, neighbors “soon gathered to view the ghastly sight” and to search for the murderer. Corvett had been reported in the vicinity of the Goss house in an “intoxicated” condition, and his wife reported that he had returned home only early in the morning, drunk, informing her that he had killed Goss and threatened the same for her “if she did not keep his secret.”

The last paragraph of the Gazette’s report reads as follows: “Without waiting for the slow process of the law, the infuriated people took Corvett to the scene of the murder, and with an axe cut off his arms, and legs, and severed his head from the body. When Miss Goss’ brother-in-law left, the mob was preparing to cremate Corvett’s remains.”

For additional information:
“A Fiend Incarnate.” Fayetteville Weekly Democrat, February 21, 1890, p. 1.

“Served Him Right.” Arkansas Gazette, February 14, 1890, p. 1.

Staff of the CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas


No comments on this entry yet.