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. In his 1999 dissertation on lynching, Richard Buckelew documented 318 lynchings in Arkansas, 231 of which were directed against black victims, but additional research since then has increased the number.

According to the traditional view, 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. However, more recent research has called this interpretation into question, given that a 2018 study of slave lynchings found more slaves than whites lynched in antebellum Arkansas. Reconstruction-era lynching 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 JeffersonLonoke 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. Although some scholars alleged that Jim Crow laws actually reduced lynching by separating black and white groups, and thus limiting the potential for interpersonal violence, the more modern scholarly interpretation of this relationship holds that Jim Crow statutes actually facilitated racial violence by reducing the political power of African Americans; this explains the increase of lynching, especially anti-black lynching, in the 1890s.

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.

The state did pass a law aimed at preventing lynching, Act 258, in 1909. However, the law in question did not punish individuals who participated in mob violence or sanction members of law enforcement who failed to protect their prisoners. Instead, Act 258 aimed to expedite the trials of those whose alleged crimes, especially rape and murder, were likely to result in mob violence. For those individuals threatened with a lynching, it still remained safer to attempt to flee the state, as Steve Green did in 1910.

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 of America 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).  Within Arkansas, the state chapter of the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching, formed in 1930, condemned not only vigilante violence but also those law enforcement officials who failed to protect their prisoners from the mob.

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. (Events such as the 1954 murder of Isadore Banks, still occurred in Arkansas during the modern civil rights era, long after the last “official” lynching, but such murders were conducted in secrecy, likely by small groups of individuals.) 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.

The following chart is compiled from a number of sources, including Richard Buckelew’s 1999 dissertation.

Date Name County Race/Gender Reason
8-?-1836          Bunch Chicot black male tried to vote, assaulted white man
12-?-1836 William Hot Spring black male attempted escape and resistance
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
12-?-1840 (unreported) Crittenden black male attempted escape and resistance
12-?-1840 (unreported) Crittenden black male attempted escape and resistance
7-4-1846 William Chicot black male murder of overseer
11-?-1849 Alph Benton black male murder of slaveowner
12-?-1849 (unreported) Phillips black male murder of slaveowner
12-?-1849 (unreported) Phillips black male murder of slaveowner
10-23-1854 Toll Saline black male murder of two white men
7-?-1856 (unreported) Washington black male murder of slaveowner
7-?-1856 (unreported) Washington black male murder of slaveowner
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 slaveowner
11-21-1865 Jerry Atkins Union black male murder to two white children
8-1-1866 James Kennedy Dallas white male Unionist leanings
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-?-1871 John W. Saunders Chicot white male murder
12-?-1871 Jasper Dugan Chicot white male accomplice to murder
12-?-1871 Curtis Garrett Chicot white male accomplice to 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
3-?-1873 (unreported) Union black male rape and murder
3-?-1873 (unreported) Union black male accomplice
3-?-1873 (unreported) Union black male accomplice
3-?-1873 (unreported) Union black male accomplice
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) Carroll white male horse theft
10-26-1878 (unreported) Carroll 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 Hensen Clay white male horse theft
5-17-1879 William 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 Jesse Howard 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-?-1884 Thomas Wilson Faulkner black male attempted rape
7-28-1884 Dan C. Oliver Logan black male attempted rape
8-?-1884 Abe Livingston Desha black male robbery, attempted murder
9-6-1884 Sam Jackson Ashley black male murder
9-8-1884 Mat 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 (a.k.a. Andrew Mullican) Boone 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 white male rape
6-4-1887 Leach Magee Monroe black male rape
6-30-1887 Henry Hamilton Bradley white male murder
7-24-1887 William Morrison Carroll white male child abuse
8-1-1887 Leonard Boyd Jackson white male murder
10-4-1887 Oscar Jefferies Sevier black male attempting to marry a white woman
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
11-1-1888 Jim Smith Crittenden black male insulting a white woman
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
12-30-1889 (unreported) Phillips black robbery and murder
12-31-1889 (unreported) Phillips black robbery and murder
1-1-1890 (unreported) Phillips black robbery and 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
5-17-1892 Charles Stewart Perry white male murder
6-29-1892 (unreported) Cross black male criminal assault
6-29-1892 Robert Donnelly Lee black male rape
7-13-1892 Julius Mosely Desha black male rape
7-30-1892 Eugene Baker Ashley black male murder of white man
8-?-1892 Allen Carter Cross black male assaulting his own daughter
8-8-1892 Robert Jordan Ouachita black male insulted a woman
8-22-1892          Bowles Clark black male rape
12-3-1892 G. P. F. Lightfoot Jackson black male fraud
1-10-1893 Henry Allen Monroe black male murder, robbery, arson
1-10-1893 William Hewlett Monroe black male murder, robbery, arson
1-10-1893 Ed Purcell Monroe black male murder, robbery, arson
1-10-1893 Ed Sevier Monroe black male murder, robbery, arson
1-10-1893 Paul Stubbs Monroe black male murder, robbery, arson
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 Jasper Newton (a.k.a. Bud Montgomery) Baxter white male murder and robbery
3-11-1894 (unreported) Pulaski black female (unreported)
5-21-1894 J. H. Webster St. Francis white male arrested whitecappers
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
7-30-1896 Godfrey Gould Monroe white male assault (rape)
5-13-1897 Presley Oats Pope black male stealing food
7-24-1897          Crownover Yell 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
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 Jim Cone Calhoun black male murder, robbery
7-4-1898 Goode Gray Cleveland black male murder, robbery
7-14-1898 James Redd Drew black male murder
7-14-1898 Alex 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
8-?-1898 Amos Neely Grant black male assaulting a white woman
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
10-1-1902 Walter Sullivan Ashley black male attempted murder
10-20-1902 Charles Young St. Francis black male rape and murder
11-20-1902 Isaac Wells Cross black male assault
3-27-1903 Frank Robertson Lafayette black male arson
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
3-17-1907 older Taylor sister Lafayette black female assault
3-17-1907 younger Taylor sister Lafayette black female assault
5-6-1907 Sam Fleming Desha black male winning a fight
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
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
2-27-1915 H. M. Candy (aka Gandy) Monroe white male theft
2-27-1915 Jeff Mansel Monroe white 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
9-12-1917 Sam Cates Lonoke black male indecency with girls
6-13-1918 Elton Mitchell Crittenden black male shooting
12-18-1918 Willis Robinson Jackson black 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
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 Hurley 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 Blazes 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 August 22, 2019).

Dew, Lee A. “The Lynching of “Boll Weevil.” Midwest Quarterly 12 (January 1971): 145–153.

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. Beyond the Rope: The Impact of Lynching on Black Culture and Memory. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016.

———. “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, ed. Bullets and Fire: Lynching and Authority in Arkansas, 1840–1950. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2018.

———. The Elaine Massacre and Arkansas: A Century of Atrocity and Resistance, 1819–1919. Little Rock: Butler Center Books, 2018.

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.

Monroe Work Today. http://www.monroeworktoday.org/ (accessed August 22, 2019).

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 August 22, 2019).

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

Last Updated: 08/22/2019