Tom Wilson (Lynching of)

In late February 1884, Tom (sometimes referred to as Thomas) Wilson, an African-American man, was lynched near Conway (Faulkner County) for allegedly attempting to assault a woman identified only as Mrs. Griffy. Several other newspaper accounts identify her husband as William Griffy. No further information is available on either Wilson or the Griffy family in Faulkner County.

According to a report published in the Arkansas Gazette on February 21, the lynching had occurred “several days since.” According to the Gazette and several other national newspapers, including the Little Falls Transcript, William Griffy was away from his farm overnight when Wilson entered the house and attempted to assault Mrs. Griffy. She screamed and attacked him with a fire shovel, whereupon he fled. Wilson was captured and examined by a constable, who then started out to take him to the jail in Conway. They were intercepted by a group of masked men, and Wilson was hanged from a tree limb.

For additional information:
“Local Paragraphs.” Arkansas Gazette, February 21, 1884, p. 8.

Untitled. Little Falls Transcript (Minnesota), February 29, 1884, p. 2.

Nancy Snell Griffith
Davidson, North Carolina


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