Civil War to Gilded Age

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Entry Category: Civil War to Gilded Age - Starting with E

Elligin and Anderson (Lynching of)

Two African-American men named Elligin and Anderson were lynched in September 1877 near DeWitt (Arkansas County) for the alleged crime of murder. This was the third lynching event to occur in Arkansas County. The two men lynched were likely Jordan Elligin and George Anderson. The 1870 census records both men living in Villemont township in Arkansas County (the township would be annexed to Jefferson County in 1889). Elligin was fifteen at the time of the census, while Anderson was twenty-four and working as a farmer. An account of this event appeared in the Indicator, a newspaper published in DeWitt. According to this account, published on Saturday, September 22, and reprinted in the Arkansas Gazette, Elligin and Anderson had been confined …


By 1860, about twenty-five percent of Arkansas’s population was enslaved, amounting to more than 111,000 people. The emancipation of these people in Arkansas took place as a result of the American Civil War, their freedom achieved due to the decisions made by Union military leaders, President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and the actions of the slaves themselves. Slavery’s abolishment meant more than simply the loss of human property and the end of a labor system—it ended a social relationship that had defined the state’s early development. The process of emancipation in Arkansas began before Lincoln’s formal Emancipation Proclamation. Finding that Confederates had used slave labor to create physical obstacles in his path across Arkansas in 1862, Union general Samuel R. …