Civil War to Gilded Age

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Entries - Entry Category: Civil War to Gilded Age - Starting with M

McConico, J. H.

aka: John Hamilton McConico
John Hamilton McConico was an African-American educator, newspaper editor and publisher, businessman, national grand auditor for the Mosaic Templars of America, and a civil rights pioneer. His business and civil rights leadership included membership in the National Negro Business League, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Arkansas Negro Democratic Association. J. H. McConico was born on December 25, 1877, in Livingston, Alabama, to Jessie McConico, a preacher, and Mattie McConico. His sister, Fannie, was four years his senior. After McConico completed the available public school courses, his family sent him to Agricultural and Mechanical College in Normal, Alabama. In 1898, McConico graduated from the department of printing with a literary emphasis. After graduation, he worked …

McGehee Lynching of 1894

On September 22, 1894, Luke Washington, Richard Washington, and Henry C. Robinson were lynched in McGehee (Desha County) for allegedly murdering local merchant H. C. Patton and robbing his store. One of the interesting aspects of this case is that the African-American population of McGehee (then known as McGehee Junction) reportedly took an active part in the three men’s lynching. On September 20, 1894, Patton locked his store, which was located on the edge of a cotton field some distance from the depot in McGehee, and proceeded along the walkway to his bedroom. There, Robinson and the two Washingtons allegedly killed him with a club. Although Patton was armed with a pistol, he was unable to use it in time. His attackers then …

McLendon, Will (Reported Lynching of)

In many cases, newspapers across the country published reports on lynchings, which were then listed in books and other resources. In some cases, even though subsequent reports indicated that the lynching had not happened, initial accounts were not corrected. Such was the case with an African American man, Will McLendon of Woodruff County, who was reportedly lynched in August 1893. In his 1993 dissertation, citing an August 6 report in the Memphis Appeal Avalanche, historian Richard Buckelew commented on this presumed lynching, which he dated at August 5. In her 1894 book A Red Record, Ida Wells Barnett gave the date of the lynching as August 9. It seems, however, that McLendon actually died in jail in Newport (Jackson County) …

McNeil, Sharpe (Lynching of)

According to the Arkansas Gazette’s coverage of the affair, on the night of January 18, 1881, a mob of about 100 men assembled at the jail in Star City (Lincoln County) for the purposes of lynching a white man named Sharpe McNeil, who had been charged with the murder of Dr. E. U. G. Anderson. The mob “surprised the jailor, put him under arrest, and proceeded to the jail, where they forced open the doors and took out the man.” The mob took McNeil “to the outskirts of the town, where he was found riddled with bullets.” The brief report in the January 20, 1881, Gazette ends by noting: “The people of Star City are much excited over the affair.” …

Mitchell, Charles (Lynching of)

On November 2, 1884, Charles Mitchell was murdered near Richmond (Little River County) for the alleged murder of a prominent farmer’s wife, Kate Waddell. The incident made news not only in Arkansas, but also in Texas, the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), and Michigan. At the time of the 1880 census, forty-year-old Charley Mitchell—an African-American or biracial man—was living in Johnson Township of Little River County with his wife, Isabella, and their two sons, William (thirteen) and Mitchel (eleven). The census lists no occupation for Mitchell, but his two sons were working as servants. According to an October 31 article in the Arkansas Gazette, Mrs. Waddell, “an estimable woman,” was murdered on October 29 “by a notorious negro by the name …

Monroe County Lynching of 1893

In January 1893, five men were lynched in Monroe County near Cotton Plant (Woodruff County) for allegedly murdering Reuben Atkinson, his housekeeper, and her child, and then torching Atkinson’s house to cover up the crimes. Census and other public records yield no information on either Atkinson or his alleged murderers. According to the Arkansas Gazette, on January 7 a “prosperous farmer” named Rube Atkinson went to sell his cotton. He returned to his farm on January 8, and the following morning neighbors awoke to find that Atkinson’s house had burned down. When they went to inspect, they found three bodies in the ruins, which were later identified as those of Atkinson, his housekeeper, and her child. Authorities arrested several African …

Morrison, Lee (Lynching of)

On September 27, 1868, an African-American man named Lee Morrison (sometimes referred to as Morsen or Morson) was lynched near Helena (Phillips County) in retaliation for a number of murders he was presumed to have committed, including that of deputy sheriff Joseph W. Maxey, and the wounding of Sheriff Bart Y. Turner the previous March. There is no information on Lee Morrison or anyone of a similar name available in public records. Sheriff Turner, born around 1840 in Tennessee, had been in Phillips County since at least 1860, when he was living in Big Creek Township. Joseph W. Maxey had been in the county since at least 1850, when he was working as a druggist and living in the household …

Mosely, Julius (Lynching of)

On July 13, 1892, Julius Mosely, an African-American man accused of raping his stepdaughter, was lynched near Halley (Desha County) by a mob of fellow black residents. While the majority of lynchings in the South were perpetrated by white mobs against blacks, in a very small number of cases, lynchings were carried out either by mixed-race mobs or by mobs of African Americans. William Fitzhugh Brundage speculates that perhaps African Americans doubted that the all-white legal system would deal properly with crimes occurring within the black community. In addition, such lynchings often took place in cases of family-oriented crimes like incest. Interestingly, Brundage finds that such black-on-black violence was most prevalent in the Mississippi Delta regions in Mississippi, Arkansas, and …

Mullens, Nat (Lynching of)

On June 23, 1900, an African American named Nat Mullens was shot and killed by a posse in Crittenden County after he allegedly killed Deputy Sheriff P. A. Mahon. Statewide newspapers reported that on June 13, Mahon went to arrest Mullens near Earle (Crittenden County) for attempting to murder his own mother. Mullens shot at him, and before dying, Mahon returned fire. Mullens escaped, but a posse was assembled and trailed him through the river bottoms. By June 22, the posse had discovered Mullens hiding in a plantation house not far from Earle. He again attempted to escape but was shot and killed by members of the posse. For additional information: “All Over the State: An Officer Wounded.” Arkansas Democrat, …