Early Twentieth Century; Law

Entry Category: Early Twentieth Century; Law

Booker, Joseph Robert

Joseph Robert Booker was a Little Rock (Pulaski County) lawyer and a member of one of the most prominent African American families in the city in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During his practice spanning from the 1920s to 1950s, Booker took on cases primarily relating to civil rights. A few of his most significant cases were the Arkansas “Scottsboro” Clayton-Caruthers case and the Roland Smith v. Orval Faubus case of 1959. Joseph Robert Booker was born on September 19, 1895, in Helena (Phillips County), one of eight children of Joseph Albert Booker, who was an educator, civil rights activist, and minister, and Mary Jane Carver Booker, an educator. His father was a former slave who became a …

Gilbert, John (Lynching of)

John Gilbert was an African American man lynched on July 20, 1903, near Pinckney Landing on the Mississippi River in Crittenden County following a shootout with his employer. Henry J. Hubert, thirty-five, leased a plantation from S. P. Williford of Memphis, Tennessee, on Cat Island on the Mississippi River about thirty miles south of Memphis. Hubert was known as a largely even-tempered man who “was not known to encourage a quarrel unless he thought an injury had been done him, and then his courage asserted itself without regard for the consequences.” John Gilbert and Jim Hawker were among the people who worked for Hubert, and the pair owed him between $12 and $15. Another local planter named A. L. Tribble …

Young, Charles (Lynching of)

Charles Young, an African American man, was burned alive by a mob near Forrest City (St. Francis County) on October 20, 1902, accused of raping and killing a white woman. Ed Lewis, “a respected farmer,” was working at a fishing camp on the St. Francis River when his wife left their home on horseback about seven miles from Forrest City on October 13, 1902, to visit him. While on the way, according to newspaper accounts, someone attacked her, and she was “carried some thirty yards into the thicket…along the side of the road and there ravished and murdered.” When her riderless horse arrived at the camp, Lewis sent a messenger to go toward his house and investigate. When her horse …