Entries - Entry Category: Law - Starting with G

Gambling (Legal)

The 1874 Arkansas Constitution dealt with only one type of gambling: lotteries. Article 19, section 14, originally prohibited lotteries in all forms in the state. Thus, under the state constitution, gambling aside from lotteries was not originally prohibited and was a matter subject to various state laws. However, the state constitution did not define “lottery,” and this lack of definition allowed horse racing (and the gambling that accompanied it) to take place in the state. In the late 1890s, Sportsman Park was built on the southeastern side of Hot Springs (Garland County), sparking interest in bringing the increasingly popular sport of Thoroughbred racing to Arkansas. In 1902, William McGuigan, a member of the Arkansas General Assembly, bought land on Malvern …

Gardner, Jeff (Lynching of)

On April 18, 1896, a twenty-one-year-old African-American man named Jeff (sometimes called Jefferson) Gardner was hanged in Cleveland County, ten miles north of Warren (Bradley County), for allegedly assaulting the daughter of a white man named Jeff Burrows (sometimes identified as Barrow). News of the lynching first appeared in the Arkansas Gazette on April 21. According to this and other reports, Gardner went to the home of Burrows, described by the Hopkinsville Kentuckian as “a respectable white man living near Warren,” and found only the children at home. One sister was sick, and Gardner allegedly drove other children from the house. The Gazette reported that one little boy attacked Gardner with a hoe in an attempt to protect his older …

Gary v. Stevenson

The Arkansas State Supreme Court adjudicated Gary v. Stevenson, a freedom suit and racial-identity trial, in 1858. It was one of an increasing number of racial-identity suits in the South during the last decade before the Civil War. In this case, Thomas Gary sued slaveholder Remson Stevenson in an attempt to win his freedom from slavery. Gary, aged about sixteen in 1858, whom witnesses described as having sandy-colored hair and blue eyes, appeared to be white. He contended that he was lawfully free because he was the white son of white parents. Stevenson, a slaveholder in Van Buren (Crawford County), countered that Gary was the child of an enslaved mother and therefore not white; this made him a slave for …

Gent v. Arkansas

Gent v. Arkansas was a U.S. Supreme Court case in which an Arkansas law designed to eliminate the distribution of obscene material was challenged. Though it did not touch directly upon the limits of the state’s ability to control obscenity, it did reinforce legal opinion that standards for obscenity must be those applied by the U.S. Supreme Court rather than local standards. In 1961, the Arkansas legislature passed Act 261, which, among other things, purported to eliminate obscene material, which was defined by the current community standards applied by the average person. The legislature based the wording of Act 261 on a model act drafted by the Council for Periodical Distributors Associations (CPDA) designed to give public prosecutors the authority …

Gentry, Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson (Tom or T. J.) Gentry Jr. served two terms as Arkansas’s attorney general (1953–1956) and, during his tenure, was the state’s most influential racially moderate elected official. He helped guide the state’s initial response to the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, putting the state on an early path that won accolades from national Black press and condemnations from segregationists. Gentry’s (and the state’s) moderation, though, could not survive the rise of massive resistance that followed the Arkansas congressional delegation’s signing of the Southern Manifesto in March 1956. He would never win statewide office again, and a once promising political career had been derailed. Tom Gentry was born in Malvern (Hot Spring County) on April 3, 1915, …

George (Lynching of)

On May 29, 1925, an African American man identified only as George was shot by a mob near Camden (Ouachita County) for allegedly attempting to attack a white woman in nearby Louann (Ouachita County). George, originally from Little Rock (Pulaski County), was working in the oil fields that had sprung up around Camden in the early 1920s. According to a later report, early on May 29, George had come to the home of a widow near Louann, where she lived with her three children. He approached her on the porch and said he had been watching her for some time, “waiting to get [her] alone some time, and now’s good enough.” He grabbed her, but she managed to escape. At …

Gibbs, Mifflin Wistar

Mifflin Wistar Gibbs was a Little Rock (Pulaski County) businessman, a politician, and the first elected African-American municipal judge in the United States. Mifflin Gibbs was born on April 17, 1823, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the eldest of four children born to Jonathan and Maria Gibbs. His father, a Methodist minister, died when Mifflin was a child, and his mother worked as a laundress. Gibbs learned carpentry through an apprenticeship. He read widely and attended debates at the Philadelphia Library Company of Colored Persons. He had a chance to practice his own oratory in the 1840s when Frederick Douglass invited him to help conduct an abolitionist lecture tour. Journeying to California soon after the gold rush of 1849, he became a …

Gibson, J. W. (Murder of)

On December 23, 1920, in what one newspaper called “One of the most dreadful tragedies that the Negroes of the City of Helena has [sic] ever been called on to witness,” Professor J. W. Gibson was killed by a night watchman in Helena (Phillips County). Depending on how the word “lynching” is interpreted, this may have been an incident of police brutality, or Professor Gibson may in fact have been lynched. The Arkansas Gazette filed no report on Gibson’s death. The only national coverage appears to be a rather belated report in the Dallas Express, an African-American newspaper published in Texas. Not much is known about Gibson. According to the Express, not only did Gibson teach in Helena, but he …

Gifford (Lynching of)

A young man named Gifford was shot to death in the Franklin County jail in Ozark (Franklin County) on December 8, 1869, for his role in the murder of a man named Eubanks. Gifford, Eubanks, and Thomas West were all attending “a candy pull at Mr. Shenil’s” in Franklin County on November 26, 1869, when West accosted Eubanks for “having spoken disrespectfully to a lady” at the event. When Eubanks denied the accusation, West pulled a knife and “commenced cutting at him” as Gifford began beating him over the head with a pistol. Eubanks fled his attackers as Gifford fired at him, ultimately collapsing after running “several hundred yards.” Eubanks died around midnight the next day. A posse captured Gifford …

Gilmore, Felix (Lynching of)

On May 26, 1916, Felix Gilmore (sometimes referred to as Felix/Phelix Gilman or Gillmore) was hanged by a mob near Prescott (Nevada County) for allegedly attempting to assault a seventeen-year-old girl. At the time of the federal census in 1910 (six years before the incident), Gilmore was listed as a ten-year-old African American living in Prescott with his parents, Frank and Pearl Gilmore. His father was working in a sawmill, and his mother was a washerwoman. They were renting their home, and they could all read and write. If the census record is correct, Gilmore was only sixteen at the time of his death, although newspapers reported him to be older. He had apparently been in trouble before. According to …

Glaze, Thomas Arthur (Tom)

Thomas Arthur (Tom) Glaze was a lawyer whose crusade against election fraud in the 1960s and 1970s propelled him into politics and a thirty-year career as a trial and appellate judge. Fresh out of law school in 1964, Glaze went to work for an organization that investigated election fraud and irregularities—an organization secretly funded by Republican Winthrop Rockefeller. The experience consumed him and inspired the rest of his legal career. As a deputy attorney general in 1969, Glaze rewrote Arkansas election laws, although the Arkansas General Assembly drastically weakened his draft before enacting the reforms. He was a justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court for twenty-two years, retiring in 2008. He recounted his battles with what he called “vote thieves” …

Glover, D. D.

aka: David Delano Glover
David Delano “D. D.” Glover served in the Arkansas legislature (1909–1911), as prosecuting attorney of Arkansas’s Seventh Judicial Circuit (1913–1917), and as a Democratic representative to the U.S. Congress from Arkansas’s Sixth Congressional District (1929–1935). During Glover’s tenure in the Arkansas legislature, he chaired the Capitol Commission that oversaw the troubled completion of the Arkansas State Capitol building. D. D. Glover, the second of William H. Glover and Margaret Crowson Glover’s seven children, was born on January 18, 1868, in Prattsville (Grant County), where his parents owned a family farm. He attended schools in Prattsville and Sheridan (Grant County) and graduated from Sheridan High School in 1886. On December 24, 1891, Glover married Roberta Theodosia Quinn, whose father, Thomas W. …

Gould, Godfrey (Lynching of)

On July 30, 1896, an African American man named Godfrey Gould was lynched by a mob of more than 100 people in Brinkley (Monroe County) for having allegedly attempted to rape a woman. One early report of Gould’s alleged crime can be found in the July 22, 1896, issue of the Helena Weekly World, which reported that, on Monday, July 13, Gould “attempted to assault one of the gay damsels of his color, when she forcibly and effectively resisted by sending a ball [bullet] through his left cheek, passing out of his right eye.” He was soon arrested by Deputy Sheriffs Sell Johnson and J. A. Rogers, assisted by Deputy Sheriff W. B. Daizell, who “were mindful of his comfort” …

Graham, Fred Patterson

Journalist Fred Graham was the dean of television news Supreme Court reporting in the 1970s and into the 1980s. Building upon his tenure as the U.S. Supreme Court reporter for the New York Times, and as law correspondent for CBS News, Graham pioneered television coverage of the nation’s highest court. Later, he became involved in the launch of cable television’s Court TV, where he continued to report and offer analysis of the American legal system and legal issues in the United States. Fred Patterson Graham was born in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on October 6, 1931, to Otis and Lois Graham. His family included an older sister and two younger brothers. He received his early education in Texarkana (Miller County) …

Grand Gulf Affair

Grand Gulf Nuclear Generating Station is a nuclear-powered electricity-generating station on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River downstream from Vicksburg, Mississippi, near the town of Port Gibson. Issues surrounding the financing of the station convulsed politics in Arkansas for the last two decades of the twentieth century and continued to create legal controversy into 2022 over the financial harm the giant plant did to homeowners and other power users in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The state of Mississippi reopened the controversy before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2017 by alleging that Entergy had greatly overcharged Mississippians and others, perhaps by billions of dollars, and the other states eventually joined the litigation. Mississippi accepted a sizable settlement offer by …

Graves, Levi (Lynching of)

A sixteen-year-old African-American boy named Levi Graves was lynched on August 24, 1888, in Sevier County for having allegedly molested and injured, the previous day, a five-year-old white girl. The girl was the daughter of Joseph A. Tally (whose name is also rendered J. F. Talley in some reports), a “highly respected farmer of the community.” According to the Arkansas Gazette, Graves was the “son of Peter Graves, a well-known and utterly worthless old negro living near Brownstown.” Census records show that, in 1880, Levi Graves, then eight years old, was living with his parents, Peter and Patsey Graves, in Mineral Springs (Howard County). He was one of ten children in the household. His parents were listed as farm laborers, …

Green (Lynching of)

On June 24, 1877, an African-American man identified only as Green was shot to death in Lonoke County after being arrested for his alleged participation in the murders of several members of the Eagle family in 1874. According to reports, a constable out searching for a suspect in an assault on a local woman came across Green and took him to the office of the justice of the peace, T. A. Beard. During the night, he was housed there under guard while authorities waited for a train to take him to Little Rock (Pulaski County). At 11:00 p.m. on the night of June 24, Green was sleeping on the floor of the office while Beard slept in a nearby room …

Green, Crane (Lynching of)

On July 19, 1903, a twenty-three-year-old African American man named Crane Green was lynched near Warren (Bradley County) for allegedly assaulting the daughter of a white sawmill worker named Baker. Baker and Green were employees of Childs’ mill near Warren. Green allegedly assaulted Baker’s thirteen-year-old daughter on Saturday, July 18, leaving her “considerably injured.” Green escaped, but the word went out, and local officers sent his description to law enforcement officers throughout the region. He was eventually captured in Lanark (Bradley County). A posse started out to take him to the county jail, but on the way they encountered a mob. According to the Pine Bluff Daily Graphic, the mob had assembled on the Kingsland Road about five miles north …

Green, Steve

In 1910, an Arkansas tenant farmer named Steve Green fled the state to Chicago, Illinois, after allegedly killing his employer, William Sidle (sometimes referred to as Seidel or Saddle), near Jericho (Crittenden County). He narrowly escaped extradition back to Arkansas after his case was taken up by prominent African Americans in Chicago, including Ida Wells-Barnett. There is no record of Steve Green in Arkansas census records. According to an article written by W. E. B. Du Bois in the November 10, 1910, issue of The Crisis, Green was born in Tennessee in 1862 and was totally uneducated. There was an African American named Steve Green living in Civil District 15 in Shelby County, Tennessee, in 1900. He was born in …

Greenwood, Bob (Lynching of)

On December 2, 1893, an African-American man named Bob Greenwood was shot by so-called whitecappers who went to his home near Cherry Valley (Cross County) to whip his wife after an altercation. (The terms “whitecapping,” “night riding,” and “bald knobbing” denote extralegal acts of violence targeting select groups and carried out by vigilantes under cover of night or disguise such as masks.) While most newspapers were unsure of what precipitated the lynching, the December 17 edition of the Arkansas Gazette reported that the children of a white man (William Wilson) and the children of an African-American man (Bob Greenwood) had an argument, and their mothers joined in the quarrel. When Wilson’s wife reported this to her husband, he became incensed. …

Greeson, Martin White

Martin White Greeson was an attorney and civic activist who spent most of his adult life advocating for the construction of a dam on the Little Missouri River. He believed that such a structure was critical both to flood prevention and economic development. While he did not live to see his dream come to fruition, the dam was completed not long after his death. The resulting Lake Greeson was named in his honor. Martin W. Greeson was born on November 7, 1866, in Clinton (Van Buren County). He was one of two children of Hartwell and Louisa Greeson, and he had two half-sisters from his father’s previous marriage. He received his early education in the local schools, and he himself …

Gregg, Lafayette

One of the most enigmatic, if relatively unknown, figures in Arkansas history is Judge Lafayette Gregg. Gregg was a member of one of the pioneering families in northwest Arkansas and was involved in one way or another in nearly every major historical event in Arkansas history that happened during his lifetime. Although most remembered as an instrumental figure in the location of Arkansas Industrial University—later the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County)—in northwest Arkansas, he was also a banker, lawyer, state representative, Civil War veteran, and Arkansas Supreme Court justice. At the time of his death, Gregg was in service to Arkansas helping prepare the state’s exhibition for the 1893 World’s Fair. Lafayette Gregg was born on February …

Gridiron

The Gridiron Show is a satirical musical production that makes good-natured fun of prominent people in politics, business, the judiciary, and the legal profession. It is presented biennially in Little Rock (Pulaski County) by Gridiron Productions, Inc., a nonprofit corporation composed of lawyers and others associated with the legal profession. All cast members are either lawyers or connected to the legal profession by employment, family ties, or friendship, and all are unpaid. The director, choreographer, musical director, and band are paid professionals. The script is written by a group called the Clandestine Committee. The Gridiron Show was first presented in 1916 by members of what was then the Little Rock Bar Association at a Gridiron luncheon. The luncheon was held …

Gross, Tabbs

Tabbs Gross was a former slave who, as a lawyer and newspaper publisher, played an active role in Arkansas politics during Reconstruction. A political gadfly, he worked hard to secure greater influence within the Republican Party for the newly freed and enfranchised African-American population. Tabbs Gross was born a slave in Kentucky in 1820. Purchasing his freedom prior to the Civil War, he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he aided slaves using the Underground Railroad, both there and in New England. He also served in Cincinnati’s Black Brigade during the war. After the war, Gross continued his efforts on behalf of the former slaves, serving as the head of a local “Committee to Get Homes for Refugees.” He soon decided …

Gunter, James Houston (Jim), Jr.

Lawyer and politician James Houston Gunter Jr. was a prosecutor and judge for thirty-six years in the late twentieth century and early twenty-first century, spending the final eight years of his public career as a justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court. He retired after one term on the Supreme Court and returned to a private law practice and cattle farming. James Gunter was born on March 8, 1943, in Atlanta, Texas, the oldest of four children of James H. Gunter Sr. and Helen Marie Long Gunter. His father went into the U.S. Army when Gunter was an infant, and he and his mother lived with his grandmother until World War II ended. The family lived in Arkansas on the farm …

Guy v. Daniel

aka: Abby Guy v. William Daniel
Abby Guy v. William Daniel was a freedom suit and racial identity case brought before the Arkansas Supreme Court in January 1861. The case originated in the Ashley County Circuit Court in July 1855 when Abby Guy sued William Daniel, whom she said wrongfully held her and her children in slavery. According to Guy, she and her family were free white people. After a jury decided in favor of Guy, Daniel appealed the case to the Arkansas Supreme Court, which, in the end, declined to overturn the lower court’s verdict. Guy and her children were freed. Racial identity trials, in which the outcome rested on whether or not one party was white, were not unusual in the South. Guy v. …