Entry Category: Law - Starting with L

Lonoke County Race War of 1897–1898

The situation in Lonoke County was dire for African Americans during the latter half of 1897 and early 1898. In June 1897, a black normal (teacher-training) school was ransacked and one of the teachers severely whipped. In September, that same teacher was found dead. In December, Oscar Simonton, an African-American merchant, was attacked and his store ransacked. In February the following year, notices were placed on the doors of black residents warning them to leave the county on pain of death. This was closely followed by the burning of black homes and schoolhouses. Trouble had flared up several times in the county dating all the way back to Reconstruction. Many of the reports on the 1898 events refer to a …

Lowery, Henry (Lynching of)

The January 26, 1921, lynching of Henry Lowery stands out for its barbarism, as well as the national and international attention it received, happening at a time when the U.S. Congress was debating anti-lynching legislation. The brutal murder of Lowery was used in a national campaign to pass such legislation, though this proved unsuccessful. Henry Lowery was an African-American tenant farmer in Mississippi County. Lowery is reported to have disputed a matter of payment with a local planter named O. T. Craig, whose land was adjacent to that of Lee Wilson, owner of the largest cotton plantation in the South. On Christmas Day of 1920, Lowery, forty years old at the time, became intoxicated, according to reports, and decided to …

Luciano, Charles “Lucky”

aka: Salvatore Lucania
Charles “Lucky” Luciano was an Italian-American gangster who was said by the FBI to be the man who “organized” organized crime in the United States. In many ways, he was the model for the character Don Corleone in the popular book and movie, The Godfather (1972). He evaded arrest and survived attempted gangland assassinations only to meet his downfall in 1936 while vacationing in Hot Springs (Garland County). Luciano was born Salvatore Lucania on November 24, 1897, in Lercara Friddi, Sicily, the third of five children to Antonio Lucania and Rosalie Capporelli Lucania. His mother kept house, and his father worked in the sulfur mines as well as doing whatever work he could find in the poor hillside village near …

Lynching

Lynching was an extra-legal form of group violence, performed without judicial due process. Scholars enumerating cases of lynching consider only those cases in which an actual murder occurs, though some states had laws against the crime of “lynching in the second degree,” in which death did not result to the victim. Lynchings, especially in the American South, have typically been perpetrated on marginalized groups—predominately African Americans, but also Jews, immigrants, gays and lesbians, and labor movement members, often on the basis of allegations of criminal misdeed. In his 1999 dissertation on lynching, Richard Buckelew documented 318 lynchings in Arkansas, 231 of which were directed against black victims, but additional research since then has increased the number. According to the traditional …