Entry Type: Event - Starting with H

Hadley, Nat (Reported Lynching of)

Beginning in the 1880s, and increasingly as Jim Crow laws were instituted across the South, newspapers across the United States began to increase their coverage of Southern lynchings. In addition, publications like the Chicago Tribune and organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Tuskegee Institute in Alabama began to keep annual lists of lynchings. Further examination of some newspaper accounts, however, shows that subsequent articles later corrected some lynching accounts to indicate that no lynching had indeed happened. False or questionable reports of this kind are often repeated on lynching lists published on the internet. This is the case with the supposed lynching of Nat Hadley (identified in one article as Newt Bradley). According …

Haguewood Prairie, Skirmish at

By late September 1863, Little Rock (Pulaski County) had just fallen to Union forces, and Arkansas Confederate forces were in disarray. Surrendering the state capital with little more than token resistance, the Rebel forces moved the seat of government to Washington (Hempstead County), leaving Union forces in control of most of the state north of the Arkansas River. Colonel Joseph Shelby proposed a raid into his native state of Missouri. His commanding general, John Marmaduke, saw little chance of success but backed Shelby nevertheless, hoping that the diversion would slow Union general Frederick Steele’s further advance, as well as rally the discouraged Southern sympathizers. On September 22, 1863, Shelby and 600 troops filed through Arkadelphia (Clark County) past Missouri Confederate …

Hahn’s Farm, Skirmish at

aka: Skirmish at Waldron
Positioned on the western border of Arkansas and south of the strategically important Fort Smith (Sebastian County), Scott County saw a significant amount of activity during the Civil War. The Attack on Waldron occurred on December 29, 1863, leaving several dead and wounded. Other activity in Scott County included troops traveling through to other destinations, scouting, and foraging expeditions. Brigadier General John M. Thayer received orders by telegraph from the Assistant Adjunct General of Little Rock (Pulaski County), Lieutenant Colonel W. D. Green, to have a detachment from Little Rock met by Federal troops from Fort Smith. He sent troops south from Fort Smith to pass through Scott County en route to Dallas (Polk County). On June 17, 1864, Lieutenant …

Haley, Loy (Lynching of)

Loy Haley, an African-American man, was lynched on June 15, 1915, likely near Lewisville (Lafayette County), for allegedly murdering Roy Lester, owner of a plantation in Lafayette County located in the Red River bottoms. Probably the earliest report on the violent chain of events was a June 13, 1915, article in the Arkansas Gazette. Though titled, “Lynching Near Lafayette County,” the article does not, in fact, describe a lynching but rather reports on the intended lynching of Loy Haley. According to the report, Roy Lester had remained on his plantation despite flooding on the Red River that had left his farm entirely surrounded by water, and made him “the only white man on the place.” No details of Lester’s murder …

Hall, Frank (Execution of)

Frank Hall was an African American man hanged in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on December 9, 1881, for murder, although he proclaimed his innocence up to his death. Frank Hall, also known as Lewis Hall, was born enslaved in Rowan County, North Carolina. Described as five feet ten inches tall and “when walking swaggers and is loose-jointed,” Hall was recruited to come to Arkansas as a laborer, finding work in Monroe County. The Arkansas Democrat reported that he soon became known as a “desperado,” suspected of murdering a man after moving to Lonoke County. He spent three years in prison for stealing money from a child and left Lonoke County after his release. He moved to a community about eight …

Hamilton and Ludberry (Lynching of)

A lynching in Warren (Bradley County) was the subject of two different reports published in the January 23, 1887, edition of the Arkansas Gazette. The earliest report received was placed on page four in the “Local Items” column and reads as follows: “It was rumored last evening that Medbury and Hamilton, charged with the murder of the Harris brothers, near Warren, had been taken from jail and lynched. The report, however, could not be verified, there being no night telegraph operator at that place.” However, by the time that page was set, another report arrived at the Gazette (datelined St. Louis, Missouri, January 22) and was placed on the first page of the issue. According to this report, the two …

Hampton Lynching of 1872

On March 12 or 13, 1872, a jailed African-American man alleged to have assaulted a white man named Tom Tatum was killed by a mob that stormed the Hampton (Calhoun County) jail and set it on fire. As is often the case, reports are conflicting, and it is hard to sort out the facts. On April 6, an account in the Memphis Daily Appeal, which references the March 28 edition of the Magnolia Flower, reported that “several weeks ago” an unidentified Black man attempted to kill Tatum. The alleged assailant fled, and a group of African Americans captured him near Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). He was put in jail in Hampton pending trial. According to the Appeal, “an enraged set …

Hampton Race War of 1892

aka: Calhoun County Race War of 1892
The Hampton Race War (also referred to as the Calhoun County Race War in many sources) occurred in September 1892 and entailed incidents of racial violence all across the southern part of the county. While many sources have attributed the events in Calhoun County to Arkansas’s passage of the Election Law of 1891, with provisions that vastly complicated the voting process for illiterate citizens of all races and effectively kept them from voting, it seems that the trouble in the county started prior to the early September election. Racial unrest was widespread in Arkansas in the 1890s, especially across the southern counties. Incidents increased after the state began passing Jim Crow legislation that limited the rights of its black citizens. (According …

Harris, Frank (Lynching of)

On August 18, 1871, an African-American man named Frank Harris was lynched at Wittsburg (Cross County) for allegedly murdering a twelve-year-old white girl named Isy Sanders, the daughter of Isaiah Sanders. According to the 1870 census, farmer I. Sanders was living near Wittsburg with his wife K. Sanders, their daughter S. J. (age twelve), and two sons, I. L. G. (age eleven) and M. C. (age five). That same year, a twenty-five-year-old African-American farm laborer identified as F. Harris was also living with his wife near Wittsburg, only two households away from the Sanders family. In addition, there was another African American named Frank Hare living not far away near Wittsburg with his wife M. Hare and four children between …

Harris, George (Lynching of)

On February 23, 1892, an African-American man named George Harris was lynched by a mob near Varner (Lincoln County) for allegedly murdering E. F. Parker (sometimes referred to as S. F. Parker) the previous September. According to newspaper accounts, Parker was a “peaceable and inoffensive citizen of Lincoln County.” He had previously lived in Drew County, where he married Mary McCloy of Monticello in 1882. There is no official record of a man named George Harris in either Lincoln or Drew counties, but the Arkansas Democrat noted that he had formerly lived on Steve Gaster’s plantation in Drew County. At the time of the 1880 census, there was a Steve Gaster living in Ferguson (Drew County) with his mother-in-law, Rachel …

Harris, Gilbert (Lynching of)

On August 1, 1922, a mob of as many as 500 people broke into the Hot Springs (Garland County) jail and, brandishing guns, forcibly took a man and lynched him at the triangle in front of the Como Hotel located at the intersection of Central and Ouachita avenues. In his memoirs, Roswell Rigsby (1910–2001), an eyewitness to the lynching, stated, “I believe this was the last lynching in Hot Springs, at least in public.” There are some conflicting reports as to the first name of the man lynched. There are references to his first name being Punk, Bunk, and Gilbert; however, all accounts list his last name as Harris. Accounts of the hanging appeared in newspapers as far away as …

Harris, Jack (Lynching of)

On June 25, 1903, an African American man named Jack Harris was lynched in Clarendon (Monroe County) for allegedly attacking his employer, planter John A. Coburn. In 1900, Harris, a twenty-six-year-old bachelor, was living with his mother Ann in Monroe County and working as a farmer. The 1880 census indicates that Coburn, born in Searcy County in 1866, was living with his parents Arthur J. and Mary Elizabeth Hixon Coburn in White County. By 1894, he was in Monroe County, where he married Sallie D. Knight. Apparently on June 21, 1903, Harris rode one of Coburn’s mules without his permission. When Coburn asked him for an explanation, Harris allegedly struck him with a piece of timber, breaking one of his …

Harrison Race Riots of 1905 and 1909

Though nowhere near as murderous as other race riots across the state, the Harrison Race Riots of 1905 and 1909 drove all but one African American from Harrison (Boone County), creating by violence an all-white community similar to other such “sundown towns” in northern and western Arkansas. With the headquarters of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) located nearby, Harrison has retained the legacy of its ethnic cleansing, in terms of demographics and reputation, through the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. The U.S. Census of 1900 revealed a black community in Harrison of 115 people out of 1,501 residents. This constituted a vibrant community that, despite its poverty, had a cohesive culture and deep roots. By all accounts, …

Harrison Railroad Riot

aka: Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad Strike
The Harrison Railroad Riot was an outbreak of anti-union violence in the town of Harrison (Boone County), supported in part by the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), as well as the city government and local business interests. The riot was in response to a two-year strike along the Missouri and North Arkansas (M&NA) railroad and ended in the lynching of a man accused of harboring militant strikers, along with the forced exodus of most strikers north into Missouri. The St. Louis and North Arkansas Railroad was chartered on May 17, 1899, and extended into Harrison in 1901; tracks were soon laid connecting other Ozark towns such as Leslie (Searcy County) and Heber Springs (Cleburne County) and went farther southeast to Helena …

Harrison, John Henry (Lynching of)

On February 3, 1922, an African-American man was lynched in Malvern (Hot Spring County) for allegedly harassing white women and girls. While a number of newspaper accounts, as well as a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) annual report, identify him by the name of Harry Harrison, and the Arkansas Gazette identified him as John Harris, research conducted in large part by the Hot Spring County Historical Society indicated that his name was John Henry Harrison. Harrison was living in Malvern at the time of the 1920 census; he was thirty-eight years old, married, and worked as a laborer in a lumber mill. He was a native of North Carolina and could both read and write. According …

Harrison’s Landing, Skirmish at

  Shortly after completion of a successful expedition along the White and Little Red rivers, which resulted in the destruction of a Confederate warehouse and a pontoon bridge, along with the capture of two steamers, Union forces were again dispatched upon White River transports on a reconnaissance mission. On August 16, 1863, a force consisting of portions of the Thirty-second Iowa Infantry and the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry boarded transports docked at Clarendon (Monroe County) and headed down the White River to Harrison’s Landing. The force, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Gustavus Eberhart, arrived at the landing at about nightfall. Upon disembarking from the transports, the Union force was fired upon by hidden Confederates. At about 2:00 a.m. on August 17, Major …

Hatch’s Ferry, Skirmish at

By late May 1864, Brigadier General Joseph O. Shelby was in command of all Confederate forces north of the Arkansas River and was tasked with recruiting a fighting force from the local populace. Over the next three months, Shelby bolstered his command from an estimated 1,200 men in early May to more than 7,000, and his success in frustrating Union garrisons and supply lines along the White River prompted Union command at Little Rock (Pulaski County) to launch several expeditions to neutralize him. During the summer, Shelby established his headquarters at Jacksonport (Jackson County) and set about harassing railroad lines and plantations being used to supply Union forces. In mid-July, Colonel Thomas H. McCray and his brigade made a successful …

Hay Station No. 3, Skirmish at

aka: Skirmish at Brownsville (July 30, 1864)
This brief Civil War engagement took place during the summer of 1864 in eastern Arkansas. This area saw much action during this period, most notably by Joseph O. Shelby and his Confederate cavalry. This engagement, however, was not part of that action. Hay stations were important Federal outposts along the railroad line in eastern Arkansas. The army needed vast quantities of hay on a daily basis to feed the thousands of animals it required. Union commanders in Little Rock (Pulaski County) established small fortified outposts along the railroad to meet several needs. These outposts were tasked with protecting the nearby railroad and disrupting Confederate operations in the area. The outposts were also responsible for growing large amounts of hay to …

Hayden, Bud (Lynching of)

On June 3, 1898, Bud Hayden was lynched in Texarkana (Miller County) for allegedly assaulting twelve-year-old Jessie Scott, the daughter of the late James V. Scott, former circuit clerk. Although Hayden claimed to be twelve years old at the time, the authorities estimated his age to be at least eighteen. The Arkansas Gazette’s reports of the lynching were carried in newspapers across the country, including the Atlanta Constitution, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Herald. At the time of the 1880 census, J. V. Scott was living in Cut Off Township in Miller County. He was a twenty-four-year-old farmer living with his wife, Talitha, who was twenty. There was only one African-American family named Hayden in the county. …

Hearn, May (Lynching of)

May Hearn, a young white man in his twenties and the son of a farmer in Luxora (Mississippi County), was lynched in Osceola (Mississippi County) on April 6, 1901, for shooting and killing Clyde King “at a place of bad repute” on the night of March 31, 1901. The Arkansas Democrat noted that Hearn was the son of J. R. Hearn, “one of the most respected farmers living in the neighborhood of Luxora” and a longtime magistrate of the town. May Hearn, however, played the role of the wayward son; as the Osceola Times wrote: “When sober, May Hearn is said to be quiet and peaceable, but when under the influence of Luxora whiskey, all the treachery and blood-thirstiness of …

Helena Expedition (March 5–12, 1863)

aka: St. Francis River Expedition
aka: Little River Expedition
Traveling up the St. Francis River from Helena (Phillips County) on March 5, 1863, Colonel Powell Clayton’s command moved into the Little River in Poinsett County, dispersing Confederates along the way and seeking the steamer Miller. The Union forces engaged the Confederates traveling upriver at Madison (St. Francis County), found the sunken Miller, and engaged Confederates north of, and again in, Madison while traveling back downriver. Overall, Clayton’s expedition took a number of prisoners and supplies that Confederates could not afford to lose in this region. With a firm hold on Helena, state-level Union leadership focused on the wearing down of Confederate resistance in Arkansas, but commanders in occupied cities like Helena had to remain aware of the immediate area. …

Helena to Arkansas Post, Expedition from

A Union expedition against the Confederate forces at Arkansas Post in November 1862 was defeated due to low river levels and bad weather. Confederate officials in Arkansas, fearing a possible Union move against the capital at Little Rock (Pulaski County) via the Arkansas River, ordered fortifications built at high points along the river. One of the places selected was Arkansas Post, where construction began on a large earthwork to be named Fort Hindman and defended by the big guns of the CSS Pontchartrain under the command of Colonel John W. Dunnington. In November, Brigadier General Alvin P. Hovey, commander of the District of Eastern Arkansas in Helena (Phillips County), determined to take a combined army-navy taskforce and attack the Confederate base …

Helena to Buck Island in the Mississippi, Expedition from

Brigadier General Napoleon B. Buford ordered the expedition from Helena (Phillips County) to Buck Island on the Mississippi River to determine whether a shipment of guns and ammunition had crossed the river to supply the troops of Confederate Brigadier General Joseph O. Shelby operating in eastern Arkansas. Captain Rudolph Schoenemann of Company E, Sixth Minnesota Infantry Regiment, led forty-three men from Company E and a detachment from Company F of the Sixth, along with troops from either Company E or L of the Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry Regiment, out of Helena on the evening of July 13, 1864. Boarding the steamboat Dove, the expedition headed upriver. After disembarking the cavalrymen at a Doctor Peterson’s plantation on the Arkansas side of the …

Helena to Clarke’s Store, Scout from

Union soldiers conducted the February 24, 1865, Civil War scout from Helena (Phillips County) to Clarke’s store to capture Confederate soldiers and sympathizers in St. Francis County; they also uncovered some shady business dealings. Captain John A. Wasson of the Eighty-Seventh Illinois Mounted Infantry loaded fifty of his men aboard the steamboat Curlew on February 24, 1865, for a scouting expedition up the Mississippi River, joining fifty men of the Sixtieth United States Colored Troops (USCT) under Captain Eli Ramsey of Company C. The Curlew sailed up the Mississippi River to the foot of Ship Island, where the Illinois horsemen went ashore; the Black soldiers remained with the steamer. After reaching the Rodgers Plantation, Wasson split his troops, leaving Lieutenant …