Time Period: Post-Reconstruction through the Gilded Age (1875 - 1900) - 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 …

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 …

Hallum, John

John Hallum was a prominent nineteenth-century Arkansas lawyer and historian. His efforts to record and illuminate the territory and state’s early history provided a highly readable introduction to the state’s heritage, while laying a solid foundation for future historians. John Hallum was born on January 16, 1833, in Sumner County, Tennessee, the oldest of eleven children of Bluford Hallum and Minerva Davis Hallum. Shortly after he was born, the family moved, and Hallum spent his early years on a farm near Memphis, Tennessee. He reportedly learned how to read from the local newspaper, the Memphis Appeal, and was a voracious reader from an early age. When the family moved back to Sumner County, he received sporadic schooling in a log …

Hamblen, Samuel George

Samuel George Hamblen was the second superintendent of the Hot Springs Reservation, now Hot Springs National Park. As superintendent, he was mainly noted for his design of the arching of Hot Springs Creek. The arching was instrumental in the development of modern-day Central Avenue in the city of Hot Springs (Garland County). Some of his other notable feats were the laying out of the first drives and bridle paths on the Hot Springs and North Mountains and enlarging the “Mud Hole.” Samuel Hamblen was born on February 7, 1836, the ninth of ten children born to Ichabod and Lydia Fickett Hamblen in Standish, Maine. Hamblen’s father, who moved his family from Standish in the fall of 1839, bought a farm located …

Hamby, Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus Hamby of Prescott (Nevada County) was an attorney and political figure who served as acting governor of Arkansas for four months in the summer of 1892 during Governor James P. Eagle’s illness and absence from the state. Born on September 14, 1851, in Calhoun County, Mississippi, C. C. Hamby was the son of Thomas Jefferson Hamby, a farmer who served in a Mississippi regiment of the Confederate army, and his wife, Nancy Elizabeth Byars. Because of the hardships during the Civil War, Hamby’s education was limited. He went to work as a brakeman for the Mississippi Central Railroad at the age of eighteen. In 1872, Hamby moved to Logan County, Arkansas, where he attended school and worked on …

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 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 …

Hardy Cemetery Historic Section

The Hardy Cemetery Historic Section, which is located near the northern edge of Hardy (Sharp County), was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 2, 2006. It was included in part due to its connection to the founders of the town and its funerary architecture. Though the area that became Hardy was settled by the 1880s, the town was not incorporated until July 12, 1894. Walter Clayton, a town founder, had donated the land for the town in 1883. He also donated the land for the cemetery, though it is not clear if this donation was made at the same time. There are a total of 322 burials in the cemetery. The oldest with a dated headstone …

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 …

Hartman, Alexis Karl

Alexis Karl Hartman was the first elected Reconstruction mayor of Little Rock (Pulaski County), winning the office in January 1869 for an eleven-month term and again in November 1869 for a two-year term. Reflecting the contentious politics of the Reconstruction years, he is the only Little Rock mayor who was twice suspended from office by the city council. In 1871, he lost his bid for a third term. Alexis Hartman was born on August 22, 1838, in Saxony, a province of Prussia, and studied medicine there. In the late 1850s, he immigrated to the United States, and on June 7, 1859, he married Margaret Althus in St. Clair County, Illinois. The couple settled in O’Fallon, a town near St. Louis, …

Havis, Ferd

aka: Ferdinand Havis
Ferdinand Havis was born a slave but became an alderman, state representative, assessor, and county clerk, and was called the “Colored Millionaire” of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). Ferd Havis was born in Desha County on November 15, 1846, the son of John Havis, a white farmer, and a slave mother. In 1859, Havis’s father moved his operations to Jefferson County. Havis received a little common school education and learned the barbering trade. Later, he owned a profitable barbershop on West Court Street in Pine Bluff. The shop later moved to Barraque Street. Havis married three times. His first wife, Dilsa, died childless in 1870. His second wife, Geneva, died on August 4, 1886; they had one child, Ferda. He married …

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. …

Haygood Seminary

Haygood Seminary in Washington (Hempstead County) was established in 1883 as one of the first schools for African Americans funded by the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church (CME) in Arkansas. Its mission was to prepare preachers and teachers for their vocation so that they could help with the education and development of other African Americans. Haygood Seminary was one of the first five educational institutions in the South supported by the CME Church in the late nineteenth century. Haygood Seminary, also known as Haygood Academy, was organized in March 1883 by former slave John Williamson in Washington. His former master was the Reverend Samuel Williamson of the Presbyterian Church in Washington. John Williamson was a member of the CME congregation in …

Heartsill, Willie Blount Wright (W. B. W.)

During the 1880s and 1890s, Willie Blount Wright Heartsill (whose first name was pronounced “Wylie” and who was better known as W. B. W. Heartsill) played an active role in the farmer and labor movements in Arkansas. By the early 1890s, he had assumed a position of leadership in both movements, becoming the head of the Knights of Labor in the state and running for Congress as a Populist candidate in 1892. He later served in the Arkansas General Assembly. W. B. W. Heartsill was born in Louisville, Tennessee, on September 14, 1840, to Hiram Heartsill and Amanda Wright Heartsill. He married three times and was the father of seven children. During the Civil War, Heartsill was in the Confederate …

Hemingway, Wilson Edwin

Wilson E. Hemingway was an influential figure in Arkansas’s legal community in the later part of the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth century, including brief service on the Arkansas Supreme Court. As an attorney, judge, and corporate leader, he had a sizable impact on Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Arkansas politics, law, and business. Wilson Edwin Hemingway was born on January 4, 1854, in Carrollton, Mississippi, to William Hemingway and Sarah Wesley Jenkins Hemingway. He grew up in Mississippi and spent two years at the University of Mississippi before spending another two at the University of Georgia. He does not appear to have earned a degree from either school. Hemingway taught school from 1872 to 1873, while also …

Hensen, Elias (Lynching of)

Elias Hensen was seized from a house and shot to death on March 12, 1879, in Clay County after testifying against a co-defendant in a horse-stealing case and preparing to testify against other members of his gang. The 1870 federal census lists Elias Hensen, born around 1852, as an illiterate farmhand working for Abraham Roberts in Randolph County’s Current River Township, and it indicates that he might have had a diminished mental capacity. By 1879, he apparently was working with the Montgomery Brothers gang and had earned a reputation as a “rather unsavory character in this neighborhood, and was accused of various thefts, horse-stealing among them,” according to the Clay County Courier. Hensen and an accomplice, Charley Jenkins, were arrested …

Herndon, Elisabeth Chapline

Sarah Elisabeth Chapline Herndon was the only volunteer Red Cross nurse from Arkansas to serve in the Spanish-American War. Elisabeth Chapline was born on April 4, 1871, near Sweet Home (Pulaski County) to William Heros Chapline and Mary Murray Chapline. Her father was a landowner and planter. She had one brother and two sisters. Chapline attended the Arkansas Female College in Little Rock (Pulaski County) and nursing school at Chicago Baptist Hospital in Illinois. When war broke out in 1898, Chapline was too young for enlistment but was admitted as a contract nurse. She served in Fernandina, Florida, and at Camp Cuba Libre in Panama City, Florida. She was one of 1,700 volunteer nurses to serve in the war. Chapline …

Herrig, William (Lynching of)

William Herrig, a white man described in news reports as “a well-to-do farmer 67 years old” was lynched in Clay County by vigilantes on December 29, 1887, for murdering his young wife and a man with whom she was apparently friendly. No William Herrig was living in Clay County by the time of the 1880s census, although other men of that name were living in various places in the United States at the time, all of them German immigrants. Herrig’s wife, whose maiden name was Julia Bennett (and who is also dubbed “Mrs. Nettie” in reports), was described as “a charmingly plump little 20-years-of-age wife” who “had been for the two years before her marriage an actress in the Pauline …