Little River County, Arkansas Lynchings, 1899

An Alabama Lynching: picture from Gutenberg.org

An Alabama Lynching: picture from Gutenberg.org

RACE WAR IS ON
WHITES OF ARKANSAS KILLING OFF THE COLORED MEN.

CLAIM TO KNOW OF A PLOT
FIRST LYNCH THE CHIEF AUTHOR AND THEN FOLLOW UP.

SEVEN KNOWN DEAD TO DATE
HUNTED DOWN AND KILLED IN DIFFERENT LOCALITIES.

Wrath of the White Men Not Yet Appeased, and Search Going On
–Murder of Planter Starts the Trouble.

TEXARKANA, Ar., March 23. — A race war is on in Little River county, and during the past forty-eight hours an indefinite number of negroes have met their death at the hands of an infuriated white population. Seven are know to have been lynched, shot to death or slain in some manner and the work is not yet done.

The bodies of the victims of the mob’s vengeance are hanging to trees in various parts of the country, strung up wherever overtaken, while that of another who was shot to death while trying to escape, was thrown into a river.

White men are collecting in mobs heavily armed and determined; negroes are fleeing for their lives and the community is in an uproar.

The known dead to date are:
GENERAL DUCKETT.
EDWIN GODWIN.
ADAM KING.
JOSEPH JONES.
BENJAMIN JONES.
MOSES JONES.
UNKNOWN MAN.
Two Let Off With Whipping.

Joe King and John Johnson were also taken in hand by mobs and whipped. They were afterwards turned loose and have disappeared.

Little River county is in the extreme southwest corner of the state, bordered on the west by the Indian territory and on the south by Texas. The negro population is large and has for a long time proved very troublesome to the whites. Frequent murders have occurred and thefts and fights have become common affairs. One or two negroes have previously been severely dealt with when the people found it necessary to take the law into their own hands but it was not until Tuesday that the trouble took on a very serious aspect. It then developed that carefully laid plans had been made by a number of negroes to precipitate a race war, and that many white men had been marked for victims. It is learned that twenty-three negroes were implicated in this plot and the whites are now bent on meting out summary punishment to the entire coterie of conspirators. Seven have been killed and the work of wiping out the entire list continues without relaxation of determination.

All implicated in the plot are known and small parties of white men, varying in number from twenty-five to fifty, are scouring the country for them. Wherever one is found he is quickly strung up, his body perforated with leaden missiles to make sure of their work and the mob hastens on in quest of its next victim. Some of them were found near Richmond and the work of killing the first two or three was an easy matter.

Negroes Panic Stricken.
But the news soon spread among the negroes, who, instead of making the resistance and offering the battle that they had threatened, became panic stricken and began getting out of the community as quickly as possible. Two whose names were on the list of conspirators got a good start of the mob who were detailed to look after them and they succeeded in reaching  the Texas state line before being captured. However, they did not escape. They were overtaken, out of breath and exhausted, but were swung without ceremony.

Last Saturday a prominent planter named James Stockton was murdered at his home near Rocky Comfort by a man named Duckett. The negro escaped at the time, but after remaining in hiding in the swamps until Tuesday he surrendered, saying he had had nothing to eat since his flight. He was taken to Rocky Comfort and soon after his arrival there Sheriff Johnson and deputies started with him for Richmond. They were overtaken by 200 armed men, who demanded the prisoner. Duckett was taken to the place where he had killed Stockton and after making a confession he was lynched. when the negro was taken to the George  plantation just before the start was made for Richmond, it seemed as if every man in the ten miles knew of the capture and before the officer and prisoner could get fairly started the whole country was aroused.

Had Planned an Uprising.
After the lynching it was learned that Duckett had frequently tried to get the negroes in the country to join him in a race war against the whites. A few hours after he had killed Stockton he passed several negroes at a farm house and told them that he had killed one white man and if they would follow him he would kill more. It is now believed that the negroes had banded for a race war. Duckett’s body was buried by the county, as the negroes refused to touch it.

Advices from New Boston, Tex., tonight are to the effect that across the river several negroes have been lynched. This morning Benjamin Jones was found dead on Hurricane Bend and from New Boston it is learned that Joe King and Moses Jones were found hanging to trees at Horseshoe Curve today. Another Jones is missing. In the gang that was plotting for a race war were twenty-three negroes, and it is likely that the entire number have been strung up in the thickets. The negroes are fleeing from the district. Today three wagons full arrived at Texarkana, having crossed Red river at Index at midnight last night. The citizens of Little River county have suffered much recently from lawlessness. Some months ago, the two races clashed at Allene at a sawmill and a small riot followed. From accounts it seems that Duckett and several ringleaders have been killed.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Mar 24, 1899

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One Response to “Little River County, Arkansas Lynchings, 1899”

  1. Robbrian Says:

    Lynching of African Americans in the 21st century is represented by but not limitied to policies intentionally developed to keep schools unequal, constrain entry into businesses, reduce access to safety net programs, and inequitable pay practices.

    Instead of being murdered by a quick snap of the neck, minorities trying to succeed are, nonetheless, relegated to long-term deprivation of societies benefits, psychological trauma, and the vicissitudes of the justice system.

    It will

    It will never end! Many minorities fail to take dvantage of those opportunities to escape the harshest aspects of being a minority in America. As long as babies raise babies, and drop-outs breed more drop-outs there is not likely to be an accomodation by larger society to the plight of those who refuse to help-themselves to services available in an imperfect education and training system.

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