True Crime Books by Jason Lucky Morrow

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The Complete 1898 Lynching Report

While conducting research for a story about a double-homicide in 1898, I came across an account of all known lynchings for that year. The statistics were interesting and confirmed what you might suspect, but also revealed some surprising information.

Out of 127 lynchings in 1898, five of them were women. As expected, African-Americans represent the majority with 102 black men and women murdered, while only 23 whites and two Indians met a similar fate. By far, most of the lynchings occurred in the south with 118.

The report also reveals the reason for each lynching—and that’s where it gets interesting.

I do not possess the academic qualifications to comment on all the social injustice this document contains. I will leave that for the experts. However, there are few cases from this point worth spotlighting. Some of the more outrageous reasons to lynch a man include: “insults;” “paying attention to a white girl” (I looked up this case and read that the white girl enjoyed the attention); “resisting assault” (so, he was just supposed to take a beating and not fight back?); and “violation of contract (whatever that means).

In a few of these cases, there are links to where I looked up the case and copied a newspaper article which described the events that surround the lynching.

Also worth noting is that in 1898, lynching didn’t necessarily mean hanging. Instead, it could mean a homicide inflicted in any manner by a group, gang, or vigilante mob that denied the individual his or her right to due process.

If you would like to search for more information on any of the names listed below, you can try the Library of Congress newspaper archives. You will have to use the advanced search option and exact match for search terms.

Article Begins: “Lynchings in 1898,” Chicago Tribune, December 31, 1898, page 20.

The criminal work of mob murderers throughout the country has decreased during 1898, as compared with 1897, being smaller than in any year since 1885, except 1890, when the number was the same. ‘Judge Lynch’ has executed 127 persons during the year, 122 males and 5 females. The following table, showing the number of lynchings through a series of years, will be of interest at the present time, when this question of lynching is occupying the attention of legislators in several states:

Lynchings by Year

  • 1885 = 184
  • 1886 = 138
  • 1887 = 122
  • 1888 = 142
  • 1889 = 176
  • 1890 = 127
  • 1891 = 192
  • 1892 = 235
  • 1893 = 200
  • 1894 = 190
  • 1895 = 171
  • 1896 = 131
  • 1897 = 166
  • 1898 = 127

The Lynchings in the various States and Territories [during the year 1898] were as follows:

Lynchings by State, (Highest to Lowest, Alphabetical)

  • Arkansas = 17
  • Mississippi = 15
  • South Carolina = 14
  • Alabama = 12
  • Georgia = 12
  • Louisiana = 10
  • Kentucky = 6
  • Missouri = 6
  • Tennessee = 6
  • North Carolina = 4
  • Virginia = 4
  • Indian Territory = 3
  • Texas = 3
  • Wyoming = 3
  • Maryland = 2
  • Alaska = 1
  • Kansas = 1
  • Florida = 1
  • Illinois = 1
  • Indiana = 1
  • Montana = 1
  • Washington = 1
  • West Virginia = 1
  • Wyoming = 1

Of these lynchings, 118 occurred in the South and 9 in the North. Of the total number 102 were Negroes, 23 whites, and 2 Indians. The alleged crimes for which the victims were lynched were as follows:

  • Theft = 6
  • Arson = 2
  • Violation of contract = 1
  • Insults = 2
  • Murder = 61
  • Attempted Rape = 7
  • Racial Prejudice = 3
  • Unknown = 3
  • Rape = 16
  • Miscegenation = 1
  • Resisting Arrest = 1
  • Suspected of Murder = 13
  • Complicity in Rape = 1
  • Assaults upon Whites = 4
  • Mistaken identity = 2
  • Highway robbery = 1
  • Murderous assault = 2
  • Burglary = 1


1st Unknown Negro, theft, Sherrill, Arkansas.

1st James Jones, colored, arson, near Macon, Mississippi.

4th David Hunter, colored, violation of contract, Clinton, South Carolina.

7th James Watts colored, insults, Pea Ridge, Mississippi.

7th Samuel Cole, colored, insults, Pea Ridge, Mississippi.

8th Marshal Chadwick, white, murder, Colfax, Washington.

8th _____ Deval, colored, murder, near Rearden, Arkansas. (1)

8th _____ Huntley, colored. murder, near Rearden, Arkansas. (2)

8th Two unnamed Negroes, murder, near Rearden, Arkansas. (4)

8th John McGeesey, Indian, murder and outrage, Maud, (Post Office District), Indian Territory. (1)

8th Palmer Simpson, Indian, murder and outrage, Maud, Indian Territory. (2)

26th Mary Pearson, colored, murder, near Natchez, Mississippi. Link.


1st John Belin, colored, murder, near Savage, Georgia.

1st Unknown Negro, murder, Bramwell, West Virginia.

2nd _____ Ward, colored, murder, Galena, Missouri.

2nd M.F. Tanner (or Tunner), white, murder, Alaska.

13th Whit Dillard, white, murder, Blue Ridge, Georgia.

20th John Kellogg, colored, attempted rape, Blanche, Alabama.

22nd F.B. Baker, colored, race prejudice, Lake City, South Carolina. (1)

22nd Dora Baker, female, colored, race prejudice, Lake City, South Carolina. (2)

23rd Richard Allen, colored, robbery, Mayfield, Kentucky. (1)

23rd Thomas Holmes, colored, murder, Mayfield, Kentucky. (2)


2 Indian doctor, name unknown, offense unknown, Morgantown, North Carolina.

2 Girl, name unknown, offense unknown, race unknown, Morgantown, North Carolina.

2 Frederick Moore, white, murder, Senatobia, Mississippi.

6 William Jones, colored, rape, Lake Cormorant, Mississippi.

7 Louis P. Johnson, white, murder, near Cheyenne, Wyoming. (1)

7 J. Bamret (spelling?), white, murder, near Cheyenne, Wyoming. (2)

7 unknown man, white, murder, near Cheyenne, Wyoming. (3)

9 William Harris, colored, robbery, near New Orleans, Louisiana. (1)

9 Andrew Pigge, colored, robbery, near New Orleans, Louisiana. (2)

15 Unknown Negro, robbery near Marcella, Arkansas.

20 Alexander Anderson, colored, attempted rape near Grenada, Mississippi.

21 John Collar, colored, attempted rape, Godsen, Tennessee.

21 John Calloway, colored, paying attention to white girl, Round Mountain, Alabama. LINK

24 James Allen, colored, attempted rape, Moultrie, Georgia.


1 William Bell, colored, murder, Amite City, Louisiana.

5 William Mercer, white, murder, Cleburne County, Arkansas.

5 Carlos Guillen, Hispanic, murder, Brownsville, Texas. LINK

26 Columbus Lewis, colored, for resisting assault, Lincoln Parish, Louisiana.

29 Paris Smith, white, murder, Coeburn, Virginia.


6 Dennis Burrell, colored, murder, New Orleans, Louisiana.

23 Joseph Mitchell, colored, for murder, Rives, Tennessee.

26 Garfield King, colored, murder, Salisbury, Maryland.

27 Richard Oliver, colored, rape, Donaldsonville, Georgia.

29 Joseph Kiser, colored, suspected murder, Concord, North Carolina. (1)

29 Thomas Johnson, colored, suspected murder, Concord, North Carolina. (2)


1 William Street, colored, attempted murder, Doyline, Louisiana.

1 Levi Hayden, colored, assault, Texarkana, Arkansas.

6 Curtis Young. colored, murder, Clarksvtile, Missouri. (1)

6 Samuel Young. colored, murder, Clarksville, Missouri.(1)

10 George Washington, colored, murder, Wemar, Texas.

13 John Becker, white, murder, Great Bend, Kansas.

14 Moses Ricks, colored, rape, Monroe County, Arkansas.

14 Son of Moses Ricks, colored, complicity in rape, Monroe County, Arkansas.

15 Unnamed Negro, assault upon officer, Oak Ridge, Louisiana.

16 Caleb Gaines, colored, rape, Glasgow, Kentucky.

17 Solomon Jackson, colored, murder, Wetumpka, Alabama. (1)

17 Lewis Spier, colored, murder, Wetumpka, Alabama. (2)

17 Jesse Thompson, colored, murder. Wetumpka, Alabama. (3)

17 Camp Reese. colored, murder, Wetumpka, Alabama. (4)

17 William Jackson, colored, murder, Wetumpka. Alabama. (5)

22 Hewlett, white, murder, Carroll County, Virginia.

23 Charles Washington, colored, rape, Mine Lick, Tennessee.

26 George Scott, colored, rape, Russellville, Kentucky.

30 Henry Williams, colored, rape, Macon, Missouri.


4 Goode Gray, colored, murder, Rison, Arkansas.

12 Wesley Gould, colored, mistaken identity, Leland, Mississippi.

12 John H. James, colored, rape, Charlottesville, Virginia.

13 Sidney Johnson, colored, rape, Coaling, Alabama.

14 James Redd, colored, murder, Monticello, Arkansas.

14 Alexander Johnson, colored, murder, Monticello, Arkansas.

19 William Patterson, white, murder, Westville, Mississippi.


8 Daniel Ogg, colored, rape, Palestine, Texas.

8 John Meadows, colored, attempted rape, Carmel, Georgia.

8 Richard Thurmond, colored, attempted rape, Ripley, Tennessee.

9 Manse Castle, colored, murder, Clarendon, Arkansas. (1)

9 Dennis Ricord, colored, murder, Clarendon, Arkansas. (2)

9 Rilla Weaver, (female?) colored, murder, Clarendon. Arkansas. (3)

9 William Saunders, colored, murder, Clarendon, Arkansas. (4)

9 Williams Nall (spelling?), (white or Indian?) murder. Brims, Indian Territory.

11 Mulloch Walker, colored, highway robbery, Corinth, Mississippi.

20 Unknown Negro, murder, Americus, Georgia.


6 William Stern, colored, murder, Rosemeath, Mississippi.

7 John Williams, colored, rape, Fowlstown, Georgia.

11 George Burton, colored, rape, Digby, Georgia.

11 Benjamin Jones, white?, rape, Liberty, Missouri.

13 Lee Puckett, white?, rape, Patrick County, Virginia.

13 Albert Anderson, colored, murder, Sulligent, Louisiana.

26 Jon Williams, colored, rape, Mountain City, Tennessee.


1 Peter Johnson, colored, larceny, Edmond, Oklahoma.

5 Wright Smith, colored, attempted rape, Annapolis, Maryland.

22 Arch Bauer, colored, murderous assault, Tompkinsville, Kentucky.

23 John Anderson, colored, murder, Lafayette. Alabama.

23 James Mackie, colored, suspected murder, Edgefield County, South Carolina. (1)

25 Luther Sullivan, colored, suspected murder, Edgefield County, South Carolina. (2)

27 Unknown negro, murder, Lafayette, Alabama.


6 Arthur Williams, colored, murder, Wellborne, Florida.

7 F. W. Stewart, colored, rape, Lacon, Illinois.

9 Hampton McKinney, colored, alleged murder, Phoenix, South Carolina. (1)

9 Columbus Jackson, colored, alleged murder, Phoenix, South Carolina. (2)

9 Jesse WiLliams, colored, alleged murder, Phoenix, South Carolina. (3)

9 Drayton Williams, colored, alleged murder, Phoenix, South Carolina. (4)

9 Rose Etheridge, female, colored, alleged murder, Phoenix, South Carolina. (5)

9 Jeff Darling, colored, alleged murder, Phoenix, South Carolina. (6)

10 Benjamin Collins, colored, alleged murder, Phoenix, South Carolina. (7)

10 Essex Harrison, colored, alleged murder, Phoenix, South Carolina. (8)

Here is a link to a partial article on the “Phoenix riots.”

11 Charles Morrell, colored, burglary, Edgard, Louisiana.

14 Eliza Goode, female, racial prejudice, Greenwood, South Carolina,

19 John Smartt, colored, racial prejudice, Chapelton, Tennessee.

22 Edward Merriweather, colored, alleged murder, Monticello, Georgia.

27 Three Negroes (no names given), assaulting a white man, near Meridian, Mississippi. (3)

29 Negro (unnamed), murder, near New Madrid, Missouri.


6 ____ Hearn, colored, murder, Benton, Louisiana.

6 ____ Richardson, colored murder, Benton, Louisiana.

10 Eli Fisher, mistaken identity, Montana.

12 Jacob Glover, colored, murder, Monticello, Georgia.

14 ____White, colored, murder, Tallahatchie County, Mississippi.

16 Pleas Goln (or Goin), murder, near Middlesboro, Kentucky.

16 James Anderson, colored, murder, Lavett, Georgia.

20 Newton Gaines, colored, rape, De Kalb, Arkansas.

21 William Simms, white, murder, near Decatur, Alabama.

24 Marion Tyler, white, murderous assault, Scottsburg, Indiana.

27 Jeff Bolton, white, arson, Harmony Grove, Georgia.


Mary Pearson



John Calloway


Carlos Guillen