Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Women were rarely lynched, but there are photos of a dead black woman named Laura Nelson, lynched May 25, 1911 in Okemah, Oklahoma. The text accompanying this photo, says,

District Judge Caruthers convened a grand jury in June 1911 to investigate the lynching of the Negro woman and her son. In his instructions to the jury, he said, "The people of the state have said by recently adopted constitutional provision that the race to which the unfortunate victims belonged should in large measure be divorced from participation in our political contests, because of their known racial inferiority and their dependent credulity, which very characteristic made them the mere tool of the designing and cunning. It is well known that I heartily concur in this constitutional provision of the people's will. The more then does the duty devolve upon us of a superior race and of greater intelligence to protect this weaker race from unjustifiable and lawless attacks."

Nelson's lynching was unusual not for its cruelty, but because it was so well documented photographically, almost certainly because the victim was a woman. She and her son, L.W., age 14, were lynched from a bridge over the Canadian River near Okemah. They were hanged about 20 feet apart.

L.W. was accused of murdering a deputy investigating them for theft. The boy's father confessed to the theft and was remanded to custody elsewhere. Laura confessed to the shooting to save her son. She and LW were locked up in the jail. The lynch mob entered, "overpowered" the lone guard and took mother and son to the bridge and lynched them.


Blogger Chuck said...

Speechless, except to say had I been there, I would have died that day too because I would have done everything I could against the mob to save those people.

9:11 PM  

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