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Lynching in North Carolina: A History,…

Lynching in North Carolina: A History, 1865-1941

by Vann R. Newkirk

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The author has undertaken a noble task in this overview of lynchings that occurred in North Carolina during this particular span of 75 or so years.

Good quick look into the laws that hindered the punishment of the perpetrators and the politics that played behind it all.

Newspaper accounts and other documents, if found, help the reader form a reasonably clear picture of the circumstances surrounding the lynchings. The ones that actually go to trial are the more interesting, simply because there is more substance to them.

Being left with only newspaper accounts can be frustrating. The “mobs” destroyed the real story (or as real as we might have had if the supposed criminal had gotten his/her day in court).

The excellent timeline/list of “Other Notable Lynchings” in Appendix II is a hidden 'jewel' – wonder how many county historians will look at it and see something they didn’t know?

It isn’t easy to look back on the ugly parts of our history but it is the only way to understand how and what kind of climate our ancestors lived in.

Whether we pretend to not know or know and dismiss, lynchings caused a deep and lasting scar in our histories – acknowledging them helps us all move forward. ( )
  patricia_poland | Sep 7, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786439289, Hardcover)

From the end of the Civil War through 1941, there were 168 North Carolinians who lost their lives to lynching. This form of mob violence was often justified as a means of controlling the black population; protecting white wives and daughters; and defending family honor. Legal attempts to deter lynching--including the 1893 law that classified it as a felony and sought to hold a county liable for damages--generally failed because of a lack of local support and ineffectual enforcement by state officials.
After 1922, however, in a phenomenon unique to North Carolina, incidents of lynching inexplicably and rapidly declined, prompting the state to head a national movement1to end it. Appendices provide an account of all 168 known lynching occurrences.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:08 -0400)

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An edition of this book was published by McFarland.

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