Lynchings in Kansas, 1850s–1932


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About the Book

In 1933, Genevieve Yost, Kansas State Historical Society cataloger, published a “History of Lynching in Kansas.” The present book is a development of that work, researched with the benefit of modern technology. The author locates 58 lynchings Yost missed and removes 19 from her list that for various reasons are not lynchings in Kansas.
Yost apparently catalogued her 123 entries, some containing up to six names, based on her newspaper sources’ headlines, not the actual stories on the lynchings. Her catalog places some events in counties that did not exist at the time of the lynching. In this book, errors in her data are corrected: misspelled names, incorrect places and dates, and the number of victims per incident.
In agreement with Yost, the author finds that most of the victims were white men who were horse thieves, their deaths taking place in the eastern tier of counties bordering Missouri, an area then and now where most Kansans lived. The last lynching in Kansas took place in 1932 in the extreme northwest of the state, and an interview of an eyewitness is included.

About the Author(s)

Harriet C. Frazier, attorney and retired law professor in the Criminal Justice Department at University of Central Missouri, also has a Ph.D. in English. She lives in Missouri.

Bibliographic Details

Harriet C. Frazier
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: 11 photos and illustrations, 3 maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6832-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1779-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface 1

1. Territorial Times, 1850s–1860 5

2. Civil War Years, 1861–1865 21

3. High Water Mark of Mob Murders, 1866–1870 36

4. Mob Murders Down: Victims Likely Include Sons of a Former Illinois Governor, 1871–1875 54

5. Horse Thief Lynchings Continue, and 5,000 Witness Cruel Death of Black Rapist, 1876–1880 70

6. Railroads End Lynching of Horse Thieves, 1881–1885 85

7. Mob Murders Decline; Three Blacks and Nine Whites, 1886–1889 102

8. Seven Blacks and Nine Whites, 1890–1899 120

9. Three Blacks and Three Whites, 1900–1923 138

Epilogue: A Tale of Eight Counties and One White, 1932 159

Appendix 1: Statistical Summary of Kansas Lynchings, 1850s–1932 167

Appendix 2: Falsely Reported, Border or Slavery Warfare, Doubtful, and Foiled Lynchings, 1855–1922 181

Chapter Notes 195

Bibliography 205

Index 209