Lynchings in Missouri, 1803–1981

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About the Book

At least 227 mob murders took place on Missouri soil between 1803 and 1981, all of which are identified, confirmed, and documented (with legal sources) in this first investigation of the state’s lynching history. The first four chapters focus on lynchings that took place before The Chicago Tribune began its annual nationwide lists of the lynched in the 1880s. Topics covered in other chapters include legal efforts to punish lynchers; the link between black lynchings and rape allegations; horse/hog stealing, bank robbery, murder, sex crimes, and other notable offenses for which whites were lynched; and the still-unsolved lynching of a white man in Skidmore, Missouri, in 1981. The book also documents, usually with an in-state source, 50 falsely reported, doubtful, or foiled lynchings which took place between 1857 and 1930.

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: 238
Bibliographic Info: 9 photos, tables, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3668-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ii
List of Illustrations
Preface      1

1. One Native American and 17 White Victims, 1803–1862      7
2. Slaves and Free Blacks, 1818–1862      21
3. Civil War Aftermath, 1866–1869      38
4. More White Victims Than Black, 1870–1879      52
5. Law vs. Mob: Strenuous Efforts to Punish Lynchers, 1872–1879      67
6. “The brute seized her”: Black Victims, 1880–1889      79
7. Railroads End Lynchings of Horse Thieves: White Victims Decrease, 1880–1889      90
8. Arranged Media Coverage and Other Obscenities:
Black Victims, 1890–1899      105
9. White Victims, 1891–1899      123
10. Racism as Scholarship to Justify Violence: 1900–1909      135
11. Black and White Victims, 1910–1919      154
12. Declining Numbers and Black Victims Only: 1920–1942      163
Conclusion: Missouri’s Last Lynching, 1981      183

Appendix 1: Lynchings in Missouri, 1803–1981      189
Appendix 2: Falsely Reported, Doubtful, and Foiled Lynchings in Missouri, 1857–1930      203
Chapter Notes      207
Bibliography      219
Index      225