Missouri and Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of Missouri, the Ozarks region, and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written sixteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Women of Missouri, Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri, and Show-Me Atrocities: Infamous Incidents in Missouri History.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Slave Burnings 1853

My new book due out sometime next month is called Murder and Mayhem in Missouri. The second chapter deals with the burnings of three slaves within about two weeks of each other during the summer of 1853. Although there were three slaves burned, only two separate incidents were involved, as one of the incidents was a double lynching. It occurred in late July of that year at Carthage. I have previously written about this incident on this blog, and I am providing a link here to that earlier posting: http://ozarks-history.blogspot.com/2010/10/two-blacks-lynched-by-burning-at.html. Suffice it to say, however, that there is more to the story than I wrote in the blog posting.
The other incident occurred about two weeks earlier in mid-July of 1853 at Georgetown, Missouri. Georgetown was, at the time, the county seat of Pettis County, as Sedalia did not yet exist. Most blacks lynched by whites during the 1800s were accused of either killing a white person or raping a white woman, and the Pettis County case was no exception. A slave, about 20 years old, was charged with killing a white woman when she resisted his attempts to seduce her. Both the slave and his white master were arrested, because it was thought the slaveowner had instigated the black man to commit the heinous deed. The white man was soon turned loose, but he and his family were run out of the county. The slave, in the meantime, was incinerated at Georgetown with a large crowd in attendance. Many of those watching were other blacks who had been brought in from the countryside by their owners to witness the horrible spectacle, supposedly to deter them from committing a like crime. Again, there is more to the story than this brief summary covers. So, get hold of my book when it comes out if you want to read the whole story.


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