Silver gelatin photograph depicting the lynching of four African American men in Russellville, KY, 5.25 x 7.25 in. The photograph is accompanied by the publication: Coffman, Edward. The Story of Russellville: A Short History of the Town of Russellville, Logan County, Ky. The News-Democrat Print, 1931. Small 8vo, paper covers, 71pp.
In 1908, African American Rufus Browder shot and killed a prominent white farmer for whom he worked by the name of James Cunningham out of self defense. Browder was arrested and moved to Louisville, KY for his own protection. Subsequently, a group of Browder's friends were arrested and placed in jail for "disturbing the peace," and on the night of Aug. 1, 1908, a white mob entered the jail and demanded the prisoners. With the jailer's cooperation, the prisoners were handed over to the mob and hanged simultaneously from the same tree. A note pinned to one of the men read, "Let this be a warning to you niggers to let white people alone or you will go the same way." The four victims were Joseph Riley, Virgil, Robert, and Thomas Jones. This photograph was also produced as a real photo postcard and was purportedly printed and distributed by Nashville, TN salesman Jack Morton.
Condition: Small pinhole along middle left edge of photograph. Some water damage to book. Some separation of covers along spine of book.
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