Black Ancestors : Carrollton Massacre

Discussion in 'Honoring Black Ancestors' started by cherryblossom, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    The “Carrollton Massacre”
    March 17, 1886

    While attending a trial at the Carrollton, Mississippi courthouse on March 17, 1886, twenty blacks were killed. An argument several days earlier led to the bloodshed. Susie James, writing for the Greenwood Mississippi Commonwealth, and in a special to the Jackson, Mississippi Clarion-Ledger explains the massacre:

    Carrollton Courthouse “Riot” of 1886
    By SUSIE JAMES
    Written 3-12-96
    For the COMMONWEALTH

    .....according to a historian for the W.P.A., who in the late 1930s took down the story from J.A. Norwood, two part-Indian, part-black brothers, Ed and Charley Brown, were delivering molasses to a saloon at Carrollton when (James) Liddell bumped into one of the Browns. Molasses was spilled, either before or after a fracas started.

    The grand jury wrote that there was a second encounter between the Browns and Liddell, but during the first, Liddell had referred to Ed Brown as a "S.O.B." After eating supper at a hotel, Liddell, who was either with other men or was joined by them shortly afterward, walked toward a group outside, which included the Browns, and asked what they were doing there. Ed, the grand jury found, replied that it was none of his "g-d business", and then Liddell slapped Ed in the face.

    If others were seriously injured or killed during the shooting which erupted, the grand jury did not say, but they did report that Liddell was wounded in the thigh and in the arm, recovering well enough to return to his home in Greenwood March 10, 1886.
    Two days after the shooting, the Browns were arraigned before Mayor Elam of Carrollton, but on March 12, they swore out an affidavit against Liddell and six others, charging them with assault with intent to kill.

    The grand jury wrote that when the case came to trial, Ed Brown fired at Liddell after hearing "some disturbance" outside of the courtroom, precipitating the massacre.

    "The evidence before us goes to show that the Browns were turbulent and desperate half breeds, always ready for a conflict..." the grand jury concluded, ultimately blaming the Browns for everything.

    Norwood's account to the W.P.A. historian details the "disturbance" mentioned in the grand jury's report, which was directed to Circuit Judge C.H. Campbell.

    Outside, and stretching up the road leading to Carrollton from the highway to Greenwood, were riders, allegedly from Leflore County and allegedly led by Houston Whitworth, who broke into four squads of 15 or more at the square, heading into all four entrances to the courthouse.

    Some jumped out of the windows of the courtroom as they tried to avoid the gunfire. Walter McLeod, according to the W.P.A. account, was shot in the heel, and Jake Cain was crippled for life as he tried to get away. The body of one man was left hanging from a window.

    ....continued here: http://www.vaiden.net/carrollton_massacre.html
     
  2. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    ...Local journalist Susie James wrote up a
    nice summary of what happened. Reduced to essentials: A white man, James Liddell, an attorney and newspaper editor from nearby Greenwood , ran into the brothers Brown (black Indian "half-breeds" with a reputation for trouble), molasses was spilled, "a fracas" ensued. The Brown brothers were thrown in jail. But before they could be tried (a lynch mob would have made quick work of them, but they plucked the wrong prisoner), they had the nerve to file charges against Mr. Liddell. This, when you get down to it, was their great offense.

    On March 17, 1886, the trial commenced. The black men in pursuit of justice were not even given a prosecutor. Only their black friends were on hand to watch, for the whites had been warned away. They knew that the trial would not get very far before a particularly severe kind of order would be imposed on the court.

    Minutes into the trial, a cloud of men on horseback arrived from the west (the direction of Greenwood). From all four doors of the beautiful, symmetrical courthouse they entered: 50-100 white men "armed with every conceivable fiream," according to the New Orleans Picayune

    . They bounded up the stairs to the courtroom. Although it was said in the regional white press that the black men were armed and that the intruders shot in "self-defense," there is conflicting evidence on whether any of the blacks had guns. No white men suffered injury.

    With the entrance to the courtroom blocked by the assailants, some of the black men took the only exit they could find: the windows.

    From New Orleans Times Democrat,
    March 19, 1886

    Some escaped that way with their lives; others were not so lucky. From the
    Picayune

    :There was a general stampede of those who would escape the missiles of the crowd, thinking to reach the window, thirty feet high, and jump to safety; but alas! The crowd around the courthouse, all being strangers, supposed each man trying to escape one of the Browns.

    One man, Amos Matthews, who plunged through the eastern window, nearest the jury room, when equidistant in and out had the whole left side of his head blown off by one or more loads of buckshot, or a Winchester rifle, thus falling, breast on the window-sill, dead, and his brains streaming to the ground thirty or forty feet below, where it remained to-day. His wound was found to be as long as an ordinary man’s arm, and the weight of the blood striking the ground was heard across the street. It fell with such force and in such quantity, quite two gallons, that it spattered two or three feet up on the courthouse wall.

    Peyton Hemingway, a confederate in all the plot and one of the leading backers of the Browns, jumped from the second story of the courthouse, and running toward Mrs. Aldure, had twenty-five to forty shots fired at him, but only received one slight wound and escaped.

    A young negro jumped from the second story jury-room, striking the ground without injury and ran away with several guns turned on him, only one shot striking him anywhere, and that in half of his shoe sole.

    Exactly how many died is not known.

    Susie James puts it at 23, higher than contemporary accounts, but possibly closer to right. One of her sources was Mildred Cain , granddaughter of Jake Cain, a survivor. ("They didn't want us to hate," she said.)

    complete here:

    http://greenespace.blogspot.com/2005/08/field-trip-carrollton-mississippi.html
     
  3. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    They Didn’t Want Us To Hate
    By SUSIE JAMES
    Special to the Clarion-Ledger
    CARROLLTON – Mildred Cain Burks walks slowly and with a cane among the weathered tombstones of the Cain Cemetery in a secluded glen several miles southeast of here. She stops at a boldly carved monument to her grandfather, Jake Cain, Sr., who survived one of the county’s bloodiest post-Reconstruction Era episodes.

    Twenty-three people – all black – either died during the so-called Carrollton Courthouse Riot of March 17, 1886 or died later of wounds suffered that day.

    Burks’ grandfather’s name appeared on the list in a New Orleans newspaper published two days following the riot, which more accurately could be termed “massacre”. A reporter wrote this line: “Jake Cain, will die.” Cain, born into slavery Aug. 12, 1862, died Sept. 1, 1945.

    What happened that day, Burks says in a voice softened with emotion and with pain, grownups didn’t discuss in front of the children. Her father, who had the same first name as his father, told her later: “We didn’t want to teach you to hate.”

    Blacks had crowded into the courtroom to watch a trial. Mixed-blood blacks, Ed and Charlie Brown, sons of a free black man of Indian extraction who had moved to Carroll County from Tennessee, had filed assault charges against James Liddell, a white man. The Browns were well known, and so was Liddell.

    Drumbeats of warning had sounded earlier in the day. Some got the warning and obeyed. Others didn’t, or came anyway. The sheriff, T. T. Hamilton, according to the reports, was home at dinner. Mounted, armed men flooded the square. The gunmen entered the courthouse and went upstairs and into the courtroom.. Gunfire erupted. If there were exits, they were the tall windows, not those two blocked doors.

    A grand jury convened to investigate the so-called riot, amazingly, placed the blame of that bloody day on the backs of the Browns, who were both killed outright.

    Cain took his second-storey exit.

    “I’ll tell you history,” Burks says, feeling with one of her hands her own back to show the location of the scar in his own back that her grandfather tried to hide. It has been said for years that Cain limped from injuries he suffered that day, jumping from the window. “He was shot in the back,” Burks says, “he lay wounded and bleeding, and men came up with guns to shoot him again. Someone said, don’t waste bullets, (he’s) going to die anyway. Later, someone came and took him away. I don’t think he ever saw a doctor, just a person who did healing.”

    Ed Brown’s body was riddled with bullets. According to the article in the New Orleans newspaper, one of these rifle balls passed through three seats of heart pine, each one and one half inches thick.

    Cain’s brother, Simon, died at the courthouse.

    complete article here: http://www.vaiden.net/carrollton_massacre.html
     
  4. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Blood for Molasses: A Mississippi Massacre [Kindle Edition]

    Ward Rick (Author)

    roduct Description

    Blood for Molasses: A Mississippi Massacre based on a true story, is about a slaughter that started over an accidental spilling of molasses. The offended was a prominent white citizen. The offenders were two half-breed black and Indian brothers. They were delivering their products, used for “cutting” whiskey to a saloon in Carrollton, Mississippi in February 1886.
    However, the incident was only a match that lit the fire for the already-brewing pot. This book is not just about a single incident, rather the moods and attitudes of white supremacy and political domination following post-civil war reconstruction. A small town with a population of only 400, held the political might to tie the hands of the governor, US Congress and President of the United States and to hide it from history for 125 years.
    http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Molasses-Mississippi-Massacre-ebook/dp/B0041T4ENU
     
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