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Lynching Beyond Dixie

American Mob Violence Outside the South

Michael J. Pfeifer

Publication Year: 2013

In recent decades, scholars have explored much of the history of mob violence in the American South, especially in the years after Reconstruction. However, the lynching violence that occurred in American regions outside the South, where hundreds of persons, including Hispanics, whites, African Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans died at the hands of lynch mobs, has received less attention. This collection of essays by prominent and rising scholars fills this gap by illuminating the factors that distinguished lynching in the West, the Midwest, and the Mid-Atlantic. The volume adds to a more comprehensive history of American lynching and will be of interest to all readers interested in the history of violence across the varied regions of the United States.

Contributors are Jack S. Blocker Jr., Brent M. S. Campney, William D. Carrigan, Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua, Dennis B. Downey, Larry R. Gerlach, Kimberley Mangun, Helen McLure, Michael J. Pfeifer, Christopher Waldrep, Clive Webb, and Dena Lynn Winslow.

Published by: University of Illinois Press


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pp. 1-3

Title Page

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pp. 4-5


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pp. 6-7

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pp. vii-vii

Numerous people helped to make this book possible. Laurie Matheson once again was a model editor, offering crucial encouragement and support to the project; Dawn Durante provided splendid editorial assistance . . .

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pp. 1-17

In the last years of the nineteenth century and first years of the twentieth century, it sometimes seemed that lynchers had seized control of American life. In September 1897 the New York Times lamented, as it often did . . .

Part I. The West

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1. “Who Dares to Style This Female a Woman?”: Lynching, Gender, and Culture in the Nineteenth-Century U.S. West

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pp. 21-53

The iconic image of a lynching in the nineteenth-century western United States is probably a white man dangling from a tree limb, summarily executed by a group of other white men because of his alleged theft of . . .

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2. The Popular Sources of Political Authority in 1856 San Francisco: Lynching, Vigilance, and the Difference between Politics and Constitutionalism

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pp. 54-80

Lynching in both the West and the South articulated a question central to American thought in the nineteenth century, if not throughout the entire American experience. Should—or could—abstract principles of . . .

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3. “Light Is Bursting upon the World!”: White Supremacy and Racist Violence against Blacks in Reconstruction Kansas

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pp. 81-109

“The everlasting ‘nigger’ has stepped in to mar the pleasure of the weekly drills of the militia,” reported the Smoky Hill and Republican Union in a sarcastic report of events in Clay County, Kansas, in the fall of 1863. An . . .

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4. The Rise and Fall of Mob Violence against Mexicans in Arizona, 1859–1915

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pp. 110-131

On April 19, 1915, in a mountain gulch near Greaterville in Pima County, Arizona, Anglo deputies Robert Fenter and Frank Moore hanged and killed two alleged Mexican outlaws named José and . . .

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5. Making Utah History: Press Coverage of the Robert Marshall Lynching, June 1925

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pp. 132-161

Lynching claimed thousands of victims across the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Many of these individuals, as graphically depicted in Without Sanctuary, were African American men who lived . . .

Part II. The Midwest

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6. “The cry of the Negro should not be remember the Maine, but remember the hanging of Bush”: African American Responses to Lynching in Decatur, Illinois, 1893

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pp. 165-189

Private collective violence against Blacks has manifested itself in three dominant forms in U.S. history: lynching, race riots, and hate crimes.1 Scholars have documented more than three thousand lynchings, . . .

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7. Race, Sex, and Riot: The Springfield, Ohio, Race Riots of 1904 and 1906 and the Sources of Antiblack Violence in the Lower Midwest

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pp. 190-210

On March 7, 1904, a mob broke into Springfield, Ohio’s decrepit city jail, easily overcame feeble resistance, and seized and lynched an itinerant Kentuckian, African American Richard Dixon. Dixon had been jailed for . . .

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8. Lynching in Late-Nineteenth-Century Michigan

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pp. 211-225

Michigan saw less lynching than the neighboring upper-midwestern states of Wisconsin and Minnesota and the adjoining lower-midwestern states of Ohio and Indiana. Lynchers claimed approximately seven victims in . . .

Part III. The Northeast

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9. “They Lynched Jim Cullen”: Story and Myth on the Northern Maine Frontier

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pp. 229-236

In spring 1873 James Cullen, possibly the only lynching victim in New England’s history, swung into eternity at the hands of a mob in Mapleton, Maine. Few events in the history of northern Maine can match this story . . .

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10. The “Delaware Horror”: Two Ministers, a Lynching, and the Crisis of Democracy

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pp. 237-260

On Sunday evening, June 21, 1903, 3,000 people gathered at the corner of Broome and Fourth Streets in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, to hear the curbside homily of Rev. Robert Elwood, the pastor of Olivet . . .

Appendix: Lynchings in the Northeast, Midwest, and West

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pp. 261-317


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pp. 319-321


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pp. 323-325

E-ISBN-13: 9780252094651
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252037467

Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2013

OCLC Number: 828140137
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Lynching Beyond Dixie

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Lynching -- United States -- History
  • Culture conflict -- United States -- History.
  • Violence -- United States -- History.
  • United States -- Race relations -- History.
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