Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Lynch Negro After Jury Fails to Agree -- March 9, 2021

Colorado Statesman, 26-March-1921

Richard James was lynched near Versailles, Kentucky on 13-March-1921. The governor of Kentucky, Edwin P Morrow, denounced the murder. The Colorado Statesman was an African-American owned newspaper.


Versailles, Ky.— Richard James, colored, was tried last week before Circuit Judge R. L. Stout for the murder of Ben T. Rogers and Homer Nave, two distillery guards. Owing to the evidence, the jury reported to Judge Stout last Saturday it was unable to reach' a verdict.

Deciding, a case on evidence did not please some citizens, who organized an automobile party and decided to have a big night; so a mob, composed of fifty persons, went to the Woodford county jail, took the keys from John T. Edger, the jailer, and proceeded to James' cell.

The prisoner put up a game fight (something the jailer failed to do), but “heroic action” was taken by one of the “brave” members of the mob who knocked James senseless with a blackjack. He was then taken in a machine to the intersection of the Frankfort and Midway pikes, two miles from Versailles, and hanged to a tree.

None of the members of the mob was identified by Jailer Edger. The two guards were killed while defending the distillery from an attack by a party of armed men who were attempting to remove whisky. It was thought by local authorities that James might have been a member of the party.


Frankfort, Ky.— March 14. —Governor Edwin P. Morrow today offered a reward of $5OO each for the arrest and conviction of each member of the mob that early yesterday took from the Woodford county jail and lynched Richard James, colored. He also issued a proclamation removing from office John H. Edgar, jailer of Woodford county.

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