Tuesday, June 14, 2011

what i'm reading today

ugh. tragic. today's research is on a very heavy and utterly sad topic. here's what i just read:

"On Sunday afternoon, 23 April 1899, Sam Hose was lynched after church services in Palmetto, Georgia. Hose had admitted killing his employer in self-defence when the latter tried to shoot him during a dispute over wages. To that undisputed fact was added the totally fictitious rumour that Hose had also sexually assaulted the slain man’s wife. The Atlanta Constitution offered a five-hundred dollar reward for Hose’s capture, announcing that he would be burned alive. Bulletins were subsequently tacked up everywhere people gathered, announcing the place and date of the scheduled burning. Public interest was so aroused that special excursion trains were scheduled to carry curious spectators from Atlanta. Ladies clothed in their Sunday finery watched from carriages, gazing excitedly over the heads of men carrying small children on their shoulders as the ritual began.
Hose was led to a stake placed in the middle of a dirt road. There he was bound with chains. Yelps and cheers rose from the throng of some two thousand people as Hose’s ears were sliced off and thrown to anxious onlookers. As he writhed in agony, fingers and toes were amputated before the screaming man’s tongue was removed with a pair of pliers. Only then was the coal oil poured ceremoniously over his prostrate body. There was a loud cheer as he was set aflame. When the flames receded, the charred corpse was eviscerated, an enterprising Georgian removing internal organs to sell as souvenirs. Bones went for a quarter; slices of his heart and liver were cheaper at ten cents each. And there were buyers. All this was described in local newspapers. There were no arrests."

from Clarke, James W. 1998. "Without Fear or Shame: Lynching, Capital Punishment and the Subculture of Violence in the American South." British Journal of Political Science 28(2):269-289.

No comments:

Post a Comment