Victim Name: Fred Tinsley
Method of Death: Hanged
Accusation: Paying attention to a married white woman
City: Newport News
Mob Composition: Unknown
Summary: Fred Tinsley, a black man, was hanged to a tree in Newport News, Warwick County, on June 9th, 1902. Apparently, Tinsley had paid unwarranted attention to a married white woman and was first strangled and then hanged by a party of five.
Some time before he was lynched, Fred Tinsley had allegedly paid attention to David Gilliam’s wife, Mary, which resulted in Mr. Gilliam shooting Tinsley in the leg (Richmond Dispatch). On June 9th, 1902, Tinsley’s body was found hanging by a tree on Briarfield Road, near Newport News, with a belt wrapped around his neck. Tinsley was first strangled with a belt, causing his death, and then hanged to a tree. On June 12th, Mary Gilliam was charged with having some knowledge of Tinsley’s death and arrested, while police also searched for David Gilliam and another man (Richmond Dispatch). In the following weeks, David Gilliam, George Branch (African American), George Didder, and Edward Temple (both white) were also arrested in connection with Tinsley’s lynching. On June 23rd, Judge E. E. Montague opened court and instructed the grand jury to probe the hanging of Fred Tinsley (Richmond Dispatch). According to the Richmond Dispatch, police suspected that the belt used to strangle Tinsley belonged to Mr. Didder. Even Governor Montague took interest in Tinsley’s lynching, asking for information about the progress of the grand jury. However, on July 30th, 1902, the grand jury failed to indict George Gidder and David Gilliam as the lynchers of Fred Tinsley, due to the lack of sufficient evidence (Richmond Dispatch).
News Coverage: Richmond Dispatch; Richmond Planet; The TimesArticle Link (from Richmond Planet published on 1902-06-14)
Article Link (from The Times published on 1902-07-31)
Article Link (from Richmond Dispatch published on 1902-06-13)
Article Link (from Richmond Dispatch published on 1902-06-22)
Article Link (from Richmond Dispatch published on 1902-06-24)
Article Link (from Richmond Dispatch published on 1902-06-26)
Article Link (from Richmond Dispatch published on 1902-07-31)