Author Archives: Staff

News & Events

Article on the Racial Terror Project

Professor Gianluca De Fazio just published an article titled “Improving Lynching Inventories with Local Newspapers: Racial Terror in Virginia, 1877-1927“, in which he discusses some of the findings of the Racial Terror project. The article appears in the latest volume of the academic journal Current Research in Digital History and shows how the use of local newspapers improved the existing Virginia lynching inventories. Most importantly, it highlights how white lynching victims were previously over-counted and attempts to provide an explanation of why this was the case.

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News & Events

New Essay on the 1891 Clifton Forge triple lynching

A new essay, ‘“Virginia’s Shame”: The 1891 Lynching of Three Black Miners in Clifton Forge, by JMU Professor Dolores Flamiano, is now available on the website. In this essay, professor Flamiano examines the role of lynching photographs in reinforcing lynching narratives in white newspapers, as well as in contrasting them in black newspapers.

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Alleghany Essay

“Virginia’s Shame”: The 1891 Lynching of Three Black Miners in Clifton Forge

By Dolores Flamiano

On Saturday, October 17, 1891, a group of young black miners traveled by train to Clifton Forge, a booming railroad town in western Virginia. Three of the men (Charles Miller, John Scott, and Robert Burton) visited S.S. Griffith photography studio and posed for Wild West-style portraits, displaying pistols and tough-guy stances. In high spirits and looking for a good time, they soon attracted the attention of a white man who tried to arrest them. (Newspaper accounts were vague about their alleged crime.) The miners resisted arrest and quickly left town, but a group of white men formed a posse and pursued them. The groups met in a firefight that killed two men (one white and one black) and injured two others. Four black men were taken to jail, but some white men (now an excited mob) kidnapped them. The mob decided to release a teenage boy, but proceeded to hang Miller, Scott, and Burton in a tree and shoot their bodies full of bullets.

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1890-1899 Russell

Unnamed Negro in Russell

Victim ID: VA1890080901
Victim Name: Unnamed Negro
Race: Black
Sex: Male
Age: Unknown
Job: Unknown
Method of Death: Shot and hanged
Accusation: Outraging a married white woman
Date: 1890-08-09
City: Dickensville
Mob Composition: Unknown
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1870-1879 Augusta

Thomas Hodges in Augusta

Victim ID: VA1871041101
Victim Name: Thomas Hodges
Race: White
Sex: Male
Age: Unknown
Job: Unknown
Method of Death: Hanged
Accusation: Killing four men and being a horse thief
Date: 1871-04-11
City: Staunton
Mob Composition: Undisguised
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1870-1879 Madison

Bill Nichols in Madison

Victim ID: VA1870041601
Victim Name: Bill Nichols
Race: Black
Sex: Male
Age: Unknown
Job: Unknown
Method of Death: Hanged
Accusation: Being a thief and arsonist
Date: 1870-04-16
County Name: Madison
Mob Composition: Unknown
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1870-1879 Brunswick

Harrison Hammock in Brunswick

Victim ID: VA1870022802
Victim Name: Harrison Hammock
Race: Black
Sex: Male
Age: Unknown
Job: Unknown
Method of Death: Shot
Accusation: Murder of a married white woman
Date: 1870-02-28
City: Lawrenceville
Mob Composition: Disguised
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1870-1879 Brunswick

Wyche Drumgoole in Brunswick

Victim ID: VA1870022801
Victim Name: Wyche Drumgoole
Race: Black
Sex: Male
Age: Unknown
Job: Unknown
Method of Death: Shot
Accusation: Murder of a married white woman
Date: 1870-02-28
City: Lawrenceville
Mob Composition: Disguised
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1860-1869 Warren

Jacob Berryman in Warren

Victim ID: VA1869081902
Victim Name: Jacob Berryman
Race: Black
Sex: Male
Age: Unknown
Job: Unknown
Method of Death: Hanged
Accusation: Outraging a 15 year-old unmarried white girl
Date: 1869-08-19
City: Front Royal
Mob Composition: Disguised
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1860-1869 Warren

Charles Brown in Warren

Victim ID: VA1869081901
Victim Name: Charles Brown
Race: Black
Sex: Male
Age: Unknown
Job: Unknown
Method of Death: Hanged
Accusation: Outraging a 15 year-old unmarried white girl
Date: 1869-08-19
City: Front Royal
Mob Composition: Disguised
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