Victim Name: William Allen
Job: Employed by two brothers by the name of Kelly
Method of Death: Hanged
Accusation: Murder of a white man
City: Fortress Monroe
Mob Composition: Masked
Summary: William Allen, an African American man, was lynched on December 6th, 1881 in Warwick County, while he was being transferred to a jail in Hampton. Allen was accused of stabbing a white man to death.
William Allen was employed by two brothers by the name of Kelly in Newport News; on Friday, December 2nd, 1881, a dispute between Allen and William Selater, a white man, resulted in the stabbing and death of Mr. Selater. Allen “made no effort to escape. He denied the cutting, and had evidently thrown away his knife, as it could not be found. He was taken to jail at Warwick Courthouse” (The Daily Dispatch). On December 6th, while being transferred from the Warwick Jail to another in Hampton, “the order for his transfer being forged in order that the lynchers might get hold of the prisoner with less trouble” (The Daily Dispatch), a party of men took Allen and hung him by a tree. On December 14th, a white barber named Thomas Valentine was arrested in relation to Allen’s lynching. A week later, Valentine was discharged “there being no evidence whatever against him” (Alexandria Gazette).
News Coverage: Alexandria Gazette; National Republican; The Daily Dispatch.Article Link (from The Daily Dispatch published on 1881-12-07)
Article Link (from The Daily Dispatch published on 1881-12-15)
Article Link (from Alexandria Gazette published on 1881-12-21)
Article Link (from The National Republican published on 1881-12-15)