Victim Name: Samuel Wood
Method of Death: Shot
Accusation: Hiding prostitutes
City: Gate City
Mob Composition: Regulators
Summary: On May 14th, 1894, Samuel Wood, an African American man, was shot and killed in his home in Gate City by a group of men, known as ‘Regulators’. As these men were looking for an illegal brothel in the area, they mistakenly thought that Wood was hiding prostitutes in his home.
On the night of May 14th, 1894, a self-described party of Regulators went riding around Gate City to find a house of prostitutes and get rid of them. After entering some houses and finding no prostitutes, the Regulators came to Wood’s house and demanded to be let in. According to the Richmond Planet, “Coming to the house of Samuel Wood, an inoffensive colored man, they were refused admittance. The leader ordered the band to fire on the house. The men were armed with Winchester rifles and revolvers, and about thirty shots were fired through the door of the cottage, killing Wood instantly”, while Wood’s wife and children were in bed and were not harmed. Three men were immediately arrested for the lynching of Samuel Wood (Richmond Planet) and other prominent citizens were arrested in the following days (Roanoke Times). Twelve people were eventually indicted for the killing of Samuel Wood (The Big Stone Gap Post). However, notwithstanding the fact that “one of the party reported that himself, and naming the others, were at Sam Wood’s house the same night the murder was committed, and also stated that several shots were fired” (The Big Stone Gap Post), in August 1894 a jury acquitted the twelve men on trial.
News Coverage: Richmond Planet; The Big Stone Gap Post; The Roanoke Times
Article Link (from Richmond Planet published on 1894-05-19)
Article Link (from The Roanoke Times published on 1894-05-20)
Article Link (from The Big Stone Gap Post published on 1894-06-06)
Article Link (from The Big Stone Gap Post published on 1894-08-23)