Victim Name: Wiley Guynn
Method of Death: Riddled with bullets
Accusation: Attempted criminal assault on a 12 year-old white girl
Mob Composition: Unknown
Summary: A group of armed men lynched Wiley Guynn, also known as Wiley Gwynn, a married 28-year-old African American man, on June 5th, 1902, in Bondtown, Wise County. Guynn was accused of having assaulted a young white girl.
The 12-year-old daughter of Franklin Green, a white farmer living near Toms Creek in Wise County, was crossing a ridge when she was allegedly seized and dragged by Wiley Guynn (The Times). The young girl’s screams frightened Guynn, who tried to escape, but was soon captured (Richmond Dispatch). In the afternoon of June 5th, 1902, Guynn “was given a hearing before a Justice at Bondtown, and just at the time the officer was ready to start to jail with the negro, a mob appeared and took Gwynn away from the officer, ordering him to march in front in the direction of a tree on which the accused was to be hanged. The negro stubbornly declined to obey orders and suddenly made a break for his liberty. As he ran the mob fired upon him. A volley of about twenty-five shots ended the negro’s life instantly” (Richmond Dispatch). The lynching occurred in the presence of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, W. G. G. Dotson, who unsuccessfully pleaded the armed mob to let the law take its course (The Times).
News Coverage: Alexandria Gazette; Richmond Dispatch; Tazewell Republican; The Times
Article Link (from The Times published on 1902-06-07)
Article Link (from Richmond Dispatch published on 1902-06-07)
Article Link (from Richmond Dispatch published on 1902-06-08)
Article Link (from Tazewell Republican published on 1902-06-12)