1900-1909 Wise

Wiley Guynn in Wise

Victim ID: VA1902060501
Victim Name: Wiley Guynn
Race: Black
Sex: Male
Age: 28
Job: Unknown
Method of Death: Riddled with bullets
Accusation: Attempted criminal assault on a 12 year-old white girl
Date: 1902-06-05
City: Bondtown
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 Alexandria Gazette published on 1902-06-07)
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)
  • Mose Beaty
    June 5, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    Do you have any information regarding whether this person had relatives or not. We are pursuing a community remembrance project.

    • Staff
      June 6, 2019 at 8:06 am

      Dear Mose, I don’t have any information about Wiley Guynn’s relatives. Newspapers rarely provided this kind of information; however, local archives might have it (e.g., death certificates). Best of luck with your community remembrance project.


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