Victim Name: Leonard Woods
Method of Death: Hanged, shot, and burned
Accusation: Murder of white mine foreman in Wise
Date: 1927-11-30County Name: Wise
Mob Composition: Unknown
Summary: Leonard Woods, an African American man, was lynched in Wise, Virginia on November 30th, 1927, for the murder of Harshall Deaton, a white mine foreman.
On the night of November 27th, 1927, Harshall Deaton, a white mine foreman from Virginia, was killed in Jenkins, Kentucky (Danville Bee). Leonard Woods, Susan Armister, and Anna Mae Emery, all black, were accused of being involved in the murder of Harshall Deaton, as it was suggested that the trio thought that Deaton was driving a taxi cab, and when asked for a ride, Deaton refused. This angered the trio. It was reported that one of the women pulled a gun on him and Woods took the gun and shot Deaton to death (Danville Bee). After Woods’ arrest, he was moved from Jenkins to Whitesburg, Kentucky, as there were serious threats of mob violence. This however, did not stop the mob. Soon after midnight, on November 30th, a mob of about 400 people from Virginia took Bird from the Whitesburg Jail and brought him to the Virginia-Kentucky state line and lynched him there (Harrisonburg Daily News Record). Leonard Woods was shot to death and his body was placed on a platform that was to be used for the dedication ceremony of the new highway opening from Kentucky to Virginia. Gasoline was poured over his body and torched to signal his death.
News Coverage: Danville Bee; Harrisonburg Daily News RecordArticle Link (from Danville Bee published on 1927-11-30)
Article Link (from Danville Bee published on 1927-12-01)
Article Link (from Danville Bee published on 1927-12-02)
Article Link (from Harrisonburg Daily News published on 1927-12-01)
Article Link (from Harrisonburg Daily News published on 1927-12-03)