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Lynching is an extrajudicial punishment by an informal group. It is most often used to characterize informal public executions by a mob, often by hanging, in order to punish an alleged transgressor, or to intimidate a minority group. It is an extreme form of informal group social control such as charivari, skimmington, riding the rail, and tarring and feathering, but with a drift toward the public spectacle. Lynchings have been more frequent in times of social and economic tension, and have often been a means for a dominant group to suppress challengers. However, it has also resulted from long-held prejudices and practices of discrimination that have conditioned societies to accept this type of violence as normal practices of popular justice. Though racial oppression and the frontier mentality in the United States have given lynching its current familiar face, execution by mob justice is not exclusive to North America, but it is also found around the world as vigilantes act to punish people behaving outside of commonly acceptable boundaries. Indeed, instances of it can be found in societies long antedating European settlement of North America.
The legal and cultural antecedents of American lynching were carried across the Atlantic by migrants from the British Isles to colonial North America. Collective violence was a familiar aspect of the early modern Anglo-American legal landscape. Group violence in the British Atlantic was usually nonlethal in intention and consequence but it occasionally shaded, particularly in the seventeenth century in the context of political turmoil in England and unsettled social and political conditions in the American colonies, into rebellions and riots that took multiple lives. During the Antebellum, assertive free-Blacks, Latinos in the South West and runaways were the object of racial lynching. But lynching attacks on U.S. blacks, especially in the South, increased dramatically in the aftermath of the Civil War, after slavery had been abolished and recently freed black men gained the right to vote. Violence rose even more at the end of the 19th century, after southern white Democrats regained their political power in the South in the 1870s. States passed new constitutions or legislation which effectively disfranchised most blacks and many poor whites, established segregation of public facilities by race, and separated blacks from common public life and facilities. Nearly 3,500 African Americans and 1,300 whites were lynched in the United States between 1882 and 1968, mostly from 1882 to 1920.
Lynching during the 19th century in the British Empire coincided with a period of violence which denied people participation in white-dominated society on the basis of race after the Emancipation Act of 1833.
Today lynching is a felony in all states of the United States, defined by some codes of law as "any act of violence inflicted by a mob upon the body of another person which results in the death of the person," with a "mob" being defined as "the assemblage of two or more persons, without color or authority of law, for the premeditated purpose and with the premeditated intent of committing an act of violence upon the person of another." Lynching in the second degree is defined as "any act of violence inflicted by a mob upon the body of another person and from which death does not result". To sustain a conviction for lynching, at least some evidence of premeditation must be produced, but "the common intent to do violence" may be formed before or during the assemblage.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 United States
- 3 Europe
- 4 Mexico
- 5 Guatemala
- 6 Dominican Republic
- 7 Haiti
- 8 South Africa
- 9 Palestinian territories
- 10 Afghanistan
- 11 India
- 12 In popular culture
- 13 See also
- 14 Notes
- 15 References
- 16 Further reading
- 17 External links
The origins of the word lynch are obscure, but likely originates during the American revolution. The term originates from the phrase "Lynch Law", a term for a punishment without trial. Two Americans during this era are generally credited for the phrase: Charles Lynch and William Lynch, who both lived in Virginia in the 1780s. Charles Lynch has the better claim, as he was known to have used the term in 1782, while William Lynch isn't known to have used the term until much later. There is no evidence that death was imposed as a punishment by either of the two men.
In the United States, the state of origin of the terms lynching and lynch law is traditionally attributed to a Virginia Quaker named Charles Lynch. Charles Lynch (1736–1796) was a Virginia planter and American Revolutionary who headed a county court in Virginia which incarcerated Loyalist supporters of the British for up to one year during the war. While he lacked proper jurisdiction, he claimed this right by arguing wartime necessity. Subsequently, he prevailed upon his friends in the Congress of the Confederation to pass a law which specifically exonerated him and his associates from wrongdoing. He was concerned that he might face legal action from one or more of those so incarcerated, even though the American Colonies had won the war. This move by the Congress provoked controversy, and it was in connection with this that the term "Lynch law", meaning the assumption of extrajudicial authority, came into common parlance in the United States. Lynch was never accused of racist bias, and indeed acquitted blacks accused of murder on three separate occasions, as dictated by the facts brought before him.
William Lynch (1742–1820) from Virginia claimed that the phrase was first used for a 1780 compact signed by him and his neighbors in Pittsylvania County. While Edgar Allan Poe claimed that he found this document, this was likely a hoax.
In Ireland, it is often claimed to be named for James Lynch Fitzstephen from Galway, Ireland, who was the Mayor of Galway when he hanged his own son from the balcony of his house after convicting him of the murder of a Spanish visitor in 1493. However, linguistic evidence is strongly against it, and the story was likely invented in the 19th century.
Lynching, as a form of punishment for presumed criminal offenses, performed by self-appointed commissions, mobs, or vigilantes without due process of law took place in the United States before the American Civil War and afterwards, from southern states to western frontier settlements. The term "Lynch's Law" (and subsequently "lynch law" and "lynching") apparently originated during the American Revolution when Charles Lynch, a Virginia justice of the peace, ordered extralegal punishment for Tory acts.
In the South, members of the abolitionist movement or other people opposing slavery were usually targets of lynch mob violence before the Civil War. Employees of Morris L. Hallowell, the outspoken Philadelphia abolitionist, were threatened with lynching but escaped with their lives, i.e. Thomas W. Sweney visiting in Atlanta and T. Russel Dawson where he lived in Norfolk, Virginia. During the war, Southern Home Guard units sometimes lynched white Southerners whom they suspected of being Unionists or deserters; one example of this was the hanging of Methodist minister Bill Sketoe in the south Alabama town of Newton in December 1864. The largest example during the war and perhaps U.S. history, was the lynching of 41 men at the Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas in October 1862. Most of these were hanged after an extrajudicial "trial" but at least fourteen did not even receive that formality. The men had been accused of insurrection or treason. Five more men were hanged in Decatur, Texas as part of the same sweep.
After the war, southern whites struggled to maintain social dominance. Secret vigilante and insurgent groups such as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) instigated extrajudicial assaults and killings to keep power and to discourage freedmen from voting, working and getting educated. They also sometimes attacked Northerners, teachers, and agents of the Freedmen's Bureau. A study of the period of 1868 to 1871 estimates that the KKK was involved in more than 400 lynchings. The aftermath of the war was a period of upheaval and social turmoil, in which most of the white men had been war veterans. Mobs usually had alleged crimes for which they lynched blacks. In the late 19th century, however, journalist Ida B. Wells showed that many presumed crimes were exaggerated or did not occur.
From the 1890s onwards, the majority of those lynched were black, including at least 159 women. Between 1882 and 1968, the Tuskegee Institute recorded 1,297 lynchings of whites and 3,446 lynchings of blacks. However, lynchings of other minority members, such as Mexicans and Chinese, have been shown to have been undercounted in the Tuskegee Institute's records. One of the largest mass lynchings in American history involved eleven Italian immigrants in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1891.
Mob violence arose as a means of enforcing white supremacy and verged on systematic political terrorism. "The Ku Klux Klan, paramilitary groups, and other whites united by frustration and anger ruthlessly defended the interests of white supremacy. The magnitude of extralegal violence during election campaigns reached epidemic proportions, leading the historian William Gillette to label it guerrilla warfare."
During Reconstruction, the Ku Klux Klan and others used lynching as a means to control African Americans, forcing them to work for planters and preventing them from exercising their right to vote. Federal troops and courts enforcing the Civil Rights Act of 1871 largely broke up the Reconstruction-era Klan.
By the end of Reconstruction in 1877, with fraud, intimidation and violence at the polls, white Democrats regained nearly total control of the state legislatures across the South. They passed laws to make voter registration more complicated, reducing black voters on the rolls. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, from 1890 to 1908, ten of eleven Southern legislatures ratified new constitutions and amendments to effectively disfranchise most African Americans and many poor whites through devices such as poll taxes, property and residency requirements, and literacy tests. Although required of all voters, some provisions were selectively applied against African Americans. In addition, many states passed grandfather clauses to exempt white illiterates from literacy tests for a limited period. The result was that black voters were stripped from registration rolls and without political recourse. Since they could not vote, they could not serve on juries. They were without official political voice.
The ideology behind lynching, directly connected with denial of political and social equality, was stated forthrightly by Benjamin Tillman, governor of South Carolina and later a United States Senator:
We of the South have never recognized the right of the negro to govern white men, and we never will. We have never believed him to be the equal of the white man, and we will not submit to his gratifying his lust on our wives and daughters without lynching him.
Lynchings declined briefly after the takeover in the 1870s. By the end of the 19th century, with struggles over labor and disfranchisement, and continuing agricultural depression, lynchings rose again. The number of lynchings peaked at the end of the 19th century, but these kinds of murders continued into the 20th century. Tuskegee Institute records of lynchings between the years 1880 and 1951 show 3,437 African-American victims, as well as 1,293 white victims. Lynchings were concentrated in the Cotton Belt: (Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana).
African Americans resisted through protests, marches, lobbying Congress, writing of articles, rebuttals of so-called justifications of lynching, organizing women's groups against lynching, and organizing integrated groups against lynching. African-American playwrights produced 14 anti-lynching plays between 1916 and 1935, ten of them by women.
After the release of the movie The Birth of a Nation (1915), which glorified lynching and the Reconstruction-era Klan, the Klan re-formed. Unlike in its earlier form, it was heavily represented among urban populations, especially in the Midwest. In response to massive immigration of people from southern and eastern Europe, the Klan had an anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic and anti-Jewish stance, in addition to exercising oppression of blacks.
Members of mobs that participated in lynchings often took photographs of what they had done to spread awareness and fear of their power. Some of those photographs were published and sold as postcards. In 2000, James Allen published a collection of 145 lynching photos in book form and online, with written words and video to accompany the images.
The Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill was first introduced to United States Congress in 1918 by Republican Congressman Leonidas C. Dyer of Missouri. The bill was passed by the United States House of Representatives in 1922 and in the same year given a favorable report by the United States Senate Committee. Passage was blocked by white Democratic senators from the Solid South, the only representatives elected since southern states disfranchised African Americans around the start of the 20th century. The Dyer Bill influenced later anti-lynching legislation, including the Costigan-Wagner Bill. The Dyer and Costigan Wagner Bills were blocked by Senator William Borah.
The Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill as it appeared in 1922 stated: "To assure to persons within the jurisdiction of every State the equal protection of the laws, and to punish the crime of lynching.... Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the phrase 'mob or riotous assemblage,' when used in this act, shall mean an assemblage composed of three or more persons acting in concert for the purpose of depriving any person of his life without authority of law as a punishment for or to prevent the commission of some actual or supposed public offense."
Civil rights law
Title 18, U.S.C., Section 241, is the civil rights conspiracy statute, which makes it unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person of any state, territory, or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the United States (or because of his/her having exercised the same) and further makes it unlawful for two or more persons to go in disguise on the highway or premises of another person with intent to prevent or hinder his or her free exercise or enjoyment of such rights. Depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and any resulting injury, the offense is punishable by a range of fines and/or imprisonment for any term of years up to life, or the death penalty.
In Britain, a series of race riots broke out in several cities in 1919 between whites and black sailors. In Liverpool, after a black sailor had been stabbed by two whites in a pub, his friends attacked the pub in revenge. In response, the police raided lodging houses with black occupants, accompanied by an "enraged lynch mob". Charles Wootton, a young black seaman who had not been involved in the attacks, was chased into the river Mersey and drowned after being pelted with missiles thrown by the mob, who chanted "Let him drown!" The Charles Wootton College in Liverpool was named in his memory.
In 1944, Wolfgang Rosterg, a German prisoner of war known to be unsympathetic to the Nazi regime, was lynched by Nazis in POW Camp 21 in Comrie, Scotland. After the end of World War II five of the perpetrators were hanged at Pentonville Prison – the largest multiple execution in 20th-century Britain. There are also approximately 150 confirmed cases of surviving crew members of crashed Allied aircraft (especially bombers) being lynched by German civilians, soldiers, policemen or paramilitaries in revenge for Allied terror bombing (Alliierter Bombenterror). This was further promoted by Nazi officials through secret orders that prohibited policemen and soldiers from interfering in favor of the enemy in conflicts between civilians and allies forces, or prosecuting civilians who engaged in such acts.
On November 23, 2004, in the Tlahuac lynching, three Mexican undercover federal agents investigating a narcotics-related crime were lynched in the town of San Juan Ixtayopan (Mexico City) by an angry crowd who saw them taking photographs and suspected they were trying to abduct children from a primary school. The agents identified themselves immediately but were held and beaten for several hours before two of them were killed and set on fire. The incident was covered by the media almost from the beginning, including their pleas for help and their murder.
By the time police rescue units arrived, two of the agents were reduced to charred corpses and the third was seriously injured. Authorities suspect the lynching was provoked by the persons being investigated.
Both local and federal authorities abandoned them to their fate, saying the town was too far away to even try to arrive in time and some officials stating that they would provoke a massacre if they tried to rescue them from the mob.
A young Guatemalan woman, Alejandra Maria Torres, was attacked by a mob in Guatemala City on December 15, 2009. The mob alleged that Torres had attempted to rob passengers on a bus. Torres was beaten, doused with gasoline, and set on fire, but was able to put the fire out before sustaining life-threatening burns. Police intervened and arrested Torres. Torres was forced to go topless throughout the ordeal and subsequent arrest, and many photographs were taken and published. Approximately 219 people were lynched in Guatemala in 2009, of whom 45 died.
After the 2010 earthquake slow distribution of relief supplies and the large number of affected people created concerns of civil unrest, marked by looting and mob justice against suspected looters. In a 2010 news story, CNN reported, "At least 45 people, most of them Vodou priests, have been lynched in Haiti since the beginning of the cholera epidemic by angry mobs blaming them for the spread of the disease, officials said.
The practice of whipping and necklacing offenders and political opponents evolved in the 1980s during the apartheid era in South Africa. Residents of black townships formed "people's courts" to terrorize fellow blacks who were seen as collaborators of the government using whip lashings and deaths by necklacing. Necklacing is the torture and execution of victims by igniting a kerosene-filled rubber tire that has been forced around the victim's chest and arms. Necklacing was used to punish victims who were alleged to be traitors to the black liberation movement and relatives and associates of the offenders. Sometimes the "people's courts" made mistakes, or used the system to punish those to whom leaders were opposed. There was tremendous controversy when the practice was endorsed by Winnie Mandela, then the wife of the then-imprisoned Nelson Mandela and a senior member of the African National Congress.
During the first Intifada, before the PA was established, hundreds of alleged collaborators were lynched, tortured or killed, at times with the implied support of the PLO. Street killings of alleged collaborators continue in the current Intifada ... but so far in much fewer numbers.
In October 2000 two Israeli reservists, serving as drivers, mistakenly entered Ramallah and were killed by a Palestinian crowd. Their bodies were mutilated and dragged to Al-Manara Square in the city center. Palestinian policemen did not prevent, and in some cases actually took part in, the lynching.
In March 19, 2015 in Kabul, Afghanistan a large crowd beat a young woman, Farkhondeh, after she was accused of burning a copy of the Quran, Islam's holy book. Farkhondeh had a dispute with a local cleric, after which he accused her of burning the Quran. Shortly after, a crowd attacked her and beat her to death. They set the young woman's body on fire on the shore of the Kabul River. Even though it was unclear that the woman actually burned the Quran, police officials and clerics of the city defended the lynching of the woman saying that crowd had a right to defend their faith at all cost. They also warned the government not to take action against those who participate in lynching. The whole process of lynching the young woman filmed and shared on social media. The police forces in the area did little to save the young lady. The day after the incident six men are arrested in accusation of lynching and Afghanistan government promised to continue investigation. In March 22, Farkhondeh's, burial attended by a large crowd of Kabul people asking for justice against those who participate in lynching. A group of Afghan women were carrying her coffin while chanting slogans and asking for justice.
In India, lynchings generally reflect internal tensions between numerous ethnic communities in the country. Recent examples include the Kherlanji massacre, where four members of the Bhotmange family belonging to the Dalit caste were slaughtered in Khairlanji, a small village in Bhandara district of Maharashtra, by members of another caste group, the Kunbi. Though this was reported as a stereotypical example of "upper" caste violence against "lower" caste, it was found to be communal violence. The incident occurred as a retaliation for opposing the Eminent Domain seizure of their family fields to build a road that would have been beneficial to the attacking group. The women of the family, Surekha and Priyanka, were paraded naked in public, before being mutilated and murdered. Sociologists and social scientists reject the identification of caste with racial discrimination and attribute it to intra-racial ethno-cultural conflict.
In popular culture
In 1937, Abel Meeropol, a Jewish schoolteacher from New York, saw a copy of the photograph of the Marion lynching. Meeropol later said that the photograph "haunted me for days" and inspired his writing the poem "Strange Fruit". It was published in the New York Teacher and later in the magazine New Masses, in both cases under the pseudonym Lewis Allan. This poem became the lyrics for the song of the same name, also written by Meeropol, performed and popularized by Billie Holiday. The song reached 16th place on the charts in July 1939.
- In Tom Rob Smith's third Leo Demidov novel, Agent 6, Jesse Austin (a character patterned after Paul Robeson) recalls a lynching he witnessed in his youth, which inspired him to embrace Communism and shaped his view of how white audiences in the USA perceived him.
- In James Patterson's novel Alex Cross's Trial is an investigation of a lynching by the Ku Klux Klan.
- Wood, Amy Louise (2009). Rough Justice: Lynching and American Society, 1874-1947. North Carolina University Press. ISBN 9780807878118.
- Hidalgo, Dennis Ricardo (November 27, 2013). "Lynching and the Susquehannocks". Blog. Wordpress. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- Berg, Manfred & Wendt, Simon (2011). Globalizing Lynching History: Vigilantism and Extralegal Punishment from an International Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-11588-0.
- Huggins, Martha Knisely (1991). Vigilantism and the state in modern Latin America : essays on extralegal violence. New York: Praeger. ISBN 0275934764.
- Thurston, Robert W. (2011). Lynching : American mob murder in global perspective. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. ISBN 9781409409083.
- Pfeifer, Michael J. (2011). The roots of rough justice : origins of American lynching. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 9780252093098.
- Carrigan, William D.; Clive Webb (2013). Forgotten dead : mob violence against Mexicans in the United States, 1848-1928. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195320350.
- "Lynchings: By State and Race, 1882-1968". University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
Statistics provided by the Archives at Tuskegee Institute.
- Smith, Thomas E. (Fall 2007). "The Discourse of Violence: Transatlantic Narratives of Lynching during High Imperialism". Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History (Johns Hopkins University Press) 8 (2). doi:10.1353/cch.2007.0040.
- South Carolina Code Ann. § 16-3-210
- S.C. Code of Laws Title 16 Chapter 3 Offenses Against the Person at the Wayback Machine (archived June 26, 2007)
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- Cutler, James E., Lynch Law (New York, 1905).
- "The Atlantic Monthly Volume 0088 Issue 530 (Dec 1901)". Digital.library.cornell.edu. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- University of Chicago, Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 + 1828)
- "Remarkable instance of inflexible justice". galway.net.
- "Shaped by Site: Three Communities' Dialogues on the Legacies of Lynching." National Park Service. Accessed October 29, 2008.
- Hallowell, William Penrose. "Record of a Branch of the Hallowell Family, including the Longstreth, Penrose and Norwood Branches". Hallowell & Co., Philadelphia. p. 39. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
- McCaslin, Richard B. Tainted Breeze: The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas 1862 Louisiana State University Press, 1994, p. 81
- McCaslin, p. 95
- Lynching. Archived from the original on November 1, 2009.
- Robert A. Gibson. "The Negro Holocaust: Lynching and Race Riots in the United States,1880-1950". Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
- DeLongoria, Maria (December 2006). "Stranger Fruit": The Lynching of Black Women the Cases of Rosa Richardson and Marie Scott (PDF) (PhD thesis). University of Missouri–Columbia. pp. 1, 77, 142. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
- "Lynchings: By Year and Race". University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
Statistics provided by the Archives at Tuskegee Institute.
- Carrigan, William D. (Winter 2003). "The lynching of persons of Mexican origin or descent in the United States, 1848 to 1928". Journal of Social History. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
For instance, the files at Tuskegee Institute contain the most comprehensive count of lynching victims in the United States, but they only refer to the lynching of fifty Mexicans in the states of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas. Our own research has revealed a total of 216 victims during the same time period.
- "When Italian immigrants were 'the other'." CNN.com. July 10, 2012.
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- "Coverage of Oct 12 Lynch in Ramallah by Italian TV Station RAI". Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 2000-10-17. Archived from the original on 1 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
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- Whitaker, Raymond (2000-10-14). "A strange voice said: I just killed your husband". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2009-10-16.
- Seager, Mark (October 22, 2000). "`I'll have nightmares for the rest of my life,' photographer says". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
- "Afghan cleric and others defend lynching of woman in Kabul". Reuters.
- "در کابل دختر 27 ساله به جرم توهین به قران به طرز وحشتناکی سنگسار و سوزانده شد!+فیلم". dailykhabariran.ir.
- "بازداشت ۶ تن به اتهام کشتن و سوزاندن یک زن در کابل". BBC Persian.
- "زنان کابل پیکر فرخنده را به خاک سپردند". BBC Persian.
- "Age old rivalry behind Khairlanji violence Video". NDTV.com. November 21, 2006. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- Béteille, Andre. "Race and caste". World Conference Against Racism.
treating caste as a form of racism is politically mischievous and worse, scientifically nonsense since there is no discernible difference in the racial characteristics between Brahmins and Scheduled Castes
- Silverberg, James (November 1969). "Social Mobility in the Caste System in India: An Interdisciplinary Symposium". The American Journal of Sociology 75 (3): 443–444. JSTOR 2775721.
The perception of the caste system as a static and textual stratification has given way to the perception of the caste system as a more processual, empirical and contextual stratification.
- "Rape accused dragged out of jail, lynched in Nagaland". The Times of India. 5 March 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- PBS. "Strange Fruit". Independent Lens. PBS Independent Lens credits the music as well as the words to Meeropol, though Billie Holiday's autobiography and the Spartacus article credit her with co-authoring the song.
- Smith, Tom Rob (2012). Agent 6 (eBook ed.). Chapter: "Harlem Bradhurst West 145th Street Same Day".
- Woods, Paula (January 27, 2012). "Book review: 'Agent 6' by Tom Rob Smith". Los Angeles Times.
- Auslander, Mark, "Holding on to Those Who Can't be Held": Reenacting a Lynching at Moore's Ford, Georgia", Southern Spaces, November 8, 2010.
- "The Real Judge Lynch" (December 1901), The Atlantic Monthly
- Quinones, Sam, True Tales From Another Mexico: the Lynch Mob, the Popsicle Kings, Chalino and the Bronx (University of New Mexico Press): recounts a lynching in a small Mexican town in 1998.
- Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America by James Allen, Hilton Als, United States Rep. John Lewis and historian Leon F. Litwack (Twin Palm Publishers: 2000). ISBN 978-0-944092-69-9. Republication of many of the photographs on Wikipedia would violate copyright.
- Etymology OnLine
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Gonzales-Day, Ken, Lynching in the West: 1850-1935. Duke University Press, 2006.
- Markovitz, Jonathan, Legacies of Lynching: Racial Violence and Memory. University of Minnesota Press, 2004.
- Before the Needles, Executions (and Lynchings) in America Before Lethal Injection. Details of thousands of lynchings
- Houghton Mifflin: The Reader's Companion to American History - Lynching
- Lynchings in the State of Iowa
- Lynchings in America
- Lyrics to "Strange Fruit" a protest song about lynching, written by Abel Meeropol and recorded by Billie Holiday
- The Lynching of Big Steve Long
- Ida B. Wells, Lynch Law, 1893
- NAACP, Thirty Years of Lynching in the United States, 1889-1918. New York City: Arno Press, 1919.
- Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture entry: Lynching in Arkansas
- Smith, Tom. The Crescent City Lynchings: The Murder of Chief Hennessy, the New Orleans 'Mafia' Trials, and the Parish Prison Mob, crescentcitylynchings.com
- Allen, James (ed.), Hilton Als, John Lewis, and Leon F. Litwack, Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America (Twin Palms Pub: 2000), ISBN 0-944092-69-1 accompanied by an online photographic survey of the history of lynchings in the United States
- Arellano, Lisa, Vigilantes and Lynch Mobs: Narratives of Community and Nation. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2012.
- Bancroft, H. H., Popular Tribunals (2 vols, San Francisco, 1887).
- Berg, Manfred, Popular Justice: A History of Lynching in America. Ivan R. Dee, Chicago 2011, ISBN 978-1-56663-802-9.
- Bernstein, Patricia, The First Waco Horror: The Lynching of Jesse Washington and the Rise of the NAACP, Texas A&M University Press (March 2005), hardcover, ISBN 1-58544-416-2
- Brundage, W. Fitzhugh, Lynching in the New South: Georgia and Virginia, 1880-1930, Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press (1993), ISBN 0-252-06345-7
- Barry A. Crouch, "A Spirit of Lawlessness: White violence, Texas Blacks, 1865-1868", Journal of Social History 18 (Winter 1984): 217–26.
- Collins, Winfield, The Truth about Lynching and the Negro in the South. New York: The Neale Publishing Company, 1918.
- Cutler, James E., Lynch-Law: An Investigation Into the History of Lynching in the United States (New York, 1905)
- Dray, Philip, At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America, New York: Random House (2002). Hardcover ISBN 0-375-50324-2, softcover ISBN 0-375-75445-8
- Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877. 119–23.
- Finley, Keith M., Delaying the Dream: Southern Senators and the Fight Against Civil Rights, 1938-1965 (Baton Rouge, LSU Press, 2008).
- Ginzburg, Ralph, 100 Years Of Lynchings, Black Classic Press (1962, 1988) softcover, ISBN 0-933121-18-0
- Hill, Karlos K. "Black Vigilantism: The Rise and Decline of African American Lynch Mob Activity in the Mississippi and Arkansas Deltas, 1883-1923," Journal of African American History, 95 no. 1 (Winter 2010): 26-43.
- Holloway, Vanessa. Getting Away With Murder: The Twentieth-Century Struggle for Civil Rights in the U.S. Senate (2014)
- Holloway, Vanessa. In Search of Federal Enforcement: The Moral Authority of the Fifteenth Amendment and the Integrity of the Black Ballot, 1870-1965 (2015)
- Ifill, Sherrilyn A., On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st century, Beacon Press (2007). ISBN 978-0-8070-0987-1
- Nevels, Cynthia Skove, Lynching to Belong: claiming Whiteness though racial violence, Texas A&M Press, 2007.
- Pfeifer, Michael J. (ed.), Lynching Beyond Dixie: American Mob Violence Outside the South. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2013.
- Rushdy, Ashraf H. A., The End of American Lynching. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2012.
- Page, Thomas Nelson, "The Lynching of Negroes – Its Cause and Its Prevention," in The Negro: The Southerner’s Problem. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1904, pp. 86–119.
- Stagg, J. C. A., "The Problem of Klan Violence: The South Carolina Upcountry, 1868-1871," Journal of American Studies 8 (December 1974): 303–18.
- Tolnay, Stewart E. and E. M. Beck, A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings, 1882-1930, Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press (1995), ISBN 0-252-06413-5
- Trelease, Allen W., White Terror: The Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy and Southern Reconstruction, Harper & Row, 1979.
- Wells-Barnett, Ida B., 1900, Mob Rule in New Orleans Robert Charles and His Fight to Death, the Story of His Life, Burning Human Beings Alive, Other Lynching Statistics Gutenberg eBook
- Wells-Barnett, Ida B., 1895, Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in all its Phases Gutenberg eBook
- Wood, Amy Louise, "They Never Witnessed Such a Melodrama", Southern Spaces, April 27, 2009.
- Wood, Joe, Ugly Water, St. Louis: Lulu (2006). Softcover ISBN 978-1-4116-2218-0
- Taking History Personnally, a text on the Marion lynching by Cynthia Carr
- Yes, ISIS Burned a Man Alive: White Americans Did the Same Thing to Black People by the Thousands (Feb. 2015), Dailykos
- Richardson, Dixie Kline. "1891 Lynching Remains a Mystery", Spencer Evening World, Spencer, Indiana, August 4, 2014
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