Lynching and Mob Violence in Ohio, 1772-1938
During the late nineteenth century, Ohio was reeling from a wave of lynchings and most reasonable people felt something had to be done. But it wasn't just lynchings, there were organized floggings, tar and featherings, and even large scale riots. They were acts born of anger, frustration, distrust of law enforcement, and, of course, racial and ethnic intolerance.
In 1892, Ohio-born Benjamin Harrison was the first U.S. President to call for an anti-lynching legislation. Four years later, his home state responded with the Smith Act - "an Act for the Suppression of Mob Violence." It was a major step forward and the most severe anti-lynching law in the country, but it did nothing to address the underlying causes.
During the period 1771-1938, hundreds of acts of mob violence took place within the bounds of Ohio. Cities burned and innocent people died. Many of these acts were attributed to well-known and respected men-and women-in the community, but few were ever prosecuted. And some were even lauded for taking the law into their own hands.
While times have changed, many hearts have not. This is the first book to take a detailed look at mob violence in Ohio.