Monroe Work Lynching Archive

Monroe Work Map.pngCheck out this new page and interactive map at MonroeWorkToday that builds off the archive of lynchings originally compiled by sociologist Monroe Work at the Tuskegee Institute.

In addition to giving a pretty succinct history of lynching in the United States, including biographies of heroes like Ida B. Wells, Walter White, James Weldon Johnson, and others, the site includes an impressive interactive map that allows you to click on any of the dots and pull up information on each lynching incident, including the name of the victim, the location where it occurred, and references to source material. It’s good stuff.

monroe-work-mapOf particular interest is that the archive includes information on Mexican- and Italian-Americans who were murdered in racially-motivated mob killings. After researching lynchings in Omaha for more than a few years now, I can attest that this information is harder to come by. As a case in point (pictured above) I came across reference to the 1915 lynching of Juan Gonzalez in Omaha by a posse of 200 people after he was accused of murdering a police officer. This was only four years before the famous courthouse lynching of Will Brown–which is dramatized in my forthcoming novel. In eight years of reading about the 1919 lynching, I don’t remember seeing mention of the 1915 lynching. Strange. And something else to read up on.

When you get a chance, check out MonroeWorkToday. Very informative and a powerful new research tool for students, historians, and citizens alike.

In the century after the Civil War, as many as 5000 people of color were executed by mobs believing the cause of white supremacy.

On average, mobs killed 9 people per month during the 1890s. The average was 7 people per month over the next 20 years. It was not until 1918 that one member of Congress, a Republican, attempted any action. Yet there were heroes who did not wait for that. How did this happen? What are the details?


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