Old News Stories
Lynching of Thomas Hill, 1893
From the Spring Place Jimplecute
Spring Place, Ga.
March 2, 1893
On last Saturday, a jury of twelve honest men made a verdict of guilty in the case of State vs. Thomas Hill charged with rape. They also recommended him to the mercy of the court and the judge sentenced him to twenty years in the penitentiary.
His lawyers commenced to ask for a new trial at once and his people said they would make his bond, and with this assurance Sheriff Carter employed men to guard him in order that he might not suffer the humiliation of being put in jail as he said his bond would be made the next day.
The guards kept him all day Saturday, that night and Sunday, and as none of his friends showed up, he was placed in jail Sunday night.
Sheriff Carter, not thinking of any trouble, retired as usual that night, and about midnight he was aroused by a mob of about twenty disguised men armed with shotguns and Winchester rifles.
They demanded the keys to the jail, which Carter flatly refused to give up and threats were made to hang him if he did not. These threats of violence excited Mrs. Carter and she got the keys and handed them over to one of the gang and they at once liberated Hill, and did not let another prisoner escape. There being one more man in confinement.
Immediately after securing him, the mob rode out of town very quietly and Monday morning scarcely any of the inhabitants of the town knew anything of the happenings the night before. The mob seemed only to want Hill liberated and went about their work in a very quiet but determined manner.
This is only one of many similar happenings in this county in which disguised men took the law in their hands and set prisoners free or murdered them as they saw fit.
Reason and argument has ceased, if it ever did good, to be of virtue with these lawless mobs.
That there are prominent men in this county who control such factions is an undisputed fact.
The right and only way that exists to depress Ku Kluxing in these counties of North Georgia is to place every one of them under martial law.
Get down into the pocketbooks of the leaders of the concern and you will hear them squeal and to tax them for this sustenance of a standing army in North Georgia is the only way of getting at them.
It is the commonest kind of nonsense to speak of getting a Klu Klux into court and proving anything on him. You just can't do it.
It has always been a favorite argument of those who sympathize with Klu Kluxism that they protected the virtue of our women but this act on the part of the gang knocks all such arguments into a cooked hat.
This is a case where the Ku Klux have set free a man who twenty-three good and honest men said was guilty of the worse crime known to the world.
Personally, we like Tom Hill, but this is a precedent by Murray county that never before known annals of history and crime.
Our county has a bad reputation out and she justly deserves it now. Too much can not be said in censor of such acts as that of Sunday night.
The judge of this circuit will be wise if he orders every prisoner for every offense sent to Atlanta jail immediately after arrest.
Send off the prisoners and place the county under martial law and make these lawless mobs help pay for their devilment.
Old News Stories
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