“Alabama Mob Gets A Negro From Jail”

Source Type: Newspaper
Publisher: The Birmingham News
Place of publication: Birmingham, Alabama
Date of publication: 7/4/1910 0:00

ALABAMA MOB GETS A NEGRO FROM JAIL The Prisoner is Seen No More and Lynching Bee is Feared. Special to The Birmingham News. DOTHAN, July 4.–Henry McKinney, a negro, about 18 years of age, is supposed to have been lynched by a mob of Columbia citizens Saturday night, following his alleged confession to having entered the room of a Miss Harrison with criminal intent. The negro was taken from the town lockup by a mob numbering perhaps fifty men, and 18 said to have been carried towards the Chattahoochee river. Nothing has been seen or heard of him since. The mob dispersed and all evidence of excitement has subsided. Sheriff T. W. Butler received a telegram early Saturday morning summoning him to Columbia at once with the bloodhounds; that a heinous crime had been committed. He went, but on his arrival was told his services were not needed, and an effort made to impress him that the report was a false alarm. He returned to Dothan without having made any arrests, and Saturday afternoon he was again summoned, this time by the mayor, asking him to come and get a prisoner for whom there was some evidence of mob violence. The sheriff at once responded to the call after notifying Governor Comer of the condition of affairs. Governor Comer at once telegraphed Captain C. J. Morris of Company F, First regiment, Alabama National Guards, stationed here, to be ready to answer a call from Sheriff Butler. On reaching Columbia the second time, Sheriff Butler was told that he was too late and that a mob had stormed the jail and taken the prisoner and with a rope around his neck had carried him off toward the river. Butler says that he followed the course and found that the mob went to the banks of the river and there secured a piece of rope, which might have been used, two old socks and a pair of shoes, which he ascertained were the ones worn by the negro taken from jail. Sheriff Butler says that though no warrants have as yet been sworn out, there will be. He will return to Columbia again Monday and is going deeper into the affair, and, if possible, recover the negro, dead or alive. Butler says there is no doubt that the right negro was caught even had he not confessed. He had been working around the house which was entered and had been driven away from a window where the young woman was dressing just the afternoon before. He said that in jumping from the window the intruder planted one foot firmly in a flower pot and the imprint left showed three toe prints, besides the sole of the shoe. He says the negro caught had on a shoe of that kind, also his knees were muddy and that an imprint in the mud of a man’s knee had been found at the window, where it is supposed he fell.