Five Shot In Jail
An Alabama Mob Wreaks Horrible Vengeance at Midnight.
Helpless Prisoners Murdered
They Were Charges with Burning a Ginhouse.
One Victim Was A Poor Woman
Admittance Was Gained by a Ruse, and Rifles Were Shoved Between the Bars of the Cells.
Columbus, Miss., September 13. – Pickens County, Alabama comes to the front again with an awful butchering of prisoners confined in the jail at Carrollton. Paul Archer, Will Archer, Polk Hill, Ed Guyton and Ellen Fant, all the negroes, and the latter a woman, were shot to death last night by a mob of masked men.
Some time during last week the mill and ginhouse of J. E. Woods were burned. In about a week the negroes were arrested and were confined in the Carollton Jail. The preliminary investigation was in progress, but had not been concluded. Last night the sheriff was called on in his room at the jail building and was told that parties had a prisoner whom they had arrested they wanted to turn over to him. The sheriff came down from his room, and unlocking the jail door, found himself in the hands of a disguised mob who demanded of him the keys to the cell where the prisoners were confined. This request was urged upon the sheriff by the glistening barrels of a hundred Winchesters.
After the officer was overpowered the mob quickly made its way to the grated cells of the prisoners and through the iron bars the barrels of the rifles were placed and from every muzzle came a dozen balls. In a second’s time five human beings had been cruelly butchered and their quivering bodies lay in streams of blood which ran across the floor.
The mob then quietly dispersed after having committed the cowardly and brutal deed, Carrollton is an inland town without railroad or telegraph and it is impossible to get any information as to the testimony against the negroes charged with arson, but it is said that one negro confined in the jail had turned state’s evidence against the others. The mob made him leave the jail and also told him it would be best for him to leave the state. The negro left and has not been seen since.
This is the second lynching that Pickens County has furnished in the last few weeks. Joe Floyd, a negro, was hung by a a mob and his body riddled with bullets a few weeks ago for the murder of a white farmer.
`Their attorney was trying to secure their release on habeas corpus and the people fearing that they would be released on a legal squbble, organized Wednesday at midnight. The mob intended to take the prisoners out and hang them. When they got inside the jail the negroes raised such an uproar that the mob was afraid the town would be alarmed, so they shot the prisoners in their cells. The whole county is excited over the lynching.