HAS SWUNG FOR HIS CRIME : A BLACK BRUTE’S DEED : Committed an Assault on Mrs. Hodges and Attempted One on Miss Cobb at Coaling : FRENZIED MOB TOOK HIS LIFE

Source Type: Newspaper
Publisher: Birmingham News
Place of publication: Birmingham
Date of publication: 1898-07-13

A black brute yesterday afternoon committed a horrible crime five miles south of Birmingham, on the Alabama Southern Railroad, and this morning attempted a similar attack about two and a half miles from the same locality.

By this time there can be but little doubt as to the fate of the negro. That his punishment will be that usually given the rapist there seems to be little doubt, for this morning the report came that that section of the country was literally alive with people hunting for the brute and that revenge was all the cry.

Deputy Sheriff of Tuscaloosa county with bloodhounds and guides, were out this morning in posses, all determined on catching the negro in order to punish him, the officer for the county jail, while the citizen infuriated with the blood-curdling stories, bent on lynching him as soon as identified.

The first assault was made yesterday afternoon between 3 and 4 0’clock. Mrs. Hodges, a widow about 30 years old, much respected in the vicinity, living on her place, about five miles out in the country, was assaulted by this unknown negro in a most horrible manner. He threatened to kill her. And though she protested and tried to call for assistance, the negro succeeded in his hellish designs.

The lady was fearfully injured. The alarm was given throughout the neighborhood. The posses were started at one and every by-path was posted, and the news spread from house to house. The treatment of Mrs. Hodges aroused citizens to their highest pitch, and there was desperation written on the faces of everybody. Mrs. Hodges had been cruelly mistreated by a negro brute, and the sentence of the court made up of citizens was that the villain should be lynched as soon as captured

The frenzy of the citizens was this morning intensified when the news was spread that the negro had appeared at the residence of Mr. Cobb, a well-known farmer, and had attempted to commit a fiendish assault on one of his daughters. From the meagre information that came from Coaling this morning the Cobb place is located about two and a half miles from the station. It is about the same distance from Mrs. Hodges place.

The negro put his appearance at the Cobb place before 7:30 0’clock. He caught hold of one of the girls and threatened to kill her if she made any demonstration or gave any alarm. She fought desperately, according to the information that came in this morning, and her two sisters were attracted the scene.

It took but a few seconds for the sisters to be participants in the affair, and all three were in the struggle with the brute to prevent him from accomplishing his awful and hellish design, the young ladies at the same time gave vent to their voices and loudly called for assistance.

The negro is said to have beaten a hasty retreat, but not until the girls had become thoroughly frightened and worn out from their struggle with the brute. A full description of the negro which already existed in the neighborhood for the negro’s capture, was increased when the story of this morning’s terrible assault became known.

The settlement around Coaling is thickly populated. The news from yesterday afternoon was repeated and added to it was the story of this morning. At 10 o’clock the report that came to the city was to the effect that every path was peopled with angry men. Deputy sheriff Kyle, of Tuscaloosa, arrived on the scene a few hours after the morning assault and with blood hounds was soon on the chase for the brute.

The negro from all descriptions was a stranger in the neighborhood, Large and black, he has the appearance of the fiendish brute, that his actions show he is. He was roughly dressed and is said to have a very coarse voice. His features are fiendish in the extreme and the misses Cobb state that they will be able to recognize him wherever they will see him again.

Notice of the assailant was sent up and down the railroad and to the little towns which might be reached by the negro within the next few hours. Every effort is being expended to capture the negro. This morning it was not believed the negro could leave the woods.

Coaling is a small mining station forty-one miles south of here, on the Alabama Great Southern Railroad. It is located in Tuscaloosa county, and both crimes were committed in that bailiwick. The neighborhood has many settlers, and there can be little doubt of the capture of the brute.

Heading: SWUNG HIM UP.

A report arrived from Coaling at 2 O’clock this afternoon that the negro who committed the dastardly assault on Mrs. Hodges and attempted to assault Miss Cobb this morning had been captured and that before the officers could get him the posse had strung him up.

The report was meagre, but it is stated that the Negro was carried before Miss Cobb, who fully identified the brute. It took but a few minutes to place a rope around his neck and he was strung up to the nearest tree. As the body hung dangling from the tree limb it was literally filled with lead, the posse being armed with pistols and guns.

An effort was made to get the Negros name without result. The agent at Coaling was asked concerning the negro and replied that he saw two or three people who had been to the scene of the lynching, but that they knew but few particulars of the affair beyond the fact that the brute was strung up after being identified and that his body was filled with lead.

Deputy sheriff Kyle did not arrive at the place in time after the negro was identified to prevent the lynching and even if he had arrived there earlier he would have been unable to save the Negros neck.

The citizens after the lynching are said to have dispersed.

There was never any more excitement around Coaling that took place this morning. The hunt was exciting as the lynching and shooting.


(1898, July). A BLACK BRUTE’S DEED : Committed an Assault on Mrs. Hodges and Attempted One on Miss Cobb at Coaling : FRENZIED MOB TOOK HIS LIFE. Birmingham News.