|Publisher:||St. Louis Globe-Democrat|
|Place of publication:||St. Louis, MO|
|Date of publication:||3/25/1907|
HDSBAND FIRES FIRST SHOT AT NEGRO WHO ATTACKED HIS WIFE VICTIM IDENTIFIES BRUTE. ACCUSED MAN CONFESSES AND IS TIED TO TREE BY A MOB. Special Dispatch to the Globi-Democrat. FLORENCE. ALA.. March 24. Cleveland Hardin, the negro who attempted to criminally assault Mrs. B. F. Rice at her home near here Friday afternoon, was lynched to-day by a heavily armed mob of the best citizens of the county, the husband of his victim firing the first shot into his body. The man was shot to death. His arms being pinned behind him and he was tied to a tree. After Mr. Rice had fired a bullet from a Winchester rifle, the mob drew their guns and pistols and each member of it fired into the body. It is estimated that over 1000 shots were fired before the fusillade ended. Harden was captured at 2 o’clock this afternoon on the bank of the Tennessee river half a mile below Florence, sitting under a walnut tree, by half a dozen men who were out for, a stroll. As he looked like the man whom, posse had been scouring the country for; he was taken. He offered no resistance and did not deny his identity. His captors immediately started for the Rice’s home at a double quick step, and before they had gotten two miles from town everybody in the community knew of the arrest. Every man who could leave buckled on his pistol or shouldered his rifle and started out to overtake the black and his captors. By the time Rice’s home was reached the mob numbered several hundred men. When the negro was brought before Mrs. Rice she fainted, and was revived with difficulty. The leaders of the mob asked her what should be done with Hardin, and she replied: “Do what you want to,” and she fainted again. Hardin was unaffected by the scene, and beyond making a confession of his guilt he never opened his mouth from the time of his capture until his death. He seemed to care nothing about his fate, and when members of the mob shouted, “Burn him” be did not move a muscle.
“Husband Fires First Shot at Negro Who Attacked His Wife.” St. Louis Globe-Democrat (St.Louis, MO), March 25, 1907.