|Publisher:||The Leighton News|
|Place of publication:||Leighton, AL|
|Date of publication:||3/29/1907|
LAUDERDALE CO. LYNCHING Negro Brute Meets Swift Death for Usual Crime. ‘ Florence, Ala., March 24. The negro, Cleveland Hardin, who attempted to assault Mrs. Ben F. Rice near here Friday, and who was driven off by Mrs. Rice’s shepherd dog, was summarily executed today by his intended victim’s husband aNd some 200 or 300 sympathizers. – Tied to a tree, with his arms up, the negro was riddled bullets, the first shot being by Rice, following which, said, every man in the crowd emptied his revolver at the prisoner. It is said that over 1. 000 shots were fired. The negro was captured today half a mile below town and was taken before Mrs. Rice, who fainted at sight of him. Upon recovering, she fully identified her assailant, and, being asked what should be done with him, told the negro’s captors to do as they thought best. Hardin was taken a short distance from the Rice home, where a conference of the mob leaders was held. Some said burn him, but shooting was decided on. Beyond confessing his guilt, the negro had nothing to say and was stolidly indifferent, it seems, to his fate. The body was left tied to the tree by the mob, members of which made no attempt to shield their identity. The sheriff overtook the crowd before the lynching, but his appeals were unavailing. Hardin was taken from jail here several days ago by Mr. Rice, who sent him to work on his farm, four miles from town. Mr. Rice was on the jury in Florence. The negro, finding Mrs. Rice alone, made an attack upon her. She ran 100 yards and the negro was frightened away by a house dog. A posse of 200 men had been pursuing the negro since Friday night. .
“Lauderdale Co. Lynching.” The Leighton News (Leighton, AL), March 29, 1907.