|Place of publication:||New Orleans, LA|
|Date of publication:||4/7/1908|
Special to The Times-Democrat.
Mobile, Ala., April 6. – Notwithstanding the fact that the lynching near Bay Minette Saturday night of Walter Clayton, a negro, for the criminal assault of Mrs. Joseph White, a respectable white woman resident of Rosington, Ala., was reported by passengers arriving here and by Sheriff Booth of Baldwin county, it appears that the negro escaped the wrath of the mob and is now at large.
At 11:30 o’clock to-night W. R. Dinwiddle of Bay Minette telegraphed the Mobile Item as follows:
“Sheriff says the mob was drunk and the negro escaped about daylight Sunday. Seen and reported by Frank Nipart, school teacher, about one and one-half mile from Bay Minette. Warden Phillips of Dolive, with dogs trailing him; two dogs lost trail after a mile and a half, but secured two more and took up trail again.”
A long distance message was received at the police station to-night from Sheriff Booth stating that Clayton had escaped the mob and was making his way towards Mobile. Sheriff Booth said that he had communicated with Gov. Comer and that the Governor had authorized him to offer a reward of $100 for the capture of Clayton dead or alive. The residents of Bay Minette, he said, had also offered a reward of $50 for the negro dead or alive.
Clayton has relatives living here, and it was the impression of Sheriff Booth that he was making for Mobile.
The report brought to Mobile concerning the lynching was that the body of Clayton had been taken in charge by authorities of Rosington, an interior town twenty miles north of Bay Minette, and where the mob is supposed to have lynched Clayton.
Sheriff Booth returned from the vicinity of Rosington late Sunday night, and this morning stated that he was unable to find the body of Clayton, but that one of the negro’s shoes and an empty whiskey flask was found in the road near Dolive, twelve miles north of Bay Minette.
Inability to find the body of the negro, and the report of Nipart that he saw Clayton this afternoon, leads the sheriff to believe that the mob was made up of drunken men, and that Clayton, once breaking loose from them, escaped in the darkness.
“Negro Escapes Mob; Assaulter Of White Woman Is Still At Large; Governor of Alabama Authorizes Reward for Capture of Walter Clayton Dead or Alive – Advices From Bay Minette State Mob Was Intoxicated – Dogs on Trail.” The Times-Democrat (New Orleans, LA), April 7, 1908.