|Publisher:||The Birmingham News|
|Place of publication:||Birmingham, AL|
|Date of publication:||3/25/1907|
NEGRO TIED TO TREE AND SHOT BY MOB NEAR FLORENCE Cleveland Hardin Taken to Scene of His Crime and Body Riddled With Bullets. Two Hundred Pistols Emptied. Confessed His Guilt. Special to The Birmingham News, , FLORENCE, Ala., March 25. Cleveland Hardin, the negro who attempted to assault Mrs. Benjamin F. Rice, seven miles west of Florence, Friday afternoon, was ‘captured Sunday at 2:30 p. m. by a crowd of Men who were following the bloodhounds. The negro was found sitting under a small walnut tree. He was taken to the scene of hls crime, and after being brought before Mrs. Rice was tied to a tree and riddled with bullets. The negro was seen by H. E. HcKinney, the signal man at the Southern bridge tower, who notified the sheriff. The bloodhounds were put on his trail and traced the negro several miles and Sheriff Young was following them at the time the negro was jumped. Victim Faints. The news of the capture spread fast and the crowd grew constantly as the party proceeded towards the Rice home, reaching several hundred. When the negro was taken before Mrs. Rice she fainted and was revived with difficulty. When she was able to speak she was aked what was to be done with the negro and saying. I don’t care.” she swooned again, He was perfectly stolid and beyond confessing his guilt never spoke a word. He showed no sign of fear and walked willingly all the way seven miles. A large number of the crowd were for burning the negro but better council prevailed and he was tied to a tree with hls hands up. He was then shot. Many Shots Fired. Mr. Rice, the husband of the negro’s victim, was with difficulty restrained from shooting into the crowd as soon as he saw the negro. Mr. Rice fired the first shot after the negro was tied up, with a, 44-caliber rifle. Immediately a regulafr fusillade negro with tied up, with a 44-caliber was fired, about two hundred pistols being emptied into the negros body. Sheriff Young was not present when the negro was captured, but overtook the crowd just before it reached its destination. He was seized and disarmed as soon as he appeared, and all his efforts to pursuade the mob to turn the negro over to him were without avail. The mob was composed of many prominent citizens and no effort was made to conceal their identity. After the negro was dead the crowd dispersed orderly, leaving him tied to the tree.
“Negro Tied To Tree and Shot By Mob Near Florence.” The Birmingham News (Birmingham, AL), March 25, 1907.