Prominent Merchant Shot And Killed By Negro

Source Type: Newspaper
Author: n.a. n.a. n.a.
Publisher: The Age-Herald
Place of publication: Birmingham, Alabama
Date of publication: Apr 21, 1899 12:00 am
Source URL: View Source

PROMINENT MERCHANT SHOT AND KILLED BY NEGRO- John D. Herring Had Trouble With Taylor Collins. WAS ONE OF HIS TENANT. The Merchant Hit Negro’s Wife With His Fist. COLLINS SHOT HIM THREE TIMES. Lynching Was Threatened for a Time, and This Caused an Uprising of Negroes-Cool, Heads Prevailed, However. Woodstock, a small town in Bibb county about thirty miles below this city, was the scene of a terrible tragedy yesterday., in which John D. Herring, one of the most prominent citizens and merchants of the place, was killed by Taylor Collins, a negro who was a tenant of the murdered man. It seems that Collins was behind in his rent and wanted to move out of his house. Herring told him not to do so until he had paid the rent. Yesterday Collins’ wife started to move her effects and Herring struck her with his fist. SHOT HIM THREE TIMES. This enraged the husband, who without warning opened fire on Herring, shooting him three times. The first shot took effect in the right hip near the back bone, the second in the right jaw and the third in the neck, breaking the bone and producing death. As Herring fell to the ground a corpse, his brother, P.I. Herring, who was attracted by shooting ran up and opened fire on the negro, who managed to escape without injury, and ran to Woodstock, where he surrendered to Justice R.M. Pendleton.
As soon as the news of the tragedy became known people began to flock into the little town from all direction, and great excitement prevailed.
Justice Pendleton, in the capacity of coroner, empaneled a jury, and after viewing the remains and hearing the testimony a verdict was returned that Herring came to his death from gunshot wounds at the hands of Collins.
There was strong talk of lynching, but cooler judgement prevailed, and the law was allowed to take its course.
When the excitement was at fever heat the negroes, who flocked to town in large numbers, threatened damage to the whites if Collins was harmed, and for a time it looked as if a race war was imminent. The negroes were heavily armed, and their forces were being added to almost every moment.