|Daily Enterprise Leader
|Place of publication:
|New Iberia, LA
|Date of publication:
QUICKLY LYNCHED FIEND. Mob Riddles Him with Bullets After He is Identified and Confesses. Florence, Ala., March 25. The negro Cleveland Harding, 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 yesterday by his intended victim’s husband and some 200 or 300 sympathizers. Tied to a tree, with his arms up, the negro was riddled with bullets, the first shot being fired by Rice, following which, it is said, every man in the crowd emptied his revolver at the prisoner. It is said that over 1000 shots were fired. The negro was captured half a mile below town and was taken before Mrs. Rice, who fainted at sight of him. Upon recovering she fully indentified her assailant and on being asked what should be done with him, told the negro’s captors to do as they though best. Harding was taken a short distance from the Rice home, where a conference ot 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 seemed, to his fate. The body was left tied to the tree by the mob, members of which made no attempt to their identity. The sheriff overtook the crowd before the lynching, but his appeals were unavailing.
“Quickly Lynched Fiend.” Daily Enterprise Leader (New Iberia, LA), March 25, 1907.