|Publisher:||The Times Democrat|
|Place of publication:||New Orleans, LA|
|Date of publication:||3/25/1907|
RIDDLED WITH BULLETS. NEGRO HARDING SUMMARILY EXECUTED AT FLORENCE. Black Had Attempted to Assault Mrs. Ben F. Rice Last Friday After Confessing He Was Tied to Tree and It Is Said 1000 Shots Were Fired. Florence. Ala.. March 24. 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 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 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. Tte 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 on being asked what should be done with him, told the negro’s captors to do as they thought best. Harding 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 seemed, to his fate. The body was left tied to the tree by the mob, membets of which made no attempt to shield their Identity. The sheriff overtook the crowd before the lynching, but his appeals were unavailing.
“Riddled With Bullets.” The Times Democrat (New Orleans, LA), March 25, 1907,