Sheriff’s Pleas Fail to Save Would-be Assaulter

Source Type: Newspaper
Author: n.a.
Publisher: New York Tribune
Place of publication: New York City, NY
Date of publication: 3/25/1907

Sheriff’s Pleas Fail to Save Would-be Assaulter. Florence, Ala., March 24. Cleveland Harding, a negro 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 a mob of two hundred or three hundred persons.Tied to a tree with his arms up, the negro was riddled with bullets. The first shot, is is said, was fired by Rice. Over one thousand shots were fired. The Negro was captured today half a mile below town and was taken before Mrs. Rice, who fainted at the sight of him. Upon recovering she fully identified him, and on being asked what should be done with him she 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 favored burning him, but shooting was decided on. Beyond confessing his guilt, the Negro had nothing to say and seemed indifferent to his fate. His body was left tied to the tree by the mob, the members of which made no attempt to shield their identity. The Sheriff overtook the crowd before the lynching, but his appeals were unavailing.


“Sheriff’s Pleas Fail to Save Would-Be-Assaulter.” New York Tribune (New York City, NY), March 25, 1907.