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Dana Adams
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Birth: 1873
Death: Apr. 20, 1893
Saline County
Kansas, USA

The following is from the booklet, Gypsum Hill Cemetery Historical Walk, published by the City of Salina, Parks & Recreation and the Salina Public Library.

Dana Adams, (buried in an unmarked grave) a young man in his late teens, was arrested for cutting a white boy with a razor. Because there were rumors of a lynching attempt, law officials acted quickly, making arrangements to transport the prisoner to Leavenworth by train. Adams was taken from the jail to the Santa Fe depot by the sheriff and two deputies and placed in a passenger coach. However, the train was several minutes late departing, and during this time, someone uncoupled the car in which the prisoner rode, leaving it stranded as the engine and other cars pulled away. Immediately a crowd converged upon the passenger coach, gained entry and overpowered the sheriff and his deputies. The mob dragged their victim from the train to the Union Pacific depot and hanged him from a telegraph pole on April 20, 1893. No arrests for this murder were ever made. Adams' father refused to assume responsibility for the burial, saying the white people had killed him and they should bury him.

From Saline County Coroner's Records; "Hanged by the neck until dead to a a telegraph pole at Union Pacific Depot by a part of persons to the jury unknown. Buried in cemetery near the City of Salina."

Salina Daily Republican
Salina, Kansas
20 Apr 1893, page 4



An Unprovoked Attack Which Results in Serious Wounds For Shout--Dana and Wade Adams Now in the County Jail.

Great excitement was caused early this morning by the rumor that Troy shout, a nephew of J. A. Shout had been very dangerously cut with a razor by Dana Adams, a well known negro tough.

While subsequent investigation developed the fact that young Shout is not fatally wounded yet the bitterness against Adams is still very intense. The attack was unprovoked and it was evidently Adams' intention to kill him.

Shout works at the Union Pacific depot, and at 6:30 this morning he started to scrub out the waiting room. Four negroes were loafing there at the time and Shout ordered them out. He says that two of them started to obey but that one of them, Dana Adams stopped to argue the point. Mr. Shout told the story of the cutting to the reporter in the following language.

"Adams went part way to the door then stopped and turned around. He said he had a ticket. He did not say were to. Hen then went out and I shut the door on him and turned to go to work when he opened the door, drew his razor and started for me. I hit him with an iron shovel before he got to me. He then threw his arms around me and commenced cutting me. I got away as soon as I could. His brother was helping him but I was so excited that I could not tell what he did. When I got loose they ran out of the depot and started up Ninth str. until they got to the Santa Fe track, They [sic] then turned up the track. I started for Dr. Crowley's office and got as far as Iron avenue when I saw a hack and had it take me to Dr. Crowley's."

Sheriff Anderson was notified at once and accompanied by Deputy Phillips, Chas. Spaulding and Chas. Reeves started out in close pursuit. Reeves and Spaulding having swift horses overtook Adams near Jim Dailey's place, ease of the Maurice McAuliff school house, and about three miles from the city. Mr. Reeves arrested Adams and turned him over to the sheriff. Adams dis not have his razor on [sic]. The sheriff sent Mr. Reeves back to the place where the arrest had been made to see if it could be found. The razor was found a few feet from where the arrest was made, the negro having evidently dropped it when he saw he was going to be taken. The razor is a good sized blade and is labelled "The Keen Kutter."

Adams was brought to town and was placed in the city jail together with his brother Wade, who is charged with assisting Dana in the cutting. They waived preliminary examination, and in default of $2000 bond each, they were committed to await trial at the present term of district court.

Dana Adams is decidedly a tough negro and ought to have been in the penitentiary a year ago. Two years ago he attacked Sheriff Quincy in the jail, and has always been fond of flourishing a razor.

Troy Shout, while badly cut, will probably not suffer any permanent effects from his wounds. He has an ugly gash five inches long above the last floating rib on the left side, and another parallel with that higher up, and above those two another cut running nearly lengthwise on the body. Another deep cut was inflicted on his back below his shoulder and one on the left arm, making five cuts in all.

21 Apr 1893, page 2


The community has again been stirred by crime and its swift results. The crime of Adams was a brutal one and deserved swift and severe punishment, and punishment was given by the court in a severe and commendable manner. Lynch law is only justified by those who believe in it, because of the rapidity with which the punishment follows the crime. When the crime is so enormous that the delay of trial is undeserved mercy or when there is doubt of the criminal receiving any punishment because of technical evasions of the law or other unforseen [sic] occurence [sic], it is then claimed by some that lynch law is justifiable. But in the case of Adams none of the above conditions prevailed. His crime was brutal, unprovoked, and showed a reckless depravity, but the law had its course unimpeded and within twenty-four hours from the time he committed the crime he would have been in the penitentiary. It is evident then that it was not so much the specific crime that Adams committed that aroused the fury of the mob.

There are many causes that led to it but chiefly the excited condition of the public mind. It has been but little over two weeks since an awful crime was committed. The community was aroused to the highest degree of excitement. The perpetrator of that crime had evaded the officers and escaped punishment. Various other influences had wrought on the public mind until there was a conviction in the minds of many citizens that an example "would do no harm." They would not justify mob violence, nor would they protest against it. This left the hanging spirit unrestrained. An occasion was wanted more than a cause, and this Adams furnished by his vicious and unprovoked crime. That a prisoner on the way to the penitentiary should be taken from the officers of the law and killed is a revolting thought. It may be by many men of high character passed without criticism, but it cannot be endorsed. It will not retard crime It is dangerous to society and is a menace and danger to our institutions, and if permitted to run unrestrained the time will come when it will be a matter of much more serious moment for society to protect itself against mobs than against criminals.

21 Apr 1893, page 4



A Mob Enters the Santa Fe Train and Overpowers the Officers--Adams is Hung to a Telegraph Pole.



The Coroner's Inquest Develops No Evidence -- The Lynching a Great Surprise to the Community and is Not Upheld by a Majority of the Citizens.

The excitement which has given Salina considerable notoriety throughout the state in the past few weeks reached a climax last night when Dana Adams, who cut young Shout with a razor and was sentenced to seven years in the penitentiary, was taken from the officers and hanged to a telegraph pole. When Adams was first arrested yesterday there was some talk of hanging him. When it was learned, however, that Shout would not suffer any serious results from the cutting and that Adams had been promptly sentenced to seven years in the penitentiary, there seemed no cause for farther apprehension. Much satisfaction was expressed at the prompt manner in which the officials had acted and the severity of the judge's sentence was commended. The sheriff believed that the fact that justice had been so prompt would do away with any possible danger of a lynching party. Arrangements were first made to take Adams to Leavenworth on the Union Pacific train at midnight, but the sheriff afterwards thought it would be safer to take him earlier on the Santa Fe, and the plans were accordingly changed. Early in the evening several men could be seen loitering around the vicinity of the jail and it soon became evident that the jail was being closely watched by spies for some purpose.

A few moments after eight o'clock the sheriff with Deputy Phillips and Chas. Reeves left the jail in a hack to take the prisoner to the Santa Fe depot. They wished to arrive at the depot in time to get Adams secreted in the car before any crowd could gather on the platform of the depot. As soon as the hack left the jail, med who had been watching started on a run northward. Only a few persons were on the depot platform when the officers arrived with their prisoner, and he was taken into the passenger coach and placed between two seats where he could not be seen from the platform. It was still several moments until time for the train to pull out, and the train waited three minutes after its time in order to give a traveling man, A. B. Hammond, time to receive some grips from the National. Then when the train pulled out it was found that the coach in which Adams had been placed had been uncoupled by some one, and the engine and main part of the train pulled out several rods before discovering the fact. In the meantime the crowd on the platform had been steadily increasing, and suddenly a command was heard to "line up." Instantly the coach was surrounded on each side and men began climbing upon the platforms of the car. Deputy Phillips rushed to the door in the west end of the coach and locked it, remaining there to guard it. The east door was unlocked, however, and immediately the isle of the car was full of men. Sheriff Anderson and Deputy Reeves were guarding the prisoner, but could not withstand the rush of the mob and were soon knocked aside. Some of the mob then rushed to the west end of the car and throwing Phillips away from the door unlocked it so that the crowd also entered from the west end. Adams was handcuffed but tried to escape by jumping over seats. He was soon caught and dragged from the car by the mob and in five minutes was dead. The mob was not noisy but worked swiftly. They immediately started from the Santa Fe to the U. P. depot with Adams. On the way when he once begged for mercy he was given a kick and told to shut up. He did not speak again except to moan, "Oh Lord" when he was first jerked from the ground. When the mob reached the U. P. depot platform they had some trouble in placing the rope around Adams' neck but they soon had it arranged to suit them, and a member of the mob climbed up the telegraph pole to a spike about ten feet from the ground. The rope was thrown over this and the negro jerked up until he hung about two feet from the platform. The rope was then tied around the pole and Adams was left hanging. In a few seconds he ceased struggling and life was evidently extinct. The mob disappeared up the track while a large number who had been attracted by the scene remained there.

The only noise was the firing of revolvers but no yelling was done by the mob. Sheriff Anderson and Deputy Phillips stated that there was fully two hundred in the crowd, but a large number were spectators who had been attracted by the shooting and took no part. The officers say that the leaders were strangers and unknown to any of the officers. They saw many Salina faces in the crowd, but Salina people did not seem to be taking an active part. All three officers stated that they thought the leaders in the mob were railroad employes [sic] from neighboring towns, who had come to a perfect understanding as the mob was well organized.

As the body was left hanging for about forty minutes many in the crowd tore off pieces of Adams' clothing to carry away as souvenirs. It was about 9:30 when the coroner ordered the body cut down and taken to the court house where the inquest was immediately held, and the finding was that Adams came to his death by hanging at the hands of unknown persons. Eight witnesses were examined, including Sheriff Anderson and the two deputies, but all testified that they did not know any of the persons who took part in the mob.

The hanging was a shocking surprise to almost every one in the community, and while a large number do not condemn it because of the character of the victim and the nature of the crime, yet there are others who denounce it as murder.

The body of Adams was turned over to the undertakers this morning and taken to the cemetery for burial about nine o'clock. Adams' father refused to have anything to do with the burial and would not take possession of the body, giving as his reason that the white people had killed the boy and should bury him.

25 Apr 1893, page 4

Resolutions From the Colored People of Salina.

SALINA, KANS. April 24th, 1893.

At a mass meeting of the colored citizens of Salina, Kans., the following resolutions were adopted:

WHEREAS, That a citizen of Saline county, state of Kansas, or in any state should be molested and unmercifully and without provocation slaughtered while in the discharge of his or her duty es employes [sic] or otherwise, is one of the most heinous and vicious crimes which should be discouraged and denounced by all law abiding citizens, and every effort put forth to lawfully punish the perpetrator of such a crime; therefore be it
  Resolved, That we indignantly denounce the cutting of Mr. Shout as a heinous, villainous and unprovoked crime.
  Resolved, That we as citizens of Saline county, Kansas, extend to Mr. Shout, his family, friends and other relatives, our sincere sympathy in their sore affliction, and we pray that he may speedily recover.
  Resolved, That we denounce the brutal, barbarous and lawless manner that Dana Adams was taken from the authorized officers of the law and murdered as one of the most heinous crimes, and is a disgrace to any civilized people.
  Resolved, That all law abiding citizens are hereby called upon to do all in their power to suppress mobs and mob violence.
  Resolved, That we demand the sheriff and other officers of Saline county to put forth every effort in their power to arrest and secure the punishment of the murderers of Dana Adams.
  Resolved, That we call upon all good citizens to do all in their power to suppress the idle loitering upon streets of the city of Salina.
  Resolved, That we denounce and deny any and all rumors that the "negroes of Saline county are preparing to use any unlawful means in retaliation for the murdering of Dana Adams" as false reports.

Done by order of the colored citizens of Saline county, Kansas.

25 Apr 1893, page 2


The papers throughout the state and the entire west are passing some very uncomplimentery [sic] comments on Salina in regard to the lynching of Adams. There is no one who can endorse the action of the mob in taking the life of Adams, and it is but justice to the people of Salina to say that her citizens do not. It is regarded by the people of the city as an act for which they were not responsible. They did not know that it was going to occur. The announcement that Adams was hung was received with astonishment by the people on the streets and many citizens did not learn of it till the next morning. There may have been some men in Salina who wee parties to the hanging, but they are not known, and the only responsibility that this city has in the matter is that it failed to protect the life of the prisoner and it can not be blamed for this because no one thought after the mad had plead guilty and received a severe penitentiary sentence there would be any attempt to lynch him. There is one suggestion, however, in all the papers that should be followed out. The perpetrators of the crime should be made to answer before the law for their act. This Salina should make every effort to do in order to preserve her good name. The people of this city are not the blood-thirsty people they are represented to be by the press of the country. They have a proper appreciation of the value of human life and have respect for the laws of the state and they will demand from their officers that the dignity of the law be maintained. Adams was hanged in Salina but Saline did not hang him, and it is a great injustice to this city for the press throughout the country to picture her people as vicious and hungering for blood. There is not a city in Kansas or the west that has more refined, intelligent or humane people and as the Leavenworth Times has very happily suggested, the city that is without sin, should cast the first stone.

28 Apr 1893, page 4


Rev. Dudley of the Colored Baptist Church Receives a Threatening Letter.

The following letter was received by Rev. Dudley of the colored Baptist church last evening through the mail. It was addressed as follows,

Negro J. L. Dudley
325 n. 5th st.          City.
and had the Salina post mark on it. The letter read as follows,

City.    Sir we will give you enough of the Gov. in side of ten days
Respectfully Yours,

Reverend Dudley had with some other colored citizens, asked the sheriff to do all he could to have the governor offer a reward for the detection of the lynchers who hung Adams and thinks that the man or men who sent this notice had learned about this interview and that is what the parties refer to by giving him "enough of the Gov." While the notice is probably a fake, yet the colored people do not relish the idea of receiving such notices in this county. But Rev. Dudley need give himself no uneasiness as the men who hung Adams will not probably want to assume any more responsibility for the present.

Update 16 Feb 2009.

The Salina Juneteenth Celebration Committee raised money to recondition head stones and purchase stones for the unmarked graves of black settlers buried in the Gypsum Hill Cemetery. Although Dana Adams' grave was originally unmarked, there is now a marker in his honor at the grave site.
Gypsum Hill Cemetery
Saline County
Kansas, USA
Plot: Block D, Lot 67, Space 6A
Created by: sister7a
Record added: Aug 01, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 20742544
Dana Adams
Added by: sister7a
Dana Adams
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Sarah Lee
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- Browneyes
 Added: Nov. 10, 2007

- Me & Badger ♥
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