|Death: ||May, 1916|
His name was Jesse Washington, a 17-year-old black youth who was born in rural Texas in 1897, and may have been mentally challenged. He worked on a farm outside Waco which belonged to George and Lucy Fryer. In May, 1916, Washington was convicted in City Court of murdering Lucy Fryer- a deliberation of less than 4 minutes. During the proceedings, he apologized and confessed to the crime. At the end of the trial, Washington was sentenced to death by hanging. Residents, however, were already in an uproar over the crime. A black man who attacked a white woman in any way whatsoever during that era in the South evoked little sympathy from the public. Within five minutes of the sentencing, dozens of court spectators jumped the railing, fought with officials and seized the terrified defendant. He was immediately set upon by a vicious gang using clubs, shovels and bricks. He was stripped naked and dragged kicking and screaming to the lawn directly in front of City Hall. Townspeople had already built a giant bonfire underneath a large tree. The crowd was later estimated to be as large as 15,000 people. Included in the cheering multitude was the Police Chief and the Mayor of Waco. Other police officers also stood by during the sickening ordeal which played out in the symbolic shadow of City Hall (Dallas Morning News, June 2, 1998).
Body lost or destroyed
Created by: Donna
Record added: Feb 20, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 24778017