The lynchings of Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, and William Stewart

Title

The lynchings of Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, and William Stewart

Description

By 1892, Ida B Wells’ Memphis paper was thriving. She traveled the Mississippi Delta selling subscriptions, tripling circulation. Free Speech was editorially fearless: Ida sharply called out any accommodation of white supremacy, even by Black community leaders she knew. Thread.

Thomas Moss & his wife Betty were Ida B Wells’ best friends. They ran the co-op People’s Grocery in the Curve, a Black section of Memphis. W.H.Barrett, the white owner of a nearby grocery that had once had a neighborhood monopoly, took every opportunity to harass his competition.

@lynchingsites WH Barrett spread rumors of a race riot - a setup that ended with plainclothes Memphis police being shot by People’s Grocery guards. Memphis whites looted the store, Black people in the Curve were arrested at random, and Tom Moss and other black men were jailed without bail.

A Black militia group, the Tennessee Rifles, knew lynching was likely, so patrolled the jail - but after 3 days the sheriff seized their guns & those of all Black citizens of Memphis. On March 9, 1892, at 3 a.m., a white mob dragged out Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, Wm. Stewart. 

McDowell fought hard, grabbing a lyncher’s gun and not letting go until shot through his hand. Tom Moss begged on behalf of himself, his child & his pregnant wife. Instead of mercy, he was asked for his last words. “Tell my people to go West - there is no justice for them here."

Creator

Daily Suffragist

Date

24/11/2020

Files

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-1- Daily Suffragist on Twitter- -By 1892- Ida B Wells’ Memphis paper was thriving- She traveled the Mississippi Delta selling subscriptions- tripling circulation- -Free Speech- was editorially fearless- Ida sharply called out any accommo.png

Citation

Daily Suffragist, “The lynchings of Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, and William Stewart,” Daily Suffragist, accessed September 21, 2021, https://dailysuffragist.omeka.net/items/show/166.

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