Damages for Lynching

October 14, 1899


Mitchell condemns South Carolina for their Supreme Court ruling against a black man who was lynched after being set free, and says “these are the people who will not conform to their own laws.”


Lawrence Brown, a colored man who was proven to be innocent of a charge of incendiarism (house-burning) in Orangeburg County, South Carolina, was discharged upon the request of the prosecuting attorney. But the mob was determined to have his life and he was lynched at Stilton Station, S. C.
The new state constitution provides that the county is liable and the father of Brown entered the suit for ten thousand dollars. The first trial in September, 1898, resulted in a verdict for the county, the Judge presiding holding that it only applied to cases where prisoners were taken from the officers of the law and lynched.
The State Supreme Court, it will be remembered reversed this opinion and the case was called on the 3d inst., in the court at Orangebury, S.C. The evidence against the county was overwhelming.
Brown’s body was riddled with bullets and his hands and feet tied, and yet counsel for the county had the audacity to argue that Brown committed suicide.
These are the people who will not conform to their own laws.
About this article

Location on Page

Lower Left Quadrant


Contributed By

Elias Sturim


“Damages for Lynching,” Black Virginia: The Richmond Planet, 1894-1909, accessed September 25, 2022, https://blackvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1729.