A Hanging in Nacogdoches: Murder, Race, Politics, and by Gary B. Borders

By Gary B. Borders

On October 17, 1902, in Nacogdoches, Texas, a black guy named James Buchanan was once attempted with out illustration, condemned, and accomplished for the homicide of a white relatives - all during 3 hours. white males performed pivotal roles in those occasions: invoice Haltom, a number one neighborhood Democrat and the editor of the "Nacogdoches Sentinel", who condemned lynching yet defended lynch mobs, and A. J. Spradley, a Populist sheriff who, because of 1000s of nation militiamen, slightly controlled to maintain the mob from burning Buchanan alive, in simple terms to escort him to the gallows following his abbreviated trial. each one man's tale serves to light up part of the trail that ended in the negative parody of justice which lies on the middle of "A placing in Nacogdoches". The flip of the 20 th century used to be a time of dramatic switch for the folk of East Texas. worried by way of the Populist Party's makes an attempt to unite negative blacks and whites in a fight for monetary justice, white Democrats defended their strength base by way of exploiting racial tensions in a conflict that eventually led to the total disenfranchisement of the black inhabitants of East Texas. In telling the tale of a unmarried lynching, Gary Borders dramatically illustrates the way in which politics and race mixed to carry terrible violence to small southern cities like Nacogdoches.

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Additional resources for A Hanging in Nacogdoches: Murder, Race, Politics, and Polemics in Texas's Oldest Town, 1870-1916 (Clifton and Shirley Caldwell Texas Heritage Series)

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The feud reached its peak with the killing of Sheriff George Wall. In front of witnesses, Border shot the sheriff in the back with a shotgun on April 21, 1900. Sam Garrett was sitting on a bench outside G. W. Slaughter’s store when Border rode into town, a double-barreled shotgun in his lap. Garrett’s sworn testimony (strange capitalization and all) follows: [Border] got down near Mr. W. C. Church’s Saloon and walked in the Saloon. He did not stay in the Saloon but a very short time and then he came out of the Saloon and walked to G.

Usually the case was dismissed because the defendant—invariably a white man— didn’t show up, or on occasion because the complainant, almost always a freedman or freedwoman, didn’t appear. Here are a few samplings from the bureau’s ledger for Nacogdoches County: • A freedman named Scot complained that J. T. Garrison, who was white, sold a horse that belonged to the former slave. Garrison was fined $50. There is no record that he paid the fine. • Another freedman named Mansfield claimed a white farmer named Joe Atkins owed him money for crops, but the case was dismissed.

8 two railroads served nacogdoches in 1902. the first to come to town was the Houston, East and West Texas Railway, popularly known from its initials as “Hell Either Way Taken,” given its bumpy ride and frequent derailments. The HE&WT had arrived in Nacogdoches in 1883 from Houston, after a laborious process of laying rails through forests and building trestles across rivers. 10 The railroad gave Nacogdoches residents—and, more importantly, its farmers—a way to ship themselves and their produce out of town.

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