On August 16, 1904, a mob of unmasked white men in Marengo County, Alabama, lynched Rufus Lesseur, a 24-year-old Black man, and left his body riddled with bullets.
Less than two days earlier, a white woman in Thomaston, Alabama, claimed that a Black man had entered her home and frightened her. After someone claimed that a hat found near the woman’s home belonged to Mr. Lesseur, a mob of white men formed and kidnapped him. The white men transported a terrified Mr. Lesseur into the nearby woods, and locked him in a tiny calaboose, or makeshift jail, for more than a day.
At 3:00 a.m. on August 16, without an investigation, trial, conviction of any offense, or a sentencing proceeding, a mob of white men broke into the locked shack, seized Mr. Lesseur, dragged him outside, and lynched him, filling his body with bullets.
Although he was lynched by a mob of unmasked white men in a town with only 300 residents, state officials claimed that no one could be identified, arrested, or prosecuted for his murder. Mr. Lesseur is one of at least four Black victims of racial terror violence lynched in Marengo County between 1877 and 1950.
Info courtesy EJI.org.