State Sanctioned

A clearinghouse for information, analysis, and resources related to state sanctioned violence in the United States

Henry Lewis

Killed on December 20th, 1900, in Gulfport, Mississippi.  Lewis was in the custody of a posse when he was killed.  The posse leaders claimed Lewis was taken from them by an armed mob.  However, there is no evidence that any resistance was offered, nor did posse members identify any of the members of the mob.

Henry Lewis’ cousins were also arrested by posses in the days following the lynching.  In both of those cases, posses and police officers made a concerted effort to protect the arrested men from any attempted lynching.

According to the article, a black church was burned to the ground and a number of local black residents harassed during the posse’s search for Lewis.  The town council of Gulf Port later decried these actions, but it does not appear anyone was punished or reparations made to these random victims who were unconnected to the Lewises.

More details of this case are described in the New Orleans-based Time Picayune from December 20th, 1900 (click on the images below and zoom in to read).

Henry Lewis Times Picayune 12211900-page-001 Henry Lewis Times Picayune 12211900-page-002

To view as single-page PDF, click here: Henry Lewis Times Picayune 12211900

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