Women Mobilized at Home and Abroad

Between roughly 1860 and 1960, over 5,000 documented cases of lynching took place in the United States, the victims predominantly African American and male. From the letters received by Albion Winegar Tourgee as well as local newspapers and other documentation from this time period 1868-1897, we can assume there were probably even more. The victims of these crimes left behind thousands of family members and friends who experienced the horrific and traumatic loss of someone close to them in a way none of us could ever imagine. As is seen today, mob violence exists in the absence of an effective and stable government to stop such acts and adequately execute the laws of a community. An historic apology for the atrocities of lynching was made to the American people by the United States Senate in 2005, recognizing its failure to act in preventing these crimes from being perpetrated on such a large scale. We know too, in 1954, the United State Supreme Court acknowledged the failure of its predecessor courts to recognize and uphold the rights of every citizen of access to public places on an equal basis with the landmark decision, Brown v Board of Education.

Pamphlet, "Ida B. Wells in England, An Address," 1894-06-11. Courtesy of Chautauqua County Historical Society.