Sunday, October 20, 2019

The Lynching of George White Historical Marker

Today a replacement marker was installed at the site of the old New Castle County Workhouse at Greenbank, Delaware. The marker remembers one of the darkest days in Delaware history. On June 23, 1903, George White, a black farm laborer accused of murder was busted out the his cell by an bloodthirsty mob and burned alive. The historical marker reminds us of a time when terror lynchings were commonplace. A truly ugly chapter in American and Delaware history.
Savannah Shepherd speaks at the Rededication of
The Lynching of George White Historical Marker
George White from the
Morning News 

George White was never given what is guaranteed to all Americans by the Sixth Amendment. "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."

The original marker was installed in June 2019 largely through the efforts of a local high school student named Savannah Shepherd. More on the original marker is online here. To illustrate how that even in 2019, America and Delaware still struggle with our past and with lingering racism, the marker was stolen some five weeks after being installed. Look for more on the lynching here in a future blog posting.

Stephen Labovsky's 2005 documentary about the lynching, Into the Dead Fire's Ashes in available on youtube.

The Coroner's Report on George White's Death

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