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Some of the highest citizens and officials in the state [of Mississippi] condoned lynching as a method of controlling blacks. A longhaired, withered-armed haranguer named James K. Vardaman, a prominent lawyer and newspaper publisher, would be elected to the governorship in 1903 by championing violence against blacks. Vardaman called the Negro a “lazy, lying, lustful animal” and urged white citizens to take the law into their own hands, which they did with heinous consequences.

Vardaman would defend a notorious incident in Rocky Ford, near Tupelo, when a man named Jim Ivy, accused of raping a white woman, was burned to death without a trial. Ivy was captured by a mob, wrapped in heavy chains, and staked to a knee-deep woodpile as six hundred spectators looked on. Three men tapped gasoline cans, dousing him and the wood, and set him on fire. “Oh, God!” Ivy cried. “Oh God damn!” A journalist who was an eyewitness to the burning wrote: “His scream… was the only sound from a human voice that I thought might, by sheer strength alone, reach heaven… Jim screamed, prayed and cursed; he struggled so hard that he snapped one of the log chains that bound his ankles to the stake.”

One public official did attempt to contain the violence. Governor Andrew H. Longino devoted much of his inaugural address in 1900 to lynching, decrying it as “the most demoralizing, brutalizing, and ruinous species of lawlessness known to any brave and free people,” he declared. The stance cost him his career – he never won office again.


Source:

Jenkins, Sally, and John Stauffer. “The Family Tree.” The State of Jones: The Small Southern County That Seceded from the Confederacy. Anchor Books, 2010. 298-99. Print.


Further Reading:

James K. Vardaman

Andrew Houson Longino

>Some of the highest citizens and officials in the state [**of Mississippi**] condoned lynching as a method of controlling blacks. A longhaired, withered-armed haranguer named [James K. Vardaman](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/48/James_Kimble_Vardaman.jpg), a prominent lawyer and newspaper publisher, would be elected to the governorship in 1903 by championing violence against blacks. Vardaman called the Negro a “lazy, lying, lustful animal” and urged white citizens to take the law into their own hands, which they did with heinous consequences. >Vardaman would defend a notorious incident in Rocky Ford, near Tupelo, when a man named Jim Ivy, accused of raping a white woman, was burned to death without a trial. Ivy was captured by a mob, wrapped in heavy chains, and staked to a knee-deep woodpile as six hundred spectators looked on. Three men tapped gasoline cans, dousing him and the wood, and set him on fire. “Oh, God!” Ivy cried. “Oh God damn!” A journalist who was an eyewitness to the burning wrote: “His scream… was the only sound from a human voice that I thought might, by sheer strength alone, reach heaven… Jim screamed, prayed and cursed; he struggled so hard that he snapped one of the log chains that bound his ankles to the stake.” >One public official did attempt to contain the violence. Governor [Andrew H. Longino](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/21/Andrew_Longino.jpg) devoted much of his inaugural address in 1900 to lynching, decrying it as “the most demoralizing, brutalizing, and ruinous species of lawlessness known to any brave and free people,” he declared. The stance cost him his career – he never won office again. __________________________ **Source:** Jenkins, Sally, and John Stauffer. “The Family Tree.” *The State of Jones: The Small Southern County That Seceded from the Confederacy*. Anchor Books, 2010. 298-99. Print. __________________________ **Further Reading:** [James K. Vardaman](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_K._Vardaman) [Andrew Houson Longino](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_H._Longino)

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