Strange Fruit In Dover Delaware: Lynching In 1903 Made National Headlines While Case Remains State’s Only Official Incident On Record

Journalist, Radio Talk Show Host, Politicians, and other notable figures in the overall landscape of Dover, Delawares’s political framework have danced around the notion that race hate crimes may have been occurring in their town, as if Dover represents the marque and standard for socialism, and race relations in our country. The cases of possible lynchings that recently have been reported in the news and social media raises suspicion that officials are attempting to cover up a reemergence of the state’s racist past. Most discussions about lynchings of black people are normally centered around the southern states of our nation where lynchings were the order of the day. Many of these cases were never prosecuted, and the cases that actually made it to a court room were subsequently threw out for lack of sufficient evidence or the defendants were found not guilty by white only juries. The criminal justice system blatantly overlooked horrific crimes of murder when mobs of whites took to the streets in a rage of vigilantism to met out street justice towards blacks accused of heinous crimes during that era. In modern times the system and policy of law enforcement remains the same as blood thirsty savages responsible for the deaths of countless blacks. Although the outright acts of injustices aren’t present today, a new tactic has been instituted in the form of police, government, and official misconduct by way of corruption. In modern society the reports and findings of police, who are nothing more than stewards of an unjust criminal justice system, are considered to be true in a court of law.  Unfortunately, the people are powerless in this regard as the manipulation, altering, and falsification of official reports continue to filter through many courts and criminal proceedings throughout the land. Police and constables of state jurisdiction have an enormous degree of influence in determining the fate of persons having to face American courts charge with a crime. The manner in which police investigate and report alleged crimes formulates a horrific reality where blacks are constantly involved in a justice system designed to control and emasculate ethnic groups of color. Statistics of American prisons depicts the best argument that blacks and other races of color dominate the jail, and prison populations around this country. The violence that now exist within many urban communities in America may be the direct result of blacks continued involvement in the criminal justice system, but the alarming rate in which blacks and other minorities are being incarcerated at an extremely disproportionate fashion compared to whites reveals that the planned destruction of our race hasn’t changed. The purpose of my article is certainly not to promote further racial divide or rehash the dreadful brutality of humanity, but rather to continue the discussion on race relations in America, and to expose how much really hasn’t changed for blacks living on these shores in the 21st century. I might warm you that the following story is graphic, detailed, and creates a critical argument whether the mindsets of whites living in modern times differentiates from that of there ancestors.

 

The Lynching of George F. White

 

The only lynching to occur in Delaware happened in Wilmington in 1903. Normally when you think of lynching you think of hanging but the definition of the word is an illegal execution carried out by a mob, often by hanging, but also by burning at the stake or shooting. The term lynching probably derived from the name Charles Lynch (1736-96), a justice of the peace who administered rough justice in Virginia. But none of those fine nuances probably went thru George F. White’s head the night he was roped and bounded and thrown into a fire to burn to death. Seventeen-year-old Helen S. Bishop (a white woman) was robbed, raped, and had her throat cut by someone. Helen Bishop was the daughter of Rev. Dr. Elwell and Clara Bishop. On June 15th, 1903 the police arrested George F. White an ex-convict and a Black man for the assault. On June 16th Helen Bishop died of her injuries, the coroner’s return of a death report put the cause of death as “ Shock Caused By Maltreatment.” George White was moved to the newly built workhouse in Price Corners. The public was inflamed over the girl death and demanded an immediate trial for George White. The Sunday, June 21st, Sermon of the Reverend Robert A. Elwood (Wilmington Olivet Presbyterian Church) was a fiery one in which he showed blood-stained leaves from the site of Helen Bishop’s assault. He called for swift justice. Ellwood had came to Wilmington in 1899 and assumed the pastorate of the Olivet Presbyterian Church. He was known for his sensational methods in delivering sermons etc. at one time he was involved in charges of doing violence to church law but was acquitted on trial by the New Castle Presbytery. Ellwood would say afterwards; “I am very sorry it happened as it did. I believe the man should have had a legal trial, but I also believe that he should have had a speedy trial. The lesson we can learn from last night’s outbreak is that people are tired of the delays of the law.” On June 22nd at 10pm there was an attack by several thousand people on the New Castle County workhouse. This was at a time when Wilmington had about 11,000 people of which 70% was white. The police knew it was coming and reinforced the workhouse staff. They attempted to repel the attackers with water hoses and shooting over their heads. The assault was overwhelming and the mob was able to gain access to the cell area of the building. The sherrif dared anyone to come any closer who they would surely die, but one man in the crowd shouted “well by God let me be the first. The mob began to hammer away at the grill and noticed that it was taking entirely to long to penetrate the steel bars. A few began to use a sludge hammer on the metal strong box that contained the switches for the bars and jail cells. A sudden surge from the mob broke through the steel and the mob proceeded down the hall to the cells. White was identified as the man wanted for the woman’s killing, and after an hour or so his cell was opened. He was sieged by the mob, who began to beat and kick him. A voice yelled out “don’t beat him, burn him alive” (In the mob was 15 year old Peter Smith. He was hit in the back with a bullet and died on June 24th from the wound. He was the son of Michael and Fannie Smith). They tied him up and took him back to the scene where Helen Bishop was killed. He gave a confession that he cut the throat of Helen Bishop. He was tied to a stake and a fire was started. He broke loose at least once when the fire had burnt the ropes on his legs and he was caught, beat, and thrown back in the fire. It was over with by 2 AM. The fire could be seen from the porch of Helen Bishop’s parents. The next day thousands of people visited the scene of the lynching. Some sifted through the ashes for relics ranging from bones to a foot to pieces of burnt wood. The coroner visited the scene and picked up the largest parts which was a small portion of the trunk and a couple of charred bones. Most people involved started the excuse process the day after the lynching; Judges said they couldn’t have done a speedy trial. The Police said they couldn’t stop several thousand people from breaking into the work house. Everyone said the leaders of the Lynching were from out of state (men women and children had travel from as far away as Virginia, Kentucky, and Michigan to take part in the lynching), not us. In general, Delaware said it was an unfortunate circumstance. The mother of Helen Bishop, Clara, would die due to the shock of the event within the next couple of years. Read the entire Newyork Times article on the George F. White lynching in Wilmington Delaware from it’s June 23, 1903 publication with the attached pdf file:

1903 lynching

 

The Newyork times article from 1903 depicts the barbaric nature of American culture by whites at a period in our nation’s history where the law couldn’t or refused to correct criminal behavior of the masses when public lynchings occurred. The 1903 article also reports that there were in access of 5,000 people in the mob the night George F. white was murdered, far too many people for a town Sheriff office to handle in those days, and many of the thousands of lynching cases that would occur all over the country would be meted out in a similar fashion. There is also a distinct parallel in the 1903 incident and the alleged attempted lynching of Henry Fordham, the possible lynchings of Charles Conley, and Johnny Clark. Law enforcement officials in 1903 initially failed to take any actions until local clergy denounced the mob justice, and the case made national news headlines. The perception was that George F. White deserved to die anyway for his crimes. That perception toward blacks remain in the mindsets of many whites within law enforcement until this day. The morning that Henry Fordham reported his race hate attack, cops responsible for reporting the crime apparently knew him, and decided based on their on prior interaction, and negative perception of him caused them to determine that he should have been hanged also. The police concluded that his story wasn’t true solely because he was a black man with a criminal history. Society at large can not be fooled by the shinanigins of corrupt and racist public officials, because race hate still exist in the American public, and apparently there remains people who love the sight of “Strange Fruit” swinging from trees in Dover, Delaware just like their ancestors.             by Howard

 

To Be Continued —

 

The People’s Champion

I’m David Adams

 

Sources:

Delmarva Dustpan

New York Times

 

 

David Adams

Self proclaimed geek, Advocate for the homeless, Social Change, Crime Blogger, and mobile technology enthusiast. Recognized journalist and Human Interest Writer championing the plight of the masses whom are without a voice of their own.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle Plus

Journalist, Radio Talk Show Host, Politicians, and other notable figures in the overall landscape of Dover, Delawares’s political framework have danced around the notion that race hate crimes may have been occurring in their town, as if Dover represents the marque and standard for socialism, and race relations in our country. The cases of possible lynchings that recently have been reported in the news and social media raises suspicion that officials are attempting to cover up a reemergence of the state’s racist past. Most discussions about lynchings of black people are normally centered around the southern states of our nation where lynchings were the order of the day. Many of these cases were never prosecuted, and the cases that actually made it to a court room were subsequently threw out for lack of sufficient evidence or the defendants were found not guilty by white only juries. The criminal justice system blatantly overlooked horrific crimes of murder when mobs of whites took to the streets in a rage of vigilantism to met out street justice towards blacks accused of heinous crimes during that era. In modern times the system and policy of law enforcement remains the same as blood thirsty savages responsible for the deaths of countless blacks. Although the outright acts of injustices aren’t present today, a new tactic has been instituted in the form of police, government, and official misconduct by way of corruption. In modern society the reports and findings of police, who are nothing more than stewards of an unjust criminal justice system, are considered to be true in a court of law.  Unfortunately, the people are powerless in this regard as the manipulation, altering, and falsification of official reports continue to filter through many courts and criminal proceedings throughout the land. Police and constables of state jurisdiction have an enormous degree of influence in determining the fate of persons having to face American courts charge with a crime. The manner in which police investigate and report alleged crimes formulates a horrific reality where blacks are constantly involved in a justice system designed to control and emasculate ethnic groups of color. Statistics of American prisons depicts the best argument that blacks and other races of color dominate the jail, and prison populations around this country. The violence that now exist within many urban communities in America may be the direct result of blacks continued involvement in the criminal justice system, but the alarming rate in which blacks and other minorities are being incarcerated at an extremely disproportionate fashion compared to whites reveals that the planned destruction of our race hasn’t changed. The purpose of my article is certainly not to promote further racial divide or rehash the dreadful brutality of humanity, but rather to continue the discussion on race relations in America, and to expose how much really hasn’t changed for blacks living on these shores in the 21st century. I might warm you that the following story is graphic, detailed, and creates a critical argument whether the mindsets of whites living in modern times differentiates from that of there ancestors.

 

The Lynching of George F. White

 

The only lynching to occur in Delaware happened in Wilmington in 1903. Normally when you think of lynching you think of hanging but the definition of the word is an illegal execution carried out by a mob, often by hanging, but also by burning at the stake or shooting. The term lynching probably derived from the name Charles Lynch (1736-96), a justice of the peace who administered rough justice in Virginia. But none of those fine nuances probably went thru George F. White’s head the night he was roped and bounded and thrown into a fire to burn to death. Seventeen-year-old Helen S. Bishop (a white woman) was robbed, raped, and had her throat cut by someone. Helen Bishop was the daughter of Rev. Dr. Elwell and Clara Bishop. On June 15th, 1903 the police arrested George F. White an ex-convict and a Black man for the assault. On June 16th Helen Bishop died of her injuries, the coroner’s return of a death report put the cause of death as “ Shock Caused By Maltreatment.” George White was moved to the newly built workhouse in Price Corners. The public was inflamed over the girl death and demanded an immediate trial for George White. The Sunday, June 21st, Sermon of the Reverend Robert A. Elwood (Wilmington Olivet Presbyterian Church) was a fiery one in which he showed blood-stained leaves from the site of Helen Bishop’s assault. He called for swift justice. Ellwood had came to Wilmington in 1899 and assumed the pastorate of the Olivet Presbyterian Church. He was known for his sensational methods in delivering sermons etc. at one time he was involved in charges of doing violence to church law but was acquitted on trial by the New Castle Presbytery. Ellwood would say afterwards; “I am very sorry it happened as it did. I believe the man should have had a legal trial, but I also believe that he should have had a speedy trial. The lesson we can learn from last night’s outbreak is that people are tired of the delays of the law.” On June 22nd at 10pm there was an attack by several thousand people on the New Castle County workhouse. This was at a time when Wilmington had about 11,000 people of which 70% was white. The police knew it was coming and reinforced the workhouse staff. They attempted to repel the attackers with water hoses and shooting over their heads. The assault was overwhelming and the mob was able to gain access to the cell area of the building. The sherrif dared anyone to come any closer who they would surely die, but one man in the crowd shouted “well by God let me be the first. The mob began to hammer away at the grill and noticed that it was taking entirely to long to penetrate the steel bars. A few began to use a sludge hammer on the metal strong box that contained the switches for the bars and jail cells. A sudden surge from the mob broke through the steel and the mob proceeded down the hall to the cells. White was identified as the man wanted for the woman’s killing, and after an hour or so his cell was opened. He was sieged by the mob, who began to beat and kick him. A voice yelled out “don’t beat him, burn him alive” (In the mob was 15 year old Peter Smith. He was hit in the back with a bullet and died on June 24th from the wound. He was the son of Michael and Fannie Smith). They tied him up and took him back to the scene where Helen Bishop was killed. He gave a confession that he cut the throat of Helen Bishop. He was tied to a stake and a fire was started. He broke loose at least once when the fire had burnt the ropes on his legs and he was caught, beat, and thrown back in the fire. It was over with by 2 AM. The fire could be seen from the porch of Helen Bishop’s parents. The next day thousands of people visited the scene of the lynching. Some sifted through the ashes for relics ranging from bones to a foot to pieces of burnt wood. The coroner visited the scene and picked up the largest parts which was a small portion of the trunk and a couple of charred bones. Most people involved started the excuse process the day after the lynching; Judges said they couldn’t have done a speedy trial. The Police said they couldn’t stop several thousand people from breaking into the work house. Everyone said the leaders of the Lynching were from out of state (men women and children had travel from as far away as Virginia, Kentucky, and Michigan to take part in the lynching), not us. In general, Delaware said it was an unfortunate circumstance. The mother of Helen Bishop, Clara, would die due to the shock of the event within the next couple of years. Read the entire Newyork Times article on the George F. White lynching in Wilmington Delaware from it’s June 23, 1903 publication with the attached pdf file:

1903 lynching

 

The Newyork times article from 1903 depicts the barbaric nature of American culture by whites at a period in our nation’s history where the law couldn’t or refused to correct criminal behavior of the masses when public lynchings occurred. The 1903 article also reports that there were in access of 5,000 people in the mob the night George F. white was murdered, far too many people for a town Sheriff office to handle in those days, and many of the thousands of lynching cases that would occur all over the country would be meted out in a similar fashion. There is also a distinct parallel in the 1903 incident and the alleged attempted lynching of Henry Fordham, the possible lynchings of Charles Conley, and Johnny Clark. Law enforcement officials in 1903 initially failed to take any actions until local clergy denounced the mob justice, and the case made national news headlines. The perception was that George F. White deserved to die anyway for his crimes. That perception toward blacks remain in the mindsets of many whites within law enforcement until this day. The morning that Henry Fordham reported his race hate attack, cops responsible for reporting the crime apparently knew him, and decided based on their on prior interaction, and negative perception of him caused them to determine that he should have been hanged also. The police concluded that his story wasn’t true solely because he was a black man with a criminal history. Society at large can not be fooled by the shinanigins of corrupt and racist public officials, because race hate still exist in the American public, and apparently there remains people who love the sight of “Strange Fruit” swinging from trees in Dover, Delaware just like their ancestors.             by Howard

 

To Be Continued —

 

The People’s Champion

I’m David Adams

 

Sources:

Delmarva Dustpan

New York Times

 

 

David Adams

Self proclaimed geek, Advocate for the homeless, Social Change, Crime Blogger, and mobile technology enthusiast. Recognized journalist and Human Interest Writer championing the plight of the masses whom are without a voice of their own.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle Plus

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