Anthony P. Crawford: The Lynching of One of the Richest Black Men in Abbeville, South Carolina

6 Posted by - June 19, 2017 - BLACK MEN, Injustices, LATEST POSTS

Anthony Crawford was an African American who was killed by a violent lynch mob in Abbeville, South Carolina in 1916. Born during the Reconstruction era, his father was the owner of a small acreage of cotton fields. Crawford learned to read and write in a small school in town. After his father’s death, he inherited the land and increased the acreage by making further purchases over the years.

By 1916, it is said that Crawford had over 400 acres of land. Known for being one of the richest black men in Abbeville County, he gave land to his children and allowed them to build homes close by. He was also known for his zero-tolerance against disrespectful people. Once he was accused by a preacher for meddling in church affairs, so he had no problem jumping to his feet, striking the preacher, firing him. He was quoted as saying, “The day a white man hits me is the day I die.”


On October 21, 1916, Crawford was working as usual. He loaded up two loads of cotton and headed to W. D Barksdale’s store. He had a disagreement with the owner, a white man, over the price offered for his cotton. After the agreement, one of the Barksdale’s employees followed Crawford out of the store and struck him on the head with the handle to an axe. Crawford called for help, after which he was arrested, most likely for his own protection, as a mob of angry whites was already beginning to accumulate.

Crawford was held in jail briefly was later released on a $15 bail. After Crawford was released, a white mob was waiting and chased him into a nearby cotton mill. He fought for his life and struck one of the white men with a hammer. Crawford was then beaten and stabbed several times. He was again arrested, and the sheriff told the men that he would most likely die from his wounds.

The fear that Crawford might die before the mob could get to him coincided with the fear that the sheriff might allow him to leave town. Therefore, between 200 and 400 white men took over the jail, captured and disarmed the sheriff, and kidnapped Crawford.

Crawford was dragged through the black section of town with a rope around his neck. The mob then stole a lumber wagon from a black driver and used it to take Crawford to a fairground nearby. He was hanged from a tree and his body used for target practice. Although the governor got involved and demanded a full investigation, no one was charged for his brutal murder.


The lynching of Anthony Crawford


  • Jesse Howell September 3, 2016 - 9:46 am Reply

    Even when we tried to live by working hard we were lynched. Nothing new in the Amerikka!

  • Gloria Jackson September 4, 2016 - 3:22 am Reply

    Anthony p Crawford look like Michael Jordan, He look also like a man of honor well education His remember live on for the next entrepreneur. Greatness.

  • Lynne September 5, 2016 - 9:55 pm Reply

    It is hard to stay sane when you read of the sheer brutality perpetrated on Black folks.

  • Jay Cee September 14, 2016 - 10:15 am Reply

    Good Ole Amerikkka!

  • SightedNegro September 25, 2016 - 2:02 pm Reply

    So do something about it. If we truly believe that little has changed in the 100 years (since he was lynched), we do we (myself included) continue to chat and comment and maybe “protest” but never ACT. If we want to change the system of White Supremacy, a full-on Race War is the only way that will happen.

  • Tony September 26, 2016 - 8:20 pm Reply

    This is the stuff they dont teach us in public schools. The many ,many,many stories of atrocities just like this towards blacks simply trying to survive..NOT LIVE THE AMERICAN DREAM…simply to make it day to day!..They dont and never will teach this..why? Because it awakens the black spirit to truth, greatness and what could be accomplished. It also exposes their white asses as the filthy, murderous savages that they are. If they taught this in school they could never label us as subhuman or animals…because in actuality..they are subhuman and animals…HERE IS PROOF. One case amongst the thousands of blacks lynched.

  • Richard Benett September 28, 2016 - 1:23 pm Reply

    This man deserves a memorial, as do all African-American victims of lynchings. Denied justice and their basic human rights. What a dreadful way to lose your life. Does he have one? People, both black and white, should not forget.

    • Dena Chandler October 22, 2016 - 5:56 pm Reply

      His family, with help from the Equal Justice Initiative, has erected a historical marker on the old town square where all the townsfolk and tourists will see it. It was commemorated today, October 22, 2016, on the 100th anniversary of his murder.

  • James October 23, 2016 - 12:03 pm Reply

    They recently printed this story in The State Paper. This type of injustice upset white people so much that they made movie’s on the subject. Fury with Spencer Tracy 1936, Ox Bow Incident 1943, Hang’em High with Clint Eastwood 1968. Another good movie is Cabin In The Cotton 1932.

  • Ivan Butcher II June 20, 2017 - 5:16 pm Reply

    Since there is no limitation on murder cases, now with documented photos and court records that can identify the Victims and their Murderers, this is where the historians and researchers, who love to correct and lecture, could be devoting their efforts in researching out and identify the Murderers and their benefactors for retribution and restitution for their crimes.

  • donald carter June 26, 2017 - 8:10 pm Reply

    This is a great point in history that can be passed down in our families

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