The Lynching of James Bailey 1891 Hanged from a Railroad Crossing Sign

0 Posted by - August 20, 2018 - BLACK MEN, Injustices, LATEST POSTS

On July 9, 1891, James Bailey, a black man, was hanged from a railroad crossing sign in White County, Arkansas for allegedly attacking a white woman.

Not much information is known about the early years of James Bailey, except he might have been around sixteen years old at the time of the lynching. The alleged victim was Mrs. Folson. Henry Folsom, a forty-five-year-old day laborer, was living with his wife Maggie (age forty) and their five children (age four to fifteen). They had been in Arkansas since at least 1885, when their oldest child was born.

On the evening of July 7, women of the Methodist church were holding a festival near the church. Bailey, who was called the ” town loafer,” was seen loitering nearby. When a storm hit at 9:30 p.m., Mrs. Folsom headed back home with the thirteen-year-old daughter of J. F. Bass.

As Folsom and her daughter were hurrying home in the dark, they bumped into James Bailey. He allegedly grabbed the girl’s shoulder and accused her of trying to push him off the sidewalk. She escaped and ran to a neighbor’s house. Folsom also began to run, but Bailey caught her, knocked her down. He allegedly then assaulted her. Supposedly, she was able to identify him because of the flashes of lightening in the storm. Folsom reported the assault and that her purse had been stolen.

Bailey was arrested the next morning. He denied assaulting Folsom, and her purse was found. Bailey was later released. But later that morning, Folsom decided to go to a doctor about the assault. Soon word spread about Bailey and a large posse set out to find him. The offer of a $125 reward attracted many others to join in the hunt, adding to the 500 members of the official posse. Bailey was captured around 3 p.m. and allegedly confessed to the crime. He was hanged from a railroad grossing at 12:30 a.m. on July 9.

source:

www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=8388&type=Time+Period&item=Post-Reconstruction+through+the+Gilded+Age+(1875+-+1900)

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