Lynching of Pregnant 19-Year-Old Mary Turner

5 Posted by - October 29, 2017 - Injustices, LATEST POSTS

Mary Turner was a 19-year-old black woman born in 1899 to Perry Graham and Elizabeth Johnson in Brooks County, Georgia. When Turner was eight months pregnant, she was murdered after she publicly denounced the unlawful extrajudicial killing of her husband, Hazel Turner.

On the evening of May 16, 1918, a white planter who was known to abuse and beat his workers, Hampton Smith, was shot and killed on the plantation by a black worker, 18-year-old Sidney Johnson. Smith resolved the labor shortage through the use of convict labor, paid Johnson’s $30 fine (Johnson had been convicted of playing dice), and forced him to work on his plantation.

Johnson had been beaten several times by Smith, even days before Smith’s death; he was beaten severely by Smith for refusing to work while he was sick. Smith also had a long history with Mary Turner and her husband. Turner’s husband had been sentenced to the chain gang when he threatened Smith for beating Mary.

Smith’s murder was followed by a week-long mob-driven manhunt in which at least 13 people were killed. Among those killed was Mary’s husband, Hayes Turner, who was seized from custody after his arrest on the morning of May 18, 1918, and lynched.

Mary became distraught after the murder of her husband. She denied that her husband had been involved in Smith’s killing, publicly opposed her husband’s murder, and threatened to have members of the mob arrested. The mob then turned against her, determined to “teach her a lesson.”

She was able to flee, but the mob found her and took her to Folsom Bridge, where they hung her upside down from a tree, doused her in gasoline and motor oil, and set her on fire. While Turner was still alive, a member of the mob split her abdomen open with a knife. Her unborn child fell on the ground, where it cried before it was stomped on and crushed. Finally, Turner’s body was riddled with hundreds of bullets. Mary Turner and her child were cut down and buried near the tree. A whiskey bottle marked the grave.

The murders of Hayes and Mary Turner caused a brief national outcry. Following the lynchings, more black residents fled the area, despite threats against the lives of anyone who tried to leave.



  • Doc Merdoch May 30, 2016 - 7:45 am Reply

    The actions of cowards and savages.

  • E m g December 27, 2016 - 12:43 am Reply


  • E m g December 27, 2016 - 12:44 am Reply


  • Tamika Broadnax December 29, 2016 - 11:14 am Reply

    Man that’s some bs at its finest

  • Clarence Butler January 4, 2017 - 10:59 am Reply

    The same White People that were walking around town being Praised as good citizens and going about their business like nothing happened. While at the same time going out into the Community and committing some of the most horrific Acts of violence ever recorded in History of Mankind !

  • VIOLET SELDON September 5, 2017 - 11:18 pm Reply

    God please help me. I cannot stop crying. WhY?

    • Lyndia Black August 3, 2018 - 9:20 pm Reply

      God ONLY helps those, that help themselves.

  • Brenda Parent October 8, 2017 - 7:55 pm Reply

    How? How can you go to church on Sunday, or go home to your Family, or look in the mirror? How can you ever sleep again. How do you ever say another prayer and think that God should hear you or give you Mercy? I will never understand, and I don’t want to. I think if I lived then, I would have died from horror. I carry shame and horror for my white predecessors. It is an ugly truth that I do not want to own. I do not want to be associated with them in any way. And yet, I cannot escape them because of my color. I want to vomit. I want to cry.

  • Brad October 27, 2017 - 2:14 pm Reply

    Not so distant past. This act was carried out by the grandparents, and possibly patents of people likely still living in the area today.

  • Dug Duggestron June 18, 2018 - 11:19 pm Reply

    This is the funniest shit I’ve ever read.

    • Lyndia Black August 3, 2018 - 9:21 pm Reply

      Funny to you, not others.

    • Randy October 15, 2018 - 3:55 pm Reply

      You are a piece of shit that I would wipe off my shoe and burn…..You are shit….Shit is worthless. Curse you and bitch mother who carried you.

    • Anon November 28, 2018 - 5:46 pm Reply

      FUNNY?!?!? WTF? How is this funny? What if someone did that to YOUR wife and unborn child after murdering you? I bet it wouldn’t be so funny then, would it? Would you not haunt them making sure every second of every minute of every hour of every day, week, year and so on miserable until they died? Reading what they did to Mrs. Turner is HORRIFIC and disgusting not to mention a baby being cut from its mother’s stomach.

      To say this is funny makes you a sick human being.

  • Randy October 15, 2018 - 3:56 pm Reply

    You are a piece of shit that I would wipe off my shoe and burn…..You are shit….Shit is worthless. Curse you and bitch mother who carried you.

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