Lynching of Pregnant 19-Year-Old Mary Turner

6 Posted by - September 13, 2023 - 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

    The actions of cowards and savages.

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


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


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

    Man that’s some bs at its finest

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

    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

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

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

      God ONLY helps those, that help themselves.

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

    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.

    • Anonymous March 12, 2020 - 6:06 pm

      EVIL has no conscience, respect for others nor themselves.

  • Brad October 27, 2017 - 2:14 pm

    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

    This is the funniest shit I’ve ever read.

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

      Funny to you, not others.

    • Randy October 15, 2018 - 3:55 pm

      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

      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

    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.

    • Anthony March 13, 2020 - 9:21 am

      I hope and pray that all the wicked, evil, and racist things. The offspring of Satans children have been done to Black people be done to them. Exactly ten fold the world over starting In Amerikkka and also to all who said r did nothing to intervene.

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  • Chaqueta Player August 16, 2019 - 12:12 pm

    I know right. It’s really sad but they didn’t get away with it (with man they may have but not with God). They will ripe what they sew. By the way there’s no scripture in the bible that saids “God only help those who help themselves”.

  • Jane August 16, 2019 - 9:37 pm

    I never heard of poor Mary Turner until a few days ago. It is astounding the level of cruelty these demons imposed upon her. I hope those responsible suffered intolerably for the rest of their lives, and may they be burning in hell.

  • Ms K October 23, 2019 - 9:48 am

    Every time I hear or read about one of these lynchings, all I can think about is these people were barbaric, savages. Even if they looked at people of color animals, they are worse than animals. What is really more disturbing is that white people have more compassion for animals than they do for people of color
    I recently learned about the existence of the doctrine of discovery. Very disturbing. This document is where the US developed its mentality of killing and enslaving people then taking their land. However, that does not answer for the way people of color were tortured to their death. Such a disgrace to humankind. ☹

  • […] The Lynching of Pregnant 19-Year-Old Mary Turner […]

  • Seema Deshmukh November 30, 2019 - 9:52 pm

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  • JJ June 21, 2020 - 8:28 am

    Human beings never cease to shock me. Cruelty in
    any form to any human being is beyond comprehension.
    Because of skin color? Omg. Terrible. I only pray
    that we can begin to realize that hate eats your soul.
    Blacks also, need to know that not all whites approve
    of such cruelty. The prejudice on ALL sides must stop.
    We are all on earth together. We can make changes.
    Start now!