The Relationship Between the Criminal Justice System and Lynching in Louisiana: 1880-1930
So here it is, I am just posting it here with a read more tab because I am not sure how else to do it. This way anyone who is interested can read it. As you read it note that I do not claim to be an expert on this subject and there are many things I would change if I had more time with the subject. I didn’t want to post this but after the Trayvon Martin in Florida, I felt obligated. While some would not make the connection between this paper and the young man’s death, use of a system of informal justice based on fear motivated by racial control with little consequence in the formal legal system is a large theme in my paper. This means that when George Zimmerman shot an unarmed black teenage boy on the street at night, I believe he was motivated by the same irrational racist fear that many in the lynch mobs in my paper felt. I just hope that he receives the punishment that he deserves unlike those who perpetrated these crimes almost one hundred years ago.
The Relationship Between the Criminal Justice System and Lynching in Louisiana: 1880-1930
Claire Bradach, Portland State University
The New York Times reported on March 4th 1909 that “Hangman’s Day,” in which seven African American men would be executed in Louisiana would be held the following day in various counties in throughout the state.
The state of Louisiana executed Charles Davis and the Jones brothers (Ben and Wallace) in West Baton Rouge parish, Charles Madison in Calcasieu parish, Willie Williams in Jefferson parish, and Andrew Washington in Madison parish. All but one of these executions was held in the southern part of the state. In northern Louisiana the parish of Madison executed Andrew Washington for the murder of his wife. All of the men hung in Louisiana on “Hangman’s Day” were executed for murdering white men, with the exceptions of Charles Madison, whose execution was for an assault against a white man and Andrew Washington who murdered his wife, a black woman.
In contrast to the high number of executions in southern Louisiana, the northern half of the state was much more inclined to lynch mob justice. A New York Times article dated April 28, 1894 described an event in which eight lynchings occurred in one week in the northern parish of Madison. The mobs of Madison parish lynched these men in reaction to a dispute between an African American laborer named Josh Hopkins and his white supervisor that ended in the murder of a white man named William Boyce. Hopkins assaulted his white supervisor after an argument regarding working conditions. After the assault, a group of white men came to arrest Hopkins. As the men approached Hopkins one of his friends shot at the group and killed a man named William Boyce. In reaction to the killing of Boyce, the authorities of Madison parish rounded up many of the men in the group for the crime, as well as other black men of the same age in Madison parish and took them to jail. The next day a mob of seventy-five men attacked the jail in Tallulah and killed three back prisoners who were implicated in the shooting. Groups of men scoured the swampland for the remaining members of the group. Four African American men were found in the swampland and turned over to deputies. The authorities held the men in the county jail until a two hundred-person mob that came that night demanding the remaining prisoners. The sheriff turned over the remaining four men and the mob hung them that night. In total, the mobs in Madison parish hung eight men in reaction to the death of William Boyce. The New York Times article states that, “It had been many years since there had been such a wholesale lynching in the South as that in Madison Parish.” While the journalist describes the Madison lynchings as unusual, this event is an example of the type of reactionary lynching that occurred often in Louisiana at the turn of the century.
In order to place lynching in Louisiana in perspective it is necessary to note that at the end of the nineteenth century and into the early twentieth century lynching had become almost a solely Southern phenomenon. According to David Garland, “From the 1870s onward, the number of lynchings steadily declined, the exception to this national trend was the Southern states, where rates increased rather than decreased.” The increase in Southern lynchings meant that while the rest of the nation had abandoned the practice of lynching by the twentieth century, the South moved opposite to their Northern counterparts. This is significant because the early twentieth century saw the emergence of modern communications and the rise of a national media. and lynchings were reported in both regional and national newspapers. 
The nation and Southern communities were aware of lynchings in the South. Furthermore during this period lynchings were no longer clandestine acts, they were most often public affairs involving large crowds. In the late-nineteenth and early twentieth century, despite the protections of due process and equal protection granted to all Americans under the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, the rates of extralegal public lynchings increased in the South. While a formal criminal justice was well established throughout the region, southern whites continually took the law into their own hands by lynching blacks accused of crimes. These killings represented an affront to the established formal criminal justice system. In the state of Louisiana alone there were over four hundred lynchings from 1878 to 1930. The frequency of lynchings and their public nature demonstrated that lynchers were not afraid of potential legal recourse for their actions. The mass community participation and the lack of legal recourse taken against the perpetrators indicated that lynching was an accepted part of many southern communities. These events were accepted as legitimate actions perpetrated by members of the community in Louisiana and throughout the South.
During the late-nineteenth century Louisiana was the most diverse Southern state with its northern cotton belt, southern Sugarland, and Cajun region as well as the post-bellum South’s most populated city, New Orleans. Rates of lynching in comparison to the utilization of the formal criminal justice system against blacks varied throughout the state of Louisiana. These variations were connected to differences in race relations, culture, and economic circumstances between the regions. The rates of lynching in Louisiana and throughout the South during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century represented horrendous crimes of torture and dismemberment. These crimes are often thought of as “pre-modern” because of their horrendous nature and lack of respect for law and order. However lynching statistics in Louisiana and throughout the South during the twentieth century prove that lynching existed in a modern society.
According to Gilles Vandal, the high rate of violence perpetrated against African Americans after the Civil War should be analyzed from the perspective of Southern thought of the period. After the war, whites in the South were afraid of losing their identity and dominance during the Reconstruction period. Many whites felt threatened by the policies of Reconstruction that placed African Americans in positions of political power in the South. Although gains of political power were lost by the end of the nineteenth century after Reconstruction ended, whites throughout the South felt that that their social dominance had been threatened by these policies. Many whites felt the need to establish a new system of racial control. Vandal argues against a theory of apologist historians that suggested that the shift in economic circumstances lead to the increased lynching in the postbellum period. These apologist historians argued that property was the main motivation of lynching caused by the new labor arrangement between blacks and whites. While the establishing new labor relations was difficult during the postbellum period, the motivation of racial control cannot be ignored in the discussion of violence in the South directed against blacks. Control of the black population was one of the primary rights that whites felt they needed to maintain.
During the period of Reconstruction in Louisiana tensions between whites and blacks rose as new racial dynamics developed. During the Reconstruction period there were two different systems of labor established in Louisiana. The Sugarland in Louisiana (the southern central portion of the state) adopted a wage labor system, while the Cotton Bowl, or northern region, adopted an economy based on sharecropping. Homicide against blacks increased in Louisiana during the Reconstruction period and persisted into the twentieth century. In the 1860s and 1870s the Klu Klux Klan and the Knights of White Camelia were two racist organizations that were instrumental in the violent control of the black population in Louisiana. These organizations took back all political gains made by blacks in the Reconstruction government and advocated violence as a method of racial control. While violence persisted in Louisiana after the Reconstruction period it was not longer organized by groups like the Klu Klux Klan, but rather ordinary citizens that took to violence against blacks as a method of racial control. While lynching was a rare event in some counties in Louisiana, others maintained a culture in which lynching was an acceptable way to handle conflict rather than an extralegal act outside of the usual order of the formal criminal justice system.
In order to understand the phenomenon of lynching it is necessary to examine the actions and possible motivations of lynch mobs throughout Louisiana and the relationship of these mobs to the criminal justice system. While lynch mobs almost always accused their victims of criminal activity, they were not purely reactionary bodies. David Garland argues that public torture lynchings were not “wild outbursts of spontaneous violence.” He maintains that while lynch mobs where often formed in reaction to allegations of actual crimes, these mobs were aware of a formal criminal justice system that would punish accused offenders. It is important to reiterate the existence of a formal system because lynching was often viewed by white southerners as criminal justice enforced by the community in place of a formal criminal justice system. The informal system of justice that lynching represented was not replacing a formal system that did not exist but rather rebelling against the existing institution. In their actions, lynch mobs decided that the formal system inadequate in meeting their needs. Lynch mobs preferred to utilize popular lynch justice rather than allow their victims due process. Garland argues that the number of lynchings throughout the South from 1890 and 1930 suggest that lynchings were not unusual events in Southern communities. Furthermore, postcards collected by James Allen depicting lynching in the South suggest that these events were not organized by radical criminal elements, but rather respected members of society and largely attended by the community.
At the turn of the century the state of Louisiana was known for its high rate of violence. According During the postbellum period whites accused blacks of being the cause of the majority of violence that was perceived to have increased after the war. The violence that was committed by blacks was usually intra-racial, however it received much attention from conservative newspapers in Louisiana. Violence in the state was often attributed to blacks because the conservative press in the state was aware of the violent reputation held by Louisiana and wished to place blame on the black population. They wanted to avoid an examination of the underlying violent subculture that existed in Louisiana. Louisiana was a violent state and factors such as migration of populations further exacerbated the racial tensions that existed in Louisiana in the years after Reconstruction. In the late-nineteenth century, years after Reconstruction ended in 1877, much of the mob violence in Louisiana originated from the attempts of racial control in cotton and sugar systems. However, the migration of Northern whites and African Americans from the Cotton Belt to the growing urban centers of Monroe and Shreveport saw increased lynchings, proving that lynching was not just a rural phenomenon in Louisiana.
While most white lynch mobs attacked blacks in Louisiana, lynching in Louisiana extended beyond the majority white on black lynching. It is important to note that in Louisiana there was a large Anti-Sicilian sentiment throughout the state in response to the immigration of Italians during the late-nineteenth century. Whites in Southern Louisiana felt threatened by the presence of the Sicilian immigrants. They spread racist propaganda that claimed that Italians were inferior to the white-Creole and Anglo-American residents of southern parishes. In addition to claims that by whites that Italians were inferior, whites in the region accused the Italian immigrants of organized crime and viewed the Italian immigrants as members of the Sicilian mafia. This prejudice, or nativism inspired lynchings in four Louisiana parishes between 1891 and 1907. In total, racially motivated mobs lynched twenty-one Sicilians in Louisiana. While the violence against the Italian immigrants was extreme, it was no match for the intensity of violence against the black population. The majority of lynch mob victims in Louisiana were black. The remaining lynching victims were members other minority groups. A very small minority of white victims died at the hands of white mobs. The fact that the majority of victims of white lynch mobs were black demonstrates that lynching was primarily a tool used by whites to control the black population.
Lynch mobs in the South claimed that they were ensuring justice for their community through the lynching of those who were accused of crimes such as assault, rape, murder and at times petty property and labor offenses. While the formal justice system existed, the community took over in reaction to these crimes. According to Garland, there are many that argue that the system of popular lynch mob justice was an alternate system of justice created as a response to the fear that perpetrators of crimes would not be adequately punished in the formal criminal justice system. However the harsh nature of the criminal justice system in the South, evidenced by its high rates of capital punishment for black men, indicates that if the men had been tried of their crimes they would have surely been convicted. The system of racial control extended beyond lynching. In Louisiana and throughout the South racist police tactics, biased juries, and speedy trials ensured unfair treatment for African Americans. Capital offenses in the Deep South included sexual assault, murder and rape. These offenses comprised the majority of crimes cited by mobs as their motivation for lynching. In most instances, the men lynched by the mobs would have been hung by the formal justice system if they had been given due process.
An explanation for lynching presented by Charles D. Philips was that while capital punishment responded to crimes with its ability to take a life, it lacked a passion that the mobs desired during lynchings. The processes that were required for the criminal justice system, such as the trial, lacked the excitement and anger that the lynch mob created when they attempted to achieve “justice.” Phillips states that, “A lynching, the quintessence of passion, stands in stark contrast (to capital punishment). It is composed of a crowd gathering in the dark, high emotion mixed with hard liquor and a frightening lust for blood and vengeance.” In Phillip’s theory, lynching was more than just popular justice, it was a communal event incited by a need for vengeance that excited and entertained its participants. Phillip suggests that the relationship between the criminal justice system and lynching was complex because lynching was not a replacement for a lack of formal justice. Lynch mobs found entertainment in their crimes. However, the factor of entertainment could not be the primary motivating factor in their actions because lynching ended in the South and the heinous crimes committed came with a long list of justifications from white Southerners. Those who participated in lynch mobs as well as Southern culture that quietly protected lynchers felt that their actions were justified. It is therefore necessary to point to lynching as a method of violent racial control that persisted in the South into the twentieth century.
While lynching served as a tool of racial control throughout Louisiana, there were regional differences in the relationship between lynching and the criminal justice system within the state. The plantations in the Cotton Belt in northern Louisiana were known for their cruelty during the antebellum slavery period. The economic make-up of Northern Louisiana’s Cotton Belt during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century was that of a continuing monoculture. The region maintained their devotion to the cotton crop and established labor relations based around the sharecropping plantation system. The labor arrangement based around the sharecropping system meant that blacks comprised the majority of the population in many of the regions in Northern Louisiana. In particular, the parishes of Bossier and Caddo in the northwestern region of the Red River Valley were the most prone to mob violence in the entire American South. These parishes maintained black populations of above seventy percent and maintained strong cotton industries. In northern Louisiana lynchings were primarily a tool used by the cotton planters in order to maintain control over their workforce. In many cases in Northern Louisiana, a black man challenged a white overseer over working conditions and physical violence erupted. The community revenged the killing or the assault of a cotton overseer in order to send a message to the entirety of the cotton-planting workforce.
The area known as the Sugarland in Louisiana was comprised of twelve parishes in the south central portion of the state. The Sugarland was racially complex because the population consisted of a sugar planter class that was made up of Creole, Anglo-American, and northerners who controlled a large black labor force in a different manner than the cotton planter class in the northern part of the state. Their control was centered in the disenfranchisement of the black population as well as the threat of the harsh formal criminal justice system in southern Louisiana. Below the elite class of planters there was a white mercantile class; poor white Cajun farmers formed the bottom rung of the white social order. The black community in Southern Louisiana was also diverse. It was comprised of French-speaking Creole persons of color who were free persons in the antebellum period along with the descendants of English-speaking slaves. While descendants of black free persons had traditionally enjoyed more rights than the descendants of slaves, during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century they were marginalized and grouped into the larger black population.  The Sugarland employed a wage labor system that granted more freedom than the sharecropping system employed in the northern portion of the state. In addition to differences in the system of payment, the harvesting of sugar cane required skill and made the Sugarland’s labor force less easily replaceable than that of the Cotton Bowl.
Michael Pfiefer discusses the possibility that the rates of lynching in southern Louisiana were lower because of the great diversity that existed between racial groups. In southern Louisiana racial groups were not simply divided into black and white. Northern Louisiana saw a much simpler dichotomy in their race relations, with a majority of the white population that was Anglo-American and a majority of the black population that were English speaking African American former slaves and their descendants. However it is necessary to note that while the northern part of the state was less diverse, the southern Louisiana whites still committed lynchings as an effort to control the population. In Northern Louisiana lynch mobs killed 263 people, with 219 of those killed confirmed as black between 1878 and 1946. While the Northern portion of the state killed many more people through extra-legal violence it is important to note that much of the violence was heavily concentrated in the northwest Red River Delta Area and the Ouachita River Valley in North Central Louisiana. Within those areas of Northern Louisiana eleven parishes accounted for sixty percent of all lynchings. After 1900, lynchings were uncommon in Southern parishes with some exceptions. In total, lynchers in Southern Louisiana murdered forty-six people between 1878 and 1930, much less than the Northern half of the state. One of the most important characteristics of the Cotton Bowl was its disregard for the criminal justice system. Cotton bowl planters preferred to take justice into their own hands. As Michael Pfeifer states, “the planter class reserved for itself the police powers associated with disciplining an African American labor force.” The formal justice system held little power in the region because of the planter class’ tight control over policing duties. Instead, whites in the Cotton Bowl thought of the community as the primary policing power and were much more likely to take matters of criminal justice into their own hands.
The mass participation in these events meant that members of the community were witnesses to scenes that were often far more sinister than that of a state public execution. However there are many accounts that indicate that many of these killings were ritualistic and modeled after capital punishment. While some lynchings held onto the rituals of capital punishment, such as granting the victims their last words before they were killed, lynchings represented a rebellion against traditional legal avenues especially because victims of lynchings were often in police custody when they were seized by mobs. The seizure of victims by mobs was not necessarily to ensure the death penalty for their victims. Louisiana’s Sugarland maintained “racial dominance over African Americans through their frequent use of the gallows,” they resorted to extra-legal violence in circumstances in which they felt they needed to enforce racial control in the region. This is an example of a community in which the use of the criminal justice system was the norm, and swift justice was almost ensured for these offenders in an unfair system, yet lynching was still a tool used by whites.
While many Northern lynchings were an effort by the cotton plantation system to gain control over their workforce, other motivations prompted mob violence in the region as well. In northern Louisiana many upcountry whites were skeptical of the formal criminal justice system. Many whites in the community believed that as long as the system of racial control was maintained and that the social hierarchy of the community existed there was little need for a judicial system. When a black member of the community broke those rules they believed that they had to act because they believed themselves to be the controllers of the community. Those in control of the community in northern Louisiana were the cotton planters. Therefore lynching in northern Louisiana was usually a response by the white cotton planting elite to perceived transgressions in the black population. However there were many cases in the northern upcountry parishes of Louisiana identified poor white yeomen as the perpetrators of lynch violence. The motivations for both groups of whites were interrelated. Tolnay and Young point out that the white cotton elite feared a potential alliance of poor blacks and whites, “the danger was ever-present that the caste-line would evaporate, increasing the likelihood of a coalition between black and white labor.” However this alliance did not occur because the poor white planter class participated in mob violence against blacks in order to maintain their social superiority over African-Americans and therefore escape the fate of being in the lowest social class.
While the crimes of lynching in the South mostly went unpunished there were instances in which there was resistance to the system of mob violence in Louisiana. In one instance in Southern Louisiana’s Sugarland a man named William Carr was lynched by a group of thirty-five masked men after being accused of stealing a calf in Iberia Parish in 1906. The reaction of the community was not typical for the Deep South. The press expressed the dissatisfaction the community felt about this lynching, perhaps because they felt that the alleged crime committed by Carr did not fit his punishment. A grand jury was quickly convened to investigate the matter. The reaction of the community is also unique to the Southern Louisiana attitudes that emerged after lynching became much more rare in the Southern part of the state after the twentieth century.
The crimes involved in the lynchings of African Americans in Louisiana often went largely unpunished. The reluctance of authorities in Louisiana to punish members of lynch mobs sent a double message of racial control to blacks in the state. Not only were they in danger of the wrath of the lynch mob but also the perpetrators of these crimes were almost guaranteed to receive little or no punishment despite the fact that they were easily identifiable by the authorities. The extra legal actions by the white community in Louisiana displayed the total power that they held over African Americans. No display of racial control was more total than that of lynching in the twentieth century. In a time when the rest of the country had mostly ceased lynching, lynching occurred in highly public settings, photographed by members of society and the news of lynching was transmitted throughout the country. The lives of African Americans were always at the mercy of whites in Louisiana, even in parishes such as many in the Cotton Bowl and Sugarland in which African Americans comprised the majority of the population and were none the less subjected to the popular will of whites
Resistance to lynching slowly emerged in the South during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The acknowledgement of the act lynching by the public was not a problem, lynchings were widely reported throughout the country and they attracted large crowds throughout the South. The struggle of the anti-lynching movement was to reframe the popular narrative of lynching. Ida B. Wells was one of the first activists to directly address the problem of lynching. In 1894 she conducted a speaking tour of England to raise British awareness about the problem of lynching. This pressured American authorities to respond to British criticism of lynching. While Wells did not succeed in ending lynching at the time of her campaign, she greatly influenced Northern attitudes about lynching during the turn of the twentieth century. Her anti-lynching campaign laid roots for the campaign of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The NAACP attacked the myth that lynch mobs were primarily killing black men accused of sexually violating white females. In Louisiana, as in the majority of the South, a myth existed that the majority of lynchings were based on accusations of rape, however rape comprised a minority of the accused crimes that lynch mobs cited.
The efforts of the NAACP to change the narrative of lynching were successful according to an examination of newspapers by Jonathan Markovitz. He states that, “While it is impossible to determine just how successful the (antilynching) movement was, it is worth noting that journalists from the 1920s through the 1940s often credited the antilynchers with creating a political climate in which lynching was widely seen as unacceptable.” The efforts of the antilynching movement helped change the conversation about to lynching in the South. This was an important step in ending lynching, although it’s influence was not strong enough to convince many Southerners. Southern culture supported lynching as a means of racial repression. The antilynching movement called attention to the South as an offender of barbaric crimes; this attention and pressure led to changes from the inside. Southerners began to call attention to lynching in their own communities during the early twentieth century, although their motivations sometimes differed from those involved in the antilynching movement.
Louisiana became concerned with its reputation for lynching in the 1920s, as development in urban centers in Louisiana during the early twentieth century created new middle class that viewed lynching as a potential threat to the flow of capital from the North. The new bourgeoisie class of whites was much more influenced by outside criticism and financial pressures than the insular planter class that had previously dominated the South. This urban class denounced lynching in Louisiana. Their disapproval eroded the popular support that lynch mobs once enjoyed. Earlier in the twentieth century the governor of Louisiana from 1904 to 1908, Newt Blanchard, occasionally denounced the practice of lynching based on its disrespect for the formal judicial system. In February 1906 he dispatched troops to Shreveport, Louisiana in order to prevent the lynching of Charles Coleman, a man accused of killing a white teenage girl. The militia stood watch over a speedy trial in which Coleman was convicted for his crime and executed in the same day. The governor’s deployment of troops was unusual in Louisiana where public officials had traditionally refused to intervene in matters of lynching. However, his actions did not affect the state of lynching in Louisiana, rather they were an indication of the disapproval that came a decade later.
The victory of Blanchard in Shreveport was seen as a victory for justice rather than the prevention of a lynching. As pressure on the South to end lynching increased in the twentieth century whites hoped to put an end to the practice in order to end financial uncertainties and public disorder in their communities. The practices of racial control were not of large concern to many Southern whites in the region because of the harsh nature of the legal justice system and the frequent implementation of new laws that restricted any freedoms possessed by the black population. While the system of lynch mob justice had once served the white population in Louisiana, the new class of bourgeoisie no longer felt that it served their needs. The need for increased urban development and economic capital required a stability that was impossible in a system of extralegal violence. The Northern pressure that increased in twentieth century influenced this need for stability identified by the emerging professional class in Louisiana. Louisiana could no longer afford to continue a system that the rest of the country viewed as pre-modern and barbaric.
Another explanation for the demise of lynching in the South, presented by Tolnay and Beck, was that the Great Migration during the early twentieth century that saw black migration out of the South and into Southern urban centers. The migration of Southern African Americans changed the landscape of the economic relations in the Southern states, particularly the Cotton regions. From 1900 to 1930 Louisiana lost 92,800 blacks to migration, such a change in the population could have been influential in the end of lynching in Southern communities. While the new economic opportunities in urban centers were a motivating factor in the migration of blacks in the early twentieth century, social factors may have played a significant role as well. A black migrant was quoted in the Chicago Defender as stating that “After twenty years of seeing my people lynched for any offense from spitting on a sidewalk to stealing a mule, I made up my mind that I would turn the prow of my ship toward the part of the country where the people at least make an pretense at being civilized.” This migration hurt the Southern economy that had traditionally depended on a large cheap supply of black labor in order to remain viable. When Southern whites witnessed the migration of their labor force and began to feel the affects of northern pressures, they no longer viewed lynching as a simple means of racial control but rather a practice of which they should be embarrassed.
While the Louisiana discontinued its institution of lynching after pressure from the emerging middle classes and the North, the legacy of lynching continued. The threat of violence toward the black population did not end with lynching. New methods of racial control were established to maintain power over the black population. These methods included Jim Crow laws, high rates of capital punishment and harsh racist police tactics. The fight against lynching by Ida B. Wells and the NAACP served as inspiration for future efforts against these methods of white oppression in the South. The mass community participation that allowed lynching to exist was not easily forgotten and left lasting mental and emotional scars on the black population. While the practice of lynching ended, the criminal justice system increased its rate of capital punishment for black offenders. The system that lynch mobs refused to be apart of began to take of their role of racial oppression. The disproportionate number of African Americans on death row in the South today indicates continuity in this practice. The end of lynching was a bittersweet victory for African Americans in Louisiana because the underlying motivations and racist attitudes that inspired lynchings remained present in the actions and institutions of the South for many years to come.
 “Hangman’s Day” New York Times, March 4, 1909. I have only included six of the seven men executed because the third man was executed in “Frankling” a city that I could not find in Louisiana. However I believe that the author meant Franklin, LA in St. Mary Parish in the southern part of the state.
 “Hangman’s Day” New York Times, March 4, 1909. When I state that all of the executions I have listed in Southern Louisiana were against white men, I have assumed that because in the Northern execution the victim was specifically identified as “a negro girl,” while the other victims were identified by their occupation and name.
 Michael J. Pfeifer, Rough Justice: Lynching and American Society, 1874-1947 (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004), 74. Pfeifer states that seven blacks were lynched in reaction to the Boyce murders while the New York Times article lists eight men.
 In this discussion of Louisiana I will make comparisons between the northern and southern portions of the state, it is however, important to note that there were exceptions in these characterizations. I will do my best to make these distinctions when necessary.
 Twin Palms Publications, Without Sanctuary. A collection of postcards collected by James Allen that depict lynching in the South. Through these postcards, which were sent as souvenirs of brutal killings, there is much photo evidence to suggest that lynching was normalized in Southern culture.
 Stewart Tolnay, and E. M. Beck, Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings 1882-1930 , (Urbana, IL : University of Illinois Press, 1995), 93. Stewart and Beck examine the alleged offenses of Black lynch mob victims by White perpetrators in the South, they determine that the majority of lynchings in the South (68%) occurred were capital offenses that blacks would have likely been executed for in the Southern criminal justice system.
 Charles David Phillips, “Exploring Relations among Forms of Social Control: The Lynching and Execution of Blacks in North Carolina, 1889-1918,” Law & Society Review, 21, no. 3 (1987): 362, While Phillips discusses lynchings in North Carolina in his work, these words are generally directed toward the basic motivations of lynching throughout the South and therefore relevant to my examination of lynching in Louisiana.
 Tolnay and Beck, A Festival of Violence, 112, While some regions with higher black populations were found to have higher rates of lynching, the relationship between a high black population was not an indicator in the amount of lynchings in a particular county.
 Tolnay and Beck, A Festival of Violence, 113. While their discussion is based on a study of the Deep South (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina) as a whole their statements are relevant to the treatment of the perpetrators of lynchings in Louisiana.
 Jonathan Markovitz, Legacies of Lynching: Racial Violence and Memory, (Minneapolis, MN : University of Minnesota Press, 2004), 4.While Ida B. Wells and the NAACP ran national campaigns against antilynching and were not directly influential in Louisiana, I would like to give a context for the social pressure that began to rise up against lynching in the early twentieth century.