Boone County Lynching

A Negro Lynched

“A negro named Charles Smith, a native of Virginia, and an escaped convict of the Frankfort penitentiary, arrested at Rising Sun, Ind., last Sunday night by two Walton, Ky. officers, for alleged arson for burning Justice Henderson's barn, near this place, burning in addition two calves and a year's crop, was hanged by a mob last night two miles north of Walton, Ky., while in charge of three officers in route to Burlington jail. He had a preliminary examination yesterday afternoon, and, after being committed to jail and acknowledged the guilt and numerous charges and wrote his mother to aid him in securing bail. The body, this morning, is still hanging, but the coroner will soon take charge.” Greencastle Banner, January 22, 1880

Charles Smith, Colored, Lynched for Arson

"A colored man named Charles Smith was hung last night by a mob of incenses citizens of Boone county after his preliminary examination and having been held over by Squires Norman and Johnson to the next term of the Boone County Criminal Court.  He was charged with the burning of Judge Hudson’s barn last October.  He was held over on strong testimony, in the sum of $500, and wrote to his mother for the bail.  While in charge of three guards, about two miles north of Walton, he was taken away from the officers, a little while after the sun went down, and hung to a convenient tree till he was dead.  Boone county is gaining a reputation for this kind of swift justice."  from the Covington newspaper, the Daily Commonwealth, January 15, 1880  


Smith Resurrected

"The body of a colored man, Chas. Smith, who was lynched night before last, near Walton, for Arson was buried at the foot of the tree upon which he was hung.  Yesterday afternoon, it is said, two Covington physicians left this city in a buggy, went to the scene of the execution, and dug up the corpse.  The “cadaver” was found to be too stiff to double up, as is customary, and it was brought to Cincinnati and the Ohio Medical College last night in a sitting position on the seat of the buggy.  On their way home the enterprising disciples of Æsculapius [Greek God of Medicine & Healing] met another Covington physician, and one of them said “Hello! Doc, you are too late if you are after this – here he is!” showing their ghastly load.  Thus are the ends of science accomplished."   From the Daily Commonwealth, January 16, 1880