The Duluth Lynchings Essay

2360 Words10 Pages
Mia Brooks History 1750 Minnesota history Spring 2013 When you think of Minnesota you may think of cold winters and the saying “Minnesota nice”. You probably don’t think of Minnesota as a place where racial violence ever took place. Most would say that it is apart of Minnesota’s past we tend to forget. On June 15th, 1920 three young black men were accused of raping a white woman and jailed in Duluth, Minnesota. Isaac McGhie, Elias Clayton and Elmer Jackson were working as roustabouts passing through Duluth with a traveling circus. An angry white mob formed as news of the alleged rape broke out. The mob forced their way into the jail with little inference from police who were ordered not to use guns. The three men were subsequently beaten and hung. Even though there was little to no evidence that the rape happened or that the men accused were guilty, many felt the lynchings were justified. The media played a big role in inciting the mob by reporting the men were guilty without sufficient evidence and advocating support for the mob and racist attitudes. This fueled the rage of the mob and led to the unjust lynchings. Duluth is located along Lake Superior in northeast, Minnesota. It was once an industrial city. The abundance of valuable iron and timber in the area caused a rapid growth in its early stages. With its great location and resources Duluth became an important place for shipping and manufacturing. Duluth was on the rise in 1920. From 1900 to 1920 Duluth’s population grew to 100,000 residents. Thirty percent of residents were European immigrants such as Italians, Finns, Germans and Russians. These immigrants came to Duluth, finding employment in shipyards, factories and railroads. Most of these immigrants settled in the working class neighborhood of West Duluth.[1] Duluth consisted of a small black community in 1920, with numbers

More about The Duluth Lynchings Essay

Open Document