1920 Duluth Lynchings - Aftermath

Aftermath

The killings made headlines throughout the whole country. The Chicago Evening Post opined, "This is a crime of a Northern state, as black and ugly as any that has brought the South in disrepute. The Duluth authorities stand condemned in the eyes of the nation." An article in the Minneapolis Journal accused the lynch mob of putting a "stain on the name of Minnesota," stating, "The sudden flaming up of racial passion, which is the reproach of the South, may also occur, as we now learn in the bitterness of humiliation in Minnesota."

The June 15, 1920, Ely Miner reported that just across the bay in Superior, Wisconsin, the acting chief of police declared, "We are going to run all idle negroes out of Superior and they’re going to stay out." How many were forced out is not certain, but all of the blacks employed by a carnival in Superior were fired and told to leave the city.

In its comprehensive website about the lynchings, the Minnesota State Historical Society reports the legal aftermath of the incident:

Two days later on June 17, 1920, Judge William Cant and the grand jury had a difficult time convicting the lead mob members. In the end the grand jury issued thirty-seven indictments for the lynching mob and twenty-five were given out for rioting and twelve for the crime of murder in the first degree. Some of the people were indicted for both. But only three people would end up being convicted for rioting. Seven men were indicted for rape. For five of the indicted men, charges were dismissed. The remaining two, Max Mason and William Miller, were tried for rape. William Miller was acquitted, while Max Mason was convicted and sentenced to serve seven to thirty years in prison.

Mason served a prison sentence in Stillwater State Prison of only four years from 1921 to 1925 on the condition that he would leave the state.

No one was ever convicted for the murder of Isaac McGhie, Elmer Jackson and Elias Clayton.

Read more about this topic:  1920 Duluth Lynchings

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