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By Edwin Arnold

The 1899 lynching of Sam Hose in Newnan, Georgia, used to be one of many earliest and so much grotesque occasions in a sad bankruptcy of U.S. background. Hose was once a black laborer accused of killing Alfred Cranford, a white farmer, and raping his spouse. The nationwide media heavily the manhunt and Hose's seize. An armed mob intercepted Hose's Atlanta-bound educate and took the prisoner again to Newnan. There, in entrance of a big collecting on a Sunday afternoon, Hose was once mutilated and set on hearth. His physique used to be dismembered and items of it have been stored by way of keepsake hunters.Born and raised twenty miles from Newnan, Edwin T. Arnold used to be afflicted and fascinated about the truth that this bad chain of occasions were mostly close out of neighborhood public reminiscence. In "What advantage there's in Fire," Arnold bargains the 1st in-depth exam of the lynching of Sam Hose.Arnold analyzes newspapers, letters, and speeches to appreciate reactions to this brutal incident, with out attempting to get to the bottom of the still-disputed proof of the crime. Firsthand money owed have been usually contradictory, and portrayals of Hose differed starkly--from "black beast" to blameless martyr. Arnold lines how assorted teams interpreted and co-opted the tale for his or her personal reasons over the years. Reflecting on fresh efforts to recollect the lynching of Sam Hose, Arnold bargains the portrait of a spot nonetheless attempting to reconcile itself, a century later, to its painful previous.

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Extra resources for What Virtue There Is in Fire: Cultural Memory and the Lynching of Sam Hose

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Atkinson now feared that the prisoner might easily be taken from a small-town jail such as the one in Barnesville, and when Mayor Huguley called, the governor agreed to protect Williams with the local guard until he could be transported to a more secure cell in Macon, to the south, rather than attempt to bring him to Atlanta. Atkinson had heard that there was still confusion over the prisoner’s actual identity, and both he and the mayor worried that moving Williams through Lynch Sunday 35 Griffin or Lovejoy, rail stops on the way to Atlanta, could result in his seizure and death, since both places were outspoken in their determination to hang Williams.

12 Hogansville was at this time a town of fifteen hundred, with almost nine hundred of those identified as black, and talk of race riots quickly grew. As the Constitution remarked, There are more negroes in the town than there are whites. . Usually the negro population is very quiet, but since the shooting of Loftin war-like demonstrations have been made. Every night large crowds of negroes collect in the colored section of the town and discuss the shooting. There is but one feeling among the negroes.

40 There are clear similarities between the Lee County invasion and rape and the stories that would later circulate concerning Sam Hose’s assault on the Cranford family.

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