Forsyth County Georgia
The Assault, Rape and Murder of Mae Crow in the Oscarville Community.
Riots and Lynching.
Transcribed by Brenda Webb Annotated by Donna Parrish
From Donna: Following Ellen Grice attemptd rape
TROOPS RUSHED TO CUMMING IN AUTOS TO CHECK RACE RIOT
SEPTEMBER 7, 1912
Blacks Threaten to Dynamite Town Whites, Threaten to lynch negroes following criminal assault.
MOB BEATS NEGRO ALMOST TO DEATH
Gainesville and Marietta Militia ordered by Governor Brown to speed to the scene in autos.
(Special Dispatch to The journal)
Cumming, Georgia, September 7 With the negroes of this
place threatening to dynamite the town and the whites threatening to lynch
several negroes, excitement ran at a high pitch here this morning and increased
after Governor Brown had ordered troops from Gainesville.
Negro Prisoners Moved to Marietta and to Atlanta for Safe Keeping. State Militia called to Cumming to Keep Order.
FIVE CUMMING NEGROES SENT HERE FOR SAFETY
Judge Morris Sends Prisoners to Atlanta to Avoid Mob Violence
While a mob was on its way to Marietta from Cumming, just two hours after the lynching at the latter place Tuesday afternoon, judge N. A. Morris held a conference with Sheriff J. H. Kincaid of Cobb county, and then ordered the five negro prisoners arrested in connection with the outrage on a farmer's wife near Cumming last week, removed to Atlanta for safekeeping.
Following the lynching yesterday, the Cumming mob made up its mind to get the negroes connected with the first outrage, which came near starting a race riot in the little town last Saturday. Sheriff W. W. Reid of Forsyth county, scented trouble and immediately telephoned to judge Morris and as a result the negroes were rushed from Marietta to Atlanta in an auto and place behind bars in Fulton county jail.
The mob, however, never put in an appearance at Marietta and it is the belief of authorities there that word reached the lynchers of the prisoners removal and the band dispersed.
The prisoners brought here Tuesday night are Fate Chester, Tony Howell, Isaiah Pirkle, Joe Rogers, and Johnny Bates. Ernest Knox, alias Daniel, was already in the Tower, having confessed to the gruesome tragedy of Sunday, which resulted in the death of a nineteen year old white girl.
Grant Smith, the negro preacher, who was beaten almost to death at Cumming Saturday for making remarks about white women, has been released. There was no charge against him; he was merely taken to Marietta for his own safety.
From Donna: This is the Mae Crow Assault
Copied From the Gainesville News Sept. 9, 1912
Ernest Knox, a sixteen year old negro boy, assaulted a young white girl, eighteen years old, near Oscarville, in Forsyth County last Sunday at 12 o'clock. She was going from her home to her aunts to assist her mother in bringing the children home and as she passed a secluded spot on the road Knox came upon her suddenly and dragged her into the woods, beat her over the head with a rock and criminally assaulted her.
The girl was missed and her parents became alarmed at her absence. A searching party was organized but her body was not found until Monday morning at 9 o'clock. She lay unconscious in a pool of her blood. She was taken up by sympathizing friends and carried to her fathers house and Dr. John Hockenhull and Dr. G. P. Brice summonded. They gave her medical attention and she will likely recover.
Several negroes were arrested as suspects but at about 12 o'clock Ernest Knox confessed and he was rushed here in an automobile by Mr. Marvin Bell and others and landed in jail. On account of the intense feelings aroused by the attempted assault of another negro on a white woman last Thursday in Forsyth County it was almost certain that the negro would have been lynched had he been carried to Cumming. When it became known that the negro was in jail here and had confessed, there became wild rumors of lynching. To avert trouble it was deemed wise to have the negro removed to Atlanta for safe keeping. Accordingly, Deputy Henry Ward, with the negro and two other officers rushed Knox to Atlanta in an automobile and lodged him in jail at 12 o'clock Monday night.
A considerable crowd congregated about the jail Monday night about 9 o'clock. As soon as they became satisfied that the negro was gone they quietly dispersed and no further talk of trouble was heard.
>Ed Collins, a negro who was charged with going with Ernest Knox to the body of the girl whom the latter had almost beat to death and ravished her, for the purpose of throwing her body into the river to conceal the crime the latter had committed, was taken from the jail at Cumming yesterday afternoon and killed, after which his body was strung up to a telephone post in the heart of town, by a mob of infuriated citizens. The sheriff had arrested the negro yesterday and carried him to jail. Not long after, several hundred men gathered around the jail and finally broke into it. Collins was mutilated with a crow bar, a rope was placed around his neck, his body dragged through the town and strung up as above mentioned. After this was done the citizens quietly dispersed and no more trouble is anticipated. The five negroes carried to Marietta jail from Cumming were removed to the Fulton Tower, after the lynching, upon the order of judge Morris.
From Donna: The Ellen Grice case
*Copied from the Atlanta Journal, September 10, 1912
NEGROES RUSHED TO FULTON TOWER
Cumming Suspects Brought Here to Escape Mob
Sheriff Reid Notified judge N. A. Morris That There Was Grave
Danger of the jail in Marietta Being Stormed.
Two hours after a mob, hundreds strong, had lynched a negro suspect at Cumming yesterday,.Tudge N. A, Morris, at Marietta, was called up over long distance by Sheriff W. R. Reid of Forsyth county, and informed that the crowd of infuriated mountaineers were threatening to come to Marietta and storm the jail there to secure the five negroes who were rushed to the Cobb county jail on Saturday for safekeeping.
Judge Morris immediately communicated with Sheriff J. H. Kincaid, and ordered the prisoners sent to Atlanta. A high powered automobile was secured, and the negroes were brought to the Tower at nightfall. They will be kept in this city until the regular term of Superior court is held in Forsyth county.
After the negro prisoners had been on the road long enough to reach Atlanta, Sheriff Reid, again called up from Cumming, and told judge Morris that he thought the mob had already left for Marietta. They had left Cumming, he said, going south, in the direction of Buford. The men, were scattered to crowds of fifty or more, according to the sheriff.
Up until shortly after midnight, the mob had not put in its appearance at Marietta. Authorities at that place believe the men were informed that the negroes had been sent to Atlanta, and had returned to their homes.
The prisoners sent to the Tower are Tony Howell, Fate Chester, Isiah Pirkle Johnny Bates and Joe Rogers. They were arrested Saturday in Cumming, suspected of connection with the assault upon a planter's daughter living in that section.
The negro preacher, Grant Smith, who was horsewhipped Saturday at noon, in the courthouse square in Cumming, for publicly reflecting upon the character of the victim, was freed Tuesday afternoon. Smith had been sent with the troops to Marietta to be held for safekeeping. Sheriff Reid, of Forsyth county, informed judge Morris, that no warrant was held for Smith and that it would be necessary to release him.
From Donna: The Mae Crow case
*Copied from the Atlanta Constitution Sept. 11, 1912
FOUR ATLANTA COMPANIES WILL GO TO CUMMING
They Will Be on Duty During Trial of Negroes for Murder
"Four short" companies of troops from the Fifth Georgia regiment will accompany the six Forsyth county negroes to Cumming Wednesday, where they will be placed on trial for assaulting and murdering two white women. During the trial the troops will remain on guard around the courthouse and jail to prevent any outbreak against the negroes.
The presence of the troops is said to have been requested of the governor by judge N. A. Morris, of the Blue Ridge circuit, who found sentiment against the negroes running high in Forsyth county with rumors that lynchings were planned.
Since the crimes were committed about two weeks ago the accused negroes have been held in the Fulton county jail for safekeeping. In an address to the court at Cumming, Monday, judge Morris promised that the negroes would have a fair and speedy trial. He declared there would be no disorder.
Acting upon Governor Brown's advice Adjutant General William G. Obear issued an order for the "four" short companies to go to Cumming. The troops will be under command of Maj. L. N. Catron. Each company will be composed of about thirty eight men. Capt. Harrison Jones, of company F, will be charge of one and the captains of the other three companies will be: Capt. Oscar Palmour, of company A; Capt. W. A. Leahy, of company E; and Capt. Asa W. Candler, of company C.
An order has been issued by Governor Brown, to Sheriff Mangum directing that the prisoners be delivered into the custody of Major Catron. The negroes escorted and guarded by the troops, will leave Atlanta at noon Wednesday over the Southern railway for Buford, Cumming is thirteen miles from Buford. This distance will be traversed by the troops and their prisoners on foot.
One of the six prisoners, Trussie Brown, who is held as an accomplice, is a woman. The other five are Ernest Knox, Toney Howell, Isaiah Prikle, Ed Collins, and Oscar Daniel.
*Copied from The Atlanta journal, October 2, 19 12
CURIOUS CROWDS GREET PRISONERS AT BUFORD
Negroes Are Placed in Center of Big Circle Made By Troops
By Angus Perkerson (Staff Correspondent)
(Special Dispatch to The journal)
Buford, Georgia, October 2 A curious but quiet crowd which resembled spectators waiting for a circus parade more than the arrival of the prisoners who caused the recent disturbances at Cumming, greeted the four companies of militia and six negroes who arrived here Wednesday afternoon on their way to Cumming where the negroes will be tried Thursday. The troops and prisoners came on a special train that left Atlanta at 11:45 Wednesday morning.
There was no excitement, no comment and no disorder of any kind. In fact it would have been difficult for there to have been any demonstration as the 168 militiamen made it impossible for any one to come within pistol shot of the prisoners.
A ring of militia men 250 yards in diameter, formed around the negroes, who occupied the center of the ring. The circumference of the ring extended over both sides of the railroad.
Two attorneys, appointed to represent the negroes, occupied the center of the circle with their clients and discussed the plans for the defense.
Soon after their arrival the militiamen undid knapsacks and ate their midday meal. The prisoners also had their meal, while the militia were eating theirs.
Shortly after dinner the troops and prisoners began their hike across the country to Cumming, where the trial will be held Thursday.
*Copied from The Atlanta journal, October 3, 1912
MARTIAL LAW FOR FORSYTH COUNTY
TROOPS WILL PROTECT FOUR NEGROES DURING TRIAL AT CUMMING, GA
There will be no disorder at Cumming, in Forsyth county, during the trial of the four negroes now in jail in Atlanta charged with a horrible crime in that county. If there is enough power in the hands of Governor Brown to prevent it.
Determined that the law shall be upheld and its authority respected, Governor Brown, after conference with judge Morris, has ordered the Adjutant General to call out a brigade of troops to protect the negroes and insure them being given a fair trial and lodged in jail afterwards.
Judge Morris has set the case for Thursday morning and the ten negroes will be taken to Cumming the night before, instead of the usual military escort of thirty or forty men, Governor Brown has directed that no less than 150 men shall be sent in command of a major. He is taking no chances.
The people of Forsyth county belong to the north Georgia mountain clans, than whom there are no more fearless or determined men anywhere. Governor Brown comes of the same stock. He is determined that the due and orderly processes of the law shall not be interfered with, but that the accused black men shall be given as hasty a trial as is consistent with justice, and if found guilty shall be executed on the scaffold as the law provides.
MARTIAL LAW WILL BE DECLARED
Martial law will be declared in Forsyth county on Thursday and the court will sit under the protection of the military detailed to patrol the town. There will be no attempt to exclude a reasonable number of onlookers from the courtroom, but each man will be searched before he is permitted to enter and no arms can be carried inside.
Judge Newt Morris will be supreme in the courtroom, but the courthouse grounds, and the town will be under under the jurisdiction of Major I. T. Catron, of the Fifth regiment. The new law governing the national guard says they are not to take orders from the mayor or even the sheriff.
The recent unfortunate incident at Augusta, when several citizens were killed for refusing to obey orders of the militia, shows that the state troops when ordered out are no longer to serve as a sheriff's posse, but will be governed solely by rigid military law. When they are commanded to shoot they will shoot to kill.
The extent of the precautions being taken and the firmness of the state authorities is expected to prevent any disorder that might otherwise occur.
*Copied from The Constitution, Atlanta, Georgia, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 1912
The Indictments, The Trials, and Convictions
of Two Blacks
Sentences and The Story of the Crimes
October 4, 1912
BAYONETS GUARD BLACKS AS TRIAL AT CUMMING BEGINS
One Thousand People, From Miles Around, Gather in Curious Throng Outside Court House.
JUDGE MORRIS HOPES TO END TRIAL THURSDAY
Six Prisoners are Placed on Trial for Assault Troops Search All Spectators, and Jurymen as Well
By Angus Perkerson, (Staff Correspondent) (Special Dispatch to The journal)
CUMMING, Ga., Oct. 3 Although 1,000 people have gathered here from the countryside, Sheriff W. W. Reid and officers of the Fifth regiment are not expecting trouble over the trial of the six negroes charged with assault. The town is crowded as never before in its history, but the people who have gathered here are quiet and have given no evidence of violence. Many rumors are flying about but they are regarded merely as rumors. Sheriff Reid said this morning:
"Yesterday I did look for trouble, but today I think everything will pass off quietly. If there is trouble it will come from outside. I look for the attempt to be made in the court room against the prisoners. It is possible that the crowd may become inflamed outside and an attempt to rush the troops be made, but I expect no such trouble as this.
Sheriff Reid had information yesterday that hundreds of pounds of ammunition had been shipped here from Atlanta. Ibis report led him to expect yesterday that the troops might be attacked and an effort made to lynch the six negro prisoners, but no evidence of this ammunition has been found and the report is now discredited.
WILL PUSH TRIAL
Judge N. A. Morris, the trial judge, will endeavor to complete today the trial of the six negroes. In addition to the session that was held this morning, court will sit both, this afternoon and tonight, and he hopes at the conclusion of the night hearing to have disposed of all the six cases. Whether the negroes are all convicted or acquired, they will be removed from Cumming for safekeeping. If any one of the six was to fall into the hands of the crowd gathered here, it is admitted by everyone acquainted with conditions, that he would be lynched immediately.
MAY AROUSE CROWDS
Civil and military officials are afraid that if all of the six negroes are not convicted and sentenced to hang the crowd will be inflamed to a dangerous point. Charges against the negroes are such that three at least cannot receive more than prison sentences, while one will probably be acquitted for lack of evidence.
This fact will serve more than anything else to arouse the crowd that has gathered here, and it is expected that if trouble comes, it will follow instead of precede the trial. For this reason the troops will continue guard until after the trial has been completed and will furnish protection to the negroes after the trial is ended as well as during the time it continues.
The jury was chosen soon after the court convened and the father of the girl was the first witness. He merely told of how he had found his daughter beaten and unconscious. He said that she was on her way to visit relatives where her mother had spent the day when she was attacked.
FAKIR DRAWS CROWDS
A fakir, a vender of cheap jewelry, did more toward breaking up the crowds around the court house, after the trial was called, than all of the militiamen. He appeared to have realized that it would be a good day for his sales in Cumming for he placed his temporary stand some distance from the court house.
With the announcement of his bargains, the crowd rushed pell men from the court house to his location, where they gathered 1,000 strong and listened to his wonderful stores.
COURT TAKES RECESS
The court took a recess shortly before noon for an hour, the officials, troops, prisoners and crowd taking their midday meal.
Owing to the large crowd near the court house it required some time for the court and troops to pass out of the square.
The morning session was devoted largely to the testimony of two of the prisoners that the negro, Ernest Knox, had confessed to the charge of assault.
The six negroes who are on trial were brought from Atlanta yesterday by a picked detachment of the Fifth regiment under the command of Captain Catron. The troops stopped at Buford for dinner, then marched from Buford here during the afternoon. They camped a mile from here at the fork of the road and brought their prisoners to the courthouse early this morning.
Five of the negroes are accused of assisting in an attack upon a young white girl who was assaulted and murdered three weeks ago in the woods near here. The sixth negro is charged with an attempted assault upon another white woman.
From their camp at the fork of the roads, a mile from here, the picked detachment of the Third regiment arrived Thursday morning at 6 o'clock with the six negro prisoners, who are to face trial for assault.
Pickets appeared in advance, feeling their way, and formed a guard along the street that passes the red brick court house.
A few minutes later the main detachment came up the hill and formed in a square with their six negro prisoners in their midst.
At once they excluded everyone from the court house but the officials, and shut the negroes within the court room. The troops withdrew within the picket fence that surrounds the court house building and made that fence a dead line.
Without an order from judge N. A. Morris, the trial judge, no man was permitted to pass that fence.
ALL ARE SEARCHED
Those who have passes were stopped and searched. Maj. 1. T. Catron, commander of the military, had ordered that no one should enter the court house who had not first been searched for weapons. Sentries even searched the pockets of the jurors, and Major Catron saw that these jurymen were admitted only in twos and threes into the court room. One hundred jurymen had been summoned, but he declined to admit them in a body. That seemed dangerous, and he meant to take no chances. Every possible precaution was adopted for the safety of the prisoners, but into an early hour the likelihood of violence seemed slight. The crowd that surrounds the court house is the largest that has ever gathered here. A thousand people have assembled from the countryside, but neither winchesters or long pistols are in evidence, and the crowd is talking quietly and seems curious rather than ill humored.
LOOKS LIKE CIRCUS
Cumming has really put on a circus day appearance. Buggies stand here and there about the court house. Even the moving picture show has closed. For the most part the crowd remains quiet at the red brick court house, except when it makes some new discovery about the soldiers. This was commented deliberately. Then the onlookers return to their inspection of the court house building. In every doorway stand dumps of soldiers and guns show in every window.
A tent has been pitched in the court house yard and wagons with the supplies of the militia have been drawn Up under the trees. In the cool of the moming the pickets marched back and forth and the crowd swarmed on the other Side of the fence. The pump in the court house yard keeps bubbling away and the chickens picking in the road for fat worms gossip quietly.
September 30, 1912
The court met in regular session at 10 o'clock a.m. with the foflowing officers present, His Honor N. A. Morris judge, J. P. Brooks Sol. Gen., W. W. Rich Sheriff, with his deputies M. G. Lummus and L. M. Jones and E. E. Breweron, Clerk.
The following persons were sworn as Grand jurors for the present term:
Andrew H. Stewart
Jas. H. Stovall
Andrew J. Vaughan
J. B. Lamb
W. W. Smith
Jas. L. Hansard
Jno. W. Hawkins
Wm J Tidwell
H. L. Hawkins T. Speer A. J. Julian Julius T. Hendrix
S. W. Hawkins
Jason Crow J. M. Langston Franklin C. Merritt S. M. Youngblood
Thos. L. Redd N. B. Nuckolls rhos. F. Orr, Jesse M. William
W. S. Davenport Jas. N. Edwards
True Bill. W. S. Davenport For
J. P. Brooke Solicitor General
L. A. "Bud" Crow Prosecuter
The State Murder
Earnest Knox alias Earnest Daniel
True Bill. W. S. Davenport Foreman
J. P. Brooke Solicitor General
L. A. "Bud" Crow Prosecutor
The State No. 381 Rape
vs In Forsyth Superior Court
Oscar Daniel August adj'd Term 1912
This case being called and the attorneys for the state and defense announcing read for trail. The following jury was empaneled who returned the following verdict.
A. J. Lummus
E. C. Smith
Henry A. White
J. G. Hammond
W. A. Hawkins
E. C. Johnson
E. A. Bramblett
Samuel J. McGee
Henry C. Pool
Win. A. Purcell
WE THE JURY FIND THE DEFENDANT GUILTY
E. C. JOHNSON FOREMAN
Afterwhich counsel for the defendant asked that the jury be polled which was done and all jurors agreeing.
Whereupon it is ordered considered and adjudged by the court that the defendant Oscar Daniel be taken from the bar of this court by the officers in change of him to the county jail of Fulton County State of Georgia and there securely and safely kept until the 24th day or 20th day of October 1912 at which time the Sheriff of Forsyth County said state and his lawful deputy and such guards as he may select or such officers and members of the National Guard of Georgia as may be designated by the Governor of Georgia, shall take charge of said Oscar Daniel and return him to said county of Forsyth and within one mile of the county courthouse of said county of Forsyth, on Friday the 25th day of October, 1912, between the hours of ten o'clock in the forenoon and four o'clock in the afternoon he the said Oscar Daniel be hanged by the neck until he is dead and may the Lord have mercy on his soul.
The execution of' said defendant under this sentence shall be in private and witnessed only by the executing officer, a sufficient guard, the relatives of the defendant and such clergymen as he may desire. Further ordered that the Sheriff of Fulton County shall permit any minister of the Christian religion under such rules as he may prescribe to visit said defendant while confined in said jail. Further ordered that the executing officer shall secure the services of Dr. J. A. Otwell and Dr. G.P. Brice or two other reputable physicians in the event their services cannot be secured to witness the execution and determine when death supervenes. Let the sheriff make return to the next term of this court of his compliance with this order.
Sentence pronounced in open court this 4th day of October, 1912.
N. A. Morris judge Superior Court
At 5 o'clock Wednesday p.m. the court took recess until 8:30 o'clock a.m. Thursday. Promptly at 8:30 o'clock a.m. the court recovened with all the officers present and proceeded to business.
in Forsyth Superior Court Aug. Adjd term 1912
Ernest Knox alias Ernest Daniel
This case coming on in its regular order for trial following jury empaneled:
T. R. Pool
Ezra G. Johnson
A. L. Hughes
W. J. Dobbs
0. W. Kemp
E. S. Garrett
W. J. Chastain
W. H. Hammond
W. A. McGinnis
who returned the following verdict:
WE THE JURY FIND THE DEFENDANT GUILTY
T. X. POOL FOREMAN
Afterwhich the counsel for the defendant asked that the jury be polled which was done and all jurors agreeing.
Whereupon it is ordered considered and adjudged by the court that the defendant Earnest Knox alias Earnest Daniel be taken from the bar of this court by the officers in charge of him to the county jail of Fulton County State of Georgia and there securely and safely kept until the 24th day or L15th day ot October 1912 at which time the Sheriff of Forsyth County said State and his lawful deputy and such guards as he may select or such officers and members of the National Guard of Georgia as may be designated by the Governor of Georgia shall take charge of said Earnest Knox alias Earnest Daniel and return him to said county of Forsyth and within one mile of the county court house of said county of Forsyth on Friday the 25th day of October 1912 between the hours of ten o'clock in the forenoon and four o'clock in the afternoon he the said Earnest Knox alias Earnest Daniel be hanged by the neck until he is dead and may the Lord have mercy on his soul. The execution of said defendant under this sentence shall be in private and witnessed only by the executing officer, a sufficient guard, the relatives of the defendant and such clergymen as he may desire. Further ordered that the Sheriff of Fulton County shall permit any minister of the Christian religion under such rules as he may prescribe to visit said defendant while confined in said jail. Further ordered that the executing officer shall secure the services of Dr. J. A. Otwell and Dr. G. P. Brice or two other reputable physicians in event their services cannot be secured to witness the execution and determine when death supervenes. Let the Sheriff make return to the next term of this court of his compliance with this order.
Sentence pronounced in open court this 4th day of October 1912.
N. A. Morris judge Superior Court
TROOPS ON GUARD AS TWO RAPISTS ARE CONVICTED
Story of Revolting Assault Arouses Great Indignation in Cumming Court
KNOX AND DANIEL WILL SWING FOR THEIR CRIME
Sister of Latter Tells of Double Attack on Young White Girl and Helps Fasten Noose AroundBrother's Neck. Agitators Try to Incite the Crowd.
By John Corrigan, Jr.
Cumming, Georgia.. October 3 (Special) Two convictions were secured in the Forsyth county court today in one of the most revolting rape cases in the annals of the state and of medical jurisprudence.
With a military guard around the courthouse, keeping at a safe distance a crowd that would have otherwise made short work of the accused negroes and another company in the courtroom to preserve order, Ernest Knox and Oscar Daniel were convicted of the crime of criminal assault.
The jury returned a verdict of guilty against the two blacks at 9:40 o'clock tonight. They will be sentenced to be hanged on October 25.
Three companies of the Fifth regiment patrolled the courthouse square and every person entering the square was searched. Agitators were busy during the day attempting to incite disorder, but the overwhelming majority of the crowd that flocked to Cumming from all parts of Forsyth and adjoining counties was for upholding the law and of maintaining the peace and order of the state.
GREAT INDIGNATION AROUSED
Still there were more than enough determined men in Cumming today who fcIt that the two rapists deserved immediate death, to overpower a sheriff's posse and hang the accused men to the nearest tree, but for the businesslike took of the men behind the army rifles. The great indignation prevailed on account of the horrible crime and the deepest sympathy of the community goes out to the bereaved father, who was the prosecutor. Twice today he was compelled to repeat the pathetic story of his daughter's shameful handling and the recital stirred the depths of the most hardened onlookers in the courtroom.
Major 1. T. Catron and Captain Leahy were in the courtroom practically every minute of the trial and were most efficient in preserving order.
A small hand mirror led to the conviction of Ernest Knox, one of the accused negroes, and the testimony of the sister of Oscar Daniel has helped to fasten the noose around his neck and that of Knox. Jane Daniel was a complete surprise even to her own counsel, who conferred with her yesterday afternoon as usual and were told nothing by her. This morning, however, without consulting the counsel appointed by the court to defend her, she narrated the entire revolting story of the crime to Sheriff Reid, and to Herbert Clay, assisting prosecuting attorney.
STORY OF REVOLTING CRIME
The facts as far as they can be printed are vague.
An attractive country girl, of 19 years, the daughter of a highly respected farmer of Forsyth county, was going to her home on Sunday afternoon when she was accosted on the road by the negro, Ernest Knox. She was dragged into the woods, fighting furiously, and was knocked insensible with a rock. Her body was dragged to a point 120 yards away from the road and there, after being cruelly treated, she was left for dead.
Knox, her assailant, then left, and meeting a crowd of negro friends returning from Sunday afternoon church services, went home with them. About midnight, with two other negro men and a negro woman, who carried a torch, returned to the woods, and the negroes then satisfied their lustful passions on the insensible body of the victim.
Knox, the rapist is a barefooted country negro, who wears only two garmentsa pair of blue overalls and a faded blue shirt. He is the low browed gorilla type of negro, and his attitude was absolutely brutish throughout the trial today. He is about 23 years old. Oscar Daniel is somewhat younger, and a shade more humanlooking; but he, also belongs to the barefooted, fiend ish loo king type.
CAMP IS AROUSED
When the four companies of Atlanta militia were camped on the outskirts of Cumming last night, they were thrown into slight confusion at midnight by the sudden shouting of a sentry:
"Halt. Who goes there?"
There was no answer, and again the challenge rang out, followed shortly after by the report of a rifle and a cry for the captain of the guard.
A company of Forsyth citizens who were camping for the night at a spring nearby heard the uproar and rattle of shots, and without further ado, proceeded to put a safe distance between themselves and the camp.
An investigation proved that the sentry's imagination had got the better of him, or perhaps he had seen a spot of moonlight that looked like a man. No further shots were fired, and the camp turned over and went back to sleep, after the guard had reconnoitered the woods.
The troops will leave Cumming tomorrow noon after attending the trial of an attempt at assault case in the morning.
*Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Georgia October 4, 1912
TROOPS RETURN BLACKS WHO WILL HANG OCTOBER 25
Two Negroes, Charged with Girl's Murder, Are Sentenced in 24 Hours
By Angus Perkerson, (Staff Correspondent)
(Special Dispatch to the journal)
Cumming, Georgia, October 4 Over rivers muddied by night rains, troops of the Fifth regiment moved toward Buford this morning, still guarding the six negroes brought by them from Atlanta.
The troops will board a special train at Buford and will arrive home Friday afternoon.
Two of the six negroes were convicted Thursday of the murder. The two were sentenced Friday morning by judge N. A. Morris to hang on October 25.
The third negro's case was postponed until the regular session of court.
The two remaining negro men were held as witnesses and the negro woman accused of being an accomplice in the murder was not tried.
The two negro men convicted are Ernest Knox and Oscar Daniel.
The shortest time after conviction in which the law permits them to be hanged in twenty days, and judge Morris allowed them only twenty one days of life. While they were tried separately, both of them were convicted the same day and both were sentenced the following morning.
RAIN DISPENSES CROWD
Neither during the trial nor afterwards was there evidence of violence. Large crowds that gathered Thursday have been completely driven away by the rain which fell Thursday night. Friday morning the town was deserted.
Oscar Daniel was tried Thursday night by lamplight and convicted in a court room occupied only by soldiers, court official and newspaper men. The crowd of the day had vanished.
The troops camping under the trees in the courthouse square, crooned sentimentally as the negro in the courthouse was convicted of a horrible murder. They had pitched their tents on the grass and here and there had built fires of pine logs.
Their guns were stacked sentries marched back and forth and the choice tenors of the regiment sang with expression. The atmosphere was that of Kipling's Soldier Tales. But all things changed at midnight. A heavy rain set in and water trickled under the tent and sentries stood guard soaked to the skin.
The march from Buford had been a toilsome task, but it was nothing compared to the discomfort of Thursday night. Every man of the whole detachment was wet through and they began to march back to Buford this morning worn and bedraggled.
JUDGE THANKS TROOPS
Before the troops left Cumming they were thanked by judge N. A. Morris for the service they rendered in protecting the negro prisoners. judge Morris called the officers into the court room and addressed them as he sat on the bench.
"I wish to thank you", he said, " for the manner in which you have handled this situation. I have never seen better discipline than you have handled this situation. I have never seen better discipline that you have displayed. Regular troops could not have behaved better."
"Not a man, from officers to private, have been other than gentlemanly. the people of Georgia should rally round the militia for such service as has been rendered here.
"The trial of these cases that have just been heard could not have proceeded without the presence of the militia, in my honest opinion. Violence would have been inevitable had it not been for the protection that the members of the Fifth regiment have afforded."
"I want to thank both officers and men. Every member of this detachment has been courageous and gentlemanly as well as dutiful in his conduct. They came here at a sacrifice."
This Page is part of the Forsyth County GA History and Records