Murray State Theses and Dissertations


In the 50 years between 1869 and 1918, 50 African Americans were lynched in a sparsely populated three-county area, far removed from the Cotton Belt and outside the ambit of the Tobacco Black Patch, along the state line in northwest Tennessee and southwestern Kentucky. The characteristics of lynchings identified in previous studies have little relevance to the lynchings carried out in this three-county area where the African American population seldom exceeded twenty percent of the overall population. Unlike the Deep South, the practice appears not to have been driven by socio-economic and political factors but primarily by a lust for violence which manifested itself in aggressive guerilla tactics during the Civil War and in various vigilante groups for many years after the war.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

lynching, guerrilla tactics, David Walker, Obion County, Lake County, Fulton County

Thesis Advisor

James Humphreys

Committee Chair

James Humphreys

Committee Member

Brian Clardy

Committee Member

William Mulligan

Document Type