Hanged on the old proctor lynching tree. This is a multiple cedar tree
and these four make a total of nine men lynched on this tree, some were
white men.This tree is an old land mark and was an old cedar tree, even
in the youngest days of the oldest settlers. Russellville is one of the
pioneer towns and was settled in a cane brake. This is an exact photograph
taken at dawn Aug 1, 08.
Copyrighted 1908, by Jack Morton, salesman, Stahlman, Stahlman building,
Nashville, Tenn, U. S. A.
A real photographic postcard bearing this image falsely attributes the
location of and motive for the lynching. The typed inscription on the
reverse reads, "Four Niggers hanged by a mob in the State of Georgia for
assaulting a white woman." In fact this lynching occurred in Kentucky,
and the men were known for their public criticism of the whiterun legal
system-this is the most likely reason they were executed. The false information
reflects a common justification for lynching in the South-that blacks
were inferior and sexually uncontrollable. Such justification by southern
leaders fostered the misconception that blacks were lynched predominantly
for sexual assault, but few lynching victims were actually convicted or
even indicted for such crimes.