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Abbeville in Abbeville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Lynching of Anthony Crawford / Racial Violence in South Carolina

 
 
Lynching of Anthony Crawford / Racial Violence in South Carolina Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 17, 2017
1. Lynching of Anthony Crawford / Racial Violence in South Carolina Marker
Inscription.
The Lynching of Anthony Crawford
In Abbeville on Saturday, October 21, 1916, a white mob lynched a black leader named Anthony Crawford for cursing a white man. A 56-year-old planter, "Grandpa" Crawford owned 427 acres of land, had 13 children, and helped establish a school, a church, and farms in the local black community. During the Jim Crow era, successful black people were conspicuous - and arguing with whites was dangerous. That day, a white merchant demanded to buy Mr. Crawford's cottonseed for a lower price. Mr. Crawford, who used to tell his family he'd rather "throw the seed in the Penny Creek," refused to sell. After an argument, Mr. Crawford was arrested. A few hours later, 300 white men seized him from jail and dragged him through town behind a buggy. Finally stopping at the fairgrounds, the mob stabbed, beat, hanged, and shot Mr. Crawford over 200 times - then forbade the Crawford family to remove his hanging body from the tree. Terrorized, the well-established, multi-generational Crawford family and many other local black people realized that Abbeville was not safe for them. Amid continued threats, most of the family scattered North, leaving behind what their patriarch had built, and carrying the painful loss of his wisdom and humor. A century later, this maker symbolizes their continued remembrance
Lynching of Anthony Crawford / Racial Violence in South Carolina Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 17, 2017
2. Lynching of Anthony Crawford / Racial Violence in South Carolina Marker
- and hope that Abbeville never forget or repeat that horrendous October day.

Racial Violence in South Carolina
Before the Civil War, South Carolina relied on a plantation economy and enslaved Africans outnumbered white residents. Dehumanized, brutalized, and treated as property, black people resisted in ways small and large to survive. After the Confederacy's defeat, the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution ended slavery and guaranteed black citizenship rights. Reconstruction promised federal enforcement and gave African Americans hope for the future. Black men used their new voting rights and, in South Carolina, elected African-American candidates to all levels of government. African Americans' political and economic advancement soon sparked resentment and violence. When federal protection ended in 1877, lynching - or murder at the hands of a mob - became a tool for re-establishing white supremacy and terrorizing the black community. White mobs lynched more than 4000 black people in the south between 1877 and 1950, and more than 180 of them were killed in South Carolina. In addition to Anthony Crawford in 1916, at least seven other men were lynched in Abbeville County during the era: Dave Roberts (1882); James Mason (1894); Thomas Watts and John Richards (1895); Allen Pendleton (1905); Will Lozier (1915); and Mark Smith
Lynching of Anthony Crawford / Racial Violence in South Carolina Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 17, 2017
3. Lynching of Anthony Crawford / Racial Violence in South Carolina Marker
(1919).
 
Erected 2016 by Equal Justice Initiative.
 
Location. 34° 10.648′ N, 82° 22.701′ W. Marker is in Abbeville, South Carolina, in Abbeville County. Marker is on Court Square (State Highway 202), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is near the city clock between the Opera House and City Hall. Marker is in this post office area: Abbeville SC 29620, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Abbeville County Courthouse (1908) (here, next to this marker); Abbeville Opera House (1908) (a few steps from this marker); Belmont Inn (1903) (a few steps from this marker); Abbeville County Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Operation Desert Shield / Storm Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); The Law Offices of John C. Calhoun (within shouting distance of this marker); Humane Society Alliance Fountain (1912) (within shouting distance of this marker); Abbeville County Confederate Monument (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Abbeville.
 
Also see . . .
1. Anthony Crawford. Anthony Crawford (ca. 1865 – October 21, 1916) was an African American man killed by a lynch mob
Lynching of Anthony Crawford / Racial Violence in South Carolina Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 17, 2017
4. Lynching of Anthony Crawford / Racial Violence in South Carolina Marker
in Abbeville, South Carolina (Submitted on February 19, 2017, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. Lynching of Anthony Crawford. Doria Johnson, great-great granddaughter of Anthony Crawford recounts his lynching and the effect it had on the lives of his descendants. (Submitted on February 19, 2017, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

3. Anthony Crawdord, a Negro of wealth lynched Saturday. Abbeville Press Banner newspaper of October 25, 1916. (Submitted on February 19, 2017, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

4. Hundreds Dedicate Lynching Marker to Anthony Crawford in Abbeville, South Carolina. This weekend, community members, college students, and supporters from near and far gathered in Abbeville, South Carolina, to commemorate and reflect upon the 100th anniversary of a tragic event: the lynching of Anthony P. Crawford. (Submitted on February 19, 2017, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

5. Abbeville lynching memorial rises near Confederate sites. In this small South Carolina town near the Georgia line, where some say the Confederacy was born and died, descendants of a man lynched 100 years ago are erecting a downtown memorial to him and other black men killed by white mobs after the Civil War. (Submitted on February 19, 2017, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

6. Going public with story of family's private pain. An Evanston woman helps relatives end denial over the 1916 lynching of her great-great grandfather in South Carolina. (Submitted on February 19, 2017, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

7. Abbeville memorial unveiled for lynching victim, 100 years later
Lynching of Anthony Crawford / Racial Violence in South Carolina Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 17, 2017
5. Lynching of Anthony Crawford / Racial Violence in South Carolina Marker
. A memorial was unveiled in Abbeville Saturday morning in memory of Anthony Crawford. (Submitted on February 19, 2017, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

8. Activist groups commemorate 100-year anniversary of Abbeville lynching death. Activist groups from across the US will meet in Abbeville on Friday and Saturday to hold a teach-in, unveil a historical marker and other events to mark the 100 year anniversary of Anthony Crawford’s death. (Submitted on February 19, 2017, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Categories. African Americans
 
Anthony Crawford in 1910 six years before his lynching image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress, 1910
6. Anthony Crawford in 1910 six years before his lynching
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 9, 2017. This page originally submitted on February 19, 2017, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 331 times since then. Last updated on March 8, 2017, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 19, 2017, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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