Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
The Lynching of Lee Walker
A mob estimated at 3,000 people gathered near this spot on the night of July 22, 1893, with the intent of breaking into the Shelby County Jail and seizing Lee Walker, a black prisoner accused of attempting to rape a young white woman. Four days earlier, Mollie McCadden had reported that while horseback riding with her sister at Bond Station in northeast Shelby County, a young black man attempted to drag her off her horse and assault her. A search for the assailant began immediately. Newspapers described him as "the monster" and "the negro fiend." On July 21 Walker, who fit the assailant's description, was found and arrested at his parents' home south of New Albany, Mississippi. Sheriff A. J. McLendon took Walker to the Shelby County Jail on the morning of July 22. After nightfall the mob began gathering and growing outside the jail, threatening to lynch Walker.
Resistance by law enforcement to these threats was minimal as the mob used a section of railroad rail to batter in the jail door and the iron cellblock gates confining the prisoners. Members of the mob dragged Walker from his cell, stripped him of his clothing, then beat and stabbed him as they took him outside. Two blocks north they hanged him from a telegraph pole. After Walker was dead, the mob burned his body, mutilated it for souvenirs, and
Erected 2018 by The Lynching Sites Project of Memphis, the National Park Service, and the Shelby County Historical Commission.
Location. 35° 9.484′ N, 90° 2.955′ W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker is at the intersection of North Front Street and A.W. Willis, on the right on North Front Street. Touch for map. Do not park in the lot of the building adjacent to the marker. Marker is in this post office area: Memphis TN 38105, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort San Fernando de Las Barrancas (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fort Adams/Fort Pike (about 400 feet away); First Memphis Waterfront (approx. ¼ mile away); First Tavern (approx. 0.3 miles away); Lauderdale Courts / Presley Family at Lauderdale Courts Congregation B'Nai Israel (approx. half a mile away); St. Mary's Catholic Church (approx. half a mile away); Casey Jones (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Memphis.
Categories. • African Americans • Civil Rights • Law Enforcement •
Credits. This page was last revised on August 12, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 25, 2018, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 142 times since then. Last updated on August 12, 2018, by T. Patton of Jefferson, Georgia. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 25, 2018, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.