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Cumming in Forsyth County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Lynching in America / Lynching in Forsyth County

Community Remembrance Project

 
 
Lynching in America Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 25, 2021
1. Lynching in America Marker
Inscription.  
Lynching in America
Thousands of Black people were the victims of racial terror lynchings in the United States between 1877 and 1950. After the Civil War, violent resistance to the equal rights for African Americans and an ideology of white supremacy led to fatal violence against Black people accused of violating social customs, engaging in interracial relationships, or committing alleged crimes, even when there was no evidence tying the accused to the offense. It was not uncommon for large white mobs to terrorize members of the Black community at random in the wake of a racial dispute during this period. Lynchings became the most notorious and public form of racial terrorism designed to maintain the racial hierarchy. The forced displacement of Forsyth County's Black community following the public spectacle lynching of Mr. Edwards was one such example, intending to instill fear in the Black community and sending broader messages of racial hierarchy and Black subordination to the entire community. This marker acknowledges the injustices of racial terrorism and recognizes that Forsyth County's commitment
Lynching in Forsyth County Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 25, 2021
2. Lynching in Forsyth County Marker
Click or scan to see
this page online
to racial healing starts with acknowledgement of its past. While many names of the lynching victims were not recorded and remain unknown, this marker is in remembrance of Rob Edwards, the Black families of Forsyth County, and the more than 590 victims of racial terror lynchings documented in the state of Georgia.

Lynching in Forsyth County
On September 10, 1912, a 24-year-old Black man named Rob Edwards was lynched and hung in downtown Cumming, Georgia. During this era, deep racial hostility burdened Black people with presumptions of guilt, often resulting in accusations that were unfounded and unreliable. Mr. Edwards was one of several Black men arrested on suspicion of involvement in the fatal assault of a young white woman named Mae Crow. At least 2,000 white residents of Forsyth County formed a mob and stormed the jail. They found Mr. Edwards in his cell, brutally beat him with a crowbar, and shot him repeatedly. The mob then dragged Mr. Edwards through the streets to the town square, where they hung his mutilated body and left it on display. Subsequently, two Black teenagers who were also arrested for Mae Crow’s assault, Ernest Knox and Oscar Daniels, were convicted by all-white juries after trials that lasted one day each. They were hanged before thousands of white spectators. Mr. Edwards’s lynching and the mob violence that followed terrorized
View from marker of the Forsyth County Courthouse. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 25, 2021
3. View from marker of the Forsyth County Courthouse.
the remaining 1,098 Black residents of Forsyth County, who fled the county in fear. The loss of Black-owned property in order to flee arbitrary mob violence was common during this era, and Forsyth’s Black residents left behind their homes and farms to escape, taking with them only what they could carry. Forsyth County would remain essentially all white until the 1990s. No one was ever held accountable for Mr. Edwards’s lynching or the mass exodus of Black residents that followed. Like all victims of racial terror lynchings, Rob Edwards died without due process of law.
 
Erected 2020 by Equal Justice Initiative, Community Remembrance Project of Forsyth County.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil Rights. In addition, it is included in the Lynching in America series list. A significant historical date for this entry is September 10, 1912.
 
Location. 34° 12.368′ N, 84° 8.37′ W. Marker is in Cumming, Georgia, in Forsyth County. Marker is at the intersection of West Maple Street (Georgia Route 20) and Veterans Memorial Boulevard (Georgia Route 9), on the left when traveling east on West Maple Street. Located next to the Forsyth County Courthouse Annex. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 W Courthouse Sq, Cumming GA 30040, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured
The view west on West Maple St. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 25, 2021
4. The view west on West Maple St.
as the crow flies. Forsyth County Courthouse Cornerstone Removed (here, next to this marker); Forsyth County War Memorial (here, next to this marker); Forsyth County (within shouting distance of this marker); Colonel William Cumming (within shouting distance of this marker); Cumming Historic Cemetery (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Cumming School (approx. 0.2 miles away); Old Federal Road (approx. 5 miles away); Fowler Family Farm (approx. 5.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cumming.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Leo Frank Lynching
 
Also see . . .
1. EJI article on the Lynching Victims in Forsyth County, Georgia. (Submitted on April 26, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. Lynching in the United States at Wikipedia. According to the Tuskegee Institute, 4,743 people were lynched between 1882 and 1968 in the United States, including 3,446 African Americans and 1,297 whites. (Submitted on May 8, 2021, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 9, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 26, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 51 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 26, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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May. 13, 2021