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Athens in Athens County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Lynching in America / Lynching of Christopher Davis

Community Remembrance Project

 
 
Lynching in America side of the marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, May 24, 2021
1. Lynching in America side of the marker
Inscription.  
Lynching in America
Following the Civil War, violent resistance to rights for and equality for Black Americans and an ideology of White supremacy led to fatal violence against Black women, men, and children. Thousands of Black people were the victims of racial terror lynching in the United States between 1877 and 1950. Lynching emerged as the most public and notorious form of racial terrorism and violence, intended to intimidate Black people and enforce racial hierarchy and segregation. Many Black Americans were lynched following accusations of violating social customs, engaging in interracial relationships, or committing crimes, even when there was no evidence tying the accused to any offense. Black Americans accused of these alleged offenses often faced hostile suspicion and a presumption of guilt that made them vulnerable to White mob violence and lynching. White mobs regularly displayed complete disregard for the legal system, seizing their victims from homes, public places, even jails, prisons, courtrooms, or out of police hands without fear of legal repercussions. Racial terror lynchings often included burnings
Lynching of Christopher Davis side of the marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, May 24, 2021
2. Lynching of Christopher Davis side of the marker
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and mutilation, sometimes in front of crowds numbering in the thousands. Although many victims of racial terror lynching will never be known, over 300 racial terror lynchings have been documented in non-southern states, including at least 15 victims in Ohio.

Lynching of Christopher Davis
Near this site on November 21, 1881, a mob of at least 30 White men lynched Christopher Davis- a 24-year old Black farm laborer- who lived near Albany with his wife and two children. On October 30, a White woman living near Mr. Davis reported being assaulted. Her relatives accused Mr. Davis and had him arrested, though many believed he was innocent. After his arrest, the threat of lynching led the local sheriff to move Mr. Davis from Athens to the jail in Chillicothe. in a letter to his wife, Mr. Davis affirmed his innocence and stated, “for months [I] feared trouble was coming on me.” Mr.Davis was returned by evening train to Athens on November 20 to await trial, but a White mob seized him from the jail the next morning, dragged him by a rope around the neck to the South Bridge, and hanged him, despite his pleas of innocence. Mr. Davis was buried in the West State Street Cemetery on November 22, but later that day, his body was exhumed and taken to Starling Medical College without his family’s permission. The men who lynched Mr. Davis faced no consequences for their
Lynching of Christopher Davis Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, May 24, 2021
3. Lynching of Christopher Davis Marker
crime, and one later became a local judge. Though the law granted the mob impunity, one mob member reportedly cried out years later from his deathbed, “Take Chris off of me!” Mr. Davis’ lynching and the mistreatment of his body reflect the racial terror and hostility of that era, and contributed to a legacy of injustice that still impacts the community today.
 
Erected 2020 by Equal Justice Initiative Christopher Davis Remembrance Project.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil RightsLaw Enforcement. In addition, it is included in the Lynching in America series list. A significant historical date for this entry is November 21, 1881.
 
Location. 39° 19.518′ N, 82° 6.106′ W. Marker is in Athens, Ohio, in Athens County. Marker is at the intersection of West Mulberry and South Court Street, on the right when traveling east on West Mulberry. Located on the campus of Ohio University, in front of the Baker University Center. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10 W Mulberry, Athens OH 45701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Manasseh Cutler Hall (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Kissing Circle (about 700 feet away); Student Voices (about 700 feet away); Ohio University 1915 Alumni Gateway
Lynching in America side of the marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, May 24, 2021
4. Lynching in America side of the marker
(about 800 feet away); Athens County Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ohio University's Distinguished Visitors (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ohio University (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ohio University Sundial (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Athens.
 
Additional keywords. Jim Crow era; acts of terrorism
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 28, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 24, 2021, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. This page has been viewed 44 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 24, 2021, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 13, 2021