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Denver in Denver County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Lynching in America / The Lynching of Preston Porter, Jr.

Community Remembrance Project

 
 
Lynching in America Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Gill, November 10, 2020
1. Lynching in America Marker
Inscription.  
Lynching in America
Racial terror lynchings between 1877 and 1950 claimed the lives of thousands of Black people and terrorized millions more who were denied equal protection under the law. After the Civil War, white resistance to equal rights for Black people and a commitment to white supremacy led to fatal violence and terror against Black women, children for pursuing equal opportunities, relationships, violating social customs or allegedly committing crimes. Lynching emerged as the most public and notorious form of racial terrorism in this era and was intended to reinforce racial subordination and segregation. Public spectacle lynchings, like the lynching of Preston Porter, Jr., were often attended by hundreds to thousands of white spectators without fear of legal repercussions. State and federal officials largely tolerated the lawless killings of Black people by refusing to hold white mobs accountable for racial terror lynchings. Law enforcement frequently failed to prevent lynchings and at times were complicit in mob violence. Although many victims of racial terror lynching were not documented and remain unknown,
The Lynching of Preston Porter, Jr. Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Gill, November 10, 2020
2. The Lynching of Preston Porter, Jr. Marker
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at least seven victims have been documented in Colorado, including Edward Bainbridge (1867, Georgetown), an unidentified man (1874, Prowers County), “Black Kid” Thomas (1881, Silverton), Joseph Dixon (1887, Ouray), Calvin Kimblern (1900, Pueblo), Washington Wallace (1902, LaJunta) and Preston Porter Jr.

The Lynching of Preston Porter, Jr.
On November 16, 1900, a white mob abducted 15-year-old African American teenager named Preston Porter Jr. and lynched him near Limon, Colorado in Lincoln County. At least 300 people attended the public spectacle lynching of Preston, who was abandoned by state officials and law enforcement. Preston, along with his father and brother, came to Colorado from Kansas in 1900 and worked in Limon on railroad construction. That November the Porters began to return home. While in Denver on November 11, the Porters were stopped by Denver police, who questioned them about the murder of a white girl, Louise Frost, who had been found near Limon on November 8 and later died at home. The Porters denied any involvement, but the officers arrested and held them in the jail at the Denver City Hall. Suspicion focused on Preston, and police used coercive tactics to interrogate the child, including torturing him in a sweatbox and threatening to lynch his family if he did not confess. When Preston reportedly "confessed” on November 14,
The Lynching of Preston Porter, Jr./Lynching in America Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Gill, November 10, 2020
3. The Lynching of Preston Porter, Jr./Lynching in America Marker
public calls for his lynching soon followed. Despite this, Denver officials decided to transfer young Preston back to Lincoln County by train. When the train reached Lake Station, just beyond Limon, a white mob seized Preston and waited hours for spectators to gather. The mob then chained his 105-pound body to a railroad stake and burned him to death. After Preston Porter Jr.'s lynching, no one was held accountable.
 
Erected 2020 by Equal Justice Initiative & Colorado Lynching Memorial Project.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil RightsLaw Enforcement. A significant historical date for this entry is November 16, 1900.
 
Location. 39° 44.804′ N, 105° 0.02′ W. Marker is in Denver, Colorado, in Denver County. Marker is on Larimer St, 0.1 miles west of 14th, on the left when traveling west. Located in a pocket park behind the University of Colorado Admin Building near the Cherry Creek Greenway. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1250 14th St, Denver CO 80202, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Denver's Old City Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); The Rocky Mountain News (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Larimer Street (about 700 feet away); Denver City (approx. 0.2 miles away); Silas S. Soule
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(approx. 0.2 miles away); Constitution Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away); Barney Ford Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); 15th / Wazee Street (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Denver.
 
Additional keywords. Preston Porter Jr., lynching, Colorado, racism, torture, acts of terrorism, domestic terrorism
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 1, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 29, 2021, by Sandra Gill of Thornton, Colorado. This page has been viewed 62 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 29, 2021, by Sandra Gill of Thornton, Colorado. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.
 
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Dec. 1, 2021