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Coos Bay in Coos County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
 

Lynching in America / Lynching in Coos County

Community Remembrance Project

 
 
Lynching in Coos County Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, June 29, 2021
1. Lynching in Coos County Marker
Inscription.  
Lynching in America
Thousands of African Americans were the victims of racial terror lynchings in the United States between 1865 and 1950. Following the end of the Civil War, a wave of counterrevolutionary terror and violence swept over large portions of the former Confederate states. This violence imposed racial subjugation and traumatized the Black community, forcing the exodus of millions from the South. However, hundreds of lynchings took place outside of the South as well. Black men, women, and children were lynched for violating social customs, resisting mistreatment, or for alleged crimes, even when little evidence tied the accused to the crime. White people accused of identical violations of law or custom were rarely subjected to this same fate. Lynching was carried out with impunity as whole communities participated in the ritualistic killing of Black people. Crowds numbering in the thousands would gather to witness planned lynchings, often featuring torture. dismemberment, and the selling of body parts. Lynching increasingly became a racialized tool of control over the Black population and amplified
Lynching in Coos County Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, June 29, 2021
2. Lynching in Coos County Marker
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the hardships of ongoing exploitation, discrimination, and criminalization within Black communities. Many racial terror lynchings were not documented and victims will never be known. Alonzo Tucker was lynched in Coos Bay, Oregon, and thousands of other Black people suffered and were traumatized by the lawless terror his death represents.

Lynching in Coos County
On September 18, 1902, a white mob lynched Alonzo Tucker, a Black man in Coos Bay, then called Marshfield. The day prior, Mr. Tucker had been arrested and placed in jail after being accused of assaulting a white woman near the 7th Street Marshfield Bridge. As news of his arrest spread, a white lynch mob formed. In this era, accusations of Black-on-white assault required no evidence to arouse mobs, and Black men could be lynched for merely interacting with white women, even in consensual relationships. During transport away from the mob, Mr. Tucker fled and spent the night hiding under docks by the bay as the armed mob searched for him. The next day, Mr. Tucker was found and shot twice. The mob put a noose around his neck and carried him to the site of the alleged assault, but Mr. Tucker died from his wounds on the way. The unmasked mob still hanged his body from a light pole on the bridge in broad daylight before 300 spectators. His body hanged for several hours, prompting Black families
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to flee Coos Bay. Though racial hostility and lynching were prevalent in the South, Oregon was no exception to the anti-Black racism that fueled this era. Founded with a state constitution that banned all Black people by law until 1926, Oregon accommodated mob violence against Mr. Tucker, and no one was held accountable for his lynching. We remember Alonzo Tucker, and all unknown victims of lynching, as we pursue truth, justice and reconciliation.
 
Erected 2021 by Oregon Remembrance Project • Equal Justice Initiative.
 
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 18, 1902.
 
Location. 43° 22.547′ N, 124° 12.753′ W. Marker is in Coos Bay, Oregon, in Coos County. Marker can be reached from North Front Street, on the right when traveling north. Located in front of the Coos History Museum & Maritime Collection. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1210 N Front St, Coos Bay OR 97420, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. In Memory of Curtis Sause (1913-2001) (approx. 0.4 miles away); 340 Year Old Tree (approx. 0.4 miles away); Bay View Brewery / Guildesheim's 2nd Hand Hide & Junk Store (approx. 0.4 miles away); What is a Tugboat?
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(approx. half a mile away); Tugboat Ancestors (approx. half a mile away); Tug Power (approx. half a mile away); Koos No. 2 (approx. half a mile away); Shipping (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Coos Bay.
 
Also see . . .  Alonzo Tucker. By the Oregon Remembrance Project. (Submitted on July 11, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 11, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 40 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 11, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of the "Lynching in America" side of the marker. • Can you help?

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Nov. 28, 2021