“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
St. Petersburg in Pinellas County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Lynching in America / The Lynching of John Evans

Community Remembrance Project

Lynching in America side of marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tim Fillmon, August 19, 2021
1. Lynching in America side of marker
Lynching in America
Thousands of African Americans were victims of lynching and racial violence in the United States between the Civil War and World War II. The lynching of African Americans during this era was a form of racial terrorism used to intimidate Black people and enforce racial hierarchy and segregation. Lynching was most prevalent in the South. After the Civil War, violent resistance to equal rights for African Americans and an ideology of white supremacy led to fatal violence against Black women, men, and children accused of violating social customs, engaging in interracial relationships, or crimes. Lynching became the most public and notorious form of terror and subordination directed at Black people and was frequently tolerated or even supported by law enforcement and elected officials. Though terror lynching generally took place in communities with functioning criminal justice systems, lynching victims were denied due process, often based on mere accusations, and pulled from jails or delivered to mobs by law enforcement officials legally required to protect them. Millions of African Americans fled the South to
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escape the climate of terror and trauma created by these acts of violence. Of the more than 316 documented racial terror lynchings that took place in Florida between 1877 and 1950, at least three took place in Pinellas County, including John Thomas on December 25, 1905, and Parker Watson on May 9, 1926.

The Lynching of John Evans
Near this site on November 12, 1914, a white mob lynched a Black man named John Evans. During this era, Black people were burdened by a presumption of guilt that made them vulnerable to mob violence and lynching. Mr. Evans arrived in St. Petersburg from Dunnellon, Florida, and worked for a white man, Edward Sherman. When Mr. Sherman was later found dead and his wife was reportedly assaulted, suspicion was directed at Mr. Evans. Without formal charges, trial, or conviction of Mr. Evans, a white mob kidnapped him from a rooming house and tortured him in a wooded area before throwing him in the St. Petersburg Jail. The mob later abducted Mr. Evans from the jail and hanged him from a light pole located at the border between the city’s segregated Black and white communities. This public spectacle lynching was attended by an estimated 1500 white men, women, and children. As Mr. Evans struggled to hold himself aloft, a white woman shot him from her car, inciting the crowd to fire upon him for more than ten minutes. White mobs then terrorized
The Lynching of John Evans side of Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tim Fillmon, August 19, 2021
2. The Lynching of John Evans side of Marker
the Black community for days in search of an alleged accomplice, Ebenezer Tobin. At least 170 Black residents fled their homes for safety. Mr. Tobin was later found and tried by an all-white jury, becoming the first person legally hanged in Pinellas County in October 1915. No one was held accountable for Mr. Evans' lynching due to the impunity granted by racial hierarchy in St. Petersburg.
Erected 2020 by Equal Justice Initiative, Pinellas Remembers Community Coalition.
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 12, 1914.
Location. 27° 46.18′ N, 82° 38.804′ W. Marker is in St. Petersburg, Florida, in Pinellas County. Marker is on Martin Luther King, Jr. Street just north of 2nd Avenue South, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Saint Petersburg FL 33705, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. S. H. Kress and Co. Building (approx. 0.4 miles away); Our Heroes of the World War (approx. half a mile away); Pinellas County Veterans Memorial (approx. half a mile away); St. Mary, Our Lady of Grace Church (approx. 0.6 miles away); John C. Williams
Lynching in America/The Lynching of John Evans Marker looking south on MLK Street image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tim Fillmon, August 19, 2021
3. Lynching in America/The Lynching of John Evans Marker looking south on MLK Street
(approx. 0.6 miles away); The United States Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away); Brigadier General Thaddeus Kosciuszko (approx. 0.6 miles away); First United Methodist Church (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Petersburg.
Also see . . .  Lynching of John Evans. (Submitted on August 22, 2021, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 24, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 22, 2021, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 282 times since then and 82 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 22, 2021, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.

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Jun. 10, 2023