Union in Union County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Union County Lynchings of 1871
In 1871, one of the worst waves of white supremacist violence in S.C. history unfolded in Union County. During two raids in Jan. and Feb. of that year, twelve Black men were forcibly taken from this jail by the Ku Klux Klan while awaiting trial. Most were members of the S.C. militia accused of killing a white man. Eleven men are known to have been killed in the two attacks or soon after. The fate of the other one is unknown.
National press described the lynchings as “outrages” and “inhumane barbarities.” These murders and other acts of intimidation and violence aimed at disenfranchising Blacks led President Ulysses S. Grant to declare a state of rebellion in Union and eight other S.C. counties. Danger and inequities led some Black families to leave Union Co., while others remained and built community institutions.
Erected 2020 by Union County Community Remembrance Project; and South Carolina Department of Archives and History. (Marker Number 44-20.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans Civil Rights • Law Enforcement. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #18 Ulysses S. Grant, and the South Carolina, Union County Historical Society series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1871.
Location. 34° 42.91′ N, 81° 37.561′ W. Marker is in Union, South Carolina, in Union County. Marker is on West Main Street (State Highway 49) just east of South Enterprise Street, on the right when traveling west. Marker is located beside the walkway, just inside the fence, directly in front of the old Union County Jail building. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Union SC 29379, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Union County Jail (a few steps from this marker); Lynching in America / Lynching in Union County after 1877 (within shouting distance of this marker); Reconstruction Era Lynchings in Union County / Union County Jail Raid Massacre (within shouting distance of this marker); John Pratt (within shouting distance of this marker); Union Community Hospital (within shouting distance of this marker); Union County Revolutionary War Union County Confederate Monument (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Union Mill (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Union.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . . Union Jail Raid and Massacre.
On January 4, 1871 and February 12, 1871 KKK members raided the jail, illegally removed the men, and mass lynched them in an act of extrajudicial murder that resulted in a massacre. The marker honors the lives of the 12 Black men who were lynched during this event including Alexander Walker, Charner Gordon, Andy Thompson, Sylvanus Wright, Barrett Edwards, Thomas Byers, Aaron Thompson, Joseph Vanlue, Mac Bobo, Amos McKissick, Ellison Scott, and Bill Fincher.(Submitted on April 25, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 25, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 25, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 262 times since then and 103 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 25, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.