"Lynched!," Staunton Spectator (October 3, 1882)

Staunton Spectator (October 3

In "Lynched!," published on October 3, 1882, the Staunton Spectator reports on the lynching of Jim Rhodes, a white man accused of killing an elderly couple in Albemarle County.


Staunton Spectator (October 3





Hanged to an Oak Tree.



We stated last week that Jim Rhodes, the alleged murderer of the old couple, John O. Massie and wife, of Albemarle, who were murdered on the night of the 7th of last March, had been arrested at Newport, Cocke county, Tennessee, and had been brought to Charlottesville, Va., and confined in jail. At 1 o'clock on yesterday (Monday) morning, he was taken from the jail and hanged to an oak tree on the farm of Capt. T. L. Farish.

For the following particulars, we are indebted to the editors of the Charlottesville Chronicle, who kindly furnished us a copy of an "Extra" published by them:—

James Rhodes, the alleged murderer of Mr. and Mrs. John O. Massie, was taken from the Albemarle jail this morning, about 1 o'clock, by a party of masked men and hung to the limb of an oak tree on the farm of Capt. T. L. Farish, in a field on the Free Bridge road, about half way from the town to the Bridge. It is said the party consisted of probably one hundred and fifty men.

They compelled the jailor to give up the keys, and about fifty of the party then went to the jail, and took the prisoner out. Two members of the Monticello Guard were on duty as guards in the jail yard, but surrendered to the overwhelming force. The Commonwealth's Attorney, Capt. Woods, was aroused, and followed the party, ordering them to disperse, but was not allowed to cross a certain line which was picketed. We cannot, at this early hour, get any particulars, or ascertain whether Rhodes made a confession. His body hung to the limb until about 7 o'clock, and many persons went to see it. It was then brought to the jail. A Coroner's jury was summoned and an inquest will be held to-morrow morning.

It is rumored that after arriving on the ground, Rhodes was immediately strung up, and that he begged for ten minutes to pray, promising to make a confession. He was then lowered and stated that his mother and brother were innocent of the crime. The crowd began to press, however, and he was again drawn up and left hanging to the limb until life was extinct.


"An act about the casuall killing of slaves" (1669) Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Charles Lynch (August 1, 1780) "From the Vicksburg Register," The Floridian (July 25, 1835) Virginia Mob, New-York Spectator (August 20, 1835) "Horrible Tragedy," Raleigh Register and North-Carolina Gazette (May 24, 1836) "The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions" by Abraham Lincoln (January 27, 1837) "The Execution Yesterday," Richmond Daily Dispatch (October 22, 1864) Depositions for the Claim of Benjamin Summers (February 6, 1872) "Page Wallace's Crime," Richmond Dispatch (February 3, 1880) "Lynch Law, Again," Richmond Dispatch (February 19, 1880) "Coalition Rule in Danville" (October 1883) "The Danville Riot," Richmond Dispatch (November 4, 1883) "The Negro and the Criminal Law"; chapter 6 of The Plantation Negro as Freeman by Philip Alexander Bruce (1889) "They Hanged Him," Richmond Dispatch (November 9, 1889) "The Clifton Forge Tragedy," Roanoke Times (October 20, 1891) Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases by Ida B. Wells (1892) "Brutal Attempt of a Negro," Roanoke Times (February 10, 1892) "The Police Force Wakes Up," Roanoke Times (February 11, 1892) "Judge Lynch!," Roanoke Times (February 12, 1892) "Viewed by a Thousand People," Roanoke Times (February 13, 1892) "Richlands' Lynching," Clinch Valley News (February 3, 1893) "Lynch Law and Barbarism," Richmond Dispatch (August 3, 1893) "Peace and Quiet," Roanoke Times (September 22, 1893) "Lynch Law"; excerpt from Governor Philip W. McKinney's Address to the General Assembly (December 6, 1893) "Rev. Dr. Hatcher's Surprising Assertions," Richmond Planet (June 23, 1894) "Hanged by a Mob," Alexandria Gazette (April 23, 1897) "The Lynchers Were Convicted," Richmond Planet (July 8, 1899) "Judge Lynch and His Victims," Richmond Planet (January 18, 1902) "The Lynching of Negroes"; chapter 4 of The Negro: The Southerner's Problem by Thomas Nelson Page (1904) U.S. Senate Resolution 39 (June 13, 2005)

APA Citation:
Staunton Spectator. "Lynched!," Staunton Spectator (October 3, 1882). (2020, December 07). In Encyclopedia Virginia.
MLA Citation:
Staunton Spectator. ""Lynched!," Staunton Spectator (October 3, 1882)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (07 Dec. 2020). Web. 16 Apr. 2024
Last updated: 2020, December 07
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.