CHRISTOPHER C. DAVIS LYNCHED
RichwoodGazette (Richwood, Ohio) December 1, 1881
Christopher W. Davis, a mulatto, was lynched at Athens, Ohio, on the night of November 21. The circumstances
leading to this summary vengeance are as follows: Mrs. Lucinda Luckey, a widow lady aged fifty-nine years,
lives alone near Albany, in Athens County. On the evening of October 31, last, Davis called at her house
and asked permission to stop over night. She refused him. He went away, but returned again at two o'clock
in the morning, and finding her doors securely locked, forced an entrance by battering the door in. Once
inside, he assaulted the helpless old woman and fiendishly outraged her. Fearing that she would cause his
arrest, to complete his work and cover his crime, he beat her about the head with an ax, fracturing her skull and
leaving her for dead. She recovered consciousness by morning and managed to crawl to the house of a neighbor,
to whom she told the horrible story. Davis was captured and lodged in the Athens jail, but threats of lynching
him were so loud that for safety he was removed to Chillicothe. Subsequently, when it was felt that the indignation
had partially subsided, he was returned to Athens to be arraigned before the grand Jury. No outward manifestation
was made by the citizens of Albany, and no thought of violence was entertained by the Athens authorities.
On the night of November 21, however, a number of masked men hailing from Albany rode into Athens, and after stationing
guards at the residence of the Deputy Sheriff and the Town Marshal, marched on to the jail. Three of them
applied to Sheriff Wardan for admission, one of the number assuming the role of a captured horse-thief, and the
Sheriff, in his ignorance, opened the door. No sooner was the door opened than these three determined men
downed the unsuspecting jailor and secured him. However, they failed to find any keys on him, and getting
a sledge hammer, they proceeded to break the lock of the cell in which Davis was confined. Only a few moments
was occupied in this, and with a rope thrown about the culprit's neck, he was led trembling from the jail.
Every avenue of approach to the jail had been well guarded, so to prevent any outside interference that might be
attempted, but he work was so quietly and quickly done that no trouble was encountered. David was led a distance
of four blocks to the bridge of the Hocking valley River, and while one end of the rope was being tied to the bridge
and others were engaged pinioning his ams and legs he was commanded to confess his guilt. He begged for his
life and asked them if they would spare him if he confessed. He was told that if he confessed he would be
returned to the jail and given a fair trial. He then confessed the horrible crime. Immediately a shout
went up. "Hang the dog! Hang him!" "We give you three minutes to say your prayers, "
said the leader, but the frightened fellow did not try to pray. At the end of the three minutes he was pitched
headlong from the bridge, falling a distance of nine feet, the fall breaking his neck. The mob then dispersed.
A number of them were recognized, and it is stated that arrests will follow.
[ - tr. by Sandra Cummins]
The Ohio Democrat (New Philadelphia, Ohio), December 1, 1881
LYNCHED IN OHIO
Davis, the Mulatto Ravisher, is Hanged by a Mob.
ATHENS, O., Nov. 21. - Chris Davis, the mulatto, who was in jail for an outrageous assault upon an elderly woman
named Miss Locke, living at Albany, O., was hanged by a mob last night. The Sheriff was overpowered and held
while the mob broke into the cell and took Davis out. This morning his dead body was found hanging to the
bridge over the Hocking river, at the south edge of the town. The mob was not masked and will be arrested.
When Davis was taken to the bridge with a rope around his neck, he was asked to confess. He inquired what
would be done with him if he confessed. They told him he would be taken back to the jail to be dealt with
by law. He hesitated and again asked if they would not hang him if he confessed. Being a second time
assured that they would not, he said, "I'm the man." The other end of the rope was made fast to
the bridge. They gave him three minutes in which to pray but he did not attempt a prayer. He said he
was ready to die. When the time expired he was hauled off the bridge and his neck was broken by the fall.
The coroner began an inquest, but has not given a verdict.
- tr. by Sandra Cummins]
The Ohio Democrat (New Philadelphia, Ohio) December 22, 1881
The lynching of Christopher Davis at Athens on the night of the 21st ult. was discussed at an earnest, well attended
meeting of the ladies of Albany, O., Tuesday evening. As an evidence of the feeling entertained by them,
here is one of the resolutions passed, "Resolved, That we pledge ourselves to oppose the prosecution of any
one who was engaged in the hanging of Davis."
[ - tr. by Sandra Cummins]