Monday, June 19, 2006

Henry Howard Lynched By Coshocton Mob

June 1885--Henry Howard, accused of raping Eliza Bache and assaulting Ellen Phillips, sat in the Coshocton County jail on a Friday afternoon. He had appeared in court earlier that day before Esquire Cantwell and "the evidence was direct and convincing, and he was bound over to await the action of the Grand Jury".

A howl of indignance went through the community. A lynch mob had been dispersed on the day of Howard's arrest, and now anger swelled up into another lynch mob.

The Coshocton Age described the crowd's disposition, "Excitement was at blood heat all day, and the Sheriff whose duty it was to keep cool and make preparation to see the law obeyed, was absolutely helpless in the asinity of his nature, and instead of acting upon his judgement, and as the law dictates, listened to the illy offered advice of hotheads, and the jail was left defenseless. Knowing this, a mob formed east of town, and at about 11 o'clock marched down Chestnut Street, eight abreast, to the jail, and without the least show of resistance on the part of the Sheriff, entered the jail, took there from the negro Howard, and half dragging and half pushing,rushed with him to the court yard square, where a rope was placed about his neck, and in a few seconds he was dangling from the limb of an elm, where he was suspended until nearly 10 o'clock the next day. The mob was orderly and apparently determined, and soon after dispersed".

Tomorrow, we'll continue the tragedy of Henry Howard and about The Coshocton Age's indignation and, in my opinion, participation of the lynching. Also, you'll read a yet to be published comment from a Coshocton resident who claims their great grandfather participated in the lynching...and that Henry Howard was innocent.


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