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Job (or Jobe) Grainger

There is little extent biographical information on Jobe Grainger. According to contemporary accounts, Grainger was an African Americans man who lived in Simpson County until 1891.  He worked as a farmhand in the town of Franklin near the Kentucky-Tennessee border. His name was various spellings in different newspapers, as “Job” or “Jobe.” He also went by Job Grainger or Jobe, stated by the newspaper that reported his death. lists a John Henry Grainger of Simpson County in the 1850 slave schedule as the closest listed relative to Job Grainger. Job could have been formerly enslaved by John Henry Grainger and took his last name. Job Grainger He may have continued to work in the same fields after slavery was abolished as a farmhand.

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal and the Knoxville Daily Tribune, on July 25 Grainger had a heated argument with his white employer, but there is no record of the cause or focus of the argument. Grainger allegedly chased the employer out of the area with a knife. He was found the next day hanging from a tree. Witnesses said the assailants were masked, but they offered no other information or testimony. Grainger’s employer may have formed a mob to lynch him.

The Camden (TN) Chronicle used racially prejudiced language, calling Grainger “a bad negro.” The Atlanta Constitution referred to Grainger as an “insolent negro.”  Neither paper condemned the lynching, instead inferring that Grainger deserved to be lynched for running a white man out of his own field. Grainger was hanged from the same as Wesley Hicks and Jerry Taylor were hanged in 1885. Click on the link for the biographies of Hicks and Taylor.

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