Hewlett Howton, Hewlett (also known as James Hewlett Howton)

Since Hewlett Howton is one of about 50 white lynching victims in Kentucky, there is considerable biographical information documenting his family, labor, and residences. Hewlett Howton (also known as James Hewlett Howton) was born around 1864 to Joseph (Joe) Howton and Cynthia in Caldwell County, Kentucky.  He had three brothers, John, Berry, and Leroy, and […]

West, Martha and Dever, William

There is ample biographical information about Martha West and William Dever, because they were two of the approximately 50 white people lynched in Kentucky between 1880 and 1950. Martha West (also identified as Pattie Funk, Miss Patty Funk, and Martha Funk) was born around 1861 in Kentucky. According to the 1870 Federal Census, her mother […]

Colson, Abithal (aka Bithael Colson) and Smith, Mollie (aka Maud Smith)

Abithal Colson and Maud “Mollie” Smith were white lynching victims in Trigg County, Kentucky on June 28, 1895. As a white male lynching victim in the 1890s, Colson’s life has more documentary information than Smith, who was a working-class white woman. There are detailed records of Colson’s birth information, education, and employment, but there is […]

Ray, George

George Ray was an African American man living in Washington County, Kentucky in 1895. Nothing else is known about his personal life. According to the Courier-Journal, sometime prior to late April 1895 Ray was “…taken from his home and given a sound thrashing and given orders to leave the county. He paid no attention to […]

Haggard, Robert

Robert Haggard of Winchester, Kentucky was born in 1873. According to the 1880 Census data, Robert Haggard lived with his mother Nelly, and two brothers, Dillard and West, in Pinchem, a small area outside of Winchester.  Robert’s oldest brother, Dillard, was born enslaved sometime between 1840 and 1845. It was likely that Nelly was born […]

Butcher, William

The family of William Butcher appears in the 1880s U.S. Census. Butcher’s mother and father were African Americans born in Tennessee around 1860.  They were likely enslaved. In the 1880 Census, John Butcher, William’s father, was listed as a 25-year-old farmworker and Alice Butcher, William’s mother, was a 21-year-old housekeeper.  William Butcher was their only […]