On this dayJan 05, 1923

White Mob Destroys Black Community of Rosewood, Florida

Video | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

On January 1, 1923, in Sumner, Florida, a young, married white woman named Fannie Taylor claimed she had been assaulted by Jesse Hunter, a black fugitive from a prison chain gang. Though there was no evidence against Hunter, local white men launched a manhunt in Rosewood, a nearby town of about 200 black people. On January 2nd, a mob of white men kidnapped, tortured, and lynched Sam Carter, a black craftsman from Rosewood, on suspicion that he had helped Jesse Hunter escape.

White men continued to terrorize Rosewood searching for Hunter and black residents armed themselves in defense. Late on the night of January 4th, a white posse fired into the home of black Rosewood resident Sylvester Carrier (whom they suspected of harboring Hunter) and killed an elderly woman. A gunfight between Carrier and the mob lasted into the early morning, killing people on both sides.

Outraged that black residents had fought back, the posse left the scene to regroup and returned with more men. On January 5th, a mob of between two and three hundred white men attacked Rosewood, killing an estimated thirty to forty black men, women, and children on sight and burning the town to the ground. Black residents hid in the woods and fled by train to Gainesville, Florida, never to return. Survivors later recounted that Fannie Taylor had made false accusations against Jesse Hunter to conceal her extramarital affair with a white man.

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