On this dayJul 22, 1899

White Mob Lynches Frank Embree Hours Before Trial in Fayette, Missouri

Image | St. Louis Post-Dispatch

On the morning of July 22, 1899, a white mob abducted Frank Embree from the officers transporting him to stand trial and lynched him in front of a crowd of over 1,000 onlookers in Fayette, Missouri.

Frank Embree had been arrested roughly one month earlier and accused of assaulting a younger white girl. Though he was scheduled to stand trial on July 22, he was lynched instead when the town’s residents grew impatient and decided to take “justice” into their own hands.

According to newspaper accounts, the mob attacked officers transporting Mr. Embree, seized him, and loaded him into a wagon, then drove him to the site of the alleged assault. Once there, Mr. Embree’s captors immediately tried to extract a confession by stripping him naked and whipping him in front of the assembled crowd, but he steadfastly refused despite this abuse. After more than one hundred lashes, Mr. Embree began screaming. He told the men that he would confess and, rather than plead for his life, begged them to stop the torture and kill him swiftly. Mr. Embree, his body covered in blood from the whipping, with no courtroom or legal system in sight, offered a confession to the waiting lynch mob and was immediately hanged from a tree.

Though published photographs of Mr. Embree’s lynching clearly depict the faces of many of his assailants, no one was ever arrested or tried for the crime.

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