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William Shelton

This pic is of Mr. Anthony Crawford. You probably have never heard of him but now you will now. By 1916, it is said that Crawford had over 400 acres of land. Known for being one of the richest black men in Abbeville County, he gave land to his children and allowed them to build homes close by. He was also known for his zero-tolerance against disrespectful people. He was quoted as saying, “The day a white man hits me is the day I die.” On October 21, 1916, Crawford was working as usual. He loaded up two loads of cotton and headed to W. D Barksdale’s store. He had a disagreement with the owner, a white man, over the price offered for his cotton. He was offered 85 cents per unit when it was going for more.

After the disagreement, one of the Barksdale’s employees followed Crawford out of the store and struck him on the head with the handle to an axe. Crawford called for help, after which he was arrested, for cursing at a white person as a mob of angry whites was already beginning to accumulate.
Crawford was held in jail briefly was later released on a $15 bail. After Crawford was released, a white mob was waiting and chased him into a nearby cotton mill. He fought for his life and struck one of the white men with a hammer. Crawford was then beaten and stabbed several times. He was again arrested, and the sheriff told the men that he would most likely die from his wounds.

The fear that Crawford might die before the mob could get to him coincided with the fear that the sheriff might allow him to leave town. Therefore, between 200 and 400 white men took over the jail, captured and disarmed the sheriff, and kidnapped Crawford.

Crawford was dragged through the black section of town with a rope around his neck. The mob then stole a lumber wagon from a black driver and used it to take Crawford to a fairground nearby. He was hanged from a tree and his body used for target practice. 200 bullets. His last words: I thought I was a good citizen, give my bank book to my children.
I swear our ancestors went through some shit😢

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