“Lynch Law Reversed: The Rape of Lula Sherman, the Lynching of Manse Waldrop, and the Debate Over Lynching in the 1880s”

Bruce Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

591 Downloads (Pure)


This study examines an 1887 lynching in Pickens County, South Carolina, in which a black mob lynched a white man for the rape and murder of a black girl. Two members of the mob, both African American, were eventually convicted, but a massive petition campaign led the goernor to pardon them. The study relies largely on coroner’s inquests for the murder victim and the lynching victim, court records, and newspaper articles. It suggests that the anomalous nature of this lynching prompted many people to consider and debate exactly what justified lynching and what role race was to play in those justifications. Since the lynching occurred at the very point when lynching victims were becoming overwhelmingly African American men, the insights provided into contemporary views on lynching are all the more valuable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-293
JournalAmerican Nineteenth Century History
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005

Cite this