Project HAL: Historical American lynching
- ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
From: Elizabeth Hines <hinese@...>
Re: Project HAL: Historical American Lynching
Dear Fellow Researchers:
This is to announce a data collection project on the subject of historical
American lynching and vigilantism.
SCOPE AND PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT
The project is very broadly focused and is intended to continue
indefinitely. The goal is to accumulate a database of lynchings that took
place at any date within the present borders of the United States. We hope
to make the lynching database analogous to the comprehensive list of legal
executions compiled by M. Watt Espy of the Capital Punishment Research
Project, Headland, Alabama. We will collect and verify information for
individual lynching incidents on an ongoing basis.
Data are intended to be available to researchers without charge other than
expenses such as postage or copying. Our personal interest in the project
is to develop further data for our own research into historical lynching,
legal execution, and the relationship between them. We also feel the study
of lynching generally would be enriched by wide access to comparative
DEFINITION OF LYNCHING
"Lynching" historically includes not only Southern lynching but frontier
lynching and vigilantism nationwide, and many labor-related incidents.
Persons of any race or ethnicity and either gender may have been either
perpetrators or victims of lynching.
We follow an NAACP definition for including an incident in the inventory of
1) there must be evidence that someone was killed;
2) the killing must have occurred illegally;
3) three or more persons must have taken part in the killing; and
4) the killers must have claimed to be serving justice or tradition.
1) create a hard-copy file of all materials received;
2) locate and obtain cited sources wherever possible;
3) create a computer database, including each incident coded by first 14
variables listed in "Request for Texts and Citations" below; and
4) pursue verification of each incident through a second source, usually a
contemporaneous newspaper account.
REQUEST FOR TEXTS AND CITATIONS
We solicit text copies and citations from period newspapers, county
histories, academic theses, published works, and any other credible
nonfiction source in order to develop a list of individual incidents of
lynching. We would like to include as many as possible of the following
specifics for each incident:
1) name of victim(s)
2) age of victim(s)
3) gender of victim(s)
4) race/ethnicity/nationality of victim(s)
5) occupation/social status of victim(s)
6) place of residence, if any, of victim(s): well known local; new in
town; not a local resident; other place of residence if known; transient;
7) county and state where incident took place; town or other locality if
8) when incident took place: date (m/ d/ y); time of day (hour/ a.m.- p.m.)
9) duration of incident (minutes, hours, days)
10) alleged offense for which the victim was lynched
11) means by which death was inflicted
12) other acts of punishment, torture and/or mutilation, if any
13) character of the mob: size; gender ratio; ages; race/ ethnicity/
nationality: occupation(s)/social status; place of residence (local/other);
apparent or known leader(s)
14) any participants in the lynching who are known: name, age, gender, race/
ethnicity/nationality, occupation/ social status, place of residence; role
in the lynching
15) narrative account of the lynching.
16) information source
Citations, queries, and other correspondence can be sent to e-mail or post
office box addresses below. For written citations, photocopies, and other
print items and diskettes, please use the post office box.
Thank you for your interest in Project HAL!
Eliza Steelwater, Ph.D. Elizabeth Hines, Ph.D.
Independent Scholar Assoc. Professor of
Bloomington, IN UNC Wilmington
Post Office Box 5121
Bloomington IN 47407-5121