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Project HAL: Historical American lynching

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  • Julia Walsh
    ... From: Elizabeth Hines Re: Project HAL: Historical American Lynching Dear Fellow Researchers: This is to announce a data collection
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 13, 1999
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      ----------------------------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
      historical data.

      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
      lynchings:
      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.

      METHODOLOGY
      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;
      homeless
      7) county and state where incident took place; town or other locality if
      known
      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

      CONTACT ADDRESSES:
      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
      Geography
      Bloomington, IN UNC Wilmington

      ---
      Project HAL

      E-MAIL:
      project_hal@...

      MAILING ADDRESS:
      Project HAL
      Post Office Box 5121
      Bloomington IN 47407-5121
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