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Letter : J. B. Tomlinson to Governor William Stanley - Page

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The warden of the Kansas State Penitentiary at Lansing, J. B. Tomlinson, writes Governor William Eugene Stanley, of Topeka, concerning the events preceding the lynching of Fred Alexander, an African American man, on January 15, 1901. Alexander was charged with the rape and murder of Pearl Forbes and the rape of Eva Roth, white women from Leavenworth. Local citizens formed the Leavenworth Vigilante Committee to lynch Alexander. The State Penitentiary at Lansing held Alexander to protect him from the mob pending confession or trial. The letter discusses the formation of the mob, their demands and intentions, and the appointment of special deputies to guard the prison. The letter also describes the sheriff's failure to protect the prisoner. Tomlinson released Alexander to the Leavenworth County sheriff on January 15 for a preliminary hearing at Leavenworth. A mob took Alexander from the county jail that afternoon and burned him alive in broad daylight. Alexander consistently maintained his innocence. Although criminal executions were legal in Kansas until 1907, no state executions had occurred since 1870 due to previous governors' refusals to order sentences of execution. Such lynchings may have been motivated, in part, by some citizens' lack of confidence in the state's criminal justice system.

Creator: Tomlinson, J. B.
Date: January 19, 1901

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Letter : J. B. Tomlinson to Governor William Stanley - 1Letter : J. B. Tomlinson to Governor William Stanley - 2Letter : J. B. Tomlinson to Governor William Stanley - 3

Letter : J. B. Tomlinson to Governor William Stanley - 1

Item Number: 207931
Call Number: Governor's Records, Stanley, Box 3 Folder 13
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 207931

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