The Lynching My Father Saw

My father, Calvin L. Skinner, witnessed a lynching on White Marsh Road in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, in the 1920’s.

That road was one where poor whites and then called “coloreds” lived.

When my father was undergoing lung cancer treatment in Washington in the late 1980’s, we drove over to the Eastern visit my mother’s grave in Church Hill.

Somewhere on White Marsh Road my father saw a lynching in the late 1920’s.

As we went past one road at a bend in the highway between Centerville and Church Hill with a run down building that appeared to have been a little store on the west side of the intersection, Dad told me he used to live down it.  It is south of Clanahan Shop Road.  Dad said he knew the Mr. Clanahan for whom it was named.

He told of walking down the dirt road with his father.  I gathered he was over ten but not yet in high school.  That would have put it in the late 1920’s, since he was born in 1916.

“What’s that?” he asked, as he saw a crowd of men up ahead.

“Don’t look at them.  Just keep on walking, son.” his father said.

It was a lynching.

When I contacted Maryland state officials who track lynchings, they said no lynchings had taken place in Maryland since 1900.  

I suggested that a lynching in Queen Anne’s County in the late 1920’s would not have made the Queen Anne’s County Record.

It’s not exactly something the powers-that-be would have wanted recorded.

My father had died by the time I made contact, so I couldn’t produce the eye witness; the lynching trackers in Maryland state government apparently didn’t believe me.


The Lynching My Father Saw — 5 Comments

  1. Still remember to this day, being scolded and my mom admonished, by one of these like-minded sophisticates.

    Because yours truly, an 8 year old D J, drank out of a ‘Colored Only’ drinking fountain, at a Greyhound Bus Station in Memphis circa 1962, on the way to a cousins wedding in Pine Bluff, Ak.

  2. Lynchings were rather rare in America given its huge population.

    Lynchings are still commonplace in Mexico and Panama.

    A lynching occurred in Havana at the time John Paul II visited in ’98.

    Indonesia is another place of many modern lynchings, as is India and Pakistan.

    Over a quarter of the documented lynchings in America involved White victims, but from all the propaganda, one would think tens of thousands of Blacks were lynched, but the real figure of lynched Blacks is about 2300, and about 25% of those wete lynched by other Blacks!

    Half the Blacks lynched were prior to 1861/Civil War.

  3. And about 25% of the lynchings were White “victims”. And hundreds of lynchings were done by lynchers Black & White.

    Now here’s my question: How many lynched deserved it? I.e., were guilty of a capital offense crime? 98%? 99%?

    Maybe Dad shielded your eyes from a beating Cal.

    People have been brainwashed to think all lynchings are carried out by violent, irrational mobs of mad, bloodthirsty goons. But that’s not the case at all. To convince large numbers of people to kill really takes a powerful motivation.

    My granddad told me in WwII, he and and an Army platoon were ordered to string up 8 German civilian officials in Aachen, the first German city taken by the Americans. These people were not soldiers and were connect to the city government and arranging food distribution for the civilian population, and were not German soldiers, armed or anything.

    They were ordered to be summarily hanged in public to cow the conquered population.

    He and his unit refused even after threatened with courts martial and summary execution themselves for disobeying orders in time of war.

    Nothing happened to his unit but the city officials were all shot in the back of the head and had their hands bound. They were also severely beaten before that and their bodies with unrecognizable faces were dumped in the City square.

    He said his unit had a majority of Southerns, especially Carolinians, so I guess there was strong memory of what happened during the brutal ‘Reconstruction’.
    Hey get ready for WWIII:

  4. Wasn’t Biden a Senator at the time and doing great things for the people?

    Why didn’t he clean up Maryland when he had the chance and still has 103 years later, they are still killing black people only this time the blacks are killing the other blacks and not even he gives two shits. Baltimore is a hellhole along with Chiraq and all other big Blue cities.

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