Mar 29, 2018 - Sale 2471

Sale 2471 - Lot 330

Price Realized: $ 5,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
(RACISM.) Set of original Real Photo lynching postcards depicting the "Burning of the Negro Smith." 6 photographs in postcard form, 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches, two captioned in negative; moderate wear and a couple of light creases. With an early plain storage envelope marked with the caption in pencil. Greenville, TX, 28 July 1908

Additional Details

Ted Smith, aged 18 years old, was accused of raping a young white woman in Clinton, Texas. He was arrested and brought to jail in nearby Greenville. A mob took him from his cell at eight the next morning. Rather than the usual hanging, they covered him under a pile of wood, doused him with kerosene, and burned him alive in the center of town, in front of a large crowd. The postcards depict the horrible scene, with the crowd gathered around the fire. One shows the wood pile, apparently just before the fire started. The last two in the series show Smith's charred remains after the wood had burned away. Images available by request.