Monday, June 29, 2009

Crockett County Mobbing Part 1

Crockett County, Tennessee is today distinctly rural. Just west and a little north of Jackson, Tennessee, is a small city of Bells. Bells, Tennessee sits on a railroad and was once named Bells Depot, though the name is older than the railroad. It began as a stage coach depot. The name was changed in 1880, though the people still called it Bells Depot for many years. What follows is an account of a mobbing that happened in this small community in western Tennessee.

Crockett Co. Tenn, Aug 19, 1888 Our appointment having been made by people living about five miles east of Bells Depot, one for Aug 18 and one the following day Aug 19, Upon which day also Bro James F Brooks had decided to cast his lot with the L. D. S. and notice of it also having been communicated freely we were on hand, as usual, to fill the appointments and attend to baptism.

The meeting passed off quietly, possibly twenty five having gathered as each meeting with but little interest however. At the close of Sunday meeting we announced that we would attend to [the] baptism of Bro Brooks, Accordingly went forth and performed this ordinance. The balance of the day and until bed time was spent pleasantly and closed the day by prayer.

We tried to rest but had been in bed but about three hours when suddenly we were awakened by an armed mob of about 12 men all masque (sic) with a request that me, Elias Wright, Asahel S. Fuller, and James H. Douglas go with them to the woods.

We didn’t like the idea very much, so commenced reasoning with them asking if we had broken any laws, if so, we were answerable to them. Told them they aught to be ashamed of themselves for being in such business. Through our talk they finally sloped away and as they passed into the woods find a volley of ten on turner shots to close their dastardly cowardly act.

The following week Mrs. Brooks learned from different sources of persons connected with the mob and wrote a very polite note to one of them accusing him of being an accomplice. We attended their house and judging from what followed those intrusted (sic) in what took place before, and some of them having been over taken, became enraged and on Sept 2 , 1888 finished their cowardly act to be found later in this book.


Ardis E. Parshall said...

Aack! Don't leave me in suspense too long!

BruceCrow said...

The next page is just baptismal records.

The handwriting is a little tedious to work through so I didn't realize he was going to leave it at a cliff hanger until the very end.

Don't worry. I found the rest later on in the book. I'll post that next. The original writer had a flair for drama and split the story this way and I thought I'd give ya'll a feel for how I reacted when I read it.