A 1925 lynching for which 10 men went to prison

“in 1925 a mob of white men broke into the Martin County jail and removed a young Jewish man named Joseph Needleman, who had been accused of raping a local woman named Effie Griffin.

“They had carried him to the cemetery at the Skewarkey Primitive Baptist Church, where they castrated him and left him for dead.

“Needleman barely survived his wounds. He stumbled into town to find help and somebody rushed him to a hospital in Washington, N.C., for emergency surgery. A grand jury later found him innocent of rape, but another jury convicted 18 of his assailants and sent 10 to prison….”

— From “In Skewarkey Cemetery” by David Cecelski at davidcecelski.com (Aug. 31) 

Though much less publicized, the Needleman lynching unavoidably echoes the Leo Frank case in Atlanta a decade earlier.

 

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