Within the lifetimes of over half of America, white men were still lynching Blacks, Italians, Catholics, and Native Americans who tried to exercise their right to vote, indeed their right to live.
Searching through America's past for the last 25 years, collector James Allen uncovered an extraordinary visual legacy: photographs and postcards taken as souvenirs at lynchings throughout America. With essays by Hilton Als, Leon Litwack, Congressman John Lewis and James Allen, these photographs have been published as a book"Without Sanctuary" by Twin Palms Publishers .
© 2000-2005 Collection of James Allen and John Littlefield
Below are excerpts from this historical record along with other photos taken from public sources depicting an America without justice for all, mob rule, and dubious claims of guilt justifying the murder of other Americans. That this nation would return to the mindless rule of mobs is not a far stretch given the incessant calls for the assination of our Black President, the multitude of these threats is unprecedented in our history.
Generation after generation until they pack the Supreme Court. And what the Court giveth it will take away. After all, they wear robes to symbolize the institutionalization of their brutality, hatred, and systemic racism.
The march started on Sunday, March 7, 1963.
As marchers crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, named for a Confederate general, they were met by police and state troopers, some on horseback, with orders from Governor George Wallace to stop the march. 
They told the marchers, "It would be detrimental to your safety to continue this march. You are ordered to disperse, go home or to your church. This march will not continue." 
Then they attacked. They fired tear gas into the crowd and severely beat protesters. "They literally whipped folk all the way back to the church," remembered one marcher. "They even came up in the yard of the church, hittin' on folk. Ladies, men, babies, children -- they didn't give a damn who they were." 
That night, TV stations interrupted their normal programming to show clips of the violence at Selma. ABC was showing a documentary on Nazi war crimes, Judgment at Nuremberg. Many viewers thought the clips of the violence at Selma was part of the film. "The violence in Selma was so similar to the violence in Nazi Germany that viewers could hardly miss the connection," wrote SCLC's Young. 
George B. Leonard remembered his feelings upon seeing the clash between the marchers and the police:
A shrill cry of terror, unlike any that had passed through a TV set, rose up as the troopers lumbered forward, stumbling sometimes on the fallen bodies . . . . Periodically the top of a helmeted head emerged from the cloud, followed by a club on the upswing. The club and the head would disappear into the cloud of gas and another club would bob up and down.
Unhuman. No other word can describe the motions . . . . My wife, sobbing, turned and walked away, singing, "I can't look any more . . . ." 
The bound corpses of two Italian immigrants, Castenego Ficarrotta and Angelo Albano, handcuffed together, hanging in a Florida swamp. One with a note affixed to his feet, the other with a pipe in his mouth. September 9, 1910.
A lynching auction in Kentucky 1899.
Jacob Prout and his wife Edna had accumulated a great deal of property and their children had built homes and prospered as professionals in segregated Alabama.
Because he wouldn't sell his water tights and other properties to the white ruling class, they first lynched him his family fled, and they took his property. Outside Selma, 1919.
All dressed up for the show. What memories these lads will carry with them throughout their lives.
"Daddy was right there when they hung that nigger. I don't know why 'cept Daddy said he deserved it"
What is it they fear under their shrouds and hoods? If their cause is rightous and just should they not be proud, for all to their heroic faces?
Freedom of voter Expression in America.
Here using the Tripod symbol of the Masons seen throughout the world instead of a nearby tree, white men lynched a black man because he was accused of talking back to a white man.
Is this Paula Deen as a child???
Yesterday, and metaphorically, everyday
In the dark of night they pray and prey. Unknown perhaps one from the other, nonetheless, joined in ignorance, hate, and beastiality to set upon the unarmed, minority or their opinion of who is a religious outcast.
Yes, except for the white crowds, they are all alone.
Unidentified corpse of African American male.
Gallows, courthouse-jail, and windmill in
background. 1900-1915. Location unknown.
Charred corpse of Jesse Washington suspended from utility pole.
May 16, 1916, Robinson, Texas.
This card bears the advertising stamp, "katy electric studio temple texas. h. lippe prop." inscribed in brown ink: "This is the Barbecue we had last night my picture is to the left with a cross over it your son Joe."
Repeated references to eating are found in lynching-related correspondence, such as "coon cooking," "barbecue," and "main fare."
Lynchers often paraded their victim down the main street, through black neighborhoods, and in front of "colored schools" that were in session.
Jesse Washington, seventeen years old, was the chief suspect in the May 8, 1916, murder of Lucy Fryer of Robinson, Texas, on whose farm he worked as a laborer. After the lynching, Washington's corpse was placed in a burlap bag and dragged around City Hall Plaza, through the main streets of Waco, and seven miles to Robinson, where a large black population resided.
His charred corpse was hung for public display in front of a blacksmith shop. The sender of this card, Joe Meyers, an oiler at the Bellmead car department and a Waco resident, marked his photo with a cross (now an ink smudge to left of victim).
Six black circus workers, alleged to have assaulted a young white girl on the circus grounds, were dragged from their cells in a Duluth, Minnesota, jail by a mob of five thousand people.
Twelve policemen were injured during the attack. In an impromptu trial, orchestrated by the mob leaders, three of the suspects were "found not guilty." The three "found guilty" were hanged. A subsequent investigation by the "civil" authorities proved that none of the murdered men could have participated in the assault.
The New York Times remarked, in 1920, that the "Lynching of Negroes in Duluth is far from the first that occurred in the North. Human nature is much the same in both sections of the country."
A New Monetary System
Grief and a haunting unreality permeate this photo. The corpse of Laura Nelson retains an indissoluble femininity despite the horror inflicted upon it. Specterlike, she seems to float - thistledown light and implausibly still.
For many African Americans, Oklahoma was a destination of hope, where they could prosper without the laws in southern states that codified racism and repression. What was to be a promised land proved to be a great disillusionment.
District Judge Caruthers convened a grand jury in June 1911 to investigate the lynching of the Negro woman and her son. In his instructions to the jury, he said, "The people of the state have said by recently adopted constitutional provision that the race to which the unfortunate victims belonged should in large measure be divorced from participation in our political contests, because of their known racial inferiority and their dependent credulity, which very characteristic made them the mere tool of the designing and cunning. It is well known that I heartily concur in this constitutional provision of the people's will. The more then does the duty devolve upon us of a superior race and of greater intelligence to protect this weaker race from unjustifiable and lawless attacks."
The lynching of Leo Frank. August 17, 1915, Marietta, Georgia.
As celebrated as any court battle in the twentieth century, the trial of the "jew," Leo Frank, for the murder of "little Mary Phagan" pitted Jews against Christians, industrialists against workers, northerners against southerners, and city against country folk. It launched political careers and destroyed others, prompted the formation of the AntiDefamation league, and set the stage for the resurrection of a more sinister and brutal Ku Klux Klan.
Leo Max Frank was arrested on April 27, 1913, the morning after Confederate Memorial Day. A grotesquely engineered trial led to Frank's conviction and a sentence of death by hanging.
After Governor John Slaton's commutation of the death sentence, Frank was transferred, for his own safety, to a prison farm in Milledgeville, Georgia.
On the night of August 16, 1915 at 11 p.m., a gang of twenty-five men, some of Marietta, Georgia's "best citizens," wearing goggles and hats pulled down low, pulled Frank from a hospital bed (he had been hospitalized for a near fatal, seven-inch knife wound to his throat.) They placed him, feeble, undressed, and handcuffed, in one of four waiting cars and departed for Marietta, intending to hang him over the monument of Mary Phagan.
Frank, often described as stoic, sufficiently impressed two of the lynchers with his sincerity and innocence that they advocated his return to the prison farm. The mob, minus the few who "mutinied," drove into a grove just outside Marietta, selected a mature oak, swung the rope over a limb, stood Frank on a table, and kicked it out from beneath him.
Postcards of the lynched Leo Frank were sold outside the undertaking establishment where his corpse was taken, at retail stores, and by mail order for years. The owner of the property where the lynching occurred refused repeated offers to buy the tree from which Leo Frank was hung.
The dean of the Atlanta Theological Seminary praised the murderers as "a sifted band of men, sober, intelligent, of established good name and character - good American citizens." The mob included two former Superior Court justices, one ex-sheriff, and at least one clergyman.
Leo Frank was posthumously pardoned in 1985.
Who should be made to suffer like this in America?
What, if anything did they do to white men to incite
Is this in all of them, us?
The corpses of five African American males, Nease Gillepsie, John Gillepsie, "Jack" Dillingham, Henry Lee, and George Irwin with onlookers.
August 6, 1906. Salisbury, North Carolina.
FROM KLUTTZ'S STUDIO E. Council St., near Court House, SALISBURY, N.C.
The mob numbered into the thousands that wrenched five black men from the civil authorities of Salisbury, North Carolina on the night of August 3, 1906. They accused the men of murdering members of a local family, named Lyerly. The New York Times reported that the victims were tortured with knives before being hanged and then riddled with bullets. The authorities in North Carolina, alarmed at what was one of the largest multiple lynchings of the 20th century, took unusual steps to punish the leaders of the mob.
After the Governor ordered the National Guard to restore order, local officials arrested more than two-dozen suspected leaders. One of the killers, George Hall, was convicted and sentenced to 15 years at a hard labor in the state penitentiary. The New York Times predicted that, by taking these measures, North Carolina's Governor Glenn was not improving his political prospects.
Like maggots they swarmed the boulevards. Their
mouths spewing vile words about other Americans.
Some Black, Jew, Italian or Catholic would soon be lynched.
Freedom to suppress voters the American way.
The lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, a large gathering of lynchers. August 7, 1930, Marion, Indiana
A Time of Terror:
Thousands of Indianans carrying picks, bats, ax handles, crowbars, torches, and firearms attacked the Grant County Courthouse, determined to "get those goddamn Niggers." A barrage of rocks shattered the jailhouse windows, sending dozens of frantic inmates in search of cover.
A sixteen-year-old boy, James Cameron, one of the three intended victims, paralyzed by fear and incomprehension, recognized familiar faces in the crowd-schoolmates, and customers whose lawns he had mowed and whose shoes he had polished-as they tried to break down the jailhouse door with sledgehammers. Many police officers milled outside with the crowd, joking.
Inside, fifty guards with guns waited downstairs.
The door was ripped from the wall, and a mob of fifty men beat Thomas Shipp senseless and dragged him into the street. The waiting crowd "came to life." It seemed to Cameron that "all of those ten to fifteen thousand people were trying to hit him all at once." The dead Shipp was dragged with a rope up to the window bars of the second victim, Abram Smith. For twenty minutes, citizens pushed and shoved for a closer look at the "dead nigger."
By the time Abe Smith was hauled out he was equally mutilated. " Those who were not close enough to hit him threw rocks and bricks. Somebody rammed a crowbar through his chest several times in great satisfaction." Smith was dead by the time the mob dragged him "like a horse" to the courthouse square and hung him from a tree. The lynchers posed for photos under the limb that held the bodies of the two dead men.
Then the mob headed back for James Cameron and "mauled him all the way to the courthouse square," shoving and kicking him to the tree, where the lynchers put a hanging rope around his neck.
Cameron credited an unidentified woman's voice with silencing the mob (Cameron, a devout Roman Catholic, believes that it was the voice of the Virgin Mary) and opening a path for his retreat to the county jail and, ultimately, for saving his life. Mr. Cameron has committed his life to retelling the horrors of his experience and "the Black Holocaust" in his capacity as director and founder of the museum with the same name in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Under magnification, one can see the girls in this photo clutching ragged swatches of dark cloth.
After souvenir hunters divvied up the bloodied pants of Abram Smith, his naked lower body was clothed in a Klansman's robe-not unlike the loincloth in traditional depictions of Christ on the cross. Lawrence Beitler, a studio photographer, took this photo. For ten days and nights he printed thousands of copies, which sold for fifty cents apiece.