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Police Blotter: Rape, Violence, Murder, Mayhem

Think Charlotte is rough today? Let's go back in time, to the early 1900s, when crime in the Queen City was a daily sport


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PROMISCUOUS CHAIR THROWING: In May 1889, the Charlotte News published the following report: "After a dance at the park auditorium last night, a young fellow attempted to get gay by throwing chairs around promiscuously. He was promptly suppressed and faced the mayor this morning, getting a sharp lecture." In the future, a police officer would attend such events to keep this from happening again, the paper reported.

RACIAL SCANDALS: Prison superintendent J. Stancil was suspended from his duties after causing the biggest racial scandal in Charlotte in 1900. Prison inmate John Crowder was a white man assigned to a chain gang after he couldn't pay his $5 fine for being drunk. For reasons that were unclear, Crowder was put on a black chain gang overseen by another African American inmate. An outraged crowd gathered as the men made their way down Trade Street, with Crowder chained to another black man. John P. Morris, a prominent Charlotte citizen, immediately paid Crowder's $5 fine. The story was the headline in the paper the next day. Stancil was eventually fired.

• Though it didn't happen in Charlotte, both North and South Carolina carried news for weeks about the arrest of U.T. Steen, John Jackson, Benjamin Jackson and Harvey Jackson for murder in Columbia, SC, in March 1900. After the men, who were white, discovered that Cassie Boone, who also was white, lived with a black man, they kidnapped her and burnt her alive at the stake.


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