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    The Jubilee Singers. (1875). Image courtesy of the New York Public Library.

A Hanging in Nashville

Today is Martin Luther King day and there are many activities going on around Nashville to celebrate the holiday.   While we still have far to go, let’s not forget how far we’ve come.

Hanging in Tennessee — The first legal execution ever witnessed in the county in which Nashville, Tenn., is situated took place when three negroes were suspended from the same scaffold.  The execution was witnessed by about two hundred people.  The condemned men were Babe BATTISE, Ducer THOMPSON and Abe PETEWAY.  There were about three hundred people outside the jail while the execution was going on.  PETEWAY killed an old white man named WRENN on the night of May 31, 1900.  BATTISE and THOMPSON were hanged for the murder of Cain THOMPSON, a negro spotter for the police, two years ago.

St. Petersburg Times Newspaper. July 27, 1901. Accessed via Google News Archive.

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