Norfolk Virginian, March 15, 1889


Moral -- VigilantismAfrican-Americans -- Racial violenceInfrastructure -- Commercial - NewspapersMoral -- AlcoholMoral -- OtherMoral -- Murder


"White Caps" whipped James Hatton, a prominent negro politician, unmercifully a few days ago at Pungoteague.

The Cape Charles Echo has changed its name and will be known as the Farmer's Echo.

Two oyster boat dredgers engaged in a row Saturday night while their boat was lying at the wharf here. Both were drunk and when separated were considerably bruised and battered up.

The negro brute Fletcher Magruder, who outraged the person of Mrs. Obediah MacReady, on Sunday night last, says that he was sent there by a man, with whom Mrs. MacReady had made arrangements to elope, and that not getting off, and for fear of being caught, brought this charge against him. His story is not given any credence whatever. The people are greatly excited over the affair and Fletcher will probably be lynched immediately upon the return of Capt. MacReady.

Francis Ashmead and his son Andrew, who some time ago imagined himself a woman, have received notification from the "White Caps" ordering them to go to work. The old man, who is about 60 years of age, has posted the following notices at conspicuous places in the village of Craddockville, this county, where they reside: "Ye 'White Caps' of Craddockville village, who wish to interfere with ye other people's business; if enny of ye will meet me at enny designated place I will fit ye to ye death." So his challenge has not yet been accepted.

The shooting of Annis still remains a profound mystery. There is no clue whatever to the perpetrator of the deed.


African-Americans -- Racial violence


The Negro Outrager, Fletcher, Taken from Jail by Masked Men and Hanged to a Pine Tree -- The People Satisfied.

[Special Dispatch to The Virginian.]

ONANCOCK, Va., (via Tasley, Va.,) March 14 -- Magruder Fletcher, the negro who outraged Mrs. Obediah McCready Sunday night last, was taken from jail by a party, of about seventy-five masked men this morning between 1 and 2 o'clock and lynched.

The jailor was awakened at 1 o'clock this morning by the lynchers and the keys to the jail demanded, which he refused to give them. He was told that if he did not his house would be burned.

Deputy Sheriff Melson, having heard the controversy, appeared, and told the jailor to deliver the keys to them, which he did. The lynchers proceeded to the jail and unfastened the doors, and as soon as Fletcher was found the doors to the jail were refastened and the keys returned to the jailor, and the party hurried off with the negro.

He was carried about one and a half miles north of Accomac Courthouse and hanged to the limb of a pine tree, at the edge of the road.

Three bullet holes were found in his body and one in his hand. His body was terrible mutilated. He was found this morning by a peddler, who notified the authorities. A card, with the following inscription written upon it, was found pinned to his breast.

"We protect our mothers, wives, daughters and sisters." -- Committee.

The body was cut down and an inquest held. Following is the substance of the verdict: Magruder Fletcher was strangled, shot and portions of his person crushed by persons unknown to the jury. The body was interred this evening. The people express approval of the deed.


Norfolk Virginian
March 15, 1889