A Hanging in Nacogdoches

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A Hanging in Nacogdoches
  • A Hanging in Nacogdoches
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  • On October 17, 1902, in Nacogdoches, Texas, a black man named James Buchanan was tried without representation, condemned, and executed for the murder of a white family — all in the course of three hours. Two white men played pivotal roles in these events: Bill Haltom, a leading local Democrat and the editor of the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel, who condemned lynching but defended lynch mobs, and A.J. Spradley, a Populist sheriff who, with the aid of hundreds of state militiamen, barely managed to keep the mob from burning Buchanan alive, only to escort him to the gallows following his abbreviated trial. Each man’s story serves to illuminate a part of the path that led to the terrible parody of justice that lies at the heart of A Hanging in Nacogdoches.



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