A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Friday, February 18, 2011

African Americans in the Matawan Journal - 8 May 1886 and 20 Nov 1886

The 8 May 1886 edition of The Matawan Journal (p 213/221) reports on the beginning of the May Term of the Monmouth County courts the previous Tuesday. Judge Walling was presiding over a court room with two dozen grand jurors.

The Journal described events this way:

Judge Walling made a brief charge, in which he referred to the lynching of the negro, Mingo Jack, at Eatontown, and urged the Grand Jury to inquire with great care into the matter, to vindicate the fair fame of our county for law and order.

The New York Times article of 5 May 1886 offered a small blurb, much the same as the above excerpt.

The County Board of Chosen Freeholders discussed over a thousand dollars worth of bills related to the investigation of the lynch mob at a July 1886 meeting, at first approving the payments then reversing their decision, directing the matter instead to be reviewed by their auditor, per the 17 July 1886 edition of The Matawan Journal.

The 20 Nov 1886 edition of The Matawan Journal tells of a great controversy within the county over the Supreme Court's order requiring the County Board of Chosen Freeholders to pay over a thousand dollars in expenses related to the Sheriff's search for the lynchers and other costs of processing the Mingo Jack prosecution.

The obituary for Mingo Jack's alleged victim, a woman whose situation prompted the rage that prompted the lynching, relates the local version of events at that time. It appears in the 27 May 1893 edition of The Matawan Journal:

The Victim of Mingo Jack Dead.
Red Bank Register

Angelina Herbert, daughter of Tbomas S. Herbert of Poplar, died on Monday of last week, aged thirty years. Her death recalls the only lynching that ever occurred in Monmouth oounty.

On March 6th, 1886, Miss Herbert was attacked on a lonely road near her home by Samuel Johnson, better known as Mingo Jack, a colored man of dissolute habits who lived at South Eatontown.

She was knocked down and dangerously assaulted by Johnson, who then carried her unconscious form into a clump of bushes by the roadside. When she regained her senses, Miss Herbert crawled to the house of a neighbor and told her story lo the family. Officer Liebenthal was summoned and he went immediately to Mingo Jack's house, The man was eating his supper and when the officer stated his errand he denied all knowledge of the affair.

Johnson was arrested and taken to tlhe little wooden jail along the railroad track. Later that night a mob assembled and broke into the jail. They clubbed tho man mercilessly and then hung the almost lifeless body just outside the jail door. Before the lynchers dispersed, they riddled the body with bullets.

The county authorities worked for weeks to discover who the lynchers were, but they were unsuccessful.

Miss Herbert's death was due to consumption, though it is said she never recovered from the injuries she received.

MAPL: Note that the 23 May 1885 edition of The Journal is actually over 200 pages long and appears to include all of the "missing editions" of the paper. Based on the 1885 and 1886 directories of newspaper images, the company that produced this data set seems to have lost track of the images for editions after 23 May 1885 and before 22 May 1886. I suppose those images could be separated out and linked appropriately by issuance date.

1 comment:

  1. On March 5, 2011, The Eatontown Historical Committee and The Mingo Jack Remembrance Group will sponsor a talk and discussion on the anniversary of the 1886 lynching of Samuel Johnson "Mingo Jack", the only documented lynching in New Jersey during the ninetieth century. Featured at the talk will be James Stone, author of the book The Murder of Mingo Jack: New Jersey's only nineteenth century lynching.

    The event will be held at the Eatontown Community Center 68 Broad St. Eatontown starting at 2:00 pm and refreshments will be served. The group would like to have a monument to placed at the location of the “Old Lockup” on West St. to commemorate the only documented lynching and its victim, Mingo Jack. The monument will become part of Wampum Memorial Park.

    Please come!!!

    Rodney Jackson
    (848) 466-0439