The Lynching of 17 Year-Old Marie Scott in 1914

In the history of the United States, the brutal lynching of African Americans stands as a dark stain, revealing the depths of racial hatred and violence that permeated society in the early 20th century. One such tragic incident occurred in 1914, when Marie Scott, a 17-year-old victim of sexual assault, became the target of a violent lynch mob.

The Lynching of 17 Year-Old Marie Scott

Marie Scott was a young African American teenager living in Wagoner, Oklahoma, during a time of rampant segregation and racial tensions. On the fateful day of March 31, 1914, Marie found herself accused of murdering a white man. This accusation alone sparked a swift and brutal response from the white community.

The events leading up to Marie’s lynching were deeply troubling. Just days prior, Lemuel Pierce, a young white man, was stabbed to death in the Black residential area of the city. Reports suggested that Pierce and his friends had entered the neighborhood with the intention of raping Marie.

The Lynching of 17 Year-Old Marie Scott

In the midst of the unfolding chaos, Marie became entangled in a confrontation with lemuel pierce and his friends. While some accounts suggest she acted in self-defense, others claim her brother intervened to protect her and subsequently fled. However, local press reports failed to address why the group of white men were in the Black neighborhood, simply stating that Marie Scott stabbed Pierce unprovoked and in cold blood. Despite the unclear circumstances surrounding the incident, local authorities swiftly apprehended Marie, seemingly disregarding the context of the attempted assault.

When news of the altercation spread to the white neighborhood, it fueled a thirst for revenge. A mob of enraged white citizens descended upon the local jail, demanding justice. Unable to find Marie’s brother, whom they believed was involved, they turned their fury upon Marie herself.

What followed was a grotesque spectacle of racial terror. Marie, a terrified and defenseless teenager, was forcibly dragged from her cell with a rope around her neck, her desperate cries falling on deaf ears. The white mob then proceeded to hang her from a nearby telephone pole.

Following Marie Scott’s lynching, there was a palpable sense of fear and outrage among African Americans in Wagoner and beyond. The incident spurred calls for justice and an end to the epidemic of lynching across the country. However, like many cases of racial violence during that era, justice remained elusive. Although the county’s attorney conducted an investigation, no one was brought to justice, and Marie’s brutal killing went unpunished. Furthermore, Marie’s brother was never found.


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