Northwest Georgia’s first Reconciliation Marker, acknowledging the segregation era of the South, was recently unveiled in Walker County.
The marker, erected on the grounds of the Marsh House in LaFayette, tells the story of the lynching of Henry White. On September 20, 1916, the 24-year old African American man was accused of raping the white daughter of a local justice of the peace. The marker states “Mr. White and this white woman may have been in a consensual relationship,” but without evidence or due process, he was captured by a mob and hung in a tree by a log chain.
The other side of the marker touches on the history of racial injustice in America between 1877 and 1950, specifically the four-county Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, which includes Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade and Walker. The marker states the “Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit had at least eight documented racial terror lynchings: one in Walker County, two in Dade County, two in Catoosa County and three in Chattooga County.”
The marker was spearheaded by Emma Jones, a 2016 graduate of Ridgeland High School, with the assistance of the Walker County Historical Society, Walker County African American Historical and Alumni Association, the Equal Justice Initiative and the Reconciliation, Peace and Justice Memorial Task Force.
Photos courtesy Vince Stalling: