Monday, May 21 , 2018, 7:30 am | Partly Cloudy 56º


‘Why Ordinary People Lynched,’ William D. Carrigan

March 3, 2016 from 7:00pm

William Carrigan is a professor of history and chair of the history department at Rowan University, where, since 1999, he has taught more than 100 courses and thousands of students on such topics as the Civil War and Reconstruction, the American West, and the history of New Jersey. In his presentation, he will explore why and how ordinary people came to think that lynching was an acceptable, even preferable, means of maintaining the social order. Carrigan examines extra-legal mob activity in the 19th century as a violent manifestation of rough justice that included lethal assaults on Native Americans, Mexicans, immigrants, African-Americans and Anglo-Americans. Becoming prevalent in the 1830s and subsiding somewhat by 1910, the vigilante reprisals had varied pretexts, from perceived social transgressions to horse thieving, cattle rustling and murder.

A native Texan, Carrigan is the author or editor of four books, including The Making of a Lynching Culture: Violence and Vigilantism in Central Texas, 1836–1916 (2004). In collaboration with Clive Webb over the past decade, he has been studying the lynching of Mexicans in the United States. With the support of institutions including the Huntington Library, the National Science Foundation and the Clements Center, they have published four essays on the subject as well as Forgotten Dead: Mob Violence against Mexicans in the United States, 1848-1928 (2013).

Admission is free.


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