Friday, February 13, 2015

Vigilante Justice

The Mt. Sterling Sentinel published an article on a jail break that, unfortunately, happened far too often. While Thomas was away on business in Cincinnati, a mob estimated to range from 25 to 100 individuals made a raid on the jail. Jacob See was imprisoned for killing a negro named Simpson Grubbs. Charley Ragan, the Deputy Sheriff, turned over his keys to the mob. See was freed and nothing more had been heard of him following this incident. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the deputy did not recognize any of the mob. Justice was denied to Simpson Grubbs.

Mt. Sterling Sentinel, date not recorded
I wonder if this article is symptomatic of the kind of justice that was to become the norm in post-war Montgomery County. Even if the suspect was arrested and confined, did vigilante justice take over and thus make it impossible for black victims to get justice within the system? Why do I suspect that this situation was the norm in the South post-war?

A quick search on showed me that Simpson Grubbs had served in the Civil War as part of the U.S. Colored Infantry Troops.

I believe he may be the same person that Find-a-Grave lists as Samson Grubbs buried in the Olive Hill Cemetery in Mt. Sterling. He is listed as serving in the same unit as the Simpson Grubbs listed in the Pension Index. What a story he could tell.

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