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Lafayette Community Remembrance Project to Hold Soil-Collection Ceremony Saturday

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor

alyssa.schnugg@hottytoddy.com

A soil-collection ceremony will be held Saturday in Abbeville in memory of William Chandler who was lynched in 1895. The Lafayette Community Remembrance Project and Equal Justice Initiative have been holding similar ceremonies for other lynching victims from Lafayette County. Photo by Allen Brewer/eji.org.

Community members will be gathering Saturday to collect soil in the area where an Abbeville black man was lynched in 1895.

The Lafayette Community Remembrance Project will be collecting the soil at 1 p.m. at the site of the old depot in Abbeville near the intersection of West Long Street and Business 7 North.

Folks should meet at the Gordon Community and Cultural Center at 35 County Road 115 to caravan over to the soil-collection site.

The group will be doing the soil collection in memory of William Chandler who was lynched after a white mob shot him and then hanged him from a telegraph pole across from the depot in Abbeville.

Historians have identified seven black men who were lynched in Lafayette County — Harris Tunstal, killed July 12, 1885; William McGregory, killed Nov. 13, 1890; “unknown victim,” killed Sept. 2, 1891; William Steen, killed July 30, 1893; William Chandler, killed June 19, 1895; Lawson Patton, killed Sept. 8, 1908; and Elwood Higginbottom, killed Sept. 7, 1935.

Community members will take turns scooping soil and putting it into one of two jars embossed with the victim’s name and the date and general location of the lynching – one jar for the local community, and one that will be displayed at the Equal Justice Initiative’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montogomery, Alabama.

To get to the Gordon Community and Cultural Center from Oxford:

Go north on Highway 7 about 6 miles. You can either turn left on CR 106 or CR 115; they both will get you there.

To get to the soil collection site from Oxford:

Go north on Highway 7, and turn right onto W. Long Street, shortly after the Dollar General store. Continue to the railroad tracks (before Long intersects with Business 7).


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