1001 Black Men–#197

This drawing was created in memory of George Armwood, the last African American to be lynched in the state of Maryland. On October 16, 1933 Armwood, a mentally disabled young man of 23, was accused of attempting to rape a 71 year-old white woman. He was arrested the same day. Two days later, on October 18, 1933, Armwood was forcibly removed from the jail where he was being held and a mob of more than 1000 people tortured and lynched him from a tree near the home of a local judge. The following description of what came to be known as the Princess Anne Lynching is an excerpt from a longer account from the Maryland State Archives:

Immediately after the mob found Armwood hiding under his mattress, the noose was tightened around his neck. Armwood was dragged out of the jail, beaten, stabbed, and kicked as the crowd tied him to the back of a truck and look for an appropriate location to lynch him. At first, the mob wanted to use a large oak tree near Judge Duer´s home, but opted to use a tree found on ninety-one year-old Mrs. Thomas Bock´s property who lived nearby. Armwood´s ears were cut off and his gold teeth were taken out before the mob raised and dropped his lifeless body from a branch above the ground. Once it was clear that Armwood was dead, the mob dragged the body back to the courthouse on Main Street in downtown Princess Anne, where the body was hanged from a telephone line and burned. After the body was extinguished, the corpse was moved and left in Hayman´s Lumber yard until authorities gathered it the following morning.

Archives of Maryland (Biographical Series): George Armwood

The Armwood lynching caused a national outcry against lynching, from people of all races. Despite the national outrage around this horrifying event, though, it was two years before a small number of alleged participants in Armwood’s murder faced a grand jury. None were indicted and, to this day, no individual has been convicted for participating in the lynching murder of George Armwood.


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