On this day in 1898, Frazier Baker, Black postmater, was brutally lynched


Lavinia Baker and her five surviving children. A mob of whites had set fire to their house at night, and fatally shot and killed her husband Frazier Baker and baby girl Julia on February 22, 1898. Left to right: Sarah; Lincoln, Lavinia; Wille; Cora, Rosa / J.E. Purdy & Co. (Boston, Mass.), photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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On this day in 1898, Frazier Baker, a respected African-American postmaster in Lake City, South Carolina, was brutally lynched by a white mob.

Baker was a highly regarded public servant in Lake City, having been appointed postmaster under President William McKinley’s administration in 1897. Baker’s success and position of authority made him a target for racial violence.

On February 22, a group of armed white men, including some local law enforcement officials, dragged Baker out of his home. They then proceeded to beat, torture, and hang him from a nearby tree. His home was set on fire and his infant daughter, Julia Baker, was shot in the head. They also burned the post office to the ground. The white perpetrators of the lynching were never brought to trial or held accountable for their actions.

The lynching was widely condemned by journalists like Ida B. Wells.

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