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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