Anti-Negro Mob in Louisville, KY.

March 15, 1866


Tensions between freedmen and whites reach new heights in Louisville, where a group of discharged freedmen was brutally assaulted after reportedly insulting a white woman.


On Friday of last week a discharged negro soldier in Louisville insulted a lady on a steamboat, and the police, fearing the Freedmen's Bureau, did not arrest him. After the policemen had left, the mob, every minute growing stronger, at once took the law into their own hands, and seizing the negro, beat him and then threw him into the river on the short side of the boat, giving him a good ducking. He waded to shore, and started off in full run for the Freedmen's Bureau, pursued by a crowd of boys, who made the bricks and stones fly around him thick and fast. The mob then searched for the other negroes, and seizing them, threw them, one after another, in the river, when they swam to shore only to fall into the hands of the boys that waited for them, and chased them, yelling and throwing bricks at them, towards the Bureau. The valises, carpet-sacks, and everything that belonged to them, were thrown into the river, and fell a prey to the boys that mingled with the mob on shore- Courier
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Justin Barlow




“Anti-Negro Mob in Louisville, KY.,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed September 28, 2022,