Memorializing Isaac Smith, George Robertson and Pete Vinegar, Black Lynching Victims Buried in Unmarked Graves
Isaac Smith, George Robertson and Pete Vinegar were lynched by a white mob in 1882. Their graves are believed to be in a potters’ field in Lawrence, Kansas.
A determined group of volunteers in Kansas are looking for three unmarked graves from the 19th century. The graves are believed to be in a potters’ field in the city of Lawrence. They belong to a trio of Black men who were lynched by a white mob in 1882.
Their names were Isaac Smith, George Robertson and Pete Vinegar.
A city clerk recently discovered a plot map that gives a better indication of where the graves might be located.
Lynching was a means of enforcing white supremacy, suppressing Black Americans' political and economic power, and terrorizing Black communities. And according to the NAACP, between 1882 and 1968, there were over 4,700 lynchings in the U.S.
The killings of the three men in Lawrence were not often discussed, said Ursula Minor, president of the local NAACP chapter.
"Out of fear, most of the Black community didn’t say much about it. It was more of a hush-hush," Minor said.
Now, there is a move afoot to memorialize these men and help the community come to terms with its past.
“My hope, my hope is that I can do something that goes directly to the community that it serves,” Dr. Blair Schneider from the Kansas Geological Survey said.
One local historian, Kerry Altenbernd, is delighted that the search is on. “Now that it’s actually happening it’s almost indescribable how happy I am,” he said.
And although after so many years, there may not be much left to find, he insists that they must continue the hunt.
“But that’s not a reason for not trying and for doing the best we can. We can’t do more than we can do, but we can do all we can do. And, that what we should do. That’s what we owe the folks out here.”
Trending on Inside Edition
Brutal Christmas Murder: Ohio Couple Gets Life for Strangling, Shooting and Slitting Throat of HairdresserCrime
Los Angeles Homeowner Opens Fire on Armed ‘Dinnertime’ Burglar SuspectsCrime
Woman Drives Around Railroad Crossing Gate as Train Slams Into Her Car, Killing Her and PassengerNews
Riley Keough Gets $7.5M From Lisa Marie Trust, Pays Priscilla $2.35M to be Sole Trustee of Estate: SettlementEntertainment
A Holy Hidden Treasure: 318-Year-Old Bible Found in Iowa Nursing HomeOffbeat
Meet Logan Pacl, a Teen With Sanfilippo Syndrome, aka ‘Childhood Alzheimer's’Human Interest
Fox Sports Reporter Apologizes After Admitting to Making Up Some Sideline ReportsNews
‘Crazy Plane Lady’ Tiffany Gomas Opens Up About Viral Meltdown on Plane in Exclusive InterviewNews