Historically Speaking: The Case of Willie Leaphart

14SEP6:00 PM7:00 PMHistorically Speaking: The Case of Willie Leaphart6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Irmo Branch Library

Event Details

Willie Leaphart, a black teen was lynched in Lexington in 1890. A teacher now wants to keep his story alive. It’s a story that likely would have remain obscured if not for the efforts of Michael Burgess, a River Bluff High School history teacher who began digging into Leaphart’s fate in March after a student asked whether the county had ever had a lynching. Learn about Leaphart’s story … From the Post and Courier,

“Thousands have traveled past the site of Leaphart’s death in the 131 years since, given it occurred on what’s now the county courthouse complex in downtown Lexington. It’s across from a mortgage company and blocks away from an Italian restaurant and an ax-throwing venue.

At the time, Leaphart’s case became a media sensation, with dispatches on the jailhouse killing filed to newspapers as far away as Los Angeles and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Part of the interest, said Lexington County Museum head J.R. Fennell, is due to a promise made upon the honor of prominent residents at the time that no harm would come to Leaphart as he waited for court proceedings to start again.”


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