Metadata for the
lynching database used on this site:

The lynching data for MonroeWorkToday was compiled from listings of victims in 62 published academic sources. Extreme effort was taken to stitch together these sources carefully under the following guiding principle: More recent, more geographically-specific, or updated studies are allowed to correct the details that were recorded by a source that is older, covers a more general area, or indicated less confidence over a specific event.

When a death is documented by multiple authors with discrepancies among them, the author’s study which was more geographically-specific or was published more recently is considered the "better" source for purposes of resolving the discrepancy. That source then determined the final details entered in the database for that incident.

MonroeWorkToday Dataset Compilation, verson 1.1

Number of records: 8045
Marked as special cases: 16
Date range or regular cases: 1803 - 1964
Date range of special cases: 1818 - 2011

Changes in version 1.1:

  • 686 persons added, identifying victims killed in acts of mob violence that cannot be confirmed to fit the Tuskegee lynching definition.
  • Note: version 1.1 contains the same deficiency as the prior version for the omission of certain states in years prior to 1882.

MonroeWorkToday Dataset Compilation, verson 1.0

Number of records: 7324
Marked as special cases: 16
Date range of regular cases: 1803 - 1964
Date range of special cases: 1818 - 2011

Notes about version 1.0:

  • This dataset includes 43 persons’ deaths which are evaluated by modern scholars as not meeting the Tuskegee lynching definition.
  • This dataset includes people killed at the following events, although cannot be confirmed to fit the Tuskegee lynching definition: the 1885 Chinese murders in Gilman, WA; the 1885 Chinese massacre in Sweetwater, WY; 1886 Chinatown fire in Truckee, CA; and the 1887 Chinese massacre in Hells Canyon, OR. These victims are flagged for inclusion or exclusion by future researchers.
  • In his tally at Tuskegee Institute, Mr. Work appears to have included some victims in certain race riots. In order to supplement his list for those particular riots, this dataset adds additional victims (as identified by other authors) unknown to Mr. Work for the following events: 1898 riot in Phoenix, SC; 1904 riot in Statesboro, GA; 1919 riot in Elaine, AR; and 1923 riot in Rosewood, FL. The additional victims are flagged for inclusion or exclusion by future researchers.
  • It is a known deficiency that this dataset omits lynchings which may have occurred before 1882 in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia (before 1880), Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma (before 1881), South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virgina/West Virginia (before 1881). This temporal gap is due to the fact that none of the available published sources survey these geographies before 1882.

Data dictionary:

In general, any fields that were computed by auut studio, and not part of the source author’s record, are prefixed by the letters mwt_

FieldDescription
mwt_id An arbitrary, unique number to identify each record for MonroeWorkToday
mwt_en_masse A flag that attempts to mark incidents where multiple people were killed in the same town on the exact same day (to the best of auut studio’s interpretation). This flag is simply for the convenience of a researcher to search quickly for multi-victim events.
state The state in which the incident occurred as recorded in the "better" source
year_source The year of the event as recorded in the better source
month_source The month as recorded in the better source (or blank if not recorded)
day_source The day of the month as recorded in the better source (or blank if not recorded). Note that dates of lynchings recorded among authors very often disagree by a few days or more. This nearly always relates to the ambiguity of a newspaper article: published a week after the event without a clear date, or unclearly stating the date of a mob's seizure vs. discovery of the victim's death, or the difference from nightfall to early morning in events spanning across midnight.
  • When a date in this field has been corrected by less than 15 days, it was changed to the more recent source's version without comment.
  • When a date was corrected by greater than 15 days, a note was added to mwt_sources_discrepancy.
mwt_date_txt An imputed date for the incident, created by filling in any blank months or days in the historical record. An unknown month of the year is forced in this field to be January 1st of the year_source; an unknown day is forced to the 15th of the month_source. Any records that note being "Early" in the month are forced to the 5th day of the month_source, or that note occurring "late" in the month are forced to the 25th day of the month_source.
name A person's name as recorded in the better source
name_alias_spelling Alternate name(s) appearing in the historical record for the same person, whether mispellings or simply erroneous identifications that were later corrected
race_source The race/ethnicity recorded in the source. This attempts to preserve the terminology of the source author, even if it is not auut studio’s preferred terminology to describe one race or ethnicity. For example: some individuals may be originally documented in the Tuskegee Archives’ record as Unnamed Negro, yet other individuals that were race unknown at the time are corrected by more recent sources to be Black.
mwt_race The race/ethnicity displayed on the MonroeWorkToday website; in some cases it has been interpreted differently than race_source by auut studio.
sex The sex of the person recorded in the source, if known
alleged The trangression that was alleged of the person [in an attempt to justify their killing], according to the source
mwt_alleged_category An interpretation by auut studio of the alleged field, collapsed into fewer categories:
  • Assault/Threat against Persons
  • Assault/Attack upon Women
  • Crime against property
  • Insult to White Persons
  • Labor or Economic Competition
  • Murder or Attempted murder
  • Murder-Rape
  • Alleged Sexual crime
  • Absence of a crime
  • Other
town The town recorded in the better source (or blank if not recorded)
county The county recorded in the better source (or blank if not recorded)
source1, source2, source3, source4 An arbitrary code that refers to the published sources in which the person is documented. For a list of the codes please use the bibliography <http://www.monroeworktoday.org/bibliography.html>
mwt_sources_discrepancy Brief notes to describe how later sources contradict and/or were allowed to correct earlier sources
mwt_notes_ab_record Internal notes used by the MonroeWorkToday project
mwt_county_id A matching key to the source county, using the data schema of the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries <http://publications.newberry.org/ahcbp/>
mwt_county_version A matching key to the temporal "version" of mwt_county_id, using the data schema of the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries <http://publications.newberry.org/ahcbp/>
mwt_county_keyid A concatenation of the two fields mwt_county_id and mwt_county_version, which creates a unique key that can be used to join the lynching records to AHCBP’s GIS files
mwt_white_supremacy A numerical flag for assessment of the motivation of the perpetrators or circumstances. This represents only the assessment by auut studio from its own research for purposes of this particular project. ALL researchers are cautioned to independently interpret the record according to their own expertise.
  • < 0 > this death is not interpreted here as an act of white supremacy
  • < 0.25 > this death of a person of color is related to an alleged crime of stock theft; it is not interpreted here as an act of white supremacy
  • < 1 > this death is interpreted here as an act of white supremacy
mwt_included A category of assessment for inclusion of the person’s death in the MonroeWorkToday map. This represents only the assessment by auut studio from its own research for purposes of this particular project. ALL researchers are cautioned to independently interpret the record according to their own expertise.
  • < 0 > this death was not included on the MWT map, for various reasons
  • < 0.25 > this death is interpreted as a victim of mob violence (e.g. race riots or massacres), but is not interpreted by MWT as a lynching
  • < 0.5 > this death had some uncertainty for fitting the definition of a lynching, expressed by a source author or in the assessment of auut studio
  • < 1 > this death is interpreted as a lynching to appear on the MWT map
  • < 3 > this death is interpreted as a special case for consideration
mwt_included_reason A brief note of explanation when mwt_included is assigned categories 0 or 3
mwt_find_duplicate A string that matches the pair of two (or more) records, in which one incident appears to be a double-count of another, according to the research assessment by auut studio. ALL researchers are cautioned to independently interpret the record according to their own expertise.
mwt_sequence The number of days since 1/1/1834 to the mwt_date_txt. This allows quick sort of all records in chronological order
mwt_mob_race An (unreliable) assessment of the ethnic composition of the perpetrators. Data in this field was usually indicated from a source author, but sometimes was imputed by auut studio based on outside information. No data in this field should be assumed to be 100% reliable. This field was used to exclude certain incidents done by non-white mobs from the MonroeWorkToday map, whose project is focused on white supremacy actions.

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