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Alleged participants in mob killing go on trial


On this day in 1869, twenty-four defendants went on trial in the celebrated Stockade Case. On the night of October 24, 1868, a Marion County mob dragged five Republicans, arrested the previous night after a Republican meeting ended in a gunfight with local Democrats, from the Jefferson jail and killed three of them, a white and two blacks. After the killings Reconstruction officials arrested some thirty-five suspects, and eventually tried twenty-four of them. The trial involved the testimony of 176 witnesses, and a verdict was not delivered until August 23, 1869. Only seven of the defendants were found guilty of any of the charges, and it is unclear whether any of them served any time in prison.

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