DARC Ethiophile Chronicles
On this day
22 February, 1898 a black postmaster and his family were brutishly killed in Lake City, South Carolina. During a time when lynching was at an all time high in North America. African Americans were often falsely charged with crimes especially if they we politically or economically inclined. Large crowds of white onlookers were regularly entertained by this.
Previously Senators Tillman and Congressman Horton had asked the postmaster general to remove Mr. Baker because he was black, the request was denied. Mr. Baker refused to move anymore. At 1 o’clock Tuesday morning, a mob of armed white murderers lit a fire to the post office and house. As flames began to engulf the building, the 8 individuals were met with an onslaught of gunfire.
Mr. Baker was appointed postmaster 3 months prior to the ruthless murder of him and his relatives. There had been protests at his appointment as well as assassination attempts. Since getting shot at he moved his family into a house and continued his postmaster work. It was a Tuesday, a pack of wolves hiding in the neighborhood crevices fired a myriad of shots at his place leaving it like burnt Swiss cheese. The aftermath was no milk or honey, but blood and mutilation.
Mr. Baker was shot in several places and was the first to fall dead, the mother with baby in arms both received bullets. Gunshot smashed the skull of the baby. Two of the girls had their bodies maimed and the boy was shot. Only two of the seven occupants of the house escaped with slight injuries.
The murder of Postmaster Baker was one of the events that galvanized the anti-lynching movement to seek federal intervention.
Name Age Sex Injuries
Frazier Baker 42 M Killed by gunfire
Lavinia Baker F Gunshot to arm
Rosa Baker 18 F Arm broken by gunshot
Cora Baker 14 F Shot in right hand
Lincoln Baker 11 M Shot in abdomen/Broken arm
Sarah Baker 7 F Unharmed
Millie Baker 5 F Unharmed
Julia Baker 1 F Killed by gunfire