Letter: Details should raise doubt about letter

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 26, 2021

This is in response to the letter by James C. Walker published Sunday under the heading “History cannot be changed with marker.”

Mr. Walker recounts his understanding of the events surrounding the tragic Lyerly murder on July 13, 1906. Some elements of his story do not match the widely circulated press accounts following the crime. The evidentiary hearing convened by the N.C. solicitor on July 20 and 21 was detailed in the Charlotte News and in the Carolina Watchman.

In particular, the three surviving members of the Lyerly family did not escape while the murder was being committed, they didn’t see the perpetrators and could not identify them. Five Gillespies and Dillinghams were suspected of the crime. Their guilt was never established under the law.

It is noted that the three victims of the lynching were indicted on Aug. 6 before they were beaten, burned, dismembered and killed by a mob. Others were also indicted on that day, but the others’ charges were later dismissed. That should raise a doubt in anyone’s mind as to the nature of the case against these men.

— Jeffrey Sharp