Anthony P. Crawford
1865 - 1916
Abbeville, South Carolina
Submitter: Georgia Walker-Adams
Permission granted by Doria Johnson

Doria Johnson, great-great granddaughter of Anthony Crawford, recounts his lynching and the effect it had on the lives of his descendants:

"I am the great-great granddaughter of Anthony and Tebby Crawford, the great granddaughter of George and Annabelle Crawford, the granddaughter of Joseph and Fannie Crawford Brooks, and the daughter of Dr. Charles and Helen Brooks Johnson. My story is about my great-great grandfathers lynching in 1916 in Abbeville, SC by a crowd estimated to be between 200 and 400 blood-thirsty white people. His ordeal lasted all day. His body was beaten and dragged through town to show other Negroes what would happen to them if they got "insolent." Finally, he was taken to the county fair grounds and strung up to a tree and riddled with bullets. Although we have heard his body was thrown on someone’s lawn , we have yet to locate his grave. The family was ordered to vacate their land, wind up business and get out of town. They did just that. His crime you might ask: cursing a white man for offering him a low price for the cotton seed he was trying to sell and being too rich for a Negro.

Anthony P. Crawford was born in January, 1865 and owned by Ben and Rebecca Crawford in Abbeville, South Carolina. He walked 14 miles roundtrip to and from school each day and proved to be quite a scholar. When Anthony finished school he was a laborer for Ben Crawford until Thomas Crawford, Anthony's father, died in 1893 and deeded some land to Anthony, who was the only one of nine siblings able to sign his own name.

My great-great grandfather stated early in life, "The day a white man hits me is the day I die." And he did. But he left an example of hardwork and determination. He still lives in all of us. Many of us still attend AME Churches and we have been told that we have "that arrogant Crawford way." But we know that those murderers were NOT successful in breaking up the Crawfords. We still stand today proud and close and live our lives as he would’ve wanted us to. We will not stop looking for each other until the last Crawford is accounted for and we can stand on his land and look toward heaven and pray that he knows we are together again. "

Copyright © 1998, Doria Dee Johnson;

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