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In Land of Lincoln, Long-Buried Traces of a Race Riot Come to the Surface

Posted by Jean-Yves on Jan 9, 2019

Recently, archaeologists uncovered the remains of five houses that once stood in a historically black neighborhood in Springfield, Illinois, until they were burned in a race riot 110 years ago. The carcasses of the structures are the last remaining witnesses to the lie that one Mabel Hallam told on a Thursday night in August of 1908 that set the hometown of Abraham Lincoln, “The Great Emancipator,” aflame.

A married white woman, Hallam claimed that summer she had been raped in her home by an unknown black man. The next morning, police searched for her alleged assailant, picking up black laborers who had been in her white working-class neighborhood.

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