The victim of a brutal lynching in downtown St. Louis will be remembered this weekend.
At 9 a.m. Saturday, the Reparative Justice Coalition of St. Louis will hold a soil collection ceremony to mark the lynching of Francis L. McIntosh, who was tied to a tree and burned to death on April 28, 1836.
The lynching ultimately forced abolitionist publisher Elijah P. Lovejoy to leave St. Louis and relocate in Alton.
Soil will be collected from the northwest corner of Kiener Plaza, the area where the lynching took place.
The soil will be placed in three jars: One jar will become part of an exhibit at the Griot Museum in St. Louis; another will be sent to the Black Archives of Mid-America in Kansas City; and the third jar will be shipped to the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama.
People are also reading…
Mayor Tishaura Jones is slated to speak at the ceremony.
McIntosh, a free man and steamboat cook, was dragged from jail by a mob, tied to a tree and then set on fire. McIntosh had been arrested for allegedly stabbing a sheriff's deputy to death during a scuffle on the levee.
Lovejoy's newspaper, the Observer, wrote extensively about the incident, describing it as "an awful murder and savage barbarity."
The newspaper editor stayed in St. Louis and kept writing about the incident until July 1836, when a mob ransacked his office at 85 Main Street (now beneath the Gateway Arch) and destroyed his press.