The lynching of Thomas Juricks

Thomas Juricks was an African American who worked as a sharecropper to support his wife and six children. Juricks was working on Schoaff farm in Prince George’s County in 1869, when he had cut open his hand using a scythe. He tore off a piece of his pants to make a bandage hoping to stop the bleeding. Juricks was arrested days later after being accused of assaulting a white woman, Ms. Dooly.

On October 12, 1869, Ms. Dooly was walking to her schoolhouse when she was assaulted and left unconscious. Residents had made assumptions that the attacker was an African American named James Jackson. It was discovered that Thomas Juricks was nearby during the time of the attack. Both were held into custody without a witness, until Dooly was awake and able to identify her attacker. The following morning, Dooly’s condition was not improving, and doctors were starting to become concerned. Later that night a mob attempted to lynch both men, but the guards convinced them to wait for evidence to be found.

The next day a piece of fabric was found, which matched the bandage that Juricks made from his pants for his hand. Juricks was instantly put under protection with Constable Underwood and James Jackson was released from custody. Juricks asked to drive by his house so he could say goodbye to his family. When the wagon came to a stop, about twenty men with handkerchiefs over their face came around from Juricks’ house and approached the wagon. Underwood fired gunshots to scare the men off, but the men had tied him up and left him on a side road. The mob stopped by an oak tree nearby where Juricks was forced into a noose and placed at the top of the wagon. Juricks caught himself once the wagon was moved from under him, but the men began to jump and swing on his body. Afterwards, the mob stood in a line and shot Juricks’ lifeless body.

Thomas Juricks was left for two hours before someone was sent to confirm Juricks’ body. Juricks was buried by a public road to serve as a warning to the community. An investigation was conducted, which resulted in no consequences towards the mob members.