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Hopewell Museum

In the Courthouse’s Shadow: The Lynching of George Carter in Paris, Kentucky



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by Tessa Hoggard

In 1901, a Black man was hung from the handsome arched gate that welcomed visitors to the Bourbon County courthouse, a massive French-Renaissance edifice with a bell tower soaring 113 feet into the sky. The courthouse had cast a shadow over the town square for more than two decades, presiding over justice and injustice alike. It muffled the thunderous applause after a political speech, the auctioneer’s rhythmic chant, the joyous chatter of court-day festivities, and the deafening silence of a body swaying in the cold early morning air. Who was George Carter? What led to the lynching? What was the aftermath?In the Courthouse’s Shadow answers these questions and asks a few more. As we continue to struggle with unequal justice in this country, George Carter’s story is a reminder of the price we have paid for failing to address racial challenges that have been a part of this nation since its founding.

Published by Murky Press