William D Miller wrote about the lynching of Eli Persons in the last chapter of his book, "Memphis in the Progressive Era 1900-1917." This book was published in 1957 by the Memphis State University Press, so I imagine it is difficult to find. As far as I know it is the only book written about Memphis of that time period to mention that lynching. Miller compared the behavior of the people who killed Eli Persons to the barbaric Roman executions of 1900 years before.
Thanks for the story and editorial. Next to the Forrest statue, we should, at least, place a marker about the General's role in the slave trade before the war and his role in the Ku Klux Klan after the war. We have never told the entire story of Forrest's public life, only the battlefield, heroic moments. In fact, we don't have a single marker that describes the slave trade in our city's history. The slave trade is an unpleasant topic to officially "mark." But historic markers are not meant to be pleasant, they are meant to teach. Congratulations to Helena for their attempt to teach all of the past.
By Flyer Staff
download this issue
click here to see more »