Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

John Simms
MSA SC 3520-13795
Lynched in Annapolis, Maryland, June 1875

Biography:

John Simms, a farmer, was accused of attacking eighteen year old Adaline Jackson, the daughter of John Jackson near Odenton, Maryland. According to newspapers of the time, Simms was "captured near Stony Run, cooking his breakfast, and when he saw his captors exlaimed, You've catched me!" Reportedly Simms' captors walked him to the home of John Jackson to be identified by his daughter, who recognized him as her attacker. While at the home of Mr. Jackson, it was reported that Simms stated his name and that he was from Richmond, Virginia. A commitment was made by Elijah Jackson. 

Simms was arrested on June 7, 1875 and put in jail at Annapolis, where he was kept in shackles in a cell. According to the Alexandria Gazette, ten men under the leadership of an elderly white man, assembled to lynch Simms. The men took a handcar to Annapolis where they met up with several residents from that city. The group went to the jail house where John Simms was being held. When they arrived Simms was confined in a cell with Andrew Norris, who was also convicted of rape. When the mob tried to secure Simms, he attempted to fight them off. At about three o'clock in the morning John Simms was dragged from the jail to the "dark woods" where he was lynched. 


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