Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Hesekiah Brown
MSA SC 3520-13950
Reportedly lynched on Dec. 12, 1884 in Howard County

Biography:

Hezekiah Brown, a school teacher and itinerant preacher originally from Port Republic, Calvert County, was reported to have been lynched in "the wildest part of Howard"1 County on Saturday, December 12, 1884.  A clergyman near Clarksville post office said that Brown was married to and intimate with a white woman named Fannie Schultz, a widow about 35 years of age, who lived with Mrs. John N. Rhodes.  It was reported that they may have been married by a black minister four miles west of Clarkesville post office.  One newspaper reported that "his offence was miscegenation."2  It was reported that a band of 13 masked men took Brown and hung him to a tree near Washington Road, near the Columbia Turnpike on December 13, 1884 in the Baltimore American as well as the Sun.

On December 14 and December 15, the Baltimore American and the Sun reported that Brown actually was not lynched.  The Baltimore American read that the rumor of the lynching was untrue and that Brown was "seen Saturday, and is alive and kicking."3  Brown was quoted in the same paper saying, "I would like to know who started this thing against me.  Somebody who don't like me must have got it up and sent it to the papers.  The idea that I would marry a White woman is simply absurd.  There are too many colored ladies in the United States for me to do that.  As regards my relationship with this woman Schultz, they have only been those of a gentleman.  I have only known her about a month."4  Brown mentioned that he preached several times at Asbury Chapel, and Ms. Schultz would come and hear him preach, and she would mingle with the blacks as though she was one of them afterwards.  The newspaper reported that Ms. Schultz was excluded from the white community because of her ties to the blacks in the area.  Brown also said that Ms. Schultz wrote him asking permission for her eight-year-old son to attend the Asbury Chapel school where Brown was teaching, a request Brown granted.  Brown continued, "I never made any pretence of love to the woman, and never led her to believe that I cared for her."5
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1.   Baltimore American, 13 December 1884.
2.  Ibid.
3.  Baltimore American, 14 December 1884.
4.  Ibid.
5.  Ibid.

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