The Red Record eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 119 pages of information about The Red Record.


Arriving here at 12 o’clock the train was met by a surging mass of humanity 10,000 strong.  The negro was placed upon a carnival float in mockery of a king upon his throne, and, followed by an immense crowd, was escorted through the city so that all might see the most inhuman monster known in current history.  The line of march was up Main Street to the square, around the square down Clarksville street to Church Street, thence to the open prairies about 300 yards from the Texas & Pacific depot.  Here Smith was placed upon a scaffold, six feet square and ten feet high, securely bound, within the view of all beholders.  Here the victim was tortured for fifty minutes by red-hot iron brands thrust against his quivering body.  Commencing at the feet the brands were placed against him inch by inch until they were thrust against the face.  Then, being apparently dead, kerosene was poured upon him, cottonseed hulls placed beneath him and set on fire.  In less time than it takes to relate it, the tortured man was wafted beyond the grave to another fire, hotter and more terrible than the one just experienced.

Curiosity seekers have carried away already all that was left of the memorable event, even to pieces of charcoal.  The cause of the crime was that Henry Vance when a deputy policeman, in the course of his duty was called to arrest Henry Smith for being drunk and disorderly.  The Negro was unruly, and Vance was forced to use his club.  The Negro swore vengeance, and several times assaulted Vance.  In his greed for revenge, last Thursday, he grabbed up the little girl and committed the crime.  The father is prostrated with grief and the mother now lies at death’s door, but she has lived to see the slayer of her innocent babe suffer the most horrible death that could be conceived.


Words to describe the awful torture inflicted upon Smith cannot be found.  The Negro, for a long time after starting on the journey to Paris, did not realize his plight.  At last when he was told that he must die by slow torture he begged for protection.  His agony was awful.  He pleaded and writhed in bodily and mental pain.  Scarcely had the train reached Paris than this torture commenced.  His clothes were torn off piecemeal and scattered in the crowd, people catching the shreds and putting them away as mementos.  The child’s father, her brother, and two uncles then gathered about the Negro as he lay fastened to the torture platform and thrust hot irons into his quivering flesh.  It was horrible—­the man dying by slow torture in the midst of smoke from his own burning flesh.  Every groan from the fiend, every contortion of his body was cheered by the thickly packed crowd of 10,000 persons.  The mass of beings 600 yards in diameter, the scaffold being the center.  After burning the feet and legs, the hot irons—­plenty of fresh ones being at hand—­were rolled up and down Smith’s stomach, back, and arms.  Then the eyes were burned out and irons were thrust down his throat.

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The Red Record from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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