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One year ago, October 21, 2022, former Mount Vernon High School and current Columbia University native Sophie Kloppenburg debuted a passion project of hers: A memorial bench and historic marker that commemorated the spot where 7 African America lynching and murders occurred in Posey County in 1878. This project was done in collaboration with the University of Southern Indiana College of Liberal Arts Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee.

This year, on the one-year anniversary, a celebration with speakers will take place in honor of that event at the Alexandria Public Libary located at 115 West 5th Street in Mount Vernon Indiana at 10 AM Central Standard Time.

Speakers for this event include:

  • Sophie Kloppenburg, Leader of the 1878 Memorial Initiative  
  • Dr. Kristalyn Shefveland, USI Assistant Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Associate Professor of History 
  • Dr. Laurel Standiford Reyes, USI Assistant Professor of Psychology 
  • Dr. Cacee Hoyer-Mabis, USI Associate Professor of History and Affiliated Faculty of Africana Studies 
  • Jim Redwine, Former Posey County Circuit Judge and author of Judge Lynch 
  • Andre Le Mont Wilson, Author of Hauntings, Essayist, and descendant of Daniel Harrison Sr., John Harrison, and Daniel Harrison Jr. (the three men who were lynched at the site) 
  • Dr. Mark Auslander, Visiting Lecturer of Anthropology from Mount Holyoke College 
  • Kevin Krizan, Economics, Marketing, and Innovation and Open-Source Learning Teacher at Mount Vernon High School 
  • Kori Miller, Director of the Evansville African American Museum 

The Posey County site is where Posey County residents Jim Good, William Chambers, Edward Warner, and Jeff Hopkins were lynched. Daniel Harrison, Sr., Daniel Harrison, Jr., and John Harrison were also murdered at other sites in the Posey County community. A grand jury was called to investigate the tragic events—however, no one was ever indicted.   

The memorial, created in 2022, consists of a dual-sided historical marker with a QR code leading to the David L. Rice Library Guides webpage. The webpage offers additional insight into the lynchings and secondary sources of information. An ongoing partnership with the USI History Department and USI’s David L. Rice Library will help to maintain the website with extensive information to assist in the continual education of these historical events.   

For questions, email Shefveland, Assistant Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, or call 812-461-5434.

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