A walk of remembrance honoring the last publicly known lynched man in Princess Anne
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – A man that was lynched 89 years ago was honored in a remembrance walk in Princess Anne.
“Today is an opportunity to bring remembrance to the lynching victims and also for them to witness firsthand the sites that were involved, sort of bringing the story to life, animating the story for them and making it more real, more tangible,” says Dr. Michael Lane, the Director of the Richard A. Henson Honors Program at UMES.
University of Maryland’s Eastern Shore students and faculty went on the walk to highlight the historic incident. George Armwood, a black 22-year-old was lynched in Princess Anne after being accused of assaulting an elderly white woman in the town. He was taken from his jail cell, where he was then beaten, got his ear cut off and dragged through the town and lynched. The director of the honors program with UMES says this walk highlights Armwood and other victims’ lives, bringing the issue to the forefront and giving community members a chance to look at the sites that were involved in the lynching.
It “helps us to see other viewpoints and to acknowledge that history doesn’t need to be whitewashed, that we can learn from the mistakes of our past and move forward together as one community,” says Dr. Lane.
George Armwood’s lynching is the last publicly known lynching in the state of Maryland. The governor’s appointed group Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission is holding a hearing to acknowledge the past and hear from the descendants of lynched victims on November 5th.
“I think the communities ability to embrace the truth helps that community to heal, helps for us to have a bit more empathy about the shared experience that we have in this town,” the Director adds.
“He was a 22-year-old Black man accused of assaulting an elderly white woman. Prior to having any kind of arraignment or being officially identified as the perpetrator of the crime, he was lynched. He was extracted from his cell here in Princess Anne. He was beaten, stabbed, had an ear sliced off, was attached to the back of a truck, and dragged a mile where he was hanged a first time, dragged back by the truck another mile, and hanged a second time in front of the county courthouse. He was doused with gasoline and set ablaze, then his body was very unceremonious dumped at a lumber yard here in town for his family to come and retrieve the following day. Armwood’s case drew a lot of national attention, shaming Maryland and shaming Princess Anne as the site of what is today known as the last public lynching in the state of Maryland,” says the Director.