May 4
1927

Murdered in: Little Rock

John Carter cropped

John Carter. Photo in the Arkansas Gazette, May 1927

John Carter was thirty-eight years old at the time of his death. Most of  the other “facts” of his life are conflicting rumors.

Some said he was mentally disabled.

A year before he was lynched, Carter had allegedly attacked a white woman with a hammer. He had recently escaped from a prison work crew, when he allegedly attacked two more white women. The women were driving a horse-drawn wagon to Little Rock at the time.

The African American community is Little Rock believed that Carter jumped on the wagon to save the women when their horses ran out of control.

{Read about the lynching and see original newspaper accounts here.}

One women (a relative?) contributed the following comment to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture article about the Lynching of John Carter:

“This man lost his life and his family. His life was cut short due to hate. He had nothing to do with any killing or hitting any white woman. This man had a wife and five little children; his baby son who was two years old at the time never got to know his father. No one has ever gone to trial for the killing of Mr. John Carter. There is even no headstone for him. Is there a grave? Where? And this is justice?”

Linda Carter
Moreno Valley, CA