Death In Duluth: The 1920 Minnesota Lynchings A Painful History That Must Be Told
On June 15, 1920, three black circus workers, Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie, suspects in an assault case, were taken from jail, attacked, and lynched by a white mob of thousands in Duluth, Minnesota. Rumors had circulated that six blacks had raped and robbed a nineteen-year-old woman at gun point. A physician's examination of her subsequently found no evidence of rape or assault.
The 1920 lynchings are the only known time that blacks were lynched in Minnesota. 20 other lynchings were recorded in Minnesota, and included mainly Native Americans and a few whites. Three men were convicted of rioting, but none served more than 15 months. No one was ever prosecuted for the vicious murders.
The state of Minnesota passed anti-lynching legislation in April 1921. In 2003, the city of Duluth erected a memorial to the lynched men