Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Hangman's Tree

On St. Delight's Road in rural Georgetown stands a cypress tree with a gruesome history that began in pre-Revolutionary War days.  Only a short highway guardrail and a nearly invisible plaque on the old tree's side delineate it, demonstrating ambivalence over man's duty to call attention to ugly deeds.

It is called the Hangman's Tree.

It is known that a group of Tories and British soldiers were executed at the tree during the Revolutionary War, as were unruly slaves, criminals, and at least two Civil War soldiers.

In later times, it was known as the sight of racially-inspired lynchings, but the specifics of those have been expurgated from memory and the victims' names forgotten.  

The tree occupies an ideal location on the line between two counties on a well-traveled old road, and the hangings stood as a powerful deterrent to others contemplating the same crimes.  A massive limb directly over the road held the noose and the body was left hanging for days as a reminder of justice to all who passed.  Vultures and crows called attention to the corpse, as if one could miss the sight of a body twisting and swaying over the center of the road.


The limb was struck by a tractor trailer truck
 several years ago and broken off.  

The scar remains.


















11 comments:

  1. Gruesomely fascinating. It's sad that no one knows the names of the poor souls who met their ends here, particularly if they were relatively recent. As you probably know, leaving executed criminals hanging was fairly common over here, though discouraged nowadays... Someone pointed out to me a few months back where our village's gallows tree used to be - the road has changed now and it's in the middle of a field by someone's garden.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The history gave me goosebumps ..

    ReplyDelete
  3. Interesting.............I say no more.
    Colin

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gruesome history - most of it is, isn't it? Hanging trees and gibbets were common beside roads for another reason besides acting as a warning to others; the victim could simply be stood on a cart with the noose around his neck, the cart was simply then driven away leaving the poor soul hanging by the neck.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Some tree with a history.
    We have Hangman hill which is not that far from where we live - but I don't think many know about it as it's so very old when people were hanged there, in the late 1880's I expect, but my late father always told me about it, so story must have been past down.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That is a gruesome story. Glad the limb was broken of!

    ReplyDelete
  7. The scar should remain forever instead of sweeping bad history under the carpet.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You are the memory of the place.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Interesting bit of history. Seems better than housing criminals in jail until they die:)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Glad the limb of the tree has gone. Don't think I would like to be constantly reminded of the hangings.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This blog is awesome and very informative keep Sharing this type of blog.

    thai porn

    ReplyDelete