Sunday, March 14, 2010

The White Caps of Sevier County

The White Caps of Sevier County, Tennessee, were a vigilante group formed in approximately 1892 by citizens who wished to rid Sevier County of individuals (mostly women) whom they deemed lewd or adulterous.

Their modus operandi was to leave the offending party a note signed "White Caps," occasionally accompanied by hickory switches, warning them to leave town. If this tactic proved ineffective, the group escalated to whippings.

The White Caps were extremely popular between 1892 and 1896 and thus hard to control legally. Local law enforcement turned a blind eye to their doings and even when arrested White Caps would frequently tamper with juries to ensure their acquittal. In this atmosphere of tolerance, the beatings gradually increased in severity.

To continue reading: Click Here for Part 1 and Click Here for Part 2.

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