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Present-day relatives sought of Essex County lynching victim

A team of researchers is trying to find information about and present-day relatives of a black man named Thomas Washington who was lynched in Essex County on March 23, 1896.

According to a Middle Peninsula African American Genealogical Society release, Washington had allegedly attempted to assault a young white girl. His body was found hanging from a tree in southern Essex, between Cedar Fork and Center Cross. A coroner’s inquisition found the cause of death to be hanging at the hands of unknown parties.

Although the case attracted considerable attention, said the release, no one was ever brought to justice for the murder. While little is known about Washington, there is some suggestion that he may have had a connection to Richmond County and Fredericksburg, said the release.

A group spearheaded by Black Lives Matter activist Reginald Carter recently received approval from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources for a historical marker for the Thomas Washington lynching...

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