Justice sought for 1923 Missouri lynching victim

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Columbia community leaders are working to correct the record in the 1923 lynching of a black University of Missouri janitor accused of raping a white professor’s daughter.

James T. Scott was charged with the crime eight days after the 14-year-old girl was assaulted. He insisted he was mistakenly identified.

But before he could face a trial, a mob of 500 men stormed the Boone County jail, took Scott out and hanged him near the campus. Thousands watched.

Scott’s death certificate has a handwritten note listing “committed rape” as a secondary cause of death. A local documentary filmmaker has petitioned state recordkeepers to strike that note.

And Second Baptist Church leaders are raising money to add a headstone to Scott’s small grave marker in Columbia Cemetery. The church held a fundraiser Sunday night.

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