The Victims of Racial Violence in Wise County

In our show “Reconstructing Danville,” we discuss the 1883 Danville Riot, and ways in which white southerners reasserted power after Reconstruction.

This was done through laws, but also with the use of violence. Sometimes the method was gunfire, but other times it was lynching. Tom Costa is professor of History at the University of Virginia at Wise. He is part of a team working to memorialize Wise County’s three lynching victims. 

In addition to Costa’s expertise, we have linked to assembled entries from an ongoing project from James Madison University: “Racial Terror: Lynching in Virginia, 1877-1927.” The project focuses on telling the stories of all 104 known lynching victims who were killed in Virginia between 1877 and 1927, including the three victims from Wise County in Virginia discussed by Costa in our show.

The entries include basic information, a summary of the victims and circumstances of the crime, and relevant newspaper clippings.

1902 Wiley Guynn 

1920 David Hunt/Hurst 

1927 Leonard Woods