Lest We Forget: Lynching at the Stewart Road Bridge
There are spaces we enter on a regular basis without awareness of their significant history. The purpose of this marker is to remember those lynched at the Stewart Road Bridge, and reflect on the history of lynching in the United States.
The Stewart Road Bridge was located at the intersection of Providence and Stewart Road and was the site of public lynching. Although the Stewart Road Bridge no longer stands, this site represents a significant time in our nation’s history that should be remembered. The last recorded public lynching at the Stewart Road Bridge was James T. Scott, a Black janitor at the University of Missouri, in 1923. ABGPS hopes that the memorial will serve as a reminder of how far we have come and of the work we have yet to do as we continue to fight systems of oppression. Thanks to the generous contributions of so many, our goal of placing this historical marker in the community will now become a reality.
The Lest We Forget marker was successfully ordered, received, and donated to the City of Columbia on April 18, 2016 during the City Council meeting. The Lest We Forget marker has a design similar to the Sharp End marker, that marks the location of the business district of restaurants, taverns and other shops owned by black residents that provided essential services and entertainment in segregated Columbia, MO. A picture of the former Stewart Road Bridge is also included on the marker.
The marker has the following inscription:
"Lest We Forget: Lynching at the Stewart Road Bridge
Near this place James T. Scott, a Black janitor in the medical school at MU, was killed on April 29th, 1923. A mob brought Mr. Scott to the bridge, placed a noose around his neck, and pushed him over the railing while hundreds of spectators watched. MU’s presence and alleged student involvement in Mr. Scott’s murder stirred public outrage and made front-page news across the U.S. Although charges were filed against the leaders of the mob, none were convicted. Let this site remind us of the injustices of our historical legacy. As we continue the fight against systems of oppression, let us reflect on how to better our community for all Columbians. The Lynching at Stewart Road Bridge reminds us of how far we have come and the work we have yet to do.
Commissioned by MU’s Association of Black Graduate and Professional Students
The marker will be unveiled on Friday, September 30th, 2016. Check back here for more updates on the marker's unveiling!
Thank you to our donors:
Rachel & Wayne Brekhus
Sarah and Matt McCune
9 Anonymous Donors(You Know Who You Are)