Where Was the Largest Mass Lynching in American History?

Lynching is a dark chapter in American history, one that we often don’t like to talk about. However, it’s important to acknowledge and understand the past in order to move forward towards a better future. One of the most horrific incidents of lynching in America took place in 1891, in a small town called Covington, Louisiana.

The events leading up to the lynching were sparked by an incident involving a local white farmer named Thomas Brooks. Brooks had been shot and killed on his farm, and many of the white residents of Covington believed that the culprit was a group of Italian immigrants who had recently arrived in the area.

Despite there being no evidence linking the Italians to Brooks’ murder, a mob formed and began to hunt down members of the Italian community. The local sheriff attempted to intervene and protect the Italian immigrants, but he was overpowered by the angry mob.

Over the course of several days, eleven Italian men were rounded up by the mob and taken to the town jail. The men were denied legal representation and were brutally beaten by their captors.

On March 14th, 1891, a group of approximately 400 people stormed the jail and dragged out nine of the Italians. They were then hanged from trees on the outskirts of town.

The lynching in Covington remains one of the largest mass lynchings in American history. Despite this fact, very few people today are aware of this tragic event.

It’s important that we remember these stories because they remind us that racism and prejudice have deep roots in our country’s history. Lynching was used as a tool to terrorize communities of color for decades, and it’s only through acknowledging these atrocities that we can begin to heal as a nation.


In closing, while it may be uncomfortable to confront these dark moments from our past, it’s necessary in order to move forward towards a better future. By acknowledging and understanding the events that took place in Covington and other places like it, we can work towards creating a society that is more just and equitable for all people, regardless of their race or background.