If you’re Rep. Tyrone Brooks (D-GA), an honorary member of the biracial Moore’s Ford Memorial Committee, you advocate reopening the lynchings and perform a reenactment of that dark afternoon, a little after 6 p.m., in Walton County, where four Black sharecroppers were ambushed, physically attacked and mindlessly slaughtered in a hail of bullets fired from the rifles, pistols and shotguns of 15 to 20 Ku Klux Klan.
Lines 2-32 through 2-39 in the Resolution stated: “. . . . after the atrocity, poet Wilborn Victor Jenkins had called the Moore’s Ford Bridge ‘a spot made horrible forever’ and it will remain so, a blight on the national conscience until justice is done".
Dorothy Malcolm and her brother George Dorsey, who had worked for Harrison, as the farmer for help. Reportedly he refused at first but then changed in mind, paying the bond. He said Malcolm could work off the $600 on his 1,000 acre farm. Both couples worker as sharecroppers. Harrison picked up Dorothy, George and Mae Dorsey, taking them to the Walton County jail to bail out Malcolm.
Speculation is that the ambush that followed was hatched in advance. Harrison took a different route to his farm. FBI investigators said it was not necessay to cross the Moore's Ford Bridge to get to Harrison's farm. The carload of people was abruptly blocked by another vehicle on the one lane wooden bridge. The couples were forcibly removed from the automobile, and taken down a dirt trail out of sight along the Apalachee River, on the border of Walton and Oconee counties.
Whereas Harrison life was spared, Malcolm (born March 22, 1922), Dorothy (born July 25, 1926), George (born November 1917) and Mae Murray (born September 10, 1922) were tied to a tree or trees, severely beaten, and shot an estimated 60 times at close range. After Mae Dorsey was shot her fetus was cut out of her stomach with a knife by one of the terrorists who ambushed the couples.
According many stories written about the 1946 massacre the sharecroppers were shot so many times it was difficult for family members to recognize them. Malcolm’s body was the most mutilated. Dorsey had recently returned to Monroe after serving almost five years in World War ll in the Pacific War.
Over 20 FBI agents were dispatched to Walton County at the request of President Harry Truman, who ordered an investigation into the mass lynchings. As an incentive for eyewitnesses to come forward with information that would lead to an arrest and prosecution, the FBI offered a hefty $12,500 reward. The reward amount was later raised to $64,000, with donations coming from the NAACP, The Chicago Defender Newspaper, labor unions, religious and civic organizations.
Unfortunately, no one in the tight-knit rural community stepped forward to talk and collect the reward. With the threat of a visit from the KKK, not only were Blacks scared to tell what they suspected, Whites were equally afraid of vigilante retaliation. The Truman administration formed the President's Commission on Civil Rights are a result of the lynchings.
An interview with Samuel Hardman
about the lynchings. (YouTube videos)