From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Jennings, Sam

(born: 1893  -  died: 1932) 

Jennings was born in Breckinridge County, KY. In 1930, he was accused of attacking Mabel Downs, the accusation quickly turning into a story that a black man had raped a white woman. Jennings was arrested, and the grand jury indicted him on a charge of rape. He was transferred to Jefferson County Jail for safekeeping: there was fear that a riot might occur and that Jennings might be lynched in Breckinridge County. He was returned to Breckinridge County for his trial, which resulted in his being found guilty. After exhausting his appeals, Sam Jennings was hanged in 1932. Over 6,000 people gathered to watch the event. Author Perry T. Ryan tells the entire story in his book, Legal Lynching: the plight of Sam Jennings.

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NKAA Source: Legal lynching : the plight of Sam Jennings

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“Jennings, Sam,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 19, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:24