#Maine, the hidden story of when two Black college students were tarred and feathered

One cold April night in 1919, at around 2 a.m., a mob of 60 rowdy white students at the University of Maine surrounded the dorm room of Samuel and Roger Courtney in Hannibal Hamlin Hall. The mob planned to attack the two Black brothers from Boston in retaliation for what a newspaper article described at the time as their “domineering manner and ill temper.” The brothers were just two among what yearbooks show could not have been more than a dozen Black University of Maine students at the time.

While no first-person accounts or university records of the incident are known to remain, newspaper clippings and photographs from a former student’s scrapbook help fill in the details.

Although outnumbered, the Courtney brothers escaped. They knocked three freshmen attackers out cold in the process. Soon a mob of hundreds of students and community members formed to finish what the freshmen had started. The mob captured the brothers and led them about four miles back to campus with horse halters around their necks.

Full article here: The conversation

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