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As the previous post stated, Walter Cunningham Sr. and the rest of the men came to take Tom Robinson from the jail to hang him. According to Scout's earlier narration, the Cunninghams weren't church goers, and "they experimented with stumphole whiskey." The men were probably drunk--
There was a smell of stale whiskey and pigpen about...
and the alcohol may have helped to screw up the courage to commit murder. Although lynchings don't appear to have been a common occurrence in Maycomb, the crime for which Tom was accused (raping a white woman) would have warranted such action by men like those hailing from Old Sarum, where "an enormous and confusing tribe domiciled" in the rural northern area of Maycomb County--and where few black men probably lived.
to lynch tom robinson
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