How did Allen D. Candler characterize the response of the white planters to the lynching of Sam Hose?

Allen D. Candler does not actually condone the lynching of Sam Hose by the white planters, but he does make every possible excuse for it. He represents the lynch mob as men who were reacting to a violent murder and rape, and whose patience had been tried beyond endurance.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Allen D. Candler, Governor of Georgia in the late nineteenth century, wrote several newspaper pieces on the murder of Alfred Cranford and the subsequent lynching of his employee, Sam Hose, who was accused of the crime. The most notorious today, which is often used in history classes on the subject, is the letter he wrote to the Warren Record of North Carolina, published on August 11, 1899 (link attached below).

The omissions in Candler's writing are almost as striking as the views he expresses, since he spends far more time discussing the conduct of the Black people in the South and the white "fools and fanatics" he says have been stirring up trouble among them than he does on the response of the white planters to Cranford's murder. When he does talk about the lynch mob who murdered Hose, he represents them as decent people reacting in outrage against the killing of one of their number and the alleged rape of his wife. He says that "nine times out of ten," lynchings are a reaction to rape, and that the fanatics who denounce the lynchings do not trouble to denounce the crime that caused it.

Candler goes to great lengths to present the white community in Georgia as patient and put upon, supporting Black people with their taxes and only occasionally erupting into violence when their endurance is tested by some violent crime, usually rape, on the part of a Black man. While he does not actually condone the lynching of Sam Hose, he makes every possible excuse for the lynch mob.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team