Kentucky White Caps

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Three Men Taken From Home and Lashed on the Bare Back

Covington, Ky., March 11. - The most serious White Cap raid in Kentucky for years occurred Sunday night on what is known as Buttermilk road, eight miles from this city.  At that point is a number of houses occupied by poor and not too honest people.  The neighborhood is filled with well-to-do farmers who have lately suffered serious injury at the hands of petty thieves.  Recently some amateur detective work fixed the blame for a good deal of the loss of poultry and other chattels on the three Crane men, who, though grown, still reside with their parents.  They were several times warned to leave, but they gave no heed.

Sunday night, about twenty-five men carefully disguised rode up to the Crane dwelling.  The three men were secured and taken to a wood a half a mile away, a guard remaining with the old folks to see that they did not give the alarm.  In the woods the alleged culprits were stripped to the waist, tied with their faces to a tree, and given thirty lashes with a blacksnake whip, which brought blood at every blow.  The men screamed in agony, but the whipping went on, and one of them, John, the oldest, fainted under the pain.

At the conclusion of the punishment the backs of the victims were carefully washed and a salve and bandage were applied and they were conducted to their home and warned to leave before next Sunday.  All three of the men are in bad shape and John is unable to be up.

A number of other parties in the neighborhood were warned to leave.  No one knows who the White Caps were, but it is safe to guess the farmers of the vicinity could find out.

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from the New York Times, March 12, 1890

note: I don't know anything about Kentucky White Caps, but there was a Klan-like group in Indiana called the Indiana White Caps.  They were vigilante's from southern Indiana who seem to have been more about justice than racial retribution than was the Klan.  You can read about the Indiana White Caps on Wikipedia, here.