Update, 4:38 p.m. Saturday, June 10:
The marker dedication will be held at the Lawrence Public Library because of the rain.
A formal dedication is set this weekend in Lawrence for a historical marker acknowledging a young Black woman who died in prison in 1889 after being wrongly convicted of murdering the white man who raped her.
Margaret “Sis” Vinegar was 14 years old on June 10, 1882 when she scarcely escaped a white mob with her life. Her father, Pete Vinegar, and two other Black men, Isaac King and George Robertson, however, were lynched.
A white man who had raped Sis was found dead, his body floating in the Kaw River. That prompted the mob of white Lawrence citizens to come after the men, and they ultimately lynched Vinegar, King and Robertson from the river’s bridge. A marker near the Kansas River Bridge in Lawrence was formally dedicated to the three men on June 10, 2022.
Sis was twice wrongly convicted by all-white juries in 1883 of the murder of the man who raped her. She was 20 years old when she died of tuberculosis in prison in Lansing.
The marker, which is already posted at the northwest corner of Eighth and Kentucky streets, will be formally dedicated to Sis and the racial terror she endured in Lawrence, according to a news release from organizers. The event lands on the 141st anniversary of the lynching, and the first anniversary of the lynching marker’s installation in Lawrence.
Individuals who will speak at the event, according to the release, include Reverend Rachel Williams-Glenn, pastor of St. Luke AME Church; Jennifer Ananda, executive director of the Sexual Trauma and Abuse Care Center; Michaela Clarke, project manager at Columbia University Justice Lab in New York; Sierra Two Bulls (Oglala Lakota), leader of the Indigenous Community Center; Ursula Minor, president of Lawrence Branch NAACP; and Mayor Lisa Larsen, honorary co-chair of the Lawrence/Douglas County Remembrance Project Coalition.
Following collaboration between Lawrence/Douglas County Community Remembrance Project Coalition and Lawrence Branch NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), the Lawrence City Commission on May 9 approved a plan to install the marker in honor of Sis.
Equal Justice Initiative, based in Montgomery, Alabama, provided the marker as part of its “Lynching in America” project. The work within Lynching in America has identified more than 4,400 racial terror lynchings that occurred in the United States between the Reconstruction Era and World War II, the project’s website states.
The dedication ceremony is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 10 at Central Bank, 300 W. Ninth St. in Lawrence, in the north section of the bank’s parking lot. That’s to the south and across the street from the marker’s location. The event is free to attend.
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More coverage: Lawrence/Douglas County Community Remembrance Project
The Lawrence City Commission voted Tuesday to approve a plan to place a historical marker in honor of Margaret “Sis” Vinegar, a young Black woman who, at age 14 in 1882, survived a sexual assault by a white man but died in prison at age 20 after being wrongly convicted of the man’s murder.
A city board on Thursday voted in favor of a plan to place a historical marker in honor of Margaret “Sis” Vinegar, a young Black woman who, at age 14 in 1882, survived a sexual assault by a white man but died in prison at age 20 after being wrongly convicted of the man’s murder.
A city board on Thursday will consider a plan to place a historical marker in honor of Margaret “Sis” Vinegar, a young Black woman who, at age 14 in 1882, survived a sexual assault by a white man but died in prison at age 20 after being wrongly convicted of the man’s murder.