Georgia Historical Society to Dedicate Civil Rights Trail Historical Marker Recognizing the Attempted Assassination of Isaiah Lofton

Atlanta, Ga., September 12, 2019 –  The Georgia Historical Society in conjunction with the City of Hogansville will dedicate a new Georgia Civil Rights Trail historical marker recognizing The Attempted Assassination of Isaiah H. Lofton.

In 1897, President William McKinley appointed Isaiah H. Lofton, as postmaster of Hogansville. The appointment of Lofton, a black schoolteacher and Republican Party organizer, angered many in the local white community resulting in three years of difficulties including a boycott of Lofton’s post office, and ultimately an attempt on his life by unknown assailants.

The dedication will take place Saturday, September 14 at 10:00 a.m. at the intersection of West Main Street and Boozer Street in Hogansville, Georgia. Speakers will include The Honorable Bill Stankiewicz, Mayor of Hogansville; Dr. Tony B. Lowe, University of Georgia; and Mr. David Smith and Dr. Charlene Johnson-Brown, members of the Lofton Family.
 
A reception will follow at the Special Events Center, 120 W. Main Street, Hogansville, Georgia. The media and the public are invited to attend.
 
GHS’s Georgia Civil Rights Trail (CRT) initiative focuses broadly on the economic, social, political and cultural history of the Civil Rights Movement. Specifically, roadside historical markers tell the story of the Movement in Georgia by guiding audiences to the sites where history happened, inviting them to stand on the ground where struggles and events took place, and providing a foundation upon which to build and cultivate a deeper understanding of the past and its relevance to the present. The CRT highlights significant events from communities around the state to illustrate the overarching themes of education, leadership, massive resistance and white backlash, desegregation, and voting rights.
The marker reads:

The Attempted Assassination of Isaiah H. Lofton

On September 15, 1897, Isaiah H. Lofton, Hogansville’s black postmaster, was the victim of an attempted assassination after leaving the city’s post office located here in the black business district, locally known as “Cross Town.” The appointment of African Americans to local positions by Republicans in the U.S. government exacerbated political animosity between the federal government and the post-Reconstruction white South. To resist the appointment of Lofton, white citizens of Hogansville boycotted the post office, and tensions eventually led to his attempted assassination. Acts of violence against federally appointed African American officials, such as this attempt and the murder of South Carolina postmaster Frazier Baker and his family, may have contributed to the creation of the National Afro-American Council in 1898, a precursor to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.


Erected by the Georgia Historical Society and the City of Hogansville


For additional information please contact Patricia Meagher at 912-651-2125, ext. 153 or on cell at 434-996-7085 or by email at pmeagher@georgiahistory.com.  

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