Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Plaque Reveal Ceremony to Honor African American Man Lynched in Newburgh

The City of Newburgh will hold a plaque reveal ceremony on Tuesday to honor an African American man who was lynched in the 1800s.

City of Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey and the City of Newburgh government invites the community to attend the Robert Mulliner Plaque Reveal Ceremony at 3:00pm on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. The event will be held at 123 Grand Street, in front of the Heritage Center.

Mulliner was an itinerant laborer in the City of Newburgh who was accused of raping a woman. He was arrested on June 19, 1863. Two days later, a mob of approximately 50 men surrounded the courthouse that Mulliner was being held in. The mob demanded that Mulliner be handed over, ignoring the pleas of two judges to let the criminal justice system do its job. The mob used axes and sledges to break into the courthouse, forcibly pull Mulliner from his cell, and drag him outside. While the mob was dragging him outside, they beat him. Once outside, they hanged him from a tree in public view. The next day, hundreds of locals came out to see his dead body.

On February 23, 2022, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul visited the City of Newburgh to dedicate the plaque.

“For every reminder of the pivotal role New York has played in the fight for civil rights, there is another, more painful reminder of why that fight was necessary in the first place,” Hochul said. “We must recognize and acknowledge shameful chapters in our state’s past, ensure New Yorkers have a better understanding of our history, and fight racism and bigotry in all forms.”

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