Recounting what happened to Cordella Stevenson is terrifying.
In 1915, Arch and Cordella Stevenson‘s son faced serious accusations. A white man named Gabe Frank accused the son of burning down Frank’s Columbus, Mississippi barn. Frank wanted justice, so he got a group of his men together to hunt down the person he believed was responsible for his loss. Authorities and Frank’s henchmen couldn’t locate the son, so instead, they arrested Arch and Cordella Stevenson and held them for six days. Cordella insisted that her son had left home months prior to the incident so he couldn’t have been responsible.
The couple was released, but their battle was far from over.
On December 15, 1915, an angry mob of white men stormed onto the Stevenson’s property. The mob broke into the home, many of the men violently raped Cordella before removing all of her clothing and lynching her. Cordella Stevenson was later found hanging “from a tree near the Mobile and Ohio Railroad” where she had been for two days.
Arch Stevenson was reportedly able to flee and ran off on foot. It’s said that he made his way to the city of Columbus but no one would help him. What happened to him after that remains a mystery.
As for the people who terrorized and murdered Cordella Stevenson … no one was ever held responsible or prosecuted.
Cordella is our sister. Her life mattered.