1915 Election Mob Duty

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Photograph of the South Carolina Militia carrying rifles with fixed bayonets marching west on George Street toward the photographer who has set his camera up on the sidewalk to capture the scene. A small group of men with billy clubs can be seen standing to the right side and the Great A & P Tea Company (addressed then as 325 King, now a Pottery Barn at 321 King) building is visible in the background. Image was taken after the shooting of News & Courier reporter, Sidney Cohen. Notation on reverse, "George St. Near King Sts. Charleston, S.C. Oct. 1915."

After a hotly contested mayoral election on October 12, ballots were sealed in a room on the corner of King and George, awaiting a recount. During a meeting of the Democratic Executive Committee on October 15, supporters of both incumbent John P. Grace and challenger Tristram T. Hyde, forced their way into the meeting causing a riot to break out which resulted in the accidental death of Sidney Cohen, who was shot through the lung. In the aftermath, Governor Richard Manning, sent the South Carolina Militia to Charleston to guard against further violence.