Frank Embree was nineteen when he was accused of raping a fourteen year old white girl. Although rape at that time in the State of Missouri was punishable by hanging, a punishment which for decades was the punishment for black men convicted of raping white women.
Though Embree insisted that was innocent, he was beaten more than 100 times until his “crime” well-known saying, “hang me or shoot me, but I do not torture” Frank Embree died dangling from a rope, without trial, on July 21, 1899.
Many blacks died anyway because they were (often wrongly) accused of raping a white woman. The reverse was true for whites because, was the argument, not whites raping black women gave themselves willingly to the white man, after all. Some whites felt a lynching occasionally could and even should, if only to blacks forcefully pointing to their place in society.