As with many states in the Deep South, the main culprits of lynchings in Texas were racist vigilantes who believed they were morally and ethically justified in killing Black people, documents released by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) reveal. The Lone Star state had a total of 493 recorded lynchings during this time with 352 of them leading to the tragic deaths of Black citizens. An unusually high percentage of white people, believed to have publicly supported racial equality, were also the victims of lynchings. More than 140 white people were lynched. White mobs hoping to “restore white supremacy” would “frequently [seek] out suspected slave rebels and white abolitionists,” TSHA reports explained of Texan lynchings following the Civil War. With many of these lynchings occurring before the 1880s, these numbers are not even accounted for in Texas’ already staggering number of lynching victims in the data provided by Tuskegee Institute, but they did lay the foundation for the violent pattern of lynchings that would follow for decades.
Louisiana had a recorded 391 total lynchings with 335 of the victims being Black. The vast majority of the lynchings took place in southern Louisiana, according to Michael J. Pfeifer, the author of Lynching and Criminal Justice in South Louisiana. Pfeifer’s book also explains that this by no means meant the northern regions of Louisiana were more racially accepting places. Instead, the region’s history set the community up for more systemic ways to target the Black community rather than outright acts of violence. He explained that the entire state was more focused on creating more systemic ways to protect white supremacy rather than taking a violent approach. “Yet, in board context, lynching formed a relatively minor component in the series of practices that sustained racial control in the region,” he wrote. He explained that instead “sugar and cotton planters” had a long history of manipulating plantation arrangements and the criminal justice system to “ensure the maintenance of white supremacy” in the 1870s to the 1930s.