Widely publicized in the
Mexican press, the
led to large anti-American demonstrations in both Mexico City and
Guadalajara. Coverage of the
and the reaction to it was wildly sensationalized. The newspapers at
the capitol of Mexico demanded 'Where is the boasted Yankee
In late April, 1911 a posse visited the
Nelson cabin in
suspecting Mr. Nelson of stealing cattle. While they were
looking for meat, the Nelson's fourteen year old son, L.W., shot and
killed Deputy George Loney, who was in charge of the posse. Laura Nelson, the boy's mother, claimed to have shot the Deputy, in an
attempt to protect her son. Both mother and son were taken to
the Okemah County jail. Days later Mr. Nelson pled guilty to
stealing cattle and was sent to prison.
While Laura and her son awaited their
trials, Laura was determined to be innocent of the crime. However on May 25th forty men stormed the sheriff's office. The
jailer, named Payne, lied that the two prisoners had been moved
elsewhere, but when a revolver was "pressed into his temple," he led
them to the prisoners. Mother
and son were then hauled by wagon six miles west of town to a steel
bridge crossing the Canadian River and hanged.
The next morning a black boy taking his
cow to water, discovered the two bodies swaying under the bridge. Before long the scene had attracted hundreds of viewers before the
bodies were cut down. No one was ever arrested for the crime.
One local newspaper had this to say of the
"While the general sentiment is adverse to the method,
it is generally thought that the Negroes got what would have been due
them under process of law."