During the 1940s it was rare for a black person to have control over large amounts of land.In 1944, a group of white men brutally lynched Rev. Isaac Simmons, a Black minister & farmer, so they could steal his land in Amite County, Mississippi which was over 270 acres.In the 1940s, Simmons controlled approxmately 270 acres or more of debt-free land, some of which had been owned by the family since 1887. He and other relatives farmed the property and lived on it in relative peace.In 1941, rumors about oil spread across Southwest Mississippi, and a few white men, thinking there might be oil on it, began to make claims on the Simmons land.
Concerned that his family might lose its property, Simmons contacted an attorney. A few weeks after he hired the lawyer, two men approached Simmons and ordered him to stop cutting timber on his property.The men also wanted the medicinal formula that Simmons, who served as the local medicine man, had created to treat a livestock disease. Simmons refused to comply with the men.A few weeks later a group of six men dragged Simmons from his home, beat him and then shot him to death.
According to Simmons’ son, who was abducted and beaten at the same time but survived, the men called Simmons a “smart N—r” because he had consulted a lawyer.They drove both Simmons men further onto the property and ordered Rev. Simmons out of the car, then killed him brutally–shooting him 3 times and cutting out his tongue. The men let Eldridge Simmons go,but told him he and his relatives had ten days to abandon the family property.