Hell Put to Shame: The 1921 Murder Farm Massacre and the Horror of America’s Second Slavery

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The Civil War had been over for over fifty years, but some men were held captive in a nuanced way in Georgia. In January 1921, Gus Chapman alerted federal agents to a slave labor farm being run by John S. Williams and his family in Jasper County. Williams would pay bail for various African American men who had been arrested on dubious charges and then have the men work his farm to satisfy the debt.

However, Chapman alleged that Williams kept the men under lock and key, their debts only increasing with time and escape attempts being severely punished, including murder. The agents ventured out to the farm to confront Williams over his peonage system. Unfortunately, the agents left with few satisfactory answers. Williams had concerns about the survival of his racket and within two months, three bodies were discovered connected to Williams leading to a high-profile murder trial.

Hell Put to Shame is a shocking true crime thriller examining a system of oppression in an unbalanced society. Author Earl Swift (Where They Lay) has written a well-researched and scholarly work with insightful analysis into both the crimes and trials that shocked the conscience of the country in 1920s America.

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Author Earl Swift
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 432 pages
Publisher HarperCollins
Publish Date 02-Apr-2024
ISBN 9780063265387 Buy this Book
Issue April 2024
Category History