Amy Spain was a 17-year-old slave who, mistakenly thinking that Union troops had liberated her, looted her master’s house, taking some household goods and clothing. Her master defended her in court, but she was hung anyway. This was in Darlington, South Carolina. Oddly serene drawing for such a horrific act, a little girl waiting for the drop. Only a couple of white guys in front seem excited.
One of the martyrs of the cause which gave freedom to her race was that of a colored woman named Amy Spain, who was a resident of the town of Darlington, situated in a rich cotton-growing district of South Carolina. At the time a portion of the Union army occupied the town of Darlington she expressed her satisfaction by clasping her hands and exclaiming, “Bless the Lord the Yankees have come!” She could not restrain her emotions. The long night of darkness which had bound her in slavery was about to break away. It was impossible to repress the exuberance of her feelings; and although powerless to aid the advancing deliverers of her caste, or to injure her oppressors, the simple expression of satisfaction at the event sealed her doom. Amy Spain died in the cause of freedom.
Read the rest at RUINS: The Hanging of Amy Spain.