We Remember: WC Community Remembrance Project

The Washington County Remembrance Project launches website venerating local victims of lynching in 1856.

A memorial marker telling the story of a lynching in Tuscaloosa county
Image provided by the Equal Justice Initiative

The Washington County Community Remembrance Project Coalition, a group of Fayetteville citizens committed to addressing painful themes in troubling racial history of our community, is working to educate and establish a memorial marker in the historic Oaks cemetery to venerate three victims of historic racial terror.

A new website launching July 7, 2020 will provide information about events related to their lynching, details about the Remembrance Project, resources for learning, and an opportunity to reflect on our community’s history of racial terror and its legacy. Please visit the site at washingtoncountyremembers.org.

Project organizers have chosen July 7 to officially announce the memorial project to the public in commemoration of the date that two of the victims were executed on the Fayetteville historic square.


In the summer of 1856, three enslaved black men — Aaron, Anthony and Randall — were executed in Washington County Arkansas, near Fayetteville. The three had been accused of murdering a prominent, slave-holding white man named James Monroe Boone.

Aaron and Anthony were lynched by a mob of ordinary white citizens on July 7th after being released by the court, and Randall’s hanging a month later was a state-sponsored lynching after he received a guilty verdict based only on hearsay evidence.

Early map of the Fayetteville square
In the early plat map of Fayetteville, the courthouse where the grand jury and trials for Randall, Aaron and Anthony were held was located in block 27 (now the historic Square).

The Washington County Community Remembrance Project, a community-based initiative,  operates in partnership with the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) eji.org — the organization that has established the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum in Montgomery Alabama.

Washington County was chosen (along with other communities across the country) for the national Community Remembrance Project initiative to formally memorialize historic victims of racial terror in our region.

EJI is providing guidance and support for the three main components of the Washington County Project which include the fabrication and installation of the marker, a community engagement event to dedicate the marker, and a scholarship opportunity for high school students who participate in a racial justice essay contest. The website will be updated to provide information about these project components. If you are interested in more information, please email the WC Community Remembrance Project.