Edward Clifford Williams

Location: Algiers, Louisiana

Age: 32

Year: 1943

Edward Clifford Williams, 32, was a railroad laborer who was killed by three sailors in Algiers, Louisiana, in 1943.

Williams was walking home from church with his wife and small children when the sailors started harassing the family.

When Williams protested, they beat him and lacerated him to death with broken beer bottles.

Walter C. Sherwood, a nineteen-year-old white Coast Guard, from Texas, stood trial in Orleans Parish. Trial jury acquitted him.

For more information, search CRRJ’s archive.

Read more about Williams’ death on the Burnham-Nobles Digital Archive

About the Archive

The Burnham-Nobles Digital Archive houses case files and documents for more than 1,000 cases of racial homicides in the Jim Crow South. Co-founded by Melissa Nobles, professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Margaret Burnham, CRRJ director and professor of law at Northeastern, these uncovered stories highlight how violence affected lives, defined legal rights and shaped politics between 1930 and 1954.

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