Vengeance vs. the Law : The Lynching of Sam Joe Harvey in Salt Lake City
Christy, Howard A.,Embry, Jessie L.
Community Development in the American West : Past and Present Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Frontiers
Charles Redd Monographs in Western History, No. 15. Provo, Utah
Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, Brigham Young University
'On August 25, 1883, Sam Joe Harvey was lynched after he killed Andrew Hill Burt, the Salt Lake City chief of police and city marshal. Although this is the only lynching recorded in the history of Salt Lake City, . . . Gerlach . . . argues that it provides a chance for an in-depth study of the causes of mob violence and general community response to such violence. Based primarily on the extensive reports and commentary on the event in the three city newspapers at the time, Dr. Gerlach describes the events leading up to the lynching, the lynching itself, and the rather raucous debate over who was to blame for the incident. Dr. Gerlach points out that Salt Lake City learned a sobering lesson from the lynching experience: 'A thin line separates civility from savegery, and whenever normally decent, law-abiding people decline the obligations of citizenship and dictates of conscience, the line becomes close to being obliterated.' They learned 'that the hallmark of a civilized society is the rule of law, not justice.' (From editor's introduction.)