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Stolen lynching memorial to be replaced

Sophia Schmidt
Delaware Public Media
17-year-old Savannah Shepherd stands near the historical marker dedicated in June and later stolen

The state's first lynching memorial will be replaced after it was stolen this summer. 


The historical marker remembering lynching victim George White was stolen from Greenbank Park near Prices Corner six weeks after it was installed this June. Now a new one will be dedicated in its place.

African American laborer George White was burned by a white mob near Prices Corner in 1903. 

Local teenager Savannah Shepherd led the charge for the historical marker to honor him after visiting the Equal Justice Initiative’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. 

She called the theft of the marker “upsetting,” but was determined it be replaced.

“I think it’s important just to show that we can’t be stopped— or we’re not going to just hide because we’re afraid of what someone may think,” she said. “We just need to show that we’re going to keep doing this and keep fighting and educating the public.”

State Sen. Darius Brown secured funding for the original marker. He is hopeful about the re-dedication ceremony scheduled for later this month.

“We look forward to this upcoming dedication on Oct. 20 to resemble the state of Delaware up and down the state and even more residents coming out to learn more about what happened,” he said. 

Over the past two months, private donations were made to Delaware Public Archives to support the marker’s replacement.

New Castle County police are still investigating the theft and offering a $2,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction. New Castle County has pledged to install additional security measures at Greenbank Park to protect the new marker.

A larger dedication ceremony for the new marker is scheduled for Oct. 20, with a performance by the DSU choir.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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