The Isaiah Fountain Case

The Isaiah Fountain Case

Joseph Koper

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Scheduled for publication on September 15, 2022.

The Isaiah Fountain Case: Outrage and Jim Crow Justice on Maryland's Eastern Shore is the first book-length account of a sensational rape case that convulsed Talbot County and made national headlines early in the 20th century.

Isaiah Fountain was a bold and resourceful African American whose struggle to prove his innocence of a White girl’s rape was conducted in the face of lynch mobs, manhunts, outraged citizens, armed troops, media controversies, and questionable legal decisions.

Fountain's attempts to mount a defense within the Jim Crow legal system included two trials and two appeals. When his life was threatened by lynchers, he weighed his options and escaped. When the legal system ultimately condemned him, he escaped a second time. Even after Fountain's execution by hanging, unresolved questions endured, creating still more controversies and surprises.

The story of Isaiah Fountain is told through court documents and hundreds of contemporaneous newspaper articles. 
The Isaiah Fountain Case documents dubious investigative and judicial actions and raises questions about Isaiah Fountain’s guilt and the Jim Crow legal system that convicted him.


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