William Henderson Foote

William Henderson Foote (Yazoo County)

State House: 1870-1871

Born: June 27, 1843 in Vicksburg, MS
Died: December 29, 1883 in Yazoo County, MS

Born free in Vicksburg and attended Wilberforce University in Ohio from 1859-1860. Foote appeared on the 1865 census of Boston, working as a barber. He was advertising a barbershop in Vicksburg by 1866. Also served as a constable, circuit clerk, and tax collector. In 1880, Foote was appointed to be the deputy collector of revenue from liquor sales.

On December 29, 1883, a white mob attacked Foote and three other men who had protected another man from an attack days before. Foote was shot to death, and the other three men were hanged. Foote’s name was added to the ATF Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. in 2012, with several of his descendants and their families present.

Albert T. Morgan would later describe Foote: “He went everywhere – into the most violent and blood-thirsty crowds of whites – with head erect, brave words of cheer for friends, and only defiance for enemies” (Yazoo: Or, on the Picket Line of Freedom, 1884).

Memorial on Find A Grave
ATF: A Buried Injustice
Video: The William Henderson Foote Story

Wilberforce University catalog, 1860
Vicksburg Herald, February 24, 1866
Vicksburg Journal, March 14, 1866
American Citizen, August 28, 1875
Canton Mail, August 28, 1875
Clarion-Ledger, September 8, 1875
Daily Mississippi Pilot, Sep 26, 1875
Weekly Mississippi Pilot, October 2, 1875
Weekly Mississippi Pilot, Oct 2, 1875
Daily Mississippi Pilot, October 29, 1875
Clarion-Ledger, December 1, 1875
Vicksburg Evening Post, Dec 31, 1883
Vicksburg Evening Post, Dec 31, 1883
People’s Advocate, February 9, 1884