McIntosh, Francis

Died: 1836-04-28 Saint Louis, Missouri

Flourished: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

A free African-American described in contemporary newspapers as a "mulatto," McIntosh worked as a cook and porter abroad the steamboat Flora. On April 28, 1836, the Flora docked at St. Louis, Missouri. Leaving the boat that evening, McIntosh became embroiled in a dispute with the local police, and subsequently two police officers arrested him for interfering with their attempts to apprehend two Flora sailors for disturbing the peace. Charged with breach of the peace, McIntosh, as he was being escorted to jail, asked the officers how long he would have to remain in jail. When informed that he could serve up the five years in prison for the crime, McIntosh stabbed the two officers, injuring one and killing the other. Captured and taken to jail, a mob forcibly removed McIntosh from jail, transported him to the outskirts of town, and burned him to death.

Sangamo Journal 7 May 1836, 1:6; Paul Simon, Freedom’s Champion: Elijah Lovejoy (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1994), 45-48.