It’s distasteful, but here’s an informative infographic (circa 1931!) showing lynchings by county in the U.S.
Here is a much larger original.
I learned a few things from this.
First, lynchings were a country-wide phenomenon. There’s a only a handful of states in the northeast that didn’t have any. That also makes me wonder about whether they were reported properly there. Stuff like 8 lynchings in Montana (!!!) is really shocking. When you see that you wonder if it was a message to blacks to just not even go to that state?
Second, lynchings definitely follow state borders, indicating that this was a self-enforcement issue. In particular, Alabama, in the heart of the old South has fewer lynchings than Georgia or Mississippi. To me this suggests that the state authorities in Alabama were more likely to prosecute those involved.
Third, there are also county-level effects. Many counties are clusters of lynchings, while their neighboring counties show few or no lynchings. The “black belt” still exists, and was much denser then, but it isn’t immediately obvious on this map.
Via Ptak Science Books.