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West farm house.jpg

The West Farm

Early on July 27, 1880, Mr. John Diggs-Dorsey was lynched 
on or near the West Farm; his still-hanging body 
attracting a large crowd after daybreak.

After subduing the Sheriff and breaking into the jail, the lynching party dragged Mr. John Diggs-Dorsey out of his cell, and forced him, still in shackles, to walk quickly to the vicinity of the West Farm, on the north side of the road, beyond current day Forest Avenue.

They were met by a man on horseback, pre-arranged. The horseman asked those present to form a circle and swear an oath of secrecy: to not reveal the identities of those present, to protect themselves and their families.

Julius West (1818–1860)  

Mr. West died before the Rockville lynchings. In his will, West left “all my lands and negroes” after the death of his widow, to the Trustees of the Rockville Academy.


Rockville Academy, the oldest school in Rockville, had been operating since 1814, for White boys only.

Photo credits: House: Sarah Hedlund. Map: G.M. Hopkins map of 1879. Rockville Academy: Peerless Rockville.

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