New historical marker highlights the lynching of a Kansas City man

Levi Harrington was lynched April 3, 1882

Dan Weinbaum
December 05, 2018 - 5:04 pm

Kansas City, MO -  His name was Levi Harrington.

He was falsely accused in the death of a Kansas City policeman.

And he was black.

Harrington was taken by a white mob on April 3, 1882 and lynched from the Bluff Street Bridge, between what's now downtown KCMO and the West Bottoms.

Photo courtesy: Kansas City Public Library

That bridge is long gone. A new historical marker - the first to mark the history of lynching in Missouri - now overlooks the spot where Harrington was lynched.

A handful of organizations, including the Black Archives of Mid-America, the Missouri NAACP, the Equal Justice Initiative, and Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty worked with the city's Parks and Rec Department to place the marker on the bluff overlooking the site of the lynching at the old bridge.

"As we placed the marker, we (wanted to) ask people in the community to stand in the shoes of people in the 1880s who looked on and did nothing when Harrington's life was taken," said Staci Pratt, Executive Director of Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty,

The marker for Levi Harrington is at the corner of 10th and Summit in West Terrace Park overlooking the West Bottoms.


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