Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Skyler Reidy

Reader 2

Tomas Summers Sandoval

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This thesis explores the context of Duluth, Minnesota between the years 1918 and 1920, and how the history, politics, and society of Duluth contributed to two separate lynchings within two years of each other. A brief history of Duluth will be established which describes its demographics, race relations, politics, and work environment in the early 20th century. The lynchings will be discussed in chronological order. Olli Kinkkonen’s murder in 1918 is analyzed within the context of World War One, nationalism, workers’ rights, and anti-Finnish sentiment in Northern Minnesota. The lynchings of Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie will be explained in the context of racism, civil unrest, and lynch mobs. Corruption of the press and law enforcement is a significant theme in both instances.