The Fountain case is one of the most noted in the State’s annals.
[The Fountain case] “was one of the most notorious on the [Eastern] Shore during the early part of the twentieth century.”
—SHERRILYN IFILL, ON THE COURTHOUSE LAWN
Even though it was one of the biggest newsmakers of its era, the Isaiah Fountain case has been pretty much forgotten–until now. My upcoming book, The Isaiah Fountain Case: Outrage and Jim Crow Justice on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, is the first modern detailed account of the story that shook Talbot County, MD a century ago.
There have been many accounts about the treatment of African Americans charged with crimes during the Jim Crow era. Hundreds were summarily lynched without benefit of the legal system. Others received sham trials that mocked the legal system. The victims were quickly tried, convicted and executed, resulting in so-called “legal lynchings.” These so-called trials usually happened so quickly that there was no chance for the defendant to put on an effective defense or even think about escaping.
The Isaiah Fountain case was unique in that Isaiah Fountain used the legal system to put on an effective defense. However, when the Jim Crow legal system failed him, he actively resisted the system, challenged his captors, while outraging the White population of his home county.
The Isaiah Fountain Case: Outrage and Jim Crow Justice on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, for the first time, tells the complete story. Look for updates about the book’s release so that you can be among the first to get your copy.