This card was purchased at a garage sale in Macon, Missouri.  The seller related what he knew of the postcard's history and assured that it was a photograph of a lynching that took place in Missouri.  Researchers confirm the symbolic importance of lynching sites and the conscious selection of these sites by perpetrators of extra-legal violence.  The dominance of Christian symbology is resurected in the lynchers' preference for bodies of water, bridges, and landmark trees.  Bodies of water are the traditional locations for baptisms; bridges symbolize the most profound rite of passage, the great "crossing over" to death;  and trees are the very symbol of life and of Christ's crucifixion.  The lynchers sought, in the conscious selection of these sacrificial sites and in their participation in these ritualized murders, their own salvation and passage to a safer place without sin and evil - both of which, in their minds, were physically embodied in the "offending" victim.

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