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Postcard of Duluth lynching sold

A postcard featuring images of the 1920 Duluth lynching of three black circus workers was purchased Tuesday morning at a Canal Park antique shop. A man bought the postcard for its listed price of $240, said Gloria Wilt, who waited on him at Fathe...

A postcard featuring images of the 1920 Duluth lynching of three black circus workers was purchased Tuesday morning at a Canal Park antique shop.

A man bought the postcard for its listed price of $240, said Gloria Wilt, who waited on him at Father Time Antiques. The unidentified customer, who also bought a picture of Duluth's old incline railway, said he grew up and attended school in Duluth before moving away.

"He asked about the postcard, and I showed it to him," Wilt said. "He said it was a good piece of Duluth memorabilia. ... We talked about history, and how things happen, and the fact that this was not one of the more stellar events in Duluth history."

The customer made the purchase shortly after the shop opened at 11 a.m., Father Time co-owner Penny Seehus said. On the same day that a story about the postcard appeared in the News Tribune, the shop fielded many calls asking if it was still for sale, she said.

The unused postcard was part of a private collection of Duluth memorabilia. When the collector died, his family asked local dealer Craig Lipinski to sell the items, among which were hundreds of postcards, including the lynching postcard.

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In 1908, the U.S. Postal Service outlawed mailing postcards of lynchings, though many were printed and distributed after that date. Many were kept as souvenirs and never used.

After learning of the sale, some local historians and people involved in creating Duluth's Clayton Jackson McGhie lynching memorial said the postcard should not be sold for profit. Instead, they said, it should be donated to a museum or historical society for educational purposes.

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