Andrew Green, James Whitnah, and Denver's Last Public Execution



Thanks for another interesting nugget of Denver history. Kudos to entire WHG staff for increasing my knowledge of Denver instead of working outside in the hot sun.


Hi Brian--

thanks for this very informative post. I had not known about this case and will likely research it a bit more...your blog is very timely given the issues that are now in the forefront in Denver & throughout the U.S. And I appreciate your careful handling of the story!

In reply to by Francis L (not verified)


Hi Francis - Thanks for the kind words. If you can get a hold of a copy of Professor King's book, I would really recommend it. It's pretty riveting and very detailed. 


Lynching in Colorado 1859-1919 by Stephen Leonard is a good recommendation. I read it a couple of years ago.


In an interview with the author of Legal Executions on History Net it is reported that Andrew Green wrote an autobiography while he was imprisoned awaiting his trial.

Hi Matthew - Thanks for reading and commenting. There was a pretty long autobiography that he published in the Rocky Mountain News the week of his execution that included many episodes from his life that were alluded to in his trial. It took up about eight full pages of nearly solid text on the RMN.


This article carries a warning that says this is about a lynching. Many people will think this is correct but it is not. Mr. Green was not lynched. He was executed in accordance with jury's finding of his guilt and his sentencing. This is not what a lynching is. A lynching is a non-judicial punishment which may or may not include death. If a mob runs a person out of town, tarred and feathered, that person was lynched. Of course, if a mob hangs a person that is also a lynching.


Hi Lee - We see your point and agree that we could have worded that warning a little tighter. That said, the "lynching" we warn about would have been more accurately called "an attempted lynching" and would definitely fit the extra-judicial requirement.

We appreciate the attention to detail and agree with you that language matters, especially when discussing issues such as this.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.