It was fucked up for you Niggers back in the day

EDITORIAL FROM THE  MEMPHIS COMMERICAL-APPEAL
August 5, 1913

     The killing of Negroes by white people in order to fatten an average ought to be stopped, and killing Negroes just because one is in a bad humor  ought to also be stopped.
     Two apparently inoffensive Negroes, good farm hands, real wealth producers, were assassinated near Germantown a few days ago. The Negroes had furnished no possible motive for them to be lynched. So far as any one knows they were quiet and orderly, as country people of their class usually are. They worked and played and loafed, just like other country Negroes.
     Now, the Negro is about the only dependable tiller of the soil in these parts. Competition for existence is not keen enough to force many white people in to the harder work.
     The Negro also is very useful as a distributor of money. About all he gets goes through his fingers.
     Commercially, then, he is a very valuable asset. It is not good business to kill them.
     When the Negro enters into the contest with the white man he is already at a disadvantage, and therefore the truly brave white man never seeks a quarrel with Negroes. He knows that the Negro is at a disadvantage, and he does not desire to take advantage of him.
     Furthermore, the white man of courage can most always control the Negro without being compelled to resort to violence.

 

LYNCHINGS DECLINE

LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER
November 6, 1913

 

Editor of the Advertiser:
     At the end of six months of the present year there had been twenty-four cases of lynchings. At the end of ten months, (November 1st), there had been forty-five lynchings; a reduction of four as compared with the same period in 1912.
     In ten months, as stated above, forty-five persons have been put to death by mob-law. A reduction of the number by four, though small, means something in the way of a higher civilization.

                                                          Booker T. Washington

 

BOOKER T. WASHINGTON LETTER

     BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Feb. 28 - "The Age Herald" tomorrow will publish the following letter from Booker T. Washington:
     "Within the last fortnight three members of my race have been burned at the stake; of these one was a woman. Not one of the three was charged with any crime even remotely connected with the abuse of a white woman.
In every case murder was the sole accusation. All of these burnings took place in broad daylight, and two of them occurred on Sunday afternoon, in sight of a Christian church.
     "In the midst of the nation's busy and prosperous life, few, I fear, take time to consider whether these brutal and inhuman practices are leading. The custom of burning human beings has become so common as scarcely to excite interest of attract unusual attention. I have always been among those who condemn in the strongest terms crimes of whatsoever character committed by members of my race, and I condemn them now with equal severity, but I maintain that the only protection of our civilization is a fair and calm trial of all people charged with crime and in their legal punishment, if proved guilty. There is no shadow of excuse for deviation from legal methods in the cases of individuals accused of murder. The laws are, as a rule, made by the white people, and their execution is by the hands of the white people; so that there is little probability of any guilty colored man escaping.
     These burnings without trial are in the deepest sense unjust to my race. But it is not this injustice alone which stirs my heart. These barbarous scenes are more disgraceful and degrading to the people who inflict the punishment than to those who receive it. If the law is disregarded when a negro is concerned, it will soon be disregarded when a white man is concerned, and, besides, the rule of the mob destroys the friendly relations which should exist between the races, and injures and interferes with the material prosperity of the communities concerned.
     Worst of all, these outrages take place in communities where there are Christian churches; in the midst of people who have their Sunday schools, their Christian Endeavor societies and Young Men's Christian Associations; where collections are taken up for sending missionaries to Africa and China and the rest of the so called heathen world. It is not possible for pulpit and press to speak out against these burnings in a manner that shall arouse a public sentiment that will compel the mob to cease insulting our court, our Governors and our legal authority; to cease bringing shame and ridicule upon our Christian civilization.?"

 

FIERY SERMON BY PASTOR

    
CHICAGO RECORD-HEARLD
June 24, 1903

     WILMINGTON, Del., June 23 -A fiery sermon by a pastor was blamed  for today for the lynching last night of George White, negro, accused ravisher and murderer of Miss Helen S. Bishop.
     The Rev. Robert A. Elwood, pastor of the Olivet Presbyterian church, preached a sensational sermon on the probable lynching of White last Sunday evening. The text of the sermon was widely distributed and this was believed today to have had much influence in the lynching of White which followed.
     Rev. Elwood took his text from Coronations V., 13: "Therefore put away from among ourselves that wicked person" In referring to the urgency for a speedy trial for the negro, Rev. Elwood said:
     "I call your special attention to that part of my text found in the constitution which says: 'In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial.'
     "On the day of this terrible crime the officials arrested a man supposed to be guilty. He was taken before a magistrate and held without bail. Tonight he is in jail, with armed guards parading about for his protection, waiting until the middle of September. Is that speedy? Is that even constitutional?
     "O, honorable judges, call the court, establish a precedent, and the girls of this state, the wives of our homes and the mothers of our fireside and our beloved sisters will not be sorry and neither will you.
     "And honorable judges, if you do not hear and heed these appeals, and that prisoner should be taken out and lynched, then let me say to you with a full realization of the responsibility of my words, even as Nathan said to King David of old, after his soldiers had killed Uriah, 'Thou art the man,' so I would say to you. The responsibility for lynching would be yours for delaying the execution of the law.
     "If the judges insist that the trial of the murderer of Miss Bishop be delayed until September, then should he be lynched? I say Yes."
     The father of the murder victim is also a minister. Prior to the lynching the Rev. E. R. Bishop, had issued a letter begging the people to permit the law to take its course. Rev. Bishop's letter said:

     "Dear Friends: Mrs. Bishop and our children join me in this expression of the deepest gratitude for your Christian sympathy and tender ministrations in our agonizing grief. Though comparatively strangers, you have been as dear friends whose hearts had been proved by years of acquaintance. You have helped up bear our sorrow, made hundredfold more intense by the most revolting crime. Our cup of bitterness is full and we ask you to join us in our appeal to all citizens of our commonwealth to refrain from violence. The officers believe they have all the evidence necessary to convict the prisoner, and with out doubt as soon as the court can reach is case he will receive his sentence and pay the full penalty for his atrocious crime. If he can be legally tried this will be so. By all means let justice be swift, but if not, then let us wait calmly until the law in its majesty may remove the vile wretch from society.
     "In the meanwhile the culprit is shut up with his guilty conscience, a hell of itself, and knows he must meet the demands of law and justice with his life. Any other course of procedure would bring a kind of glory for those of his class, would intensify the suffering of the afflicted family, possibly endanger the life of a delicate woman, and certainly would dishonor the laws of our commonwealth. Let us not try to atone for one crime, no matter how hellish, by committing another. Sincerely yours,

          "E. A. Bishop."

     Mrs. Bishop, mother of the murdered girl is in a state of extreme nervousness. White was put to death within a few hundred yards of the Bishop home, and glare of the fire and howls of the mob could be plainly seen and heard at the house.
     Prior to the lynching, White was incarcerated in the Newcastle County workhouse. A crowd of several hundred whites advanced into the reception hall and demanded admittance to the jail. Their demand was refused by the guards and they were deluged by a stream of water by the fir fighting equipment of the institution. This did not lessen the eagerness of the besiegers, who immediately began an assault upon the iron doors. Chief of Police Black shouted to the crowd:
     "The first man that comes into this corridor will be killed."
     The leader of the mob grasped on of the heavy sledge-hammers and as he attacked the steel grating he cried:
     "Then you had better kill me for the first one."
     Another man shot out the cluster of incandescent lights in the vestibule. The mob and guards exchanged shots, but did not aim at each other.
     Peter Smith, a 12 year old by, and another youth, name not known, were wounded during the fusillade. Smith was shot in the back. The bullet which struck him evidently came from a pistol in the crowd, as it is claimed by the prison warden that his guards fired over the heads of the lynchers. Smith is not expected to live. The other injured youth was shot in the nose and is expected to live.
     While about 300 men and boys were storming the front of the jail several thousand sympathizers were lined up outside, and, while they took no active part in the attack, were plainly in favor of lynching White.
     After forcing their way into the lower corridor on the west wing the crowd surged up to the front row of cells on the third floor. The leaders, who had the sledges and rivet cutting appliances, were calm and determined and cut straight to the cell of the man they were after. That no other doors were demolished is due to the leaders,who told Chief Black and Warden Meserve that they intended to get the negro if they had to bread every steel door in the place, and argued that it was a useless expense to the county to have unnecessary damage done to property. The officials saw the strength of this argument and informed the leaders that White was in cell No. 13 on the front row, third story. This was enough and the door to this row of cells was at once attacked. "This is the only door between us and our man," shouted one of the mob, "and if you will stand back we will cut it open in an hour."
     It was just 22 minutes of 12 o'clock when the mob with yells, curses, and cheers rushed into the corridor past the cell doors of the frightened prisoners to the cell occupied by White. Here more trouble was encountered, for in smashing the lever box the mechanism was damaged and the door to the cell of White could not be opened.
     Warden Meserve then rushed into the cell corridor to prevent the mob taking the wrong man. He saw that the men with hammers were about to demolish the cell door and told them how to disconnect to door so it could be operated. As soon as the door to White's cell slid open there was a deafening cheer, and cries of "Don't hurt him; hang him; don't hit him; burn him at the stake. Take him to the place where he murdered Miss Bishop, for we have driven a stake there and will burn him."
     White fought desperately for his life, and knocked down the first man who approached him. One of the leaders of the mob threw his arms around the negro, thus protecting him. At this time the narrow corridor was so tightly packed by the mob that it was impossible to get the prisoner out.
     A rope was tied around his legs and he was lowered to the mob below, who dragged him to a previously selected site at Price's Corner.
     When he found that his case was hopeless the negro confessed to having committed the deed, and did not spare himself in telling of it. He prayed fervently to God and seemed anxious to do as much talking as possible in the few minutes he had to live.
     Another strong rope was brought and the negro was wrapped in its coils from shoulders to feet. His lips were moving while this was going on, and he seemed to be trying to finish his statement. The crowd was in a hurry to get through with its work, and called out for the executioners to hasten. After the rope had been adjusted the negro was fastened to the stake and the torch was applied to the straw.
     The flames leaped up and licked the man's bare hands. He was held erect by one of the lynchers until his clothing was burning fairly, when he was pushed into the bed of the fire. He rolled about and his contortions were terrible, but he made no sound. Suddenly the ropes on his legs parted and he sprang from the fire and started to run. A man struck him in the head with a piece of fence again into the flames. He rolled out several times, but was promptly returned. While this was going on shouts, cheers, and gibes went up from the crowd.
     When the negro had ceased to show signs of life the body was placed on its back and fuel was piled up on it, and a roaring fire was soon consuming it .
     The Rev. C. H. Thomas of Belleville, Ill., speaking at Quinn chapel last night, expressed grave doubts of White's guilt.
     "The only evidence against White," he said, "was the testimony of a woman that a knife found near the spot where the crime was committed had belonged to him. That is no evidence."

 

WHITES ARE CALLED DEMONS

    
CHICAGO RECORD-HERALD
June 29, 1903
    
     WILMINGTON, Del., June 28 -The lynching of the negro, George F. White, was the chief topic in two churches here today. In the negro church some violent sentiments were expressed by a negro pastor, and in a white church the utterances of a week ago by the white pastor were endorsed by the congregation.
     In the first African Methodist Episcopal church the Rev. Montrose W. Thornton said:
     "The white man, in face of his boasted civilization, stands before my eyes tonight the demon of the world's races, a monster incarnate, and in so far as the negro race is concerned seems to give no quarter. The white is a heathen, a fiend, a monstrosity before God, and is equal to any act in the calendar of crime. I would sooner trust myself in a den of a hyena as in his arms.
     "With a court, law, and officers of law in his hands the despised negro can expect no mercy, justice, nor protection. The negro is unsafe anywhere in this country. He is the open prey at all times of barbarians who know no restraint and will not be restrained.
     "There is but one part left for the persecuted negro when charged with crime and when innocent. Be a law unto yourself. You are taught by this lesson of outrage to save yourself from torture at the hands of the blood seeking public. Save your race from insult and shame. Be your own sheriff, court, and jury, as was the outlaw Tracy. Die in your tracks, perhaps drinking the blood of your pursuers. Booker T. Washington's charity, humanity, advice of forgiveness, love, industry, and son on will never be reciprocated by white men."
     The Rev. Robert A. Elwood, the Presbyterian minister who has come in for much criticism for his sermon of last Sunday night, in which he suggested lynching in case the negro escaped speedy punishment at the hands of the law, did not refer to the lynching or the criticisms today. These criticisms were answered by his congregation today when resolutions were read during the services expressing firm belief in the pastor's honesty, integrity, and Christian character.
     Thousands of persons visited today the scene where White was burned. They came from all the small towns in this vicinity, and hundreds journeyed from Chester, Pa., and Philadelphia.
     The burning took place in a freshly plowed field, about fifty feet from the roadway, which was hidden by high bushes. The field has been tramped almost as smooth and hard as asphalt by the thousands of persons that have visited the farm. The only evidence that remains of the work of the mob are three cobblestones, on one of which this inscription has been placed in indelible ink:
     "Here is all that remains of White."
     The bushes behind which the murder was committed have been cut down for a distance of several yards and carried away by relic hunters. Many of those who visited the scene today, among them a large number of young men, carried away a sprig or a branch of the bushes.

 

AFRICAN RECRUITER LYNCHING

EDITORIAL FROM THE SAVANNAH TRIBUNE
May 4, 1912

     The account of the death of the Negro near Jackson, Ga., last Friday night, who was lynched because he undertook to secure recruits for a proposed African colony shows with how little secrecy the whites of certain rural districts take the life of a Negro.
     We do not know the circumstances surrounding the death of this Negro other than the one fact that he was working among his own people endeavoring to get a sufficient number of them to go to Africa.
     The likelihood is that he was succeeding in his project and because of this apparent success the white farmers in the community, who were depending on these Negroes to gather their crops, became angered and decided to nip the movement in the bud by lynching the leader and holding to their laborers whose services they were getting for little or nothing.
     This they did and the pitiful part about it is that this lynching, as all others, will go unnoticed by the state and government authorities. Nothing was brought against this Negro's character by the people who took part in the lynching.
     He was not charged with the "usual crime" or termed an "unruly, disrespectful black brute." In fact, nothing whatever was given out against him other than the fact that he was securing recruits for Africa.
     The usual time for lynching a Negro was whenever some heinous charge was brought up. But lately, lynchings have become so common that not the slightest effort has been made by the law to apprehend the guilty parties so that they have not had to resort to this form of procedure in endeavoring to justify their actions.
     Truly it has come to a lamentable state when a Negro's life is to be snatched out for no cause whatever other than to satisfy the unquenchable thirst of certain white people for the blood of a black man.

 

LYNCHED "FOR BEING BLACK"

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER
September 12, 1912

 

     Today, United States District Attorney O. D. Street, of Birmingham, made pubic a letter which he is forwarding to Governor O'Neal. The letter is from C. P. Lunsford of Hackleburg, and reads as follows:
     On last Wednesday there was a negro man chased and hounded down and murdered while going peacefully along the railroad. There was not anything against him, but a party of men got after him because his skin was black and murdered him.
     The grand jury has  been in session several times since his murder. And I must add that the grand jury has not paid any attention to the murder, not even so much as to put the parties under arrest. The negro who was murdered was Willis Perkins of Sheffield, and I am reliably informed that he was of an excellent character.
     "I write you to know if there is any law in the United States to protect its citizens against such outrage and the wholesale slaughter of human beings. This is the second negro that has been killed in this county in the last twelve months, and the State authorities seem to pay no attention to it whatever. The parties who murdered the negro are Walt Miller, Tom Mason, C. L. Baker, Jack Purser, George Stidham and others. I would be glad if you would send a detective over here and see if we can't stop this mob violence."
     U.S. Attorney Street says that he is forwarding the letter to Governor O'Neal because he is powerless in the matter.

 

THE PALESTINE HORROR

EDITORIAL FROM THE LITERARY DIGEST (NEW YORK)
August 13, 1910

    
     We wish to publish, without comment, segments of editorials from two Southern newspapers on the recent outbreak of lynchings near Palestine, Texas. The first is from the Houston Chronicle which cries out against "indiscriminate butchery of negroes because of some crime committed by an individual member of the race" and says"
     "It would puzzle Satan to find a satisfactory excuse for such an outbreak...With all the faults of the individuals, the negro race is no a bad race. Fidelity, loyalty, and courage are not uncommon traits. And the negro is the satellite of the white man. You could not drive him away from the white man, in whose shadow he flourishes and the white race is not yet ready to dispense with the negro; certainly it can not afford to dispense with him by the assassination route, and to shoot down unarmed negroes in their cabins, to kill poor barefooted fugitives who, with their clothes bundled up to flee the country, are overtaken on country roads and shot down and left to welter and to thrash out their lives in the white dust of the roadway (as happened near Palestine) is nothing short of hell-inspired murder, and is just as demoniac, just as bloody, just as damnable a crime as if it had been committed by Turks on Armenians, by Kurds and Caucasians or by red Sioux warriors on white men."
     The second is merely a clause from an editorial in the Memphis Commercial Appeal which advises northerners to "remember their own troubles, and not be too severe in the condemnation of the Texas tragedy."

 

 

 

 

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