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76 THE CRISIS works for a separate training camp and secures one at Des Moines, Ia. September, 1917-Commissions held up at Des Moines Camp. Telegram sent to the men at Des Moines urging them to stay until commissions are granted. Personal work at Washington to press the matter of commissions. September, 1917-Efforts through personal interviews with Secretary Baker to secure reversal of the decision regarding Colonel Young's retirement. Unsuccessful. October, 1917-Six hundred and seventy-eight colored men secure commissions at Des Moines. Des Moines Camp sends contribution of $272 to N.A.A.C.P. November, 1917- Action against forcing colored men at Camp Meade to act as stevedores and common laborers. Successful. Men transferred to heavy artillery. February, 1918- Association takes steps to find out status of the five colored soldiers sentenced to death by Houston court martial. Deputation goes to Washington, headed by James W. Johnson, Field Secretary, asking for clemency for these men and for forty-one soldiers of the same regiment sentenced to life imprisonment. Secures a stay of sentence on the case of the five men. February, 1918-Representative of Association again confers with War Department on Colonel Young case, and on status of colored soldier. Injustice of "Jim Crow" railroad discriminations against colored soldiers urged. Assurances received that due proportion of colored men would be mobilized for fighting (combatant) service and no undue proportion organized into "service" battalions. March, 1918-Takes up with Secretary of War case of Lieutenant Tribbett who was taken from a Pullman Coach in Oklahoma. April, 1918-Open letter of protest to the War Department against General Ballou's order, Bulletin 35. Publicity secured throughout the country. FEDERAL ANTI-LYNCHING BILL INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS REPRESENTATIVE L. C. DYER of Missouri introduced in the House of Representatives, on April 8, a bill for the suppression by Federal authority of mob violence and lynching, known as H. R. 11279. This bill has benn referred to the Committee on the Judiciary of the House. Mr. Dyer'S bill provides for the handling of all cases of mob violence by Federal authorities taking these cases out of hands of state authorities, who have in so many cases failed so miserably to even make an attempt to punish perpetrators. Every person participating in a mob or riotous assemblage by which a citizen is put to death is to be prosecuted and punished in the Federal courts. It is also provided that every county in which a lynching occurs shall be subjected to a fine of "not less than $5,000 nor more than $10,000," to be applied to the relief of the family or other dependents of the person lynched. If such amount is not paid, the bill provides that Federal authorities have the authority to levy on the property of the county and secure the sum in this way. In the event that deceased leaves no dependent, the fine is to be paid to the Federal Government. Every state or municipal officer who fails to properly protect citizen from mob violence, or who allows a prisoner to be taken from him by a mob is, upon conviction, to be punished by imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or by a fine not exceeding $5,000, or by both imprisonment and fine. If the bill is to be passed, there is tremendous amount of work to be done by all persons interested in its passage. There is probably nothing which creates a deeper impression than petitions, telegrams and letters if they come from all over the country. Arrangements are now in contemplation for a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee. It is strongly urged that every person in the United States favoring the bill write or telegraph his or her Congressman urging that he support and vote for the bill. Certainly every colored person should do this, for it affects him vitally, though the question far transcends race interests. For these reasons send a letter or telegram now; have your lodge, church, society, firm or club do the same and in this way have an avalanche of such messages pour into Congress to accomplish this purpose. [end page] [start page] THE LATE MAJOR WALKER THE late Major James E. Walker was born in Virginia, September 7, 1874. He was educated in the public schools of Washington, and was graduated from the M Street High School in 1893, and the Miner Normal School on 1894. For Twenty-four years he was in the public school service and since 1899 was supervising principal. In 1896 he was made Lieutenant in the First Separate Battalion of the National Guard of the District of Columbia. In 1909 he was made Captain and in 1912, through competitive examination, was commissioned Major. His command was called out to guard the White House and while on this duty Major Walker's health became impaired. He was sent to the U. S Hospital at Fort Bayard, New Mexico, for treatment, where he died April 4, 1918. We regret to learn that the authorities did not offer a military funeral to this man, who is today the ranking colored officer among American victims of the war. The superintendent of the public schools of the district of Columbia says: "Major Walker taught patriotism and citizenship in his schools, showing the patriotic and civic spirit in his own life. He died serving his country as a military officer, exemplifying in his own loyalty he sought to teach the children under his charge. I fell that the public school system was honored in having Major Walker as one of its colored administrative officers, and that it has suffered a serious loss in his death." [[image: black and white photograph of Major James E. Walker in his uniform]] 77
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