Viewing page 6 of 23

142       The Crisis

city, but as it is one and three-fourths miles from Brown's home he refuses to send his children to that school and the board of education will not admit them to the white school near his home. The board of education has prosecuted Brown for not sending his children to school. 

¶ In spite of the broiling heat the municipal games for colored boys in Washington were successfully held on the Howard University campus on July 4. The papers remark that the boys were in such good physical shape that only one was affected by the abnormal heat.

¶ A thirteen-year-old colored girl in the San Juan district captured the highest of the several prizes offered in New York by the fly-fighting committee of the American Civic Association for the best essays on "The House Fly as a Carrier of Disease," written by school children. Wille Henderson, the lucky little girl, got a ten-dollar gold piece for her essay, which is an eloquent arraignment of the dangerous fly. "If only we believed," she writes, in her painstaking roundhand, "that the filthy fly was the germ carrier we would not spend so much time disinfecting ourselves and avoiding the houses or streets in which disease may be found. Instead we would clean our rooms, make our homes sanitary and inspect the shops from which we buy our food."


The first colored policeman appointed to the police force of Greater New York has been named by Police Commissioner Rhinelander Waldo. His name is Samuel J. Battle; he is six feet tall, weighs 230 pounds, and is twenty-eight years old.

Commissioner Waldo, in addressing a group of forty-four men newly appointed to the period of one month's probation, called attention to the fact that there was a colored man among them. "I am glad to see that there is a representative of the Negro race trying to become a policeman,", he said. "He was on the civil service list, and no color or race condition could have prevented his appointment."

Commissioner Waldo, in his appointment of a colored man to the police force, has continued a policy consistent with his former conduct. The Negroes of the city have long known him as a believer in justice to the colored race. The Commissioner is Spanish war veteran who saw colored troops under action and who appreciated and remembered their fine discipline and courage. When two years ago he ran for Congress in the Fifteenth Congressional District, he won many Negro votes because of his unquestioned admiration of the Negro soldiers and his detestation of the injustice done them at Brownsville. Thanks are due also to Mayor Gaynor, who insists that civil service rules shall be respected. The appointment of Battle to the police force after he has passed a creditable examination was only an act of justice, but it is just this justice that the Negro desires.

¶ Mayor Lambert, of East St. Louis, has announced that when the appropriation budget for 1912 is made up, it will include an item to be used for the establishment of a combination fire and police station to be manned by colored men. This station will be in the Negro section of the city, and the fire-fighters and policemen will deal solely with Negro citizens and Negro property. At this time there are no colored men in the municipal service, except the City Hall and police headquarters janitors, and four special officers, who work solely with their own race. "I feel that it is fair and just to both Negroes and whites that the Negro fire and police station be established, because of the number of Negro voters and taxpayers in the city," Mayor Lambert said.

¶ President R.R. Wright, president of the Georgia State College and of the Colored State Fair Association, has received offers of prizes from railroads for the best exhibit grown along their lines and shown at the fair next November. One railroad gives prizes of $100 and $60, another of $75 and $50, and several other roads are likely to follow suit. 

¶ The colored people of Hartford, a city in which, as in Providence, there are many of the race, have combined to buy a farm near the city, on which they will care for the wayward youths of their community and provide profitable work for them. 


Public opinion in the State of Georgia seems somewhat aroused over a recent lynching and it is possible the offenders may be prosecuted. Two colored men had been arrested, Allen for an alleged attack on a white woman, and Watts for "loitering" nearby in a "suspicious manner." Judge Charles H. Brand ordered Allen brought to Monroe for trial. It was known that the citizens had organized to lynch the man and Governor Brown asked Judge Brand if he wanted the troops at the trail. Judge Brand returned an evasive answer and referred the Governor to Sheriff Stark. The latter said that Judge Brand would have to ask for troops. No word came, and the man was sent to Walton County in charge of two officers. The train was stopped by a 
            ALONG THE COLOR LINE         143

mob, Allen taken off, tied to a telegraph pole and shot, while the passengers on the train looked on. 
The mob, several hundred strong, and unmasked, then marched to Monroe, about six miles away, where Joe Watts was confined to jail, stormed it, took out the Negro, hanged him to a tree and shot him. 
Both men denied that they were guilty, and there seems to have been no strong evidence against them. Members of the legislature say there will be an investigation and probably impeachment proceedings. Two months ago a Negro was lynched at Lawrenceville, Judge Brand's home town, for alleged attack on a white woman. One that occasion Judge Brand also refused to ask for troops, although urged to do so, saying there was no danger.  Two hours later the man was lynched.
Judge Brand admitted to a press representative, in an amazing interview, that he had realized the peril.  
"While I want to discharge and have performed every duty which the law imposes on me," he said, "I don't propose to be the engine of sacrificing any white man's life for all such Negro criminals in the country. Whatever other people may think about it, I am in perfect accord with my conscience and my God. I would not imperil the life of one white man to save the lives of a hundred such Negroes. I am opposed to lynching, but if I had called the military and some young man among the soldiers was killed or some of the citizens of Walton County were killed I would never forgive myself."

¶ A correspondent of the Charleston news and Courier, Ben S. Williams, writes a letter to point out the Southerners should be careful in their lynchings lest they kill the wrong man.  He tells a story to show how difficult identification sometimes is: 
"In your issue of the third inst. there appeared an account in which was correctly stated that the wife of a merchant of the town of Brunson sitting alone on the piazza of her dwelling just at dusk was approached by a Negro man who, coming on to the piazza, used insulting language; that fortunately a loaded pistol, near at hand, was quickly procured by the woman; the Negro fled and was fired at through the darkness but escaped unhurt.  The Negro on his first approach gave the name of Reverend Best (the name of a Negro man resident of the town) as his name.  The lady knew, slightly, the Negro whose name was used and noticed in the twilight that the color and size of the Negro present were about the same as of Best.  So confident was she that she paid to him some change due the family of Best at first asked for.
  "The pistol shots brought persons hastily to the place of shooting and a rapid, eager search was begun for the Negro Best. He was not at home and was not in town. In the early following the morning he was found and captured at a Negro's house a mile distant from town by two discreet men. When taken before the woman she said: 'Yes, that is the man; that is Reverend Best.' It looked badly for Best. He was hurried to jail. Developed the following day was that fact that at the time of the pistol shooting Best was on his way to the house in which he was found, and that a Negro man about the age, size and color of Best-resident of the town-was seen on the street near where the firing occurred just before the firing. This man, John Sanders, was arrested quietly by the same two men who captured Best, his spirit of effrontery deserted him and he confessed guilt, have a detailed statement of the whole affair and went with his captors and dug up at the root of a tree the half dollar he had collected and hidden when it seemed the 'game was up.' John Sanders was hurried to jail an Best was released. 
  "These are the facts. Now for the conclusion. The husband of the insulted woman was away from home. He is a man of strong passions, violent temper and extraordinarily powerful physique. Had he been near home of had he returned before the landing of Best in jail about the time the intended victim of Sanders was mistaking Best for Sanders, it is quite easy to imagine what would have happened to Best, innocent yet apparently so clearly guilty. 
  "Had Sanders not been met by the women with a pistol, had he succeeded in getting into the house and after making his escape as Reverend Best, it is not difficult to imagine a proceeding when Best was captured in which Best, though innocent, would have figured very prominently.
  "It is best to 'be sure you are right before you go ahead.' "
¶  The Wagoner (Okla.) American is responsible for the following tale:
  "Pony Starr and Joe Davis, of Porum, Muskogee County, Okla., made it known to the world that those who are members of a mob are nothing more than common cowards who seek to take the life of a human being without the sanction of law. In this little town last week, thirty of more men in broad daylight went to the home of Pony Starr for the purpose of putting to death Starr and his family and Joe Davis. Mrs. Starr first saw the approaching mob dressed in all forms of disguise; some wearing mother hubbards, women's dresses, etc.  She quickly notified her husband of the coming mob, and as they were sitting on the front porch of their home, they imme
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact