The Fight Against Lynching

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The Fight Against Lynching (1919)
the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
2015034The Fight Against Lynching1919the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

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Fight Against Lynching


of the

National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People


Reprinted from the Ninth Annual Report

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

April, 1919

Price Ten Cents


President Wilson's Lynching and Mob Violence Pronouncement (of July 26, 1918).

Lynchings of May, 1918, in Brooks and Lowndes Counties, Georgia; an investigation by the N. A. A. C. P.; 8 pages.

The Massacre of East St. Louis; an account of an Investigation by W. E. Burghardt Du Bois and Martha Gruening, for the N. A. A. C. P., illustrated, 20 pages, reprinted from The Crisis for September, 1917.

The Burning of Ell Person at Memphis, Tenn.; an account taken from the Memphis daily papers of May 22, 23, 24 and June 3, 1917; 4 pages.

The Burning of Ell Person at Memphis, Tenn.; an investigation by James Weldon Johnson for the N. A. A. C. P.; reprinted from The Crisis for July, 1917; 8 pages.

The Lynching of Anthony Crawford (at Abbeville, S. C., October 21, 1916). Article by Roy Nash (then) Secretary, N. A. A. C. P.; reprinted from the Independent for December, 1916; 4 pages, large size.

Notes on Lynching in the United States, compiled from The Crisis, 1912; 16 pages.

Thirty Years of Lynching in the United States, 1889-1918, April, 1919; circa 100 pages, fifteen cents.

* Copies of the pamphlets listed may be obtained from the Secretary of the Association.


National Association for the Advancement
Of Colored People

William English Walling, Chairman
John R. Shillady, Secretary
Philip G. Peabody
Moorfield Storey
Archibald H. Grimké
W. E. B. Du Bois
Mary White Ovington


The anti-lynching work of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is carried on as a part of the activities of the Association under the direction of the Association's Anti-Lynching Committee, whose names appear elsewhere.

This work was made possible in the beginning through an initial contribution of $1,000 made by Mr. Philip G. Peabody, of Boston, Mass., in the fall of 1916, toward a fund of $10,000 to be used in a vigorous campaign against the lynching evil. The Association's president, Mr. Moorfield Storey, contributed a second $1,000 and as the result of a wide-spread appeal an amount slightly in excess of $10,000 over and above the cost of the appeal was subscribed. The Association is endeavoring to raise approximately $10,000 annually to carry on this work.

The principal activities of the anti-lynching campaign include:

Investigation of as many of the lynchings as possible.

Publication and distribution of the investigator's findings and of other data concerning lynching.

Inquiries and protests whenever lynchings occur, to governors, sheriffs and other state and local authorities by telegraph and letter, and, in selected cases, amounting in the aggregate to a considerable number, appeals to leading chambers of commerce urging them to demand that their governors and other officials take legal action against lynchers.

Press publicity of such inquiries and protests and of the results of the Association's investigations and other matter of current "news" interest in order thus to create public sentiment against lynching.

Research into the facts regarding past lynchings.

Collection of press and editorial comment on lynching in general and on particular lynchings.

Study of causes and remedies for lynching.

Efforts to secure specific legislation to prevent lynching.

Continuous agitation of the subject through the columns of the Association's organ, The Crisis and through meetings and addresses upon every appropriate occasion.

Generally to keep the evil of lynching before the American people as a live issue and to offer a constructive program for its abolition.

The Association, through its president and secretary, acting for the Anti-Lynching Committee, took the initiative in promoting a National Conference on Lynching which will be held in New York City on the fifth and sixth of May, 1919, for the purpose of focusing the attention of the nation on this blot upon America's fair name and of working out an effective, constructive program for its abolition. This conference has been called by one hundred and twenty leaders of American opinion, it being judged best that the conference be called by distinguished Americans rather than by the Association itself, or the Anti-Lynching Committee, in order that the appeal might not be hampered in the minds of anyone by its association with the work of an organization devoted to the interests of the Negro, and to which there might be opposition on that account.

Among the signers of this call are the attorney general of the United States, five governors, one of them, Governor Hugh M. Dorsey of Georgia, a southern governor, four ex-governors, one of these, Hon. Emmet O'Neal of Alabama, from the South, two ex-attorney generals of the United States, nine university presidents, the president of the American Bar Association, a number of leading lawyers of national reputation of the country, including Elihu Root and Charles Evans Hughes, Cardinal Gibbons and leading churchmen and representative colored leaders. Nineteen of the signers of the call are representatives leaders of southern white liberal opinion.

The Association urgently appeals for financial support in its constructive efforts to stamp out lynching in the United States.

John R. Shillady, Secretary
National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People


"I therefore very earnestly and solemnly beg that the governors of all the states, the law officers of every community, and above all, the men and women of every community in the United States, all who revere America and wish to keep her name without stain or reproach, will co-operate, not passively merely, but actively and watchfully to make an end of this disgraceful evil. It cannot live where the community does not countenance it."

July 26, 1918.WOODROW WILSON.

Comment by the Way

An increased executive and clerical staff has permitted the Association to devote more time and thought to its Anti-Lynching work and to conduct a more energetic campaign for legal trial of Negro alleged offenders, than in any previous year of the Association's history. Lynching is rapidly becoming a national issue. Under the stress of war time, mob violence has menaced communities heretofore relatively immune. Four white men were lynched in 1918. And yet, when all the facts are summed up, and we would be the last to minimize the evil of mob violence or to excuse it in the least degree, the lynching of Negroes by whites is the outstanding fact in the situation.

Sixty-three Negroes are known to have died at the hands of white mobs during 1918, as we point out in succeeding pages. These lynchings might well be regarded as evidences of civil war were it not that up to this time the Negroes have not retaliated in kind. In the absence of combined action by Negroes forcibly to protect members of their race, the lynching of black men and women by white men for all causes and no cause, so far as crimes are concerned, can only be compared, although in lesser degree, to Russian pogroms against Jews under the Tzarist regime, or to Turkish attacks upon the Armenians.

We would deeply deplore the forcible defense of Negroes by other Negroes, since it would perhaps lead to sanguinary conflicts between the lower element of whites and the Negroes, but no sane observer can fail to reflect that either white men, who make and enforce the laws, must stop mob attacks upon black men, no matter what reason may be given for the attacks, or confess themselves unable to maintain law and order and protect all citizens from unlawful attack. No class of citizens can be denied the protection of the law with impunity.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People fights this evil, as others in its program, with spiritual and legal weapons. Its appeal is to the heart, the mind, the conscience of America. It insists upon "ordered law and humane justice," to quote a phrase used by President Wilson in his appeal to the country against lynching. It has hoped that the better South would rouse itself and wipe out this terrible blot upon its honor. But the wait has been a long one. Can the Negro depend upon securing his day in court so long as he has no say as to who sits upon the bench, in the jury box, or who becomes the sheriff or chief of police? Think it over in the light of experience, ye voters and students of history and politics!

Extent of the Lynching Evil[1]

Previous to 1918

The records show that from 1885 to 1917, both inclusive, approximately 3,740 lynchings have occurred in the United States. Two thousand seven hundred and forty-three (2,743) of this number have had colored persons as victims and nine hundred and ninety-seven (997) have been white. The relative percentages of white and colored victims for the 33 years covered is 26 per cent, white; 74 per cent, colored.

Assuming that the record for the earlier years is less accurate than for the later period, because of many factors (all lynching figures are probably minimum), the figures for the 18 years, 1900 to 1917, both inclusive, are given. Fourteen hundred and twenty-seven (1,427) lynchings are recorded for the period named. Twelve hundred and forty-one (1,241) of these (86.7 per cent) were Negroes; 186 (13.3 per cent) were white. The relative decrease of white victims is marked.

The victims of the East St. Louis mob riots of July, 1917, are excluded, as are those of the mob riot at Chester, Pa. The number of victims at East St. Louis has been estimated at as many as 175. In the report of the Congressional Investigating Committee (House Document No. 1,231, 65th Congress, 2nd Session) the Committee says that "at least 39 Negroes and 8 white people were killed outright, and hundreds of Negroes were wounded and maimed."[2]

During 1918

During 1918, 63 Negroes and 4 white persons were lynched, as established by well authenticated evidence.[3] The Executive Office has been advised of a probable increase of this figure by 12 cases of which it is said that confirmation of lynching can be obtained, but, as the Executive Office has been unable to investigate these cases, they have, of course, been excluded from our figures.

An Association staff member, while in the South studying special problems, was informed by reliable colored people in Georgia that twelve unreported cases (in the press or elsewhere) have occurred since the Association investigated the Brooks and Lowndes Counties, Georgia, lynching orgy of May, 1918, and that the only apparent effect in Georgia of the President's lynching pronouncement of July 26th last, has been an apparently concerted agreement on the part of press and authorities to keep all news regarding lynchings out of the Georgia press. Lending some color to this charge, is the fact that, so far as we are aware, no Georgia daily has at any time since May, 1918, published any account of the investigation made by the Association or of the fact that 17 names of mob leaders were put in the hands of Governor Dorsey, despite the considerable press comment in the press of other states.

One of our Texas branches (Houston) reported the case of one alleged victim of a mob who was buried secretly and no publicity given to the facts. The branch's president had written to the acting-governor requesting an investigation of the circumstances.[4] Finally, some lynchings which do not get into the press, are not carried beyond the immediate neighborhood, sometimes a very small one, unless there is some unusual feature to distinguish the event.

Distribution of the 1918 Lynchings

During 1918 lynchings have occurred in the following states:[5]

Alabama 3
Arkansas 3
California 1
Florida 2
Georgia 19
Kentucky 1
Louisana 9
Illinois 1
Mississippi 7
North Carolina 2
Oklahoma 1
South Carolina 1
Tennessee 4
Texas 11 [6]
Virginia 1
Wyoming 1

Offenses Charged Against the 1918 Victims[7]

"Attacks on white women" 13
"Attacks on colored women" 1
"Living with white woman" 1
"Too revolting to publish" 2
"Shooting and killing officer of law" 10
"Murder of civilian" 14
"Shooting and wounding" 4
"Conspiracy to avenge killing of relative" 6
"Accomplice in murder" 3
"Aiding mob victim in attempt to escape" 1
"Intent to rob and kidnap" 1
"Quarrel with employer" 1
"Creating disturbance" 1
"Stealing hogs" 3
"Unknown" 2
"Disloyal utterances" 2
"Murder" 2

Special Features of Lynchings

Five of the Negro victims have been women. Two colored men were burned at the stake before death; four Negroes were burned after death; three Negroes, aside from those burned at the stake, were tortured before death; in one case the victim's dead body was carried into town on the running board of an automobile and thrown into a public park where "it was viewed by thousands;" one Negro victim was captured and handed to the officers of the law by Negroes themselves. A mother and her five children were lynched by a Texas mob, the mother having been shot as she was attempting to drag the bodies of her four dead sons from their burning home at daybreak, the house (only a cabin) having been fired by the mob. The crime in this case was "alleged conspiracy to avenge" the killing of another son by officers who had come to arrest him for "evading the draft law." This latter case has not been classified as a lynching.

Most atrocious of all, so far as the community was concerned, was the five days' orgy in Brooks and Lowndes Counties, which has been made the occasion for special publicity and special efforts by the Association, to which reference is made on page 9 of this report. In that case the particularly vicious brutality of the mob went beyond what one is prepared to expect from Georgia mobs—and one expects a good deal in the way of "cruel and unusual punishments" from them. The horrible cruelties visited upon Mary Turner, an eight month's pregnant woman, are recited in the investigation published of our investigator's findings.[8]

In two cases the lynchings were carried out in the court house yard and in one of these picture post card photos were sold on the streets at 25 cents each.

Taken from Peace Officers and Jails

Our records show the following number of cases of lynchings of Negroes in which the victim was taken from officers or jails:

Alabama 2
Georgia 4
Louisana 2
Mississippi 1
North Carolina 1
Oklahoma 1
South Carolina 1
Tennessee 1

Innocence Admitted Publicly

In three cases of which we have record the press has spoken of the innocence of victims; one of these involved three persons, another the ten victims of Brooks and Lowndes Counties mobs (aside from the one person who shot the white farmer which was the incentive to the lynchings). In another case it is the common belief in the community in which a Negro was lynched for "killing a white woman" that the husband of the woman was himself the murderer. No charge has been brought against him, however, by the authorities. In such cases, Negroes are usually too fearful of danger and too hopeless of anything being done, to initiate legal action. In an additional case a bank cashier declared in an interview in an Alabama paper, that a certain lynching victim had committed no offense, that there had been a mistake made in the man the mob was after.

Legal Action Taken by Public Officials

Governor Thomas W. Bickett of North Carolina ordered the sheriff to investigate one case, but the sheriff reported that the "guilty parties could not be ascertained." The Governor in another case personally appealed to a mob at midnight and prevented the lynching of a man who was later hanged. The same Governor in November appealed to the Federal authorities and secured the support of a tank corps of 250 Federal army men to assist the authorities of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in holding the local jail against a mob which was attempting to get a Negro prisoner to lynch him.

The Mayor and "Home Guards" of Winston-Salem, aided by the Federal soldiers alluded to, protected the aforementioned prisoner at the cost of the lives of some of the "Home Guards," for which public service, so unusual where Negro-hunting mobs are concerned, they should receive the tributes of all good citizens. (The Association's appreciation was made known to all concerned by a public commendation).[9]

Governor Richard I. Manning of South Carolina ordered a sheriff to arrest 17 prominent farmers who had participated in a lynching. Bail was fixed at a total of $97,500, in February. From the Judge who placed the men under bail we learn that no indictments were found by the grand jury. "Lack of evidence," is given as the reason.

Governor Charles Henderson of Alabama, in November, actively supported the attorney general of the state, who, at the instance of the Governor, personally took charge of an investigation of two lynchings which occurred in that state on the 10th and 12th of that month.

When a regular grand jury then in session failed to indict, a prominent detective agency was engaged and upon the evidence secured by them, a special grand jury, headed by a local clergyman, brought in 24 indictments. Seventeen men were lodged in jail without bail.[10]

Specific Action by the Executive Office

The following tables summarize the action taken in specific cases by the Association:

Telegrams and Letters
of Protest, Inquiry and
Acknowledgments Press
State Gov. Chamb.
Gov. C. of C. Other
Alabama 2 10 .. .. 2 .. 1
Arkansas 1 .. .. .. .. .. 1
Georgia 5 2 .. 2 .. .. 8
Kentucky 1 .. .. .. .. .. 1
Louisana 7 11 .. .. 2 .. 9
Mississippi 2 .. .. .. .. 1 2
North Carolina 3 1 1 2 1 1 3
Oklahoma 1 .. .. 1 .. .. 2
South Carolina 1 .. .. .. .. .. 1
Tennessee 5 9 7 2 3 2 9
Texas 3 .. 1 1 .. .. 3
Wyoming 1 .. .. 1 .. .. 1
—— —— —— —— —— —— ——
32 33 9 9 8 4 40*
* In listing by states there are duplications in cases where a single press story includes matter affecting more than one state. The total 40 is the actual number of press stories, eliminating the duplicate count by states.

Special investigations by a member of the staff have been made of lynchings at Fayetteville, Ga., Brooks and Lowndes Counties, Ga., Estill Springs, Tenn., Blackshear, Ga., and of race riots and disturbances at Camp Merritt, N. J., Brooklyn, N. Y. and Philadelphia, Pa.[11]

Memoranda were prepared and sent to the President of the United States, to the Attorney General of the United States and to the executive committees of the American Bar Association, on the general subject of lynching, but with reference to immediate practical action desired by the Association. Letters requesting editorial interest in the fight against lynching were addressed to the leading papers of the country on several occasions and matter has been prepared for specific use by individual papers.

Publicity in the press was secured for the memorandum to the President and to the Attorney General. Mr. Storey's address to the Wisconsin Bar Association, June, 1918, on "The Negro Question," which contains much reference to lynching, was sent to all the members of the Cabinet and of the Congress, to Governors of all the states, mayors of cities, to newspapers, periodicals, and to leading citizens and will be given wider circulation during the early part of 1919.[12]

The members of the executive staff have made reference to lynching in addresses in many cities to both white and colored audiences. Certain of Field Secretary Johnson's addresses before white audiences have met with notable responses.

The offer of the publishers of the San Antonio Express, San Antonio, Texas, made in April, to pay rewards of $1,000, for each conviction and punishment of the lynchers of a Negro (and $500, if white), has been given wide publicity among the branches and the colored press. (No one has claimed a reward from this fund as yet, however).

Illustration of Results Following the Association's Publicity Work

The following examples of results following publicity sent out by the Association and telegrams addressed to Governors and Chambers of Commerce are reviewed:

On November 9, telegrams of inquiry and appeal for legal action in the case of the lynching of George Taylor at Rolesville, near Raleigh, N. C., were sent to Governor Bickett of North Carolina, to the County Solicitor of Wake County and to the Chamber of Commerce of Raleigh, of which that to the Governor was acknowledged. The Governor said that he agreed with the points made in the telegram and would back the County Solicitor in efforts to fix the blame for the affair. The Solicitor carried on an investigation for two weeks, examining 21 white and 9 colored witnesses. The coroner's jury ran true to form, finding that the victim came to his death at the hands of "parties unknown" to the jury.

The two leading Raleigh newspapers, one of them owned by Secretary of the Navy Daniels, carried strong editorial comment against the lynching and criticized the dereliction of the officers in allowing their prisoner to be taken from them. One of them commented directly and favorably on the Association's telegrams to the Governor.

Ten days later, as has been mentioned on a preceding page of this report, the same Governor appealed successfully to an adjacent army camp for help to support the mayor and "home guards" of Winston-Salem in holding the local jail against a mob which was attempting to seize a Negro prisoner to lynch him.

The Chambers of Commerce of Montgomery and Birmingham, Alabama, acknowledged telegrams and letters of the Association sent during November, saying that they supported our view (that the lynchers of Will Byrd and Henry Whiteside should be ascertained and legal action against them taken) and that the Governor had ordered the action referred to on a previous page of this report, that of instructing the attorney general of the state to push an investigation of the lynchings at Sheffield and Tuscumbia, Alabama.

Space forbids the citation of further examples. In many cases, however, no direct effect was produced by the Association's long distance efforts. It would be a mistake, however, to assume that no beneficial results can be credited to such of the Association's forty telegraphic inquiries (accompanied by newspaper publicity) as had occasioned no immediate action. Correspondents have written and callers at the National Headquarters have assured the National Officers of the value of this publicity work. In some cases local leaders among the white citizens have called upon colored people to assure them of their concern for the well being and protection of the good Negro and incidentally, we are told, to advise them against allying themselves with "northern agitators."

That the pressure of national opinion is felt and feared, even in the center of the lynching area, is evidenced by such editorials as that following a protest against a Louisana lynching, in which a local editor devoted a column of matter to "lambasting" the National Secretary under the caption "No Outside Scolds Needed." It was asked why this "Association with the long name" was endeavoring to hold Louisana up to the scorn of the country, etc., ad lib.

Outstanding Events Aside From Association Efforts

The most notable events affecting the anti-lynching campaign, aside from the Association's efforts, have been the President's July 26 pronouncement against lynching, the formation of the Tennessee Law and Order League to suppress lynching in March, and its announced campaign to stimulate the organization of similar movements in all the Southern states and the offer of The San Antonio Express heretofore mentioned.[13] The latter offer is, of course, of scant promise for effective service in the campaign.


January 17—Hazelhurst, Miss., Sam Edwards, burned to death; charged with murder of Bera Willes, seventeen-year-old white girl.

Jan"ary 26—Benton, La., Jim Hudson, hanged; living with a white woman.

February 7—Fayetteville, Ga., "Bud" Cosby, hanged; intent to rob and kidnapping.

Febr"ary 12—Estill Springs, Tenn., Jim McIllheron, burned; accused of shooting to death two white men. G. W. Lych, who hid McIllheron, was shot to death.

Febr"ary 23—Fairfax, S. C., Walter Best, hanged; accused of murder.

Febr"ary 26—Rayville, La., Jim Lewis, Jim Jones and Will Powell, two hanged and one shot to death; accused of stealing hogs. In the fray one white man and one Negro were killed.

Febr"ary 26—Willacoochee, Ga., Ed. Dansy, shot; he had killed two white officers and wounded three others.

March 16—Monroe, La., George McNeel and John Richards, hanged; alleged attack upon a white woman.

Ma"ch 22—Crawfordsville, Ga., Spencer Evans, hanged; convicted of criminal assault upon a colored woman at the February term of court and sentenced to be hanged, but a mob took him from jail and lynched him.

Ma"ch 26—Lewiston, N. C., Peter Bazemore; alleged attack upon a white woman.

April 4—Collinsville, Ill., Robert P. Praeger, hanged (white); accused of making disloyal remarks.

Ap"il 20—Poplarville, Miss., Claud Singleton, hanged; accused of murdering a white man. He had been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Ap"il 22—Lexington, Tenn., Berry Noyes, hanged; murder of Sheriff W. E. McBride.

Ap"il 22—Monroe, La., Clyde Williams, hanged; shooting C. L. Thomas, Missouri-Pacific station agent at Fawndale.

May 17—Valdosta, Ga., Will Head, Will Thompson, Hayes Turner, Mary Turner, Sydney Johnson, Eugene Rice, Chime Riley, Simon Schuman and three unidentified Negroes, hanged; alleged complicity in the murder of Hampton Smith.

M"y 20—Erwin, Tenn., Thomas Devert, shot and burned; alleged murder of a white girl.

M"y 22—Miami, Fla., Henry Jackson, hanged; throwing a white man underneath a train.

M"y 22—Red Level, Ala., John Womack, shot; alleged assault on a white woman.

M"y 23—Cordele, Ga., James Cobb, hanged; alleged murder of Mrs. Roy Simmons.

M"y 25—Barnesville, Ga., John Calhoun, shot; alleged murder of John A. Willis.

June 4—Huntsville, Tex., Sarah Cabiness and her five children; Peter, Cute, Tenola, Thomas and Bessie, shot; alleged threat to avenge killing of George Cabiness.

J"ne 4—Beaumont, Tex., Kirby Goolsie, hanged; alleged attack on a white girl.

J"ne 4—Sanderson, Tex., Edward Valentine (white); murder.

J"ne 18—Mangham, La., George Clayton, hanged; murder of his employer, Ben Brooks. In a battle with the posse he wounded six men, probably fatally.

J"ne 18—Earle, Ark., Allen Mitchell, hanged; wounding Mrs. W. M. Langston.

J"ne 29—Madill, Okla., L. McGill, hanged; alleged attack upon a white woman.

July 27—Ben Hur, Tex., Gene Brown, hanged; alleged assault on a white woman.

August 7—Bastrop, La., "Bubber" Hall, hanged; alleged attack on a white woman.

Aug"st 11—Colquit, Ga., Ike Radney; reason unknown.

Aug"st 15—Natchez, Miss., Bill Dukes, shot to death. "He was guilty of a crime too revolting for publication."

Aug"st 15—Quincy, Fla., unidentified Negro; reason unknown.

Aug"st 15—Macon, Ga., John Gilham, hanged; alleged attack on two white women.

Aug"st 28—Hot Springs, Ark., Frederick Wagner (white); disloyal utterances.

September 3—San Pedro, Cal., Warren Czerich (white); murder.

Sept"mber 18—Buff Lake, Tex., Abe O'Neal; shot and wounded white man.

Sept"mber 24—Waycross, Ga., Sandy Reeves, hanged; alleged assault on a white girl.

November 5—Rolesville, N. C., George Taylor, hanged; rape.

Nove"ber 11—Sheffield, Ala., William Bird, hanged; "for creating disturbance."

Nove"ber 12—Sheffield, Ala., George Whiteside, hanged; charged with the murder of a policeman.

Nove"ber 14—Fort Bend County, Tex., Charles Shipman; disagreement with landowner.

Nove"ber 24—Culpepper, Va., Allie Thompson; charged with assaulting a white woman.

December 10—Green River, Wyo., Edward Woodson; charged with killing a railroad switchman.

Dece"ber 16—Hickman, Ky., Charles Lewis, hanged; alleged to have beaten Deputy Sheriff Thomas.

Dece"ber 18—Newport, Ark., Willis Robinson, hanged; murder of Patrolman Charles Williams.

Dece"ber 21—Shubuta, Miss., Major and Andrew Clarke and Maggie and Alma House, hanged; accused of murder of Dr. E. L. Johnston.




Organized, February, 1909
Incorporated, May, 1911

1. To abolish legal injustice against Negroes.

2. To stamp out race discriminations.

3. To prevent lynchings, burnings and torturings of black people.

4. To assure to every citizen of color the common rights of American citizenship.

President Wilson declared for woman suffrage as a war measure. Black men are not allowed to vote in many of the states of the Union, despite the Fifteenth Amendment.

5. To compel equal accommodations in railroad travel, irrespective of color.

6. To secure for colored children an equal opportunity to public school education through a fair apportionment of public education funds.

Unless the colored child can be educated he is at a fearful disadvantage. An uneducated Negro population menaces national well-being. This education should be of hand and brain and can be adequately done for all Negro children, not the fortunate few, only by public schools.
7. To emancipate in fact, as well as in name, a race of nearly 12,000,000 American-born citizens.

The only means we can employ are education, organization, agitation, publicity—the force of an enlightened public opinion.


Send contributions to
70 Fifth Avenue, New York.




70 Fifth Avenue, New York City

Official Organ—THE CRISIS, published Monthly.



Moorfield Storey


Archibald H. Grimké
Rev. John Haynes Holmes
Bishop John Hurst
Capt. Arthur B. Spingarn
Oswald Garrison Villard


Chairman of the Board, Mary White Ovington
John R. Shillady, Secretary
Oswald Garrison Villard, Treasurer
Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois, Director of Publications and Research
James Weldon Johnson, Field Secretary
Walter F. White, Assistant Secretary


Bishop John Hurst

Joseph Prince Loud
Moorfield Storey
Butler R. Wilson

Mary B. Talbert

Jane Addams
Dr. C. E. Bentley

R. R. Church

New Haven
George W. Crawford

New York
Rev. Hutchens C. Bishop
Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois
Rev. John Haynes Holmes
Dr. V. Morton Jones
Florence Kelley
Paul Kennaday
John E. Milholland
Mary White Ovington
Capt. Arthur B. Spingarn
Major J. E. Spingarn
Charles H. Studin
Oswald Garrison Villard
Lillian D. Wald
William English Walling

Dr. William A. Sinclair

Rev. G. R. Waller

St. Louis
Hon. Charles Nagel

Col. Chas. Young, U. S. A.

Prof. Geo. William Cook
Archibald H. Grimké
Charles Edward Russell

  1. The Association has in preparation a pamphlet, which will appear in April, 1919, entitled, "Thirty Years of Lynching in the United States, 1889-1918," which can be secured from the secretary.
  2. "The bodies of the dead Negroes," testified an eye-witness, "were thrown into a morgue like so many dead hogs." Ibid., page 4.
  3. See page 18 for chronological list of name, place, date and alleged cause of lynchings for 1918.
  4. Nothing came of this request in the way of legal action.
  5. Four of the lynched victims were white men (one each in Arkansas, California, Illinois and Texas), 63 were Negroes and 5 of the latter women.
  6. In The Crisis for February, 1919, page 181, this total is given as 12. The case of George Cabiness, whose mother and four brothers and sister were lynched, for alleged threats to avenge the killing of George, has been eliminated from the lynching record as the latter was alleged to have been killed resisting arrest.
  7. According to press accounts, except in a very few cases in which the victim was actually tried before a court and later taken from the jail and lynched.
  8. Published in The Crisis for September, 1918 The Work of a Mob, and reprinted by the Association under the title, "The Lynchings of May, 1918, in Brooks and Lowndes Counties Georgia," September, 1918, 6 p.
  9. As we go to press, information has come that Judge B. F. Long has sentenced 15 men involved in the attempt to storm the Winston-Salem jail to prison terms ranging from fourteen months to six years. This is indeed a rarity and an occasion for rejoicing.
  10. At the trial of the two alleged ringleaders of the mobs, which was held at Tuscumbia, Alabama, on February 3 and 4, 1919, the jury, assembled from the neighborhood, found a verdict of not guilty. The secretary of the Association was in attendance at the trial and has written a report of it which has been published as a special pamphlet Dispensing With Justice in Alabama—a Report of the Trial of Frank Dillard, Alleged Lyncher, at Tuscumbia, Alabama, February 3 and 4, 1919, by John R. Shillady, Secretary, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
  11. Of these investigations, the following have been published and may be obtained upon application to the National Secretary: Brooks and Lowndes Counties, Georgia (see foot-note, page 11); Estill Springs, Tenn. (see The Crisis for May, 1918, pages 16-20); Philadelphia Race Riots of July 26 to July 31, 1918, 8 p.
  12. Printed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People as "The Negro Question" (with resolutions adopted by the Bar Association following the delivery of the address), 30 pages, ten cents per copy.
  13. Little, if any, progress was made in 1918, however, in the Law and Order League endeavor, according to our best information, and no rewards were claimed from the San Antonio Express.