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(Supplement to the C R I S I S , July, 1916)

The Waco Horroraccount of the recent burning special agent of the National 70 Fifth Avenue, New York City. AN of a human being at Waco, Tex., as reported Association for the Advancement of Colored by a People, 1. The City. c i t y of W a c o , T e x . , i s the c o u n t y seat o f M c L e n n a n c o u n t y . I t i s s i t u ated on the B r a z o s r i v e r , a b o u t h a l f w a y between D a l l a s a n d A u s t i n . It is the j u n c t i o n p o i n t of seven r a i l w a y s . T h e c i t y i s i n a fertile a g r i c u l t u r a l region w i t h g r a i n and cotton as the chief p r o d u c t s , a n d w i t h n e a r ly two hundred manufacturing establish ments, r e p r e s e n t i n g some seventy different industries. I t h a d a p o p u l a t i o n o f 14,445 i n 1890 w h i c h i n c r e a s e d to 20,686 i n 1900, a n d to 26,425 i n 1910. T h e w h i t e p o p u l a t i o n i n these t w e n t y y e a r s has a l m o s t e x a c t l y doubled. T h e colored p o p u l a t i o n has i n creased f r o m 4,069 to 6,067, f o r m i n g t h u s 2 3 % o f the p o p u l a t i o n . T h e b u l k o f the population is native white of native parent age, t h e r e b e i n g o n l y about 1,000 f o r e i g n e r s i n the c i t y . T h e w h o l e of M c L e n n a n c o u n t y c o n t a i n e d i n 1910 a p o p u l a t i o n of 73,250 o f w h o m 17,234 w e r e N e g r o e s . T h i s t o t a l p o p u l a t i o n has n e a r l y doubled i n the l a s t t w e n t y y e a r s . W a c o is w e l l l a i d out. T h e streets are b r o a d , over s i x t y m i l e s o f t h e m b e i n g p a v e d . THE T h e sewer s y s t e m of one h u n d r e d m i l e s i s excellent. T h e r e is a fine c i t y - o w n e d w a t e r system, a n d p a r k s on the surrounding prairies. T h e r e are t h i r t y - n i n e w h i t e a n d t w e n t y f o u r colored c h u r c h e s i n W a c o . B y d e n o m i n a t i o n s the w h i t e churches a r e : B a p t i s t , 14; M e t h o d i s t , 9 ; C h r i s t i a n , 4 ; P r e s b y t e rian, 3; Jewish, 2; Episcopal, 2; Evangel i s t i c , 1; L u t h e r a n , 1; C a t h o l i c , 1; C h r i s t i a n Science, 1; S a l v a t i o n A r m y , 1. T h e colleges a r e : B a y l o r U n i v e r s i t y , B a y l o r A c a d e m y , the C a t h o l i c C o l l e g e , the I n dependent B i b l i c a l a n d I n d u s t r i a l ' S c h o o l , a l l w h i t e ; a n d the C e n t r a l T e x a s C o l l e g e a n d P a u l Q u i n n , colored colleges. There are also the A . & M . C o l l e g e , the G u r l e y School, the W a c o B u s i n e s s C o l l e g e , T o b y ' s P r a c t i c a l B u s i n e s s C o l l e g e , the P r o v i d e n t S a n i t a r i u m , a n d the T r a i n i n g S c h o o l . B a y l o r U n i v e r s i t y w a s f o u n d e d i n 1854 a n d has between 1,200 a n d 1,300 s t u d e n t s . It is co-educational. T h e president is r u n n i n g f o r the U n i t e d S t a t e s Senate. T w o h i g h schools serve w h i t e a n d c o l o r e d p o p u l a t i o n , a n d t h e r e are seven b a n k s , i n cluding four national banks.

BAYLOR UNIVERSITY, WACO.

1

2

T H E CRISIS

SUPPLEMENT m a n , and the m a n h a d threatened to k i l l him. O n M o n d a y , M a y 8, w h i l e M r . F r y a r , his son of fourteen, a n d his d a u g h t e r of t w e n ty-three, were h o e i n g cotton i n one p a r t of t h e i r f a r m , the boy, Jesse, w a s p l o w i n g w i t h his mules a n d s o w i n g cotton seed near the house where M r s . F r y a r was alone. He w e n t to the house f o r more cotton seed. A s M r s . F r y a r was scooping i t up f o r h i m into the b a g w h i c h he held, she scolded h i m f o r b e a t i n g the mules. H e knocked her down w i t h a b l a c k s m i t h ' s h a m m e r , and, as he con fessed, c r i m i n a l l y assaulted h e r ; finally he k i l l e d her w i t h the h a m m e r . T h e boy then r e t u r n e d to the field, finished his w o r k , a n d went home to the c a b i n , where he lived w i t h his f a t h e r a n d mother a n d several brothers a n d sisters. W h e n the m u r d e r e d w o m a n was discov ered suspicion pointed to Jesse W a s h i n g t o n , a n d he was f o u n d s i t t i n g i n his y a r d w h i t t l i n g a stick. H e was a r r e s t e d a n d imme d i a t e l y t a k e n to j a i l i n W a c o . Tuesday a mob v i s i t e d the j a i l . T h e y came i n w i t h about t h i r t y automobiles, each h o l d i n g as m a n y as could be c r o w d e d i n . T h e r e was no noise, no t o o t i n g of horns, the l i g h t s were d i m , a n d some h a d no l i g h t s at a l l . These were a l l R o b i n s o n people. They looked for the boy, b u t could not find h i m , f o r he h a d been t a k e n to a n e i g h b o r i n g county where the sheriff obtained a confes sion f r o m h i m . A n o t h e r mob w e n t to this county seat to get the boy, but he w a s a g a i n

RIGGINS H O T E L , WACO

I n other words, W a c o is a t y p i c a l south e r n t o w n , alert, p u s h i n g and r i c h . 2. The Crime.

E A R the c o u n t r y t o w n of R o b i n s o n , some s i x miles f r o m W a c o , l i v e d a w h i t e f a m i l y of f o u r , n a m e d F r y a r , w h o owned a s m a l l f a r m . T h i s they c u l t i v a t e d themselves w i t h the help of one h i r e d m a n , a colored boy of seventeen, named Jesse Washington. Jesse w a s a b i g , well-developed f e l l o w , b u t i g n o r a n t , b e i n g unable either to r e a d or w r i t e . H e seemed to have been s u l l e n , a n d p e r h a p s m e n t a l l y deficient, w i t h a s t r o n g , a n d even d a r i n g temper. I t is s a i d t h a t on the S a t u r d a y n i g h t before the c r i m e he h a d h a d a fight w i t h a n e i g h b o r i n g w h i t e

N

T H E COURT HOUSE, WACO

THE

FIRST B A P T I S T C H U R C H ,

WACO

removed to D a l l a s . F i n a l l y , the R o b i n s o n people pledged themselves not to l y n c h the boy i f the a u t h o r i t i e s acted p r o m p t l y , and i f the boy w o u l d w a i v e his l e g a l r i g h t s . A second confession i n w h i c h the boy w a i v e d a l l his l e g a l r i g h t s w a s obtained i n the D a l l a s j a i l . T h e G r a n d J u r y indicted h i m on T h u r s d a y , and the case was set for t r i a l M o n d a y , M a y 15. S u n d a y n i g h t , a t m i d n i g h t , Jesse W a s h i n g t o n w a s b r o u g h t f r o m D a l l a s to W a c o , a n d secreted i n the office of the judge. T h e r e was not the slightest doubt but t h a t he w o u l d be t r i e d a n d hanged the next day, i f the l a w took its course. T h e r e was some, b u t not m u c h doubt of

THE WACO

HORROR

3

THE

CITY

HALL Hall)

(The Boy Was Burned Back of This

h i s g u i l t . T h e confessions w e r e o b t a i n e d , of course, u n d e r duress, a n d w e r e , p e r h a p s , s u s p i c i o u s l y c l e a r , a n d not e n t i r e l y i n the boy's o w n w o r d s . I t seems, h o w e v e r , p r o b able t h a t the b o y w a s g u i l t y o f m u r d e r , a n d possibly of premeditated rape.

M

3. Waco Politics. E A N T I M E , the exigencies o f W a c o p o l i t i c s a r e s a i d to have d e m a n d e d a lynching. O u r investigator says: " T h e y b r o u g h t the boy b a c k to W a c o be cause a l y n c h i n g w a s of p o l i t i c a l v a l u e to the c o u n t y officials w h o a r e r u n n i n g f o r office. E v e r y m a n I t a l k e d w i t h s a i d t h a t p o l i t i c s w a s a t the b o t t o m o f the w h o l e b u s i ness. A l l t h a t element w h o took p a r t i n the l y n c h i n g w i l l vote f o r the S h e r i f f . T h e J u d g e i s o f v a l u e to h i s p a r t y because he a p p o i n t s the t h r e e c o m m i s s i o n e r s o f the j u r y , a n d these c o m m i s s i o n e r s p i c k the Grand Jury." T h e D i s t r i c t J u d g e of the C r i m i n a l C o u r t is R . I. M u n r o e , a p p o i n t e d b y G o v e r n o r Campbell. H e is a l o w order of politician, and a product of a local machine. His reputation f o r m o r a l i t y is bad, and his p r a c t i c e a t the B a r has been l a r g e l y on b e h a l f o f the v i c i o u s interests. T h e S h e r i f f o f the c o u n t y , S. S. F l e m i n g , is a c a n d i d a t e f o r re-election, a n d has m a d e m u c h p o l i t i c a l c a p i t a l out o f the l y n c h i n g .

H e s a y s , i n a n a d v e r t i s e m e n t i n the W a c o Semi-Weekly Tribune: " M r . F l e m i n g is diseased w i t h a b r o a d p h i l a n t h r o p y . H e believes i n the e q u a l i t y of m a n . H e c a r r i e s w i t h h i m i n the d a i l y w a l k o f h i s officialdom none o f the 'boast of h e r a l d r y o r the p o m p of p o w e r . ' H e i s j u s t as courteous, j u s t as o b l i g i n g , j u s t as a c c o m m o d a t i n g as S h e r i f f as he w a s w h e n s e l l i n g buggies a n d c u l t i v a t o r s f o r the h a r d w a r e c o m p a n y . H e p r e s e n t s to the v o t e r s f o r t h e i r endorsement the r e c o r d m a d e b y h i m a n d h i s corps o f s p l e n d i d d e p u t i e s . " Our investigator says: " W h e n I s a w the S h e r i f f ( F l e m i n g ) he h a d a b e a u t i f u l s t o r y to t e l l . H e h a d h i s s t o r y fixed u p so t h a t the e n t i r e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y w a s s h i f t e d on the J u d g e . T h e J u d g e a d m i t t e d he c o u l d h a v e h a d a c h a n g e o f venue, b u t s a i d the mob a n y w h e r e w o u l d have done the same t h i n g . " M e a n t i m e , the t i p w e n t o u t : " T h e c r o w d b e g a n p o u r i n g i n t o the t o w n the d a y before a n d c o n t i n u e d e a r l y M o n d a y morning. T h e court room was packed f u l l a n d a c r o w d o f 2,000 w a s on the out side. T h e j u r o r s c o u l d s c a r c e l y get i n a n d out f r o m t h e i r seats. I asked the J u d g e i f he could not h a v e c l e a r e d the c o u r t r o o m , a n d he a n s w e r e d t h a t I d i d n o t k n o w the S o u t h . I said, ' I f a person is b i g enough, he c a n get u p a n d stop the b i g g e s t mob.' H e a s k e d , ' D o y o u w a n t to s p i l l i n nocent blood f o r a n i g g e r ? ' " S o m e one h a d a r r a n g e d i t so t h a t i t w o u l d be easy to get the boy out of the c o u r t r o o m . A door w h i c h opened b y a pe c u l i a r device h a d been fixed so t h a t i t w o u l d open. O n e o f the j u r o r s w a s a c o n v i c t e d m u r d e r e r w i t h a suspended sentence o v e r him. " L e e J e n k i n s i s the best d e p u t y sheriff, but he i s u n d e r F l e m i n g . Barney Gold b e r g , the other d e p u t y sheriff, s a i d , ' I f L e e J e n k i n s h a d h a d i t , i t w o u l d never h a v e been, b u t w e a r e w o r k i n g f o r the m a n h i g h e r up and must take our orders f r o m h i m . ' B a r n e y Goldberg knows perfectly well that i f F l e m i n g is not re-elected, a n d the other c a n d i d a t e gets i n , he w i l l be out o f a j o b . T h e other nominee f o r sheriff, B u c h a n a n , is r e p o r t e d to be u n a b l e to r e a d a n d w r i t e , b u t i s s a i d to have t h r e e dead ' n i g g e r s ' to his ' c r e d i t . ' " T h e boy, Jesse W a s h i n g t o n , w a s a s k e d w h a t he t h o u g h t about the mob c o m i n g after h i m . H e said, 'They promised they w o u l d not i f I w o u l d t e l l t h e m a b o u t i t . ' H e seemed not to care, b u t w a s t h o r o u g h l y indifferent." The t r i a l was hurried through. The W a c o Semi-Weekly Tribune, M a y 17, s a y s : " T h e j u r y r e t u r n e d i n t o c o u r t a t 11:22 a. m . , a n d presented a v e r d i c t : ' W e , the j u r y , find the d e f e n d a n t g u i l t y o f m u r d e r as c h a r g e d i n the i n d i c t m e n t a n d assess his punishment at death.' T h i s was signed by W . B . Brazelton, foreman. " 'Is t h a t y o u r v e r d i c t , g e n t l e m e n ? ' asked Judge Munroe. " T h e y a n s w e r e d 'yes.'

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T H E CRISIS

SUPPLEMENT

THE

WAITING

CROWD

" J u d g e M u n r o e began w r i t i n g i n his docket. H e h a d w r i t t e n : ' M a y 15, 1916: J u r y v e r d i c t of g u i l t y , ' a n d as he wrote there was a hush over the entire c o u r t room. I t w a s a moment of h e s i t a t i o n , b u t j u s t a moment. T h e n the t a l l m a n started over the heads of the c r o w d . F r e d H . K i n g s b u r y , w h o was s t a n d i n g alongside of J u d g e M u n r o e , s a i d , ' T h e y are c o m i n g after h i m , ' a n d as the J u d g e looked up, the w a v e of people surged f o r w a r d . " T h e c o u r t room accommodates 500 persons, b u t the J u d g e h a d allowed 1,500 persons to c r o w d i n . O u r i n v e s t i g a t o r continues: " T h e stenographer t o l d me t h a t there w a s a pause of a f u l l m i n u t e . H e s a i d the peo ple crowded a r o u n d h i m a n d he k n e w w h a t w a s c o m i n g , so he slipped out of the door back of the Sheriff, w i t h his r e c o r d s ; a n d Sheriff F l e m i n g s l i p p e d out also. " F l e m i n g c l a i m s t h a t a l l he w a s called u p o n to do i n the w a y of p r o t e c t i n g the boy w a s to get h i m to court. " A b i g fellow i n the b a c k of the c o u r t r o o m yelled, ' G e t the N i g g e r ! ' Barney Goldberg, one of the deputy sheriffs, t o l d me t h a t he d i d not k n o w t h a t F l e m i n g h a d dropped orders to let them get the N e g r o , and pulled his r e v o l v e r . A f t e r w a r d s he got h i s friends to s w e a r to a n affidavit t h a t he was not present. F l e m i n g s a i d he h a d s w o r n i n fifty deputies. I asked h i m where they were. H e asked, ' W o u l d y o u w a n t to p r o tect the n i g g e r ? ' T h e j u d g e made no effort to stop the mob, a l t h o u g h he h a d firearms i n his desk." 4. The Burning. * " T H E Y d r a g g e d the boy d o w n the s t a i r s , A p u t a c h a i n a r o u n d h i s body a n d h i t c h e d i t to a n automobile. T h e c h a i n broke. T h e b i g f e l l o w took the c h a i n off

the N e g r o under the cover of the c r o w d and wound i t a r o u n d h i s o w n w r i s t , so t h a t the c r o w d j e r k i n g at the c h a i n was j e r k i n g at the man's w r i s t a n d he w a s h o l d i n g the boy. T h e boy shrieked a n d s t r u g g l e d . " T h e mob r i p p e d the boy's clothes off, cut them i n bits a n d even cut the boy. Some one cut his ear off; someone else unsexed h i m . A l i t t l e g i r l w o r k i n g f o r the firm of Goldstein a n d M i n g l e told me t h a t she saw this done. " I went over the route the boy h a d been taken a n d saw t h a t they dragged h i m be tween a q u a r t e r a n d a h a l f a mile f r o m the C o u r t House to the b r i d g e a n d then dragged h i m u p two blocks a n d another block over to the C i t y H a l l . A f t e r they h a d gotten h i m up to the bridge, someone s a i d t h a t a fire was a l r e a d y g o i n g u p at C i t y H a l l , a n d they t u r n e d a r o u n d a n d went back. S e v e r a l peo ple denied t h a t this fire was g o i n g , b u t the p h o t o g r a p h shows t h a t i t was. T h e y got a little boy to l i g h t the fire. " W h i l e a fire w a s b e i n g p r e p a r e d of boxes, the naked boy w a s stabbed a n d the c h a i n p u t over the tree. H e t r i e d to get a w a y , but could not. H e reached up to g r a b the c h a i n a n d they cut off his fingers. T h e b i g m a n s t r u c k the boy on the back of the neck w i t h a k n i f e j u s t as they were p u l l i n g h i m up on the tree. M r . L e s t e r t h o u g h t t h a t was p r a c t i c a l l y the death blow. H e was lowered i n t o the fire several times b y means of the c h a i n a r o u n d his neck. Someone said they w o u l d estimate the boy h a d about twenty-five stab wounds, none of them death-dealing. " A b o u t a q u a r t e r past one a fiend got the torso, lassoed i t , h u n g a rope over the p u m m e l of a saddle, a n d dragged i t a r o u n d t h r o u g h the streets of W a c o .

T H E W A C O HORROR " V e r y l i t t l e d r i n k i n g w a s done. " T h e tree where the l y n c h i n g o c c u r r e d w a s r i g h t u n d e r the M a y o r ' s w i n d o w . M a y or D o l l i n s w a s s t a n d i n g i n the w i n d o w , not concerned about w h a t they w e r e d o i n g to the boy, b u t t h a t the tree w o u l d be de s t r o y e d . T h e C h i e f of P o l i c e also witnessed the l y n c h i n g . T h e names of five of the leaders of the mob are k n o w n to this A s s o c i a t i o n , a n d can be h a d on a p p l i c a t i o n by responsible p a r t i e s . " W o m e n a n d c h i l d r e n s a w the l y n c h i n g . One m a n held u p his l i t t l e boy above the heads of the c r o w d so t h a t he could see, a n d a l i t t l e boy w a s i n the top of the v e r y tree to w h i c h the colored boy w a s h u n g , where

5

" D r y goods boxes a n d a l l k i n d s of i n flammable m a t e r i a l w e r e gathered, a n d i t r e q u i r e d b u t a n i n s t a n t to c o n v e r t t h i s i n t o seething flames. W h e n the N e g r o w a s f i r s t hoisted i n t o the a i r h i s tongue p r o t r u d e d f r o m his m o u t h a n d h i s face w a s be smeared w i t h blood. " L i f e w a s not e x t i n c t w i t h i n the N e g r o ' s body, a l t h o u g h n e a r l y so, w h e n another c h a i n w a s p l a c e d a r o u n d h i s neck a n d t h r o w n over the l i m b o f a tree on the l a w n , everybody t r y i n g to get to the N e g r o a n d have some p a r t i n his death. T h e i n f u r i ated mob then leaned the N e g r o , w h o w a s h a l f a l i v e a n d h a l f dead, a g a i n s t the tree, he h a v i n g j u s t s t r e n g t h enough w i t h i n his

T H E MOB

he stayed u n t i l the fire became too hot." A n o t h e r account, i n the W a c o Times Herald, Monday night, says: " G r e a t masses of h u m a n i t y flew as s w i f t l y as possible t h r o u g h the streets of the c i t y i n o r d e r to be present a t the b r i d g e w h e n the h a n g i n g took place, b u t w h e n i t w a s l e a r n e d t h a t the N e g r o w a s b e i n g t a k e n to the C i t y H a l l l a w n , crowds of men, w o m e n a n d c h i l d r e n t u r n e d a n d hastened to the l a w n . " O n the w a y to the scene of the b u r n i n g people on every h a n d took a h a n d i n show i n g t h e i r feelings i n the m a t t e r b y s t r i k i n g the N e g r o w i t h a n y t h i n g obtainable, some s t r u c k h i m w i t h shovels, b r i c k s , clubs, a n d others stabbed h i m a n d c u t h i m u n t i l w h e n he w a s s t r u n g u p his body w a s a solid color o f r e d , the blood of the m a n y wounds i n flicted covered h i m f r o m head to foot.

l i m b s to s u p p o r t h i m . A s r a p i d l y as pos sible the N e g r o w a s then j e r k e d i n t o the a i r a t w h i c h a shout f r o m thousands of t h r o a t s went u p on the m o r n i n g a i r a n d d r y goods boxes, excelsior, wood a n d e v e r y other a r t i c l e t h a t w o u l d b u r n w a s then i n evidence, a p p e a r i n g as i f b y m a g i c . A huge d r y goods box w a s then produced a n d filled to the top w i t h a l l of the m a t e r i a l t h a t h a d been secured. T h e N e g r o ' s body w a s s w a y i n g i n the a i r , a n d a l l o f the t i m e a noise as of thousands w a s h e a r d a n d the N e g r o ' s body w a s lowered i n t o the box. " N o sooner h a d his body touched the box t h a n people pressed f o r w a r d , each eager to be the first to l i g h t the fire, matches w e r e touched to the inflammable m a t e r i a l a n d as smoke r a p i d l y rose i n the a i r , such a dem o n s t r a t i o n as of people gone m a d w a s never h e a r d before. E v e r y b o d y pressed closer to

6

T H E CRISIS had mu

SUPPLEMENT portant.' H e asked, ' W h a t is the n a t u r e of i t ? ' I s a i d , ' I w a n t to get y o u r opinion of t h a t l y n c h i n g . ' H e s a i d , ' N o , I refuse to t a l k w i t h you about that. W h a t do you w a n t i t f o r ? ' I s a i d , ' I f you refuse to t a l k w i t h me, there is no use of t e l l i n g y o u w h a t I want it for.' " W h e n I met h i m the second time, w i t h different clothes on, he d i d not recognize me. I p u t on a s t r o n g E n g l i s h accent and said I w a s interested i n c l i p p i n g s f r o m N e w Y o r k p a p e r s w h i c h showed t h a t W a c o h a d made f o r i t s e l f a n a w f u l name, and I w a n t ed to go back a n d make the northerners feel t h a t W a c o w a s not so bad as the papers h a d represented. T h e n he gave me the C o u r t records." O u r i n v e s t i g a t o r continues: " I went to the newspaper offices. T h e y were a l l of the opinion t h a t the best t h i n g to do w a s to hush i t up. T h e y used i t as a news i t e m , a n d t h a t finished i t . T h e D a l l a s News d i d not cite a n y t h i n g e d i t o r i a l l y because not l o n g ago they h a d done something quite as bad and the boy was not g u i l t y . " W i t h the exception of the Tribune, a l l the papers h a d s i m p l y used i t as a news item and let i t drop. T h e Tribune is owned b y J u d g e M c C u l l u m , w h o says a n y t h i n g he pleases. H e is n e a r l y b l i n d . W h e n I r e a d the a r t i c l e to h i m I s a i d , ' I w o u l d l i k e to ask y o u , i f t h a t h a d been a colored w o m a n a n d a w h i t e boy, w o u l d you have protected

f hen geti nsouvenirsh othetheN eaffair.his Wbody they f ishedw i t gro was

tilated. " F i n g e r s , ears, pieces of c l o t h i n g , toes a n d other p a r t s of the N e g r o ' s body w e r e c u t off b y members of the mob t h a t h a d c r o w d ed to the scene as i f by m a g i c w h e n the w o r d t h a t the N e g r o h a d been t a k e n i n charge b y the mob was heralded over the c i t y . A s the smoke rose to the heavens, the mass of people, n u m b e r i n g i n the neighbor hood of 10,000, c r o w d i n g the C i t y H a l l l a w n a n d o v e r f l o w i n g the square, h a n g i n g f r o m the w i n d o w s of b u i l d i n g s , v i e w i n g the scene f r o m the tops o f b u i l d i n g s a n d trees, set up a shout t h a t was h e a r d blocks a w a y . " O n l o o k e r s were h a n g i n g f r o m the w i n dows of the C i t y H a l l and every other b u i l d i n g t h a t commanded a s i g h t of the b u r n i n g , a n d as the N e g r o ' s body commenced to b u r n , shouts of d e l i g h t went up f r o m the thou sands of t h r o a t s a n d a p p a r e n t l y everybody demonstrated i n some w a y t h e i r satisfac t i o n at the r e t r i b u t i o n t h a t w a s b e i n g v i s ited upon the p e r p e t r a t o r o f such a h o r rible crime, the w o r s t i n the annals of M c L e n n a n county's h i s t o r y . " T h e body of the N e g r o w a s b u r n e d to a c r i s p , a n d w a s left f o r some time i n the s m o l d e r i n g r e m a i n s of the fire. W o m e n and c h i l d r e n w h o desired to v i e w the scene were allowed to do so, the crowds p a r t i n g to let them look on the scene. A f t e r some t i m e the body of the N e g r o w a s j e r k e d into the a i r where everybody could v i e w the re m a i n s , and a m i g h t y shout rose on the a i r . Photographer Gildersleeve made several pictures of the body as w e l l as the l a r g e c r o w d w h i c h s u r r o u n d e d the scene as spec tators." T h e photographer k n e w where the l y n c h i n g was to take place, a n d h a d his c a m e r a a n d p a r a p h e r n a l i a i n the C i t y H a l l . He was called by telephone at the p r o p e r mo ment. H e w r i t e s u s : " W e have q u i t s e l l i n g the mob photos, this step w a s t a k e n because o u r ' C i t y dads' objected on the grounds of 'bad p u b l i c i t y , ' as we w a n t e d to be boosters a n d not knock ers, we agreed to stop a l l sale."P. A. GILDERSLEEVE."

O u r agent c o n t i n u e s : " W h i l e the torso of the boy w a s b e i n g dragged t h r o u g h the streets b e h i n d the horse, the l i m b s dropped off and the head was p u t on the stoop of a disreputable w o m a n i n the r e s e r v a t i o n d i s t r i c t . Some l i t t l e boys p u l l e d out the teeth a n d sold them to some men f o r five d o l l a r s apiece. The c h a i n was sold f o r twenty-five cents a l i n k . " F r o m the pictures, the boy was a p p a r e n t l y a w o n d e r f u l l y b u i l t boy. T h e torso was taken to R o b i n s o n , h u n g to a tree, a n d shown off f o r a w h i l e , then they took i t down a g a i n a n d d r a g g e d i t back to t o w n a n d p u t i t on the fire a g a i n a t five o'clock." 5. The Aftermath. T R I E D to t a l k to the J u d g e . I met h i m on the street a n d s a i d , ' I w a n t to t a l k w i t h y o u about something v e r y i m "I

T H E VICTIM

T H E WACO HORROR

7

THE

TORTURE

(Note the

"Frenzied"

Mob)

t h a t w o m a n ? ' H e answered, ' N o . ' ' I f i t h a d been a colored boy a n d a colored w o m a n ? N o . ' ' W e w o u l d not have stopped the n i g gers d o i n g a n y t h i n g t h e y w a n t e d to.' ' D o y o u t h i n k t h e y w o u l d ? ' ' N o . ' ' T h e n , they prove t h e i r s u p e r i o r c i v i l i z a t i o n . ' T h e n he began to t e l l me how he k n e w a l l about the n i g g e r s a n d we n o r t h e r n e r s do not. H e s a i d t h a t as a n o l d s o u t h e r n e r he knew p e r f e c t l y w e l l how to h a n d l e the col ored p o p u l a t i o n . H e t o l d me how he w a s raised w i t h them, h a d a colored m a m m y , n u r s e d at her breast, etc. "There is a bunch of people i n W a c o who a r e d y i n g to see someone go f o r w a r d and make a protest, b u t no one i n W a c o w o u l d do i t . E x - M a y o r Mackaye a n d Colonel H a m i l ton b o t h s a i d , ' W e do n o t k n o w w h a t to do. W e a r e not or g a n i z e d to do i t . I t is a case of race a n d politics.' " I p u t out a l o t of w i r e s f o r a l a w y e r to t a k e u p the case, b u t no h u m a n

b e i n g i n W a c o w o u l d take i t up. I w r o t e to a f r i e n d i n A u s t i n a n d one i n H o u s t o n , a n d the A u s t i n f r i e n d telegraphed me t h a t he w o u l d send me w o r d as soon as he h a d f o u n d someone. I h a d a letter f r o m the H o u s t o n f r i e n d w h o gave me the names of three l a w y e r s , but a m not sure w h e t h e r they w o u l d t a k e up a case of t h i s k i n d . A l l have t h e i r doubts of ever g e t t i n g the case i n t o court. " I d i d n o t dare a s k m u c h about l a w yers. " A s a r e s u l t of the l y n c h i n g a S u n d a y School C o n v e n t i o n w h i c h w a s to h a v e met there, w i t h 15,000 delegates, has been stopped. " W . A . Brazelton, the f o r e m a n of the J u r y , w a s v e r y out spoken a g a i n s t the w h o l e affair a n d blames the officials for it. H e felt that as f o r e m a n of the J u r y he could not lead i n a p r o t e s t but thought some p r o test o u g h t to be made. "Mr. Ainsworth, one of the n e w s p a per m e n , seemed the

8

THE

CRISIS S U P P L E M E N T scores of others i n the last t h i r t y years, a n d i n its i l l e g a l , l a w - d e f y i n g , r a c e - h a t i n g as pect, i t is matched b y 2842 other l y n c h i n g s w h i c h have t a k e n place between J a n u a r y 1, 1885, a n d J u n e 1, 1916. These l y n c h i n g s are as f o l l o w s : COLORED 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 M E NLYNCHED B Y YEARS, 1885-1916. 1902 86 78 1903 86 71 1904 83 80 1905 61 95 1906 64 95 1907 60 90 1908 93 121 1909 73 155 1910 65 154 1911 63 134 1912 63 112 1913 79 80 1914 69 122 1915 80 102 1916 (5 mos.) 31 84 107 107 Total 2843

o n l y one who w a n t e d to s t a r t a protest. " C o l o n e l H a m i l t o n , a m a n of h i g h stand i n g , a n o r t h e r n e r , and a t one t i m e a b i g r a i l r o a d m a n , w a s outspoken a g a i n s t the whole affair, b u t said t h a t i f he led i n a protest they w o u l d do the same t h i n g to him. H e said he w o u l d never register i n any hotel t h a t he came f r o m W a c o . T w o W a c o men who d i d not r e g i s t e r f r o m W a c o . " A l l a n S t a n f o r d , e x - M a y o r of W a c o , saw the Sheriff and the J u d g e before the t r i a l and received assurances t h a t the l y n c h i n g w o u l d not take place. T h e y shut the mouths of the better element of W a c o b y t e l l i n g t h e m t h a t the Robinson people h a d promised not to do i t . T h e y h a d gotten the promise of the Robinson people t h a t they w o u l d not touch the boy d u r i n g the t r i a l , but t h e y d i d not get the pledge of the dis reputable b u n c h of W a c o t h a t they w o u l d not s t a r t the affair. " J u d g e S p e l l s a i d the affair was deplor able, b u t the best t h i n g was to f o r g e t i t . " W h e n r e p r e s e n t i n g m y s e l f as a news reporter, I asked, ' W h a t s h a l l I t e l l the people u p N o r t h ? ' E x - M a y o r Mackaye said, ' F i x i t u p as w e l l as y o u can f o r W a c o , a n d m a k e them u n d e r s t a n d t h a t the better t h i n k i n g men a n d women of W a c o were not i n i t . ' I s a i d . ' B u t some of y o u r better men were down there.' T h e whole t h i n g savors so rotten because the better men have not t r i e d to protest a g a i n s t i t . Y o u r churches have not s a i d a w o r d . D r . C a l d w e l l w a s the only m a n who made a n y protest at a l l . "

T

6. The Lynching Industry. H I S is a n account o f one l y n c h i n g . I t is h o r r i b l e , but i t is m a t c h e d i n h o r r o r by

W h a t are we g o i n g to do about this rec ord? T h e c i v i l i z a t i o n of A m e r i c a is at stake. T h e s i n c e r i t y of C h r i s t i a n i t y i s c h a l lenged. T h e N a t i o n a l A s s o c i a t i o n f o r the A d v a n c e m n t of Colored People proposes i m mediately to r a i s e a f u n d of at least $10,000 to s t a r t a crusade a g a i n s t t h i s m o d e r n b a r b a r i s m . A l r e a d y $2,000 is p r o m i s e d , con d i t i o n a l on o u r r a i s i n g the whole amount. Interested persons m a y w r i t e to R o y N a s h , secretary, 70 F i f t h A v e n u e , N e w Y o r k City.

FINIS