Friday, August 15, 2014

August 15, 1908: William Donegan

The Washington Post (Washington, D. C.) reports on August 16, 1908 the following:


Brigade of Militia Fails to Check Mob in Race War.


Lincoln's City Scene of the Bitterest Race Was Seen in Years—Governor Orders More Troops to Restore Quiet and Protect Negroes From Whites Stirred by Two Crimes.


WILLIAM DONEGAN, 80 years old, negro, lynched Saturday night near State capitol.
JOHN CALDWELL, wounded spectator of Friday night's fighting, dies in hospital.
LOUIS JOHNSON, killed in sack of Loper's restaurant.
SCOTT BURTON, negro, lynched early Saturday morning.

The most seriously hurt are:
Louis Hanen, shot in chest and chin by militia; may die.
Robert Oakley, negro, former policeman and leader in resistance to mob's attack, shot in eye, chest and ear; will die.
Thomas Foley, leader of union coal miners, shot in stomach with buckshot.
E. F. Brinkman, struck on head with brick.
Ossie Donegan.
Robert Dahlkemp, negro, beaten by mob; condition critical.
John Norkins.
Claude Knapp, militiaman, wounds on head.
Henry O. Parring, member gatling gun section, Fifth infantry, shot in head.
Robert Seidler, shot below eye; probably will die.
— Snell, of Sherman, shot in neck.
Will Stuart, negro, Chicago and Alton porter, beaten by mob.
James Hayes, shot in body by negro.
Joe Barrington.
Robert Lawson, negro porter, beaten and trampled; serious.
William Maillot, gunshot wounds.
William Anderson, seriously cut by broken glass.
Andrew Wilson, back of head cut by missile.
Arthur Trayman, shot in left side and shoulder.
Edward Mustin, head and shoulders cut, and beaten with club.
Frank Delamore, shot in left side.
Lewis Hausen.
William Smith, negro, beaten and trampled.
Will Stokes, negro porter, beaten and trampled.
— Logan, wounded in face, arm, and chest with buckshot.
Charles Duncan, negro.
Eugene Mayoll, wounded with buckshot.
Harrison West, negro, head beaten and trampled.
W. H. Bowe, shot in chest; wound in lung feared serious.
The majority of the others were shot in the legs or feet by soldiers who dispersed the mob.


Springfield, Ill., Aug. 15.—With one more victim added tonight to the roll of fatally injured in the race riots which began here last night, Springfield spent the night in anxiety.  Apprehension of more serious trouble was modified, but not stilled, by the presence of 2,500 national guardsmen from various parts of the State, under command of Maj. Gen. Young, I. N. G.

Tonight's victim of race prejudice was an aged negro, William Donigan [sic].  Donigan [sic] was a cobbler, and respected as a simple and inoffensive citizen.  His shop was within two blocks of the statehouse.  Tonight, in the absence of a patrol, a mob set fire to the shop, and the aged negro was compelled by the smoke to run into the street.  His appearance was greeted by a shower of stones and bricks, and as he staggered under the fusillade he was seized and his throat cut.  A rope was then run through the wound and the victim bound to a tree.  There he was found later, unconscious and all but dead.  Dr. Tuttle, who dressed the wound, reported that death was a matter of hours.  A witness to the firing of the shop turned in an alarm, but when the firemen appeared the blaze was out.  It had not gained much headway, and had been extinguished by some of the cooler-headed members of the mob.

The city which is richest in memories of the great emancipator, is tonight an armed camp because its citizens yesterday gave vent to hatred of the race which Abraham Lincoln declared free and equal with all other people in this country.  Squads of soldiers are patrolling the downtown streets and in the troubled portions of the community entire battalions are watching over the lives and property of the negroes.

Sobered by the recollection of the tragic events of last night and this morning, the city quieted down during the day, and only the murmured threats of friends of those who were killed or wounded in the street frays give evidence that the presence of the troops was necessary.  This murmuring, however kept the authorities on the anxious seat.

Early today friends of William Bowe, a county official who was so seriously hurt that he is hovering between life and death, made efforts to enlist followers for a raid of vengeance upon the black belt.  Taking a lesson from last night's experience, Sheriff Warner at once notified Gov. Deneen that fresh outbreaks were threatening, and that more troops would be necessary.

Full Brigade Held Capital.

The response of the executive was prompt, and as a consequence a full brigade of State troops is here under the command of Gen. E. C. Young.  The troops consist of the First, Fourth, and Fifth regiments of infantry, the Second Squadron of cavalry, and a Gatling gun squadron.  Two of the infantry regiments are scattered throughout the city at various points, the First regiment being held in reserve and the Fourth on patrol duty.  In the face of this display of force it is not thought likely mobs will be permitted to form.  The determination of the State to preserve order is shown in the following statement given out by Gov. Deneen this evening.  He said:

"The outbreak of mob violence was as intolerable as it is inexcusable. The idea of wreaking vengeance upon a race for the crimes of one of its members is utterly repugnant to all notions of law and justice.  No government can maintain its self-respect and permit it.  The entire resources of the State will be drawn upon, if necessary, to protect every citizen of Springfield in his person and property.  And those who violate the law must suffer the consequences."

Business Places Closed.

As further precaution, all business establishments in the city closed at 6 o'clock.  The saloons and liquor stores have not been open since before midnight Friday.  So strict were the regulations for keeping people off the streets that the mayor caused a postponement of the opening performance of "A Broken Idol," a new musical play which was to have been presented by the Whitney Musical Company of Chicago.  One of the numbers in the performance entailed the appearance of the chorus in guise of negroes, and it was largely on this account that the mayor took this action.

One death was recorded today, as a result of the riots.  John Caldwell, who was a spectator of the fighting in East Springfield, died in a hospital from the effects of a bullet wound in the stomach.

His death brought the total at that time up to three, the other victims being Louis Johnson, who was killed when Loper's restaurant was wrecked, and Scott Burton, an aged negro, who was lynched at Twelfth and Madison streets early this morning.

Of the wounded, Frank Delmore and Theodore Scott, both of whom were shot in the lungs, are not expected to live through the night.  William Bowe has a fighting chance for life, according to the physicians.  the other seriously injured persons, all suffering from gunshot wounds, are as follows:  Robert Seidler, William Mallot, Charles Helme, Lester Holt, John Norkins, Eugene Mayoll, Will Smith (colored), Robert Oakley (colored), Lewis Hansen, Arthur Troyman, John Barrington, Charles Duncan (colored), Ossie Donegan, shot in eye.

All day timid  negroes have been leaving the city with their families and such possessions as they could hurriedly pack.  this exodus took place despite the assurances of Gov. Deneen that full protection would be afforded  to those who remained in their homes.  The governor also took steps to alleviate the distress of the families whose homes or places of business were destroyed by the mob.  A refugee camp was established at Camp Lincoln, and Companies D and H were sent to guard it.  About three-score persons were in the camp tonight. . . .

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