Wednesday, January 14, 2015

January 14, 1920: Jack Waters

The Monroe News-Star (Monroe, Louisiana) informs us of a lynching of a veteran in their January 15, 1920 edition:


Florida, Ala., Jan. 15.—Jack Waters, who is said to have been in service overseas, was lynched last night following an alleged attack on a white woman, He was captured a few hours afterwards and is said to have confessed. His body was found this morning hanging to a telephone pole riddled with bullets. The town is quiet.

Today we have an article of interest brought to us through the pages of The Dallas Express (Dallas, Texas) dated January 11, 1919:


Tuskegee, Ala., Jan.10, 1918.

Bravely denouncing not only the action of the mob which lynched a Colored man at Sheffield, Ala., but naming some of the participants and demanding that they be brought to justice, young Booker T. Washington was compelled to flee the South.

He was serving as claims adjuster for the Colored employees at the Mussel (sic) Shoals plant, which is engaged in war work for the Government, and has been highly commended for his splendid work. The plant employed nine thousand men.

Young Washington openly announced the violation of the President's proclamation against mob violence, and then described some of the perpetrators of the offense. The hatred against him was so pronounced, that he was forced to flee for his life, and taking his wife and children, he made his way, with the aid of white friends, through several states and into Ohio.

He escaped injury and death in his travels from Mussel Shoals only by providential interference. Telephones were busy and small bands were holding up vehicles and searching the trains in every direction.

After several days of quiet in Ohio, young Washington, against the advice of friends, made his way back to Tuskegee and his own home, but no sooner had he arrived than he was waited upon by friendly whites, who warned him of the conspiracy and plots to wreak vengeance upon him for his stand against the Sheffield outrage. His friends acknowledged their pain at the necessity imposed upon them by the mob and its lack of regard for justice and right, but felt that they would be powerless to protect young Booker, and possibly the institution, if he remained there.

Acting upon the spirit of sacrifice of self, and his duty to the great work of his father, young Washington, under cover of darkness, again made his way to a distant point and entrained for St. Louis, where he now is with his little family of wife and two young children.

Thus the criminal-minded minority in Alabama again blots the fair name of the State and the rest of the justice-loving people there, in spite of the incomparable work of the father of young Booker Washington gave international reputation to Alabama and placed Tuskegee in the vocabulary of the world as well as proved himself a constructive educational reformer.

A correspondent interviewed young Washington, and finds him undaunted by this concrete illustration of race hate in the South. He is a very competent young man and has the reputation of carrying through to successful conclusion anything which he undertakes.

Washington Eagle, Dec. 23, 1918.

Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder. 

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