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Stone Collection: Volume 49 - Item 10
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Alfred H. Stone Collection
Volume: 49

10. Booker T. Washington, Lynching in the South (Tuskegee, AL: Tuskegee Institute Print, 1901). (8 p.)

Letter to the editors of newspapers in Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, and Louisiana denouncing lynching and providing data to dispute some of the excuses for its perpetuation. “Lynching was instituted some years ago with the idea of punishing and checking outrage upon women. Let us examine the cold facts and see where it has already led us, and where it is likely further to carry us, if we do not rid ourselves of the habit. Many good people in the South and also out of the South, have gotten the idea that lynching is resorted to for one crime only. I have the facts from an authoritative source: During last year 127 persons were lynched in the United States; of this number 118 were executed in the South and nine in the North and West; of the total number lynched, 102 were Negroes, twenty-three were whites and two Indians. Now let every one interested in the South, his country and the cause of humanity, note this fact—that only twenty-four of the entire number were charged in any way with the crime of rape; that is, twenty-four out of 127 cases of lynching. Sixty-one of the remaining cases were for murder, thirteen for being suspected of murder, six for theft, etc. During one week last spring, when I kept a careful record, thirteen Negroes were lynched in three of our Southern States and not one was even charged with rape. All of these thirteen were accused of murder or house-burning, but in neither case were the men allowed to go before a court so that their innocence or guilt might be proven. When we get to the point where four-fifth of the people lynched in our country in one year are for some crime other than rape, we can no longer plead and explain that we lynch for one crime alone.”