Stone Collection: Volume 92 - Item 11
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11. Benjamin R. Tillman, The Race Problem. The Brownsville Raid: Speech of Hon. Benjamin R. Tillman, of South Carolina, in the Senate of the United States, Monday, January 21, 1907 (Washington, DC: [Government Printing Office?], 1907). (22 p.)
Speech regarding a racial incident in Brownsville, Texas, on August 13-14, 1906, in which a group of black soldiers from the 25th United States Infantry were accused of killing a white bartender. The entire garrison of black troops stationed at Fort Brown near Brownsville were summarily discharged from the army for failure to cooperate with the investigation. The speaker uses the incident to defame the character of African Americans and defends lynching as an appropriate response by the white community to civil unrest. In addition, the speaker blames the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments for race friction in his home state of South Carolina. “For the time being the South is occupying an attitude of waiting,” he concludes. “It is occupying an attitude of constant friction, race riot, butchery, murder of whites by blacks and blacks by whites, the inevitable, irrepressible conflict between a white civilization and a black barbarism.” According to the speaker, repeal of the two amendments would allow South Carolina to resolve the conflict by reinstating the subservient status of African Americans.