The Great Battle Of Longview, Texas
The Other Name For The Race Riots
NOW Closing In Gregg County
Beginning With The Lynching of a Colored Man Some Time Ago, Follows The Shooting of Marion Bush And The Wounding of Four White Men; Houses And Halls of Colored People Given The Torch
THE CITY UNDER MARTIAL LAW
Rangers And Soldiers In Evidence. White Men Pass Resolutions Condemning Prof. Jones And The White Men Who Took The Law In Their Own Hands. Sixteen White Men Under Arrest
Dallas, Texas, July 14, 1919."Race Riot at Longview" was the message received at the Dallas Express office, Friday noon, the outbreak having taken place Thursday night, July 10, and early Friday morning, July 11. I might add that there his been more or less rioting and raiding every day since, and I now write this story, more than 300 soldiers are camped in and around, the town of Longview, and the aforetime peaceful and prosperous little city is now under martial law. Longview is one hundred and twenty-five miles east of Dallas on the T. & P. railroad and is the capital of Gregg County. By the last census it has a population of 5155 souls, about 2000 of whom are colored. Ordinarily it is a quiet and busy town, being the seat of the great Kelly Iron Works and other manufacturies, an important junction point and a splendid trading center. It lies like a white pearl in the middle of a fine farming territory which stretches about it for many miles in all directions.
Its white and colored citizens have for the most part been able to work together in peace, and as a result both peoples have prospered. As a further result the colored population has good churches, schools, halls and homes, beside several stores, shops and other things to facilitate their happiness.
About the middle of June, a colored man was found in a white family' residence at a late hour of the night, not, however, in Longview, but about sixteen miles away, near the little town of Kilgore. For this offense he was arrested and landed in Longview jail. A few nights there after, unknown parties forced the locks on the Jail and the culprit was killed, his body being found hanging in the woods near the place where he is alleged to have committed his offense. No arrests, up to the time of the riot were made of the parties committing the murder of the accused. There was much speculation about the affair, and some bitter feeling arose between disputants over the homicide.
Where the Defender Comes In.
At the time when speculation was rife as to the disappearance of the colored man, an article telling what purported to be an account of the killing, appeared in the Chicago Defender, which paper is circulated by Prof. S. L. Jones, a local teacher. When asked if he, Jones, sent the article to the Defender, Mr. Jones replied in the negative. Notwithstanding his denial, two white men met him on the streets and administered to him a severe beating. The white men are said to have come from Kilgore.
Mr. Jones was taken in charge by Dr. C.P. Davis, a physician, who dressed his wounds, and then carried Jones to his (Davis') home. Early last night crowds began to gather on the Longview steeets. Mayor Bodenheim sent a telegram to the Chicago Negro paper asking the name of the writer of the Longview article, saying the lives of Negroes were in danger unless an immediate response was received giving the information requested. No reply came last night, nor has one yet been received.
Advised Negroes to Leave.
Last night, before sending the telegram to the Chicago paper, Mayor Bodenheim sent word to Mr. Jones and Dr. Davis that, in view of public feeling, it would be wise for them to leave town. At 9 o'clock at night they appeared at the city hall, where a called session of the City Council sat and there they asked protection of law. After going over the situation the authorities decided that the danger had probably passed and that by morning cooler counsel would prevail.
According to report of a leading daily:
"However, within an hour a group of some twelve or fifteen white men went to the Negro quarter and attempted to enter the house of Jones. According to the stories told today, these men found themselves ambushed by Negroes who fired fiom the Jones house, from a house just across the street and from a corn field in the Jones yard. It is believed that the white men who are wounded with bird shot owe their lives to the fact that the Negroes(Continued on page 4).
The Great Battle In Longview, Texas.
(Continued from page 1)
had no shotguns loaded with buckshot.
Young White, who may die, gave no clear account of his experience. He was not shot, but beaten fearfully over the head, and was not found until an hour later, when he had crawled to a house some distance way. It is estimated that from 100 to 150 shots were fired, probably sixty to seventy of these shots by the Negroes. Some testimony credits the Negroes with a larger proportion ot the firing. There seems to be an agreement upon the proposition that the white men were at a disadvantage, strategically and perhaps numerically. The firing lasted for about half an hour at intervals.
Officers Urge Coolness.
Then the white men returned to the business section of town, a fire alarm was sounded and soon about 1,000 men had assembled in the square. Mayor Bodenhelm, Judge Bramlett and others made speeches, urging against rash and intemperate action. Until about 4 o'clock this morning the crowd continued to mill around the square. Then men entered the hardware stores and supplied themselves with rifles, pistols and ammunition and started for the Negro quarter.
Mayor Bodenheim says his fear then was that there would be a fulfillment of the intention some were expressing to kill every Negro that could be found. He and other citizens appealed to the men to promise to restrain themselves, until daylight. This promise was made with reservation as to the Negroes who had shot at the white men. Citizens with rifles were stationed on the corner leading to the Negro section and remained there until daylight, but there was no further shooting.
Just after daybreak they went to the Jones house. Pools of blood were in and around it, but the Negroes fled during the night. The house was set on fire and burned to the ground. The Davis house was then burned. Four other Negro houses were burned next. Also the building in which Davis had his office was burned.
Then squads started out over the country looking for Jones and Davis and other Negroes supposed to have been in the fighting. These parties are still searching tonight. Meanwhile, this morning four Negroes, said to have been at the Jones house last night, were taken to the Jail and locked up, and are now being guarded by State troops.
People Ordered Off Streets.
Mayor Bodenheim, after conference with General R.H. McDill, tonight issued a proclamation, ordering all people off the streets from 10:30 o'clock at night until 6 o'clock in the morning and prohibiting the carrying of firearms. National Guardsmen are patrol the streets to see that these orders are obeyed.
The cavalry troop that arrived this afternoon is commanded by Captain C.E. Coffey of Terrell and is composed of about sixty Dallas men and forty Terrell men.
Guard officers with General McDill are Colonel H.W. Peck, Major L.B. Cooke, Captain R.F. Lombard and Lieutenant N.G. Landrum of Dallas. The Love Field flying officers who piloted the planes from Dallas to Longview are Lieutenant Colonel H.B.S. Burwell, commanding; Lieutenant Ray Harris, Lieutenant J.L. Moran and Lieutenant Chas. Howard.
McDILL AND OTHER OFFICERS
MAKE TRIP IN AIRPLANE.
Longview, July 12. Acting under orders from Governor Hobby, by airplane and by train National Guard troops were pushed from Dallas yesterday afternoon to Longview to assist in quelling a reported race riot there. General R.H. McDill received orders at 2:10 o'clock yesterday afternoon to send the men. Five airplanes from Love Field were dispatched with officers, and a troop of fifty men took the Texas & Pacific eastbound train from the East Dallas station at 4:20 o'clock. Captain Harry. B. Rhodes and Lieutenant W.E. Spradley were in charge of the Dallas troop. At Terrell the train picked up Troop B of the Sixth Cavalry with some forty men, Captain Clarence G. Coffey commanding. Other men of the troop were to board the train at Wills Point.
Colonel H.B.S. Burwell, commanding officer at Love Field, piloted the plane that transported General McDill. It "hopped off" at 4:10 o'clock yesterday afternoon. Other officers who flew across were Colonel H.W. Peck. Major Lane B. Cooke, Captain Charles D. Touchon and Lieutenant R.F. Lumbard. The pilots of the other four planes were Lieutenant John Moran. Lieutenant. R.G. Harris, Lieutenant H.W. Meyers and Lieutenant Charles S. Howard. Lieutenant Harris piloted the plane in which Colonel Peck rode.
According to the telegram received by General McDill, he is to have charge of all troops. Also he is to report to the County Judge and Sheriff in Gregg County and work in cooperation with them.
A telegram also said that Colonel Hastings C. Smith of the Adjutant General's Department would arrive at Longview last night with several thousand rounds of ammunition.
Before leaving General McDill issued orders for troops to have their guns loaded upon arrival at Longview, ready for instant service. The Dallas men are equipped with Model 1903 Springfield rifles and pistols and they took along a large supply of ammunition.
According to Brigade Adjutant L. N. Simms, who remained in Dallas, 800 men could be mustered at Fair Park by this afternoon if necessary. He remained at General McDill's office until a late hour last night, awaiting further orders.
GOVERNOR ORDERS RANGERS
AND TROOPS TO LONGVIEW.
Austin, Texas, July 12.--In response to appeals for aid from Sheriff D.S. Meredith and County Judge E.M. Bramlett of Cregg County, Governor Hobby dispatched rangers and State troops to Longview today to quell a race riot. Eight rangers under command of Captain Aldredge left Austin at noon for Longview. Caption Hanson, stationed at San Antonio, was sent orders to proceed at earliest possible time for Longview and take command of the rangers.
At the same time orders were given the rangers through Adjutant General James A. Harley orders were wired for a detachment of cavalry of the National Guard at Dallas and Terrell and Troop I, Seventh Texas Cavalry at Nacogdoches to be held in readiness to move to Longview in the event their services were needed. Later in the day a second appeal came from County Judge Bramlett asking for troops and that they be moved in time that they arrive at Longview before night. The Dallas, Terrell and Nacogdoches troops were immediately given orders to proceed to Longview.
Information reaching the Governor was that the riot broke out about 1 o'clock this morning and that over 100 shots were fired between whites and blacks. Several Negroes were reported to have been killed and a number of white men wounded. It was also reported that the torch was applied to Negro houses and that a number of the structures had been burned. The cause leading up to the riot is not known here.
Twenty-five Men Go From Nacogdoches.
Nacogdoches, Texas, July 11.--Twenty-five men commanded by Captain W.W. Lee and Lieutenant Richard Hall of Troop I, Seventh Texas Cavalry, were ordered to Longview today in connection with the reported race riot in that city. The men left this afternoon in automobiles.
Terrell Guardsmen to Longview.
Terrell, Texas, July 11.--The Terrell company of the Sixth Cavalry, under Captain C.G. Coffey, has been ordered to go to Longview this evening to assist in restoring order.
THE SITUATION SATURDAY.
Longview, Texas, July 12.--To all outward appearances perfect placidity prevails now in Longview, where two nights ago conflicts between whites and Negroes caused apprehension of more serious possibilities and prompted Mayor Bodenheim to ask the Governor to send State troops and Texas Rangers. It seems improbable that further trouble will develop.
Tonight it is planned to take the four Negroes who are in the Longview Jail to Huntsville or to Dallas. The officers, as a measure of precaution, do not give specific information on this point.
With the removal of these Negroes from Longview, and continued presence here of rangers and soldiers, Mayor Bodenheim and other leading citizens express confidence that there will be neither opportunity nor inclination for rashness.
No Trace of Men.
No traces have been found of S.L. Jones, the Negro school teacher, and C.P. Davis, the Negro physician, who were sought by a party of Longview white men Thursday night. According to local officers, each of the wives of these Negroes and their children left Longview on night trains Friday, and it ts now believed the two men succeeded in reaching railroad stations in this part of the State and taking trains for the North.
The houses of Jones and Davis, which were among the six Negro houses burned Friday night, were rather attractive bungalows.
The house of Davis cost about $10,000 and was handsomely equipped.
The four wounded white men are all improving.
At a meeting of about twenty-five leading citizens this morning, bankers, business and professional men being present, a formal expression was made depreciating the destruction of property by the party of white men who fired the Negro houses. It happened that there was practically no wind, but speakers at this morning's meeting called attention to the conflagration that could have occurred had there been enough wind to spread the flames.
Telegrams have been sent by May County Judge Bramlette and other officials to Governor Hobby and Adjutant General Harley expressing thanks for the prompt response to Longview's request for rangers and soldiers and saying the quick arrival of these troops probably prevented further fighting and the loss of lives ot both white men and Negroes.
Uncle John Howard, who is 75 years old all of which time has been spent in this county, about twenty years of it as Sheriff, during which period he had experiences with some thirteen mobs, observed this morning that he believed thirty lives, at least, had been saved because the soldiers and rangers reached here before the passion had opportunity to sweep men to further excesses. "And I ought to know," added Uncle John. "I expect I've seen more of this sort of thing than any man in this county."
Number of Negroes Questioned.
District Judge C.L. Brachfield and District Attorney Clifford S. Stone, both of Henderson, came here today and, with the rangers and city and county officials, are investigating the trouble. A special grand jury may be summoned to consider the affair.
A number of Negroes have been questioned by these officers today, some white men are being examined tonight and it is considered probable that there will be arrests of white men. They will make bond and await action by the grand Jury.
Yesterday very few Negroes were upon the streets of Longview, but today the usual crowd came in from the country tor Saturday trading.
Early this morning an automobile carrying a cross-country party drove to a local garage to get gasoline. A guardsman came up as the car stopped. "How much gas you got?" he asked. "Enough to go thirteen miles," was the reply. "Well," said the soldier, "you'll hit another town by then. Beat it, brother. Nobody allowed on the streets in this burg. . There's a war on."
However, newspaper correspondents have passes giving them the "freedom of the city at all hours."
"Gee," said one of them, "I've shown my pass more in one block in Longview than I did over half the battle front in Europe."
Longvlew, Texas, July 13.--(1:30 a.m.)--As the result of a telephonic conversation after midnight between Mayor Bodenheim and Governor Hobby, Longview will be declared under martial law today and 200 additional guardsmen will be sent here, to join the 100 men already on duty. This follows happenings after midnight when a number of shots were exchanged in the Negro quarter, the arrest of two armed Negroes by guardsmen here and the arrest at Kilgore of another Negro believed to have been involved iu the original trouble Friday. Rumors have been flying around thick for the last few hours and the Mayor thought it best to take precautions against possibilities.
Longview, Texas, July 13. Tension in the situation here In connection with the Friday's clash between the whites and Negroes was revived late last night when a Negro named Bush, father-in-law of S.L. Jones, alleged Negro ringleader, fired upon a party of officers who visited his home. Martial law will be declared today, according to announcement by Mayor G.A. Bodenheim at 1 o'clock this morning.
Marvin Bush was captured by officers six miles north of here shortly before 2 o'clock this morning.
County officers went to Bush's home and asked admittance. According to the officers, he fired five shots, none of which struck the officers. The bloodhounds early today were on his trail.
Two other suspicious Negroes were taken into custody late last night, one surrendering after being fired at by Texas National Guardsmen. The other was taken from his home by a Texas Ranger. Both Negroes were armed.
Mayor Bodenheim said he talked with Governor W.P. Hobby at Austin over the telephone at 1 o'clock and the governor said he would order 200 additional National Guardsmen to come here, probably from Dallas. Martial law, the Mayor said, would be declared upon the arrival of these men.
Well I'd say that shoots down that old tired "right of the militia only" argument quite conclusively, wouldn't you? The next problem I see, however. Is this mistaken belief that citizens can be disarmed in the event of "martial law" being declared by some chief executive hired servant.SUNDAY MORNING.
Longview. Texas, July 13.--At 2:00 a.m. Marion Bush, a well-known and highly respected colored man, who earlier in the night had been accosted by members of a posse, had escaped from them, was killed, it is said, by a lone farmer, when Bush failed to halt at his command and is alleged to have shown resistance.
The situation has somewhat been relieved by placing a number of colored men in the county jail at Dallas, It is alleged, and by the disarming of all citizens.
It is to the everlasting credit of the Mayor and the leading citizens of both races that much more damage was not done.
Longvlew, Texas, July 14.--Laughing and joking the while and seeming to regard the situation as rather a humorous affair, sixteen white citizens of Longview, who are said to have been involved in the race troubles here last Thursday night, were arrested this afternoon and charged with assault with intent to murder. Ranger Captain William William Hanson signed each warrant as complaint. The sixteen men presented themselves at the courthouse lawn where military headquarters are established and answered to their names as the warrants were read.
"You didn't call my name," one of them said. "Don't play any favorites."
"Now," beamed another, "give him all the honor what's coming to him." "Certainly," acquiesced Ranger Captain Hanson, "we don't want to deprive any gentleman of this privilege."
Each of the men quickly gave bond in the sum of $1,000 to await action by the grand Jury.
The arrests were made as a result of several days' investigation by the rangers. Tomorrow, Captain Hanson says, some twelve or fifteen white men will also be arrested upon charges of arson, as a result of the burning of six Negro homes during the recent trouble. Today about fifteen Negroes were arrested upon information justifying the belief that they were Involved in the trouble. They are being guarded on the courthouse lawn, and together with other Negroes to be arrested tomorrow, will be sent to Austin or another city under a military guard.
The sixteen white men arrested today upon complaints charging assault with intent to murder are M. Flanagan, Ernest White, Byron Oden, Eldert Kdley, John Etheridge, Cotton Moore, F.S. Wheeler, Fred Nelson, Walter Beall, Louis Baer, Lowell Smith, L.A. Mackey, Ed Nelson and Clifford Barr.
All today people from distant parts of the county came into town with firearms to be delivered to the military authorities. As soon as the militiamen depart, the guns will be returned to the owners. A detail of guards will be left behind by General McDill for this duty. There are some who think that when the firearms are returned to their owners, trouble may be renewed. But the plan of the rangers and guard officer is to arrest and send away from Longview, for safe keeping in another place, every Negro even remotely suspected of implication in the clashes of a few days ago. When that is done, they think it reasonably certain that no other difficulties will develop.
A dozen Negro doughboys, recently returned from overseas service and just discharged in San Antonio, have been self-invited guests of the militiamen at the courthouse. The Negro soldiers were en route to Gilmer and had to lay over in Longview for some hours. They had heard of the Longview trouble and when they arrived here they hiked straight from the station to the guard headquarters. Several parties of Negroes who have had to travel across country have asked for an escort of guardsmen or rangers.
The .guardsmen sleep in the grass of the courthouse lawn, or to be more precise, they sleep on blankets spread upon the grass.
"Friend," one of them said today, as he scratched himself with might and man, "I didn't get to France, but if the cooties over there were any worse than the chiggers over here, that shore must have been one hell of a War...."[The Dallas Express, Dallas, Tex., Saturday, July 19, 1919. Vol. 26, No. 40 Pg. 1 & 4]
There is NOWHERE in the Constitution of the United States. Or, in any of the State Constitutions that I'm aware of. That delegates authority to the president, governor, or mayor to declare 'martial law'. And thereby disarm all noncombatant citizens. Or even command that citizens cannot bear their arms in public. For such a 'command' would indeed be a clear violation of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed". Which is secured in the 2nd Article of Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. And which Constitution is the "Supreme Law of the Land". Especially in consideration that such a time might actually be the period when the right to arms is needed the most by the people.
In addition to the foregoing, it is expressly declared in the United States Constitution that;
Article. IV.THAT is part of the Supreme Law of the Land. No 'law' passed that contravenes that instrument can be valid. Neither can any judicial decision set aside any part of that Supreme Law. To Wit:
Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
Article. VI; clause II & III;
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
"...There is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid...."In fact, if our hired servants do make such a treasonous attempt, so as to betray that Supreme Law. Then We The People are authorized to put them down:
"...It is not otherwise to be supposed, that the Constitution could intend to enable the representatives of the people to substitute their will to that of their constituents. It is far more rational to suppose, that the courts were designed to be an intermediate body between the people and the legislature, in order, among other things, to keep the latter within the limits assigned to their authority. The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the courts. A constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the people to the intention of their agents.
"Nor does this conclusion by any means suppose a superiority of the judicial to the legislative power. It only supposes that the POWER of the PEOPLE is SUPERIOR TO BOTH; and that where the will of the legislature, declared in its statutes, stands in opposition to that of the people, DECLARED IN THE CONSTITUTION, the judges ought to be governed by the latter rather than the former. They ought to regulate their decisions by the FUNDAMENTAL LAWS, rather than by those which are NOT fundamental...."
"...But it is not with a view to infractions of the Constitution only, that the independence of the judges may be an essential safeguard against the effects of occasional ill humors in the society. These sometimes extend no farther than to the injury of the private rights of particular classes of citizens, by unjust and partial laws. Here also the firmness of the judicial magistracy is of vast importance in mitigating the severity and confining the operation of such laws. . . ."
"...That inflexible and uniform adherence to the rights of the Constitution, and of individuals, which we perceive to be indispensable in the courts of justice, can certainly not be expected from judges who hold their offices by a temporary commission. . .." --Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist No. 78, Saturday, June 14, 1788.
"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is PARAMOUNT to ALL positive forms of government . . . The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms..." --Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers No. 28, Independent Journal, Friday, December 26, 1787.For the following very important reason:
“For it is a truth, which the experience of all ages has attested, that the people are commonly most in danger when the means of insuring their rights are in the possession of those of whom they entertain the least suspicion.”--Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, No. 25, New York Packet, Friday, December 21, 1787.For in reality, it is We The People that ARE the "supreme" and "ULTIMATE AUTHORITY". To Wit:
"The adversaries of the Constitution seem to have lost sight of the people altogether in their reasonings on this subject; and to have viewed these different establishments, not only as mutual rivals and enemies, but as uncontrolled by any common superior in their efforts to usurp the authorities of each other. These gentlemen must here be reminded of their error. They must be told that the ULTIMATE AUTHORITY, wherever the derivative may be found, RESIDES IN THE PEOPLE ALONE, and that it will not depend merely on the comparative ambition or address of the different governments, whether either, or which of them, will be able to enlarge its sphere of jurisdiction at the expense of the other. TRUTH, no less than decency, requires that the event in every case should be supposed to depend on the sentiments and sanction of their common constituents."--James Madison, The Federalist No. 46, Tuesday, January 29, 1788.We The People's Constitution expressly declares, in the 2nd Article of Amendment, "restrictive" clause, that;
"The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms shall NOT be infringed."Which of course means PRECISELY that which was written. And any decree, edict, law, order or ruling which attempts to infringe upon our right. Is on its very face NULL and VOID. For it has no true legal substance or standing. It should be treated as if it was never declared, passed, or issued. For it is a nullity and unenforceable. And any government agent that attempts to enforce such a declaration is in violation of the solemn oath they had taken to "uphold and defend" the Supreme Law of the land.