Source: Atlanta Constitution
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “On Death of M’Kinley”
City of publication: Atlanta, Georgia
Date of publication: 25 September 1901
Volume number: 34
Issue number: none
|“On Death of M’Kinley.” Atlanta Constitution 25 Sept. 1901 v34: p. 5.|
|Booker T. Washington (public statements); McKinley assassination (African American response); society (criticism); anarchism (African American response); anarchism (compared with lynching); anarchism (dealing with).|
|Leon Czolgosz; William McKinley; Booker T. Washington.|
On Death of M’Kinley
Booker Washington Presents a Clear Statement.
WANTS TRIAL OF CRIMINALS
Head of the Industrial Institute Has Given Out a Clear, Calm Card to the Public.
Tuskegee, Ala., September 24.—Booker
T. Washington, of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial institute, has given out
a statement in reference to the assassination of President McKinley, in which
“In all sincerity, I want to ask, is Czolgosz alone guilty? Has not the entire nation had a part in this greatest crime of the century? What is anarchy but a defiance of law and has not the nation reaped what it has been sowing? According to records 2,516 persons have been lynched in the United States during the past sixteen years, and every state in the union, except five, has had its lynching. A conservative estimate would place the number of persons engaged in these lynchings at about fifty per individual lynched, so that there are or have been engaged in this anarchy of lynching nearly 125,800 persons, to say nothing of the many organized bands of technically organized anarchists. Those composing these mobs have helped create a disregard for law and authority that, in my mind, has helped to lay the foundation for the great disgrace and disaster that has overtaken the country.
“To check the present tendency it seems to me there are two duties that face us—first, for all classes to unite in an earnest effort to create such a public sentiment as will make crime disappear, and especially is it needed that we see that there is no idle, dissolute, purposeless class permitted in our midst.
“Second, for all to unite in a brave effort to bring criminals to justice, and where a supposed criminal is found, no matter what the charge against him is, to see that he has a fair, patient, legal trial.
“At the present [?], when governors, judges, the pulpit and the press in all parts of the country are condemning lynching and anarchy as never before, is the time to begin the reform.
“When the practice of lynching was begun it was said that lynching would be inflicted but for one crime, but the actual facts show that so true is it that lawlessness breeds lawlessness; that more people are now lynched each year for other supposed crimes that the crime for which it was begun.
“Let us heed the words of our departed and beloved chief, as he lay upon his dying bed, referring to his murderer: ‘I hope he will be treated with fairness’
“If William McKinley, as he was offering up his life in behalf of the nation, could be brave enough, thoughtful and patriotic enough to request that his assailant should be fairly and honestly tried and punished, surely we can afford to heed the lesson.”