American Violence; A Documentary History,
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At a time of unprecedented concern over American violence the value of a documentary reader on the history of our domestic violence needs little explanation. No doubt it will be most useful if the least extravagant claims are made for it, and if its role as a sampler and an introduction to a complex major problem is made entirely clear.
up stairs. The first rush up stairs was made by the police and citizens, who fired upon the occupants of the hall without asking them to surrender or giving them any opportunity to. Some went into the middle of the hall and fired at the men who lay on the floor, which was very thick with men who had found it necessary to their safety to lie down. Persons lying right alongside me were shot by the police, and I saw that it was no more safe there than to stand. I got up, and advanced upon the door.
out voting, tell him to leave the polls and if he refuses, kill him, shoot him down in his tracks. We shall win tomorrow if we have to do it with guns.” On November 8, the Democrats won a decisive victory. Two days later, on November 10, white citizens of Wilmington initiated a riot, first burning down the office of a Negro newspaper, then launching a general massacre of blacks. Estimates of the number killed range widely from 20 to over 100. The whites then deposed the Mayor, forced all Negro
and, looking round, saw through the smoke a man between the door and the President. The distance from the door to where the President sat was about four feet. At the same time I heard the man shout some word, which I thought was “Freedom!” I instantly sprang toward him and seized him. He wrested himself from my grasp, and made a violent thrust at my breast with a large knife. I parried the blow by striking it up, and received a wound several inches deep in my left arm.… The man rushed to the
The crowd in front who stood their ground firmly, and replied to those inside by tremendous vollies of bricks, stones, and other missiles, at length made a desperate rush inside, and cleared the premises, not only of human beings, but of furniture, leaving not a particle untouched. Soon after, whether from accident or design we are unable to state, the tavern took fire, and the flames spread rapidly and fiercely in every direction. The situation of affairs was now awful and appalling.—The mob
themselves at the doors, and they prevented our exit, and they prevented the entrance of any outside parties who might wish to enter.… We ran rather slowly—it was not a scheduled train—on to Cleveland … There we waited for an hour and our three cars were joined to seven other cars of men from the east. We then, the whole train, went rapidly on through Jefferson County to Youngstown, and from Youngstown to Bellview, where we landed rapidly. We were told to prepare to land—to leave the cars.