James E. Shepard to Woodrow Wilson




Asking the President to make a plea for law and order in all sections of the country in response to growing number of lynchings in the south.


National Archives and Records Administration 230/06/41 file # 158260 box #1276


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library




Hon. Woodrow Wilson,
Executive Mansion,
Washington, D. C.

Dear Sir:

Your stand for righteousness and justice for the oppressed of all nations gives me courage to present this plea to you in behalf of the Negroes of the Southland.

Lynchings, as you know have grown to an alarming extent within the past few years. There is, however, a growing sentiment among the better class of people in the Southland who believe that this curse should be driven from our midst.

It is a pleasure to attach herewith a clipping from the Houston Post, showing the list of papers, which always denounce the lynching evil. I am writing this personal letter to you asking that if in your wise judgment you could not in your Inaugural Address say a word against lynching or rather make a plea for law and order in all sections of the Country. You know the South and its traditions and I believe that a word from you would have more effect than from any President since the immortal Lincoln.

I hope that you will be spared to continue your good work for a universal peace and that you may be able to lead from bondage the oppressed of all nations and races.

With sentiments of esteem and respect, I am

Your most obedient servant,

James E. Shepard

Original Format





Shepard, James E. , “James E. Shepard to Woodrow Wilson,” 1917 January 23, LO12317, Race and Segregation Collection, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.