The Workman's Circle to Woodrow Wilson




Writing in concern over unequal death penalty policy


National Archives and Records Administration 230/06/41 file #158260 box #1284 NARA ID #17


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library




Honorable President Woodrow Wilson,
The White House
Washington, D. C.

Dear Sir:

WHEREAS, the fundamental principal as stated in the Declaration of Independence, "that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inaleinable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", definately determines the status of all citizens of the United States, and

WHEREAS, the Constitution of the United States further provides that no State shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of the law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law also that in all criminal prosecution the accused shall enjoy the right of trial before an impartial jury, and

WHEREAS, all past judicial history, all laws of logic, reason and common sense teach, that no impartial court can honestly or with full justice try and convict eleven men upon a blanket charge and within a period of seven minutes, and

WHEREAS, the courts of Arkansas in imposing the death penalty upon eleven Negroes without adaquate testimony and trial have denied these men those rights guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States, have violated every law of justice and fair-play and have defamed the Constitution of this country, and

WHEREAS, we wish to demonstrate our emphatic resentment and indignation against such unprecedented, unjust and inhumane proceedure, against such brazen infringement of human rights, such wanton and unlawful shodding of human blood, therefore

BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Committee of the Workmen's Circle, a Fraternal Organization of 76,000 members scattered throughout the United States and Canada, call upon the President of the United States, the Congress of the United States and the Governor of Arkansas, to immediately stay the death sentence imposed upon these men; and to conduct a vigorous investigation of the conditions which led up to the Arkansas riots, the arrest and conviction of those men.


P. Geliebter
Executive Secretary,




Geliebter, Philip, “The Workman's Circle to Woodrow Wilson,” 1920 January 13, LO11320, Race and Segregation Collection, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.