JB Winston to Woodrow Wilson


JB Winston to Woodrow Wilson


Winston, J. B.




1915 March 13


Asking for Wilson to denounce the lynchings being carried out against African-Americans.


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


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library






Mr. Woodrow Wilson,
President of the U.S.A.
White House, Washington D.C.

Dear Sir:-

According to an official report of the Daily Press in this city, is as follows:-

Byhalla Miss., Nov. 25th, 1914. Fred Sullivan and wife were lynched by a mob, accused of burning a barn.

Shreveport La., Dec. 18th, 1914. Lewis Watkins, age seventy was tied to a stake in the main street, oiled, set on fire, and when the ropes burned loose he rose and screamed. The spectators all laughed with joy.

Montecello Ga. Jan. 14th, 1915. A man and his son and two daughters were taken out of jail and hung (a family) by a mob, accused of violating the Liquor Law.

Gulfport Miss. Jan. 29th, 1915. Edward Johnson was taken from a Deputy by a mob and shot to death. Accused of killing a cow which later returned to its owner.

As I can see no reason, as an American Citizen, for a great nation as the American People to allow such conditions to exist, of such a nature, to be measured out to the colored people will say that,

The few incidents which have happened recently are looked at by the world with an eye of disdain and pointed at with the fingers of scorn. Will you not heed to the call of the rights of a people and put a stop to it. It is an outrage and a disgrace to the civilized world.

These persons are of flesh and blood like yourself. By the same blood they have been murdered. They were American women like your wife and daughters. These have been outraged. To them their homes were like your home is to you, hallowed with the same dear association. These have been pillaged and burned. Indictment of a Government for criminal neglect.

Is it to be everlasting trouble, endangering peace? Or, is there a possible solution of the vital issues between us?

Today, Europe is sunken deep in war. The world bristles with guns. It is time for intelligent listening and clear thinking.

The two biggest questions before you today are discussed by a man whose Americanism no man ever questioned. Malice toward none, charity for all and firm in the right and justice may be your guide and shield. I shall be amply repaid for the pains and consideration you may take in answering this letter, as on these principles depends our comfort and pleasure. And until then, I have the honor to remain,

Most respectfully yours,
JB Winston

J. B. Winston
Chicago, Ill.
#123 W. 31st Street,
Chicago, Illinois.

Original Format



Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924





Winston, J. B., “JB Winston to Woodrow Wilson,” 1915 March 13, LO31315a-b, Race and Segregation Collection, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.