CJ Johnson to Woodrow Wilson


CJ Johnson to Woodrow Wilson


Johnson, C.J.




1919 October 7


Letter to Wilson regarding the lynching of 3 Montgomery, AL prisoners.


National Archives and Records Administration 230/06/41 file #158260 box #1276 NARA ID #115


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library






President Wilson
Washington D.C.

To your honor sir I wish to call your attention to the horrible lawless crimes of the lynching of three colored prisoners near Montgomery, Ala. I am sure you are aware of the same by this time.

On Sept. 29, was the date of such occurence. We wish to see that such lawless acts be put to an end in the United States.

I wish to have you understand that we do not uphold any crimnals committed by our people. You well know that the constitutional laws say that laws shall rule and not men and the same law says that no one shall be put to death or purnished unless tried by law.

Now I ask you candidly do you not think that the colored race of the United States desires protection of the laws of this country after he has gone three thousand miles and fought for his country, while thousands have laid down their lives for this Government. The Negro was no slaker in the time of war, he answered to your call and stood on the firing line and proved himself a hero.

Now I ask your honor sir, being the ruler of the forty eight states, the Negro has sacrificed his life for his country which gives him no credit, not even protection as the game in the weeds, as I said before we do not uphold rapes or any other crimnals, but we believe in abiding by the laws as they are laid down. It is hard know that our wives bear sons to go on the firing line and fight like heroes for this country and then return home and be burned, shot, and lynched unjustly,

This country and the world at large knows that the Negro has always proven himself loyal to his country with few exceptions.

To your honor sir wheenever the time will come that every citizen will comply with the law, then we will have no race riots and lynching will be blotted out. But these many horrifying crimes will continure as long as the courts justify lawlessness.

We stand ready and will answer to the call and will be glad to stand in defense to carry out the law as we did in no mans land for this Government, and break down mob violence.


C. J. Johnson

121 E. Wright St
Pensacola, Fla




Johnson, C.J., “CJ Johnson to Woodrow Wilson,” 1919 October 7, TI00158, Race and Segregation Collection, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.