Mar 30, 2017 - Sale 2441

Sale 2441 - Lot 239

Price Realized: $ 11,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 4,000
A LANDMARK CIVIL RIGHTS CASE (CIVIL RIGHTS.) SCOTTSBORO BOYS. Group of material relative to the notorious Scottsboro case, includes: photographs, pamphlets, pinbacks, broadsides, and a cylindrical tin from the Defense Fund for collecting money for the boys defense. Various sizes and shapes. should be seen. Vp, 1931-1937

Additional Details

the finest lot of scottsboro related items we have ever seen: including a circular collection 'piggy-bank' about the size of a large soda can; six press photos; two fund-raising letters, one with accompanying material from Anna Damon, of the International Labor Defense's office, four broadsides, a real photo post card of the nine boys, a pristine copy of the March, 1932 issue of Crisis Magazine, devoted to the case, and more.
In 1931, in the midst of America's Great Depression, 'riding the rails' or freight train hopping was a common mode of travel for both poor whites and blacks. On 25 May 1931, nine black youths happened to be traveling the same freight train from Chattanooga to Memphis as a gang of white youths and two white women. A fight erupted between the whites and blacks over space on the car and the whites left the train at Stevenson. There, they told the stationmaster that they had been attacked by a gang of blacks. When the train came to the next stop, a posse was waiting and the nine boys were tied together, dumped in the bed of a pick-up truck and taken to Scottsboro for trial; but not before the two white women claimed that they had been raped by the boys. More than a decade of trials and retrials followed, ending with death sentences for most of the boys (later commuted to life). One of the women, a prostitute, recanted her testimony, but too late to be of service to the innocents. In 1935, Patterson and Norris's convictions were briefly overturned due to the racially motivated jury selection. This moment of triumph was short-lived however and the courts of Alabama decided to proceed. Almost a year later, Patterson was again found guilty. Norris was paroled in 1946, while Patterson made a spectacular escape in 1948. His book, Scottsboro Boy, was published in 1950. He was re-arrested in Michigan by the FBI, but the state of Michigan refused Alabama's request for extradition.