May 07, 2020 - Sale 2534

Sale 2534 - Lot 193

Price Realized: $ 1,125
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
(CIVIL RIGHTS--RACISM.) Omaha's Riot in Story and Picture. Numerous illustrations. [32] pages. Oblong 8vo, original printed wrappers, moderate wear; minor wear to contents. Omaha, NE: Educational Publishing Company, circa 1919

Additional Details

The broad outlines of the Omaha race riot of 1919 follow a well-rehearsed script: an African American named Will Brown is accused of raping a white woman; a mob of 10,000 gathers around the police station where he is jailed; he is eventually dragged out of his cell and burned. More uniquely to Omaha, the city's newly elected white progressive mayor and its police force made strenuous efforts to save Brown, barricaded in the fourth floor, though they eventually gave him up. Mayor Smith ventured out among the mob and said "If you must hang somebody, then let it be me." They obliged, and the mayor was hung from a lamp post--he was cut down by police when just short of death. Two members of the mob were killed, and large portions of the city looted or burned. 120 rioters were indicted, though not one served any prison time. This well-illustrated anti-mob pamphlet takes the perspective that "publicity is the surest cause for lawlessness" and properly describes Will Brown as the victim.