Mar 29, 2018 - Sale 2471

Sale 2471 - Lot 331

Price Realized: $ 531
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
(RACISM.) Fleischman, Max. Letter discussing the Sherman Courthouse lynching and riot. Autograph Letter Signed to his parents in Plainfield, NJ. 7 pages on 7 sheets of hotel letterhead, 9 1/2 x 6 inches; mailing folds and minimal wear. With original postmarked envelope, lacking stamps. Cleburne, TX, 14 May 1930

Additional Details

The Sherman Courthouse Riot of 9 May 1930 was one of the most widely known lynchings of the Depression era. As usual, it began with an African-American man charged with raping a white woman. It ended with a mob of five thousand burning down the courthouse, hanging the charred corpse from a tree, and then burning down most of the town's black-owned businesses.
The author of this letter, apparently a young white traveling salesman from the north, reported on the violence in rather neutral tones: "I suppose you read about the burning of the courthouse in Sherman, Texas a week ago. They were after the nigger in jail. I passed thru there two or three weeks ago. It's a nice little town & one would never think that people like them would lynch anybody. But some of these Texans still have pioneer fighting blood in them & a nigger must be taught respect they say, so they lynch once in a while."