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tv   1908 Race Riot  CSPAN  February 23, 2019 11:48am-12:01pm EST

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sunday, live at 8:00 a.m. eastern. >> burning businesses and lynching black residents. we drive around with historian kathryn harris who recounts the events leading up to that right and the effects it had on the city. >> these are white people riding against black people. it is the mentality at the time was that the black folks are getting too uppity. themselves,re of they had property, they owned homes. you are not supposed to do that. nu are just, pardon me, the word. they were getting too big for
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their britches. to put you in your place. the presidential library museum is where the county jail was. that is where two men who were in jail were capped and that is where the writers came. rioters can. it was the sheriff's intent to take them out of town. he feared for their safety. one of them had been accused of killing a white man and the other had been accused of raping a white woman. >> who was the sheriff? >> his name was charles warner. best if theould be two prisoners, richardson and james, were not in the jail
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because he feared a riot. he had come here from ohio and there had been a riot in one of the towns are he had lived in ohio. anduse of what was going on all of the hatred that was formatting and whatever, he felt it would be safer. he was going to take them to bloomington, which was about 70 miles away, for their safety. except that the citizens were now incensed because of the rape of the white woman and the murder of the white man by these black men, he thought that would be the best thing to do. it sotizens got wind of -- one of the richest people in
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in 1908.ld owned a car one of the few people in springfield who owned a car. they said this will never happen. as a result, they trashed his car. >> was the sheriff able to get them out of town? >> apparently he was but it doesn't say. >> how large of a crowd was it? >> about 5000 people. can you imagine? i can't. 5000 folks. and the first victim of the riot was a young boy who worked there , a dishwasher. he was white. he is not mentioned very much. he was the first victim of the
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the riotause he -- of because he tried to remain safe. place at the wrong wrong time. on the french to the east -- on , it wasge to the east where the black community had their businesses. it is kind of a divider because there are railroad tracks. springfield was no exception. on one side were white folks and on the other side work black folks. >> how large was the black population? >> about 2500 folks.
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we were about 5% of the population at the time. why did they go after the barber? barbering was one of the few havethat a black man could and be self-employed. i always thought it was interesting that he cut hair and shaved black people as well as white people. it was with a straight razor and he was cutting the hair of white folks and he could slit a lot of throats. that was kindht of oxymoronic. and his home, he lived over the barbershop.
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the house is gone. it was the home of mr. donegan. he was 84 years old. he was married to a woman who just happened to be white. they had been married for 20 years if not longer. they lived in this area. mob came this far, which is far removed from where the other activities were. they knew he lived there and they knew he was married to a white woman and they thought that they would kill him. he was a cobbler. made reported that he boots for mr. lincoln. he certainly would have been in springfield at the time mr. lincoln was in springfield.
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>> they came to his house and what happened? >> they lynched him. the building where we are going -- the stateed fortal served as a refuge the black people. the arsenal was a safe haven for black people and across the street on the grounds of the state capital. where did they go from there? itthat was about the end of
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because the state militia started to show up. that was the end of two days of rioting. >> how much damage was done and how many people were killed? there were 40 homes destroyed , three people were killed. >> what happened to the prisoners? joe james was ultimately convicted of the murder and so he was hanged in october. richardson, who was and september.,
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this was in august. in september, she recanted her story, she had not been raped. she had been having an affair with a white man and her husband busted her out. he found out about it. that is what started the whole riot. the best thing that happened was the formation of the naacp. because at the time of the riot, there was a -- folks call him a socialist or a communist. it happened to be in chicago and
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uprising, all the the activity that was going on in springfield. for ate an article magazine called the independent. was william english walling. who canl question was step forward to help right the black to happen to the residents of springfield. nothing was done. shame, shame. the home of abraham lincoln.
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i'm sure that is why. spot onblack springfield's history. who would have thought there would be a race riot in the home of mr. lincoln? usually associate race riots in the south and lynchings in the south, but, no. this was in the north. it said we should remember our or we are condemned to repeat it. get to theill never wherein springfield something like that would happen again. are staff recently traveled
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to springfield illinois to learn about its rich history. learn more about spring field at sea spend at work. you are watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. mr. costello is a senior historian at the white house historical association. this 25 minute talk was part of a conference highlighting the work of william thornton, who is known as the capitol's first architect. william: i hope you are all sugared up. although, i don't know if you will need it.


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