Night Rider




Source - New Outlook 1908

Night Riders

A land company and a fishing club in Tennessee, made a trip last week to look after some property that they owned in the region of Walnut Log. One of them is dead ; the other escaped death only by a narrow margin. The people of the neighborhood had been roused by the action of the land company in securing exclusive fishing rights. These people had fished and hunted without interference until the company had secured injunctions. They regarded the company and the club as their enemies, undertaking to deprive them of their means of livelihood. The court had held that fishermen must sell their catches to a fish company which had leased the fishing rights from the land company, and the people resented this limitation upon their hitherto unrestricted occupation. The judge who passed upon the lease has been shot at, and, fearing assassination, is said never to sleep at home. Acts of violence have been committed. The climax came when the two lawyers were set upon at midnight by an armed body of men. One of them was hanged to a tree and his body riddled with bullets ; the other, in spite of his seventy years, escaped by a ruse, and was rescued after thirty-six hours in a swamp. This is the latest and most dramatic outrage committed by what are called " night riders."

 Not long ago a crowd of these lawless cowards, in revenge for some act which had roused their unrestrained indignation, attacked a man in his house and in cold blood killed him, his wife, and his two children. This happened in Kentucky. Because of discontent with prices and conditions of the market, night riders have been burning cotton gins in Georgia and in Missouri. Indeed, night riders are becoming a menace throughout many parts of the South.

One sheriff in Arkansas and another in South Carolina have won honor for themselves and their community by facing mobs of night riders and upholding in their persons the majesty of the law. The night riders first made their conspicuous appearance in the tobacco fields of Kentucky, fighting with vengeful and cowardly violence the Tobacco Trust and the growers who dealt with the Trust. The example of these Kentucky night riders has now, as we have said, extended to the growers of cotton and even to the fishermen and pot-hunters of the mountains. Civilization is at an end in a democratic community when the masses of the people in that community become imbued with the notion that the way to cure wrong or to secure redress is by private war and assassination.

Those people of the South who care most for the good name of the South are most keenly aware of this. Governor Patterson, of Tennessee, has expressed the hope that the Governors of Missouri, Mississippi, and Alabama may join with Governor Willson, of Kentucky, Governor Pindall, of Arkansas, and himself, representing the States most acutely suffering from this evil, in a conference to decide upon an effective plan of action. What the people of these States need is not criticism, but the sort of sympathy that will hearten those officials who, at no small risk and with a lively sense of responsibility for the lives of citizens, are undertaking to withstand these ignorant and dangerous enemies to order and popular liberty.

Source - Street Pandex of the News - 1909

Night Riders.

Feb. 7

Adams, Tenn.; Lawrence and Vicker farms visited by armed and mounted mobs and barns destroyed, together with 20,000 pounds of tobacco. Alabama:

 Dec. 4 — Negroes on farm near Florence migrate to Mississippi because of threats by night riders.

Newhope reports burning of cotton gin of Butler & Co. by night riders.



 Oct. 17 — Craighead county riders, numbering 28, held to answer to grand jury on Nov. 9.

Nov. 8 — Judge S. M. White of Pocahontas receives threatening letter.

Nov. 8 - Cotton Fields: —Marmaduke. Ark., Farmers' Union urges cotton buyers and sellers to cease business as precaution against threatened raids by night riders.

Sept. 22 — Marmaduke; buying and selling of cotton stops in vicinity of Paragould, Ark., as result of appearance of night riders at Bethel.

Sept. 24 - Cotton growers' convention adopts resolutions denouncing night riding and urging its suppression.

Nov. 12 - Gubernatorial Conference: —Summons withdrawn by Governor Patterson on ground that night riders are undergoing satisfactory arrest and prosecution.

Nov. 3 - Gubernatorial conference of governors of six adjacent southern states requested by governor of Tennessee to suppress night riding.

Source - The Independent 1920


The Cotton Crisis

The  prevailing low prices of cotton have not only called forth lawless attempts to restrict output, but have called into action the more legitimate intervention of the public authorities. Governor Parker of Louisiana has appealed to the cotton ginners of the southern states to close down for thirty days. This appeal was telegraphed to the Governors of other cotton growing states. Governor Parker said in part:

The one great agricultural crop in which the South has almost a monopoly is cotton, and with a number of short crops in succession and the certainty the world urgently needs cotton, it is almost criminal to force this crop on the market at prices far below actual cost, bringing ruin to farmers and thereby ultimately disaster to the spinners and actual suffering -to those needing cotton goods. . . .

The present emergency requires the attention and cooperation of all classes of citizens in justifying the request for all gins to shut down for at least thirty days, or longer if necessary, in order that the producers may receive living prices for their products and the great cotton industry not be crippled or destroyed.

Night riders have raided plantations or destroyed gins in Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee and other states within the past few days. Everywhere the authorities have issued proclamations denouncing lawless methods of upholding prices and in several states rewards have been offered for the detection of the lawbreakers. The declared policy of the raiders is to prevent ginning or sale of cotton until the price reaches forty cents a pound.