Lesson 3: Document 1 Transcript
Ashville, Ala. Sept 6th 1917
Hon. John H. Bankhead
U.S. Senate Chambers
My dear Senator:
In making this appeal,
allow me to say, no man is more loyal to
his government, or a firmer supporter of the
administration of President Wilson, and
his _______ than I am, unless he possess
more capacity for loyalty, than myself. I have
every confidence in our secretary of War,
and sure he is a great and good man.
But fear he does not know the spirit of
the young white men of the South; neither
does he understand the American negro.
I now write in the interest of the negro,
as well as I do in the interest of the
white people; and in the interest of humanity.
Have always been a friend to the negro,
and this I am sure he will say is true.
Have stood for his rights and represented
him when it was really perilous to do,
I have the negro in my home, and
cant will so without him.
Allow me to say as a fact, no
mere belief about it; if the negroes &
white men, are placed in the same
camp for soldier training, there will be
blood shed and much of it and no
man can prevent it. This would be deplored by all.
If Secretary Baker thinks he can
have both groups trained in the same
camp, he will find out his mistake,
when it is too late. The camps should
not be located in the same community.
There are plenty of places to locate camps.
I must respectfully beseech you
to see Sect. Baker and implore him to
change his mind in regard to this
matter. I hesitate in writing you this
letter, but, feel that the matter is of such
vital importance that I must write, as I
have written. If I have said more than I
should have said I implore your pardon,
In your long stay in Congress you
have done many great things for the
people you represent, and the Government
which you live; but if you can
induce that War Secretary to change his
mind, in regard to this matter, you will
surely have done more for this Government,
and Alabama, than all others combined.
With kind regards and great
respect, I am,
Yours very truly,
John W. Inzer
John W. Inzer, Ashville, Alabama, to Hon. John H. Bankhead, Washington, D.C., 6 September 1917, John H. Bankhead Papers, LPR 49, Container 31, Folder 7, Alabama Department of Archives & History, Montgomery, Alabama.