Letter from Miss Mary Leland Adams and Miss Sarah Root Adams in Bailey Island, Maine, to Governor B. M. Miller in Montgomery, Alabama.

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Letter from Miss Mary Leland Adams and Miss Sarah Root Adams in Bailey Island, Maine, to Governor B. M. Miller in Montgomery, Alabama.


Scottsboro Trial, Scottsboro, Ala., 1931; African Americans--Civil rights--Alabama; African Americans--Imprisonment--Alabama; Miller, Benjamin Meek, 1864-1944; Nazism


Three women from Bailey Island, Maine, ask Governor Miller to exert his influence in the Scottsboro case and write that the American people would be like the Nazis of Germany or the despots of Russia if they did not ensure that everyone had a fair trial with sound evidence. They also write of a similar case is Norfolk, Virginia, that was handled much differently than the Scottsboro case, with the African American male freed and the white woman convicted of perjury. They urge Governor Miller and Alabama to follow suit in administering justice without race prejudice.


Adams, Mary Leland, Miss and Miss Sarah Root Adams


Alabama Governor, Scottsboro Case appeals to the Governor, SG004239, Folder 12, Alabama Dept. of Archives and History








United States--Maine--Bailey Island

Text Item Type Metadata


Bailey Island, Maine
May 28, 1933

To Governor B.M. Miller,
Montgomery, Alabama

Dear Sir,
Like many other citizens of
this country-indeed, like many
of other countries- I am deeply
interested in the outcome of the
so-called "Scottsboro' Case," and
while you, as Governor of the
State of Alabama, are neither
judge nor jury, nor court of last
resort, your position gives you
opportunity to exert a powerful

influence on public opinion, and
in ensuring a fair trial, and a
just acceptance of evidence.
Do we want our people to be
classed with the Nazis of Germany
and the despots of Russia? We
cannot escape it f we do not
see that every citizen, + every
class of citizens, shall have fair
trial when accused, and that
they receive the same interpre-
tation of the law as in given to the
most favored among us- for
example, requiring proof "be-
youd reasonable doubt"- of
the commission of the crime,
before conviction.

Bailey Island, Maine

My sister and I are natives of Maine,
but what touches the honor of one
state touches all. Moreover, for
many years we hace lived in
Norfolk, Virginia, + have been
impressed by the good relations
maintained between the white
+ colored races there. Recently,
a colored man was accused of
knocking down and robbing a
white woman in a lonely alley.
The charge of criminal assault
was also made. The man was
convicted + sentenced. But when
new evidence was found, not

[Bailey Island Maine] only was the man freed, but the
woman and one of the witnesses
were convicted of perjury- all in
an orderly manner, + with no
raising of the race question, or
any undue excitement, All
honor to the Old Dominion!
I beg of you, as far as you
can exert your influence, for
the good name of your state,
do not let Alabama fall below
her sister state of Virginia in her
reputation for justice.
"Noblesse oblige"- and truly
patriotic Americans cannot
bear the thought that we

Bailey Island Maine

would not- or dare not- extend
absolute fairness and justice
to the humblest- even to the
meanest- of their citizens.
My sister joins with me in
this appeal to you, + will
add her signature to mine.

Very respectfully,
(miss) Mary Leland Adams
" Sarah Root Adams

I am writing a substantially iden-
tical letter to Judge Horton, + as I do
not know his address, will you be
so kind as to complete the adress
on the enclosed envelope?