Letter from Vega Lodge #40 (I.O.G.T.) in Rockford, Illinois, to Governor B. M. Miller in Montgomery, Alabama.

Title

Letter from Vega Lodge #40 (I.O.G.T.) in Rockford, Illinois, to Governor B. M. Miller in Montgomery, Alabama.

Subject

Scottsboro Trial, Scottsboro, Ala., 1931; African Americans--Civil rights--Alabama; African Americans--Imprisonment--Alabama; Miller, Benjamin Meek, 1864-1944; International Order of Good Templars

Description

A. Olson, "Pres., C. Nelson, Secr'y, Vega Lodge #40 (I.O.G.T.)," cites the American Civil Liberties Union reporting on compromised circumstances surrounding the trial and asks for a retrial.

Creator

International Order of Good Templars--Vega Lodge #40 (Rockford, Il.)

Source

Alabama Governor, Scottsboro Case appeals to the Governor, SG004234, Folder 2, Alabama Dept. of Archives and History

Date

1931-05-16

Format

Letter

Language

English

Coverage

United States--Illinois--Rockford

Transcription


(Image of large (LODGE MEETING
brick building) VEGA LODGE EVERY THURSDAY EVE.
I.O.G.T. 8 O'CLOCK
1535 NINTH STREET TRUSTEES MEET
2ND MONDAY OF EACH MONTH
JUNIOR LODGE)

Scottsboro ROCKFORD, ILL.
May 15, 1931

Governor B. W. Miller
Montgomery, Alabama

Dear Sir:

It has come to our knowledge through the press that eight negro
youths have been sentenced to death in the electric chair and
one to life imprisonment in Scottsboro, Ala. after being con-
victed of attacking two white girls on a train.

We quote the American Civil Liberties Union, 100 Fifth Ave.,
New York City on the matter.

1. The trial was rushed without time for adquate defense, the
boys being arrested on March 25th and tried 12 days later. The
court refused a postponement. The boys were represented only by
an attorney appointed by the court and by a Chattanooga lawyer,
unknown to them, selected by a minister's association.

2. Though the hysterical state of public opinion in Scottsboro
made a fair trial impossible, yet the judge refused a change of
venue. The courtroom was surrounded during the trial by a crowd
reliably estimated at 10,000 and by 1,000 soldiers called out by
the governor to prevent threatened lynchings and disorder. The
verdicts therefore were a foregone conclusion.

3. The two white girls, the only witnesses against the boys,
told conflicting and confused stories.

Therefore, be it resolved that we the undersigned, Vega Lodge #40,
I.O.G.T. (International Order of Good Templars( in meeting assem-
bled May 14, 1931, decided to inform your Honor of our opinion
in the matter. As an organization that stands for personal
rights and liberties in the truest sense of the word, we demand
that a new trial will be granted and a change of venue to another
court.

Respectfully yours,

(I.O.C.T. Vega Lodge #40 I.O.C.T.
imprint)
A. Olsen Pres.
C. Nelson Sec'ry

(note: adquate - adequate)