Letter from Luke Osburn in New York City, to The Governor of Alabama in Baton Rouge, Alabama.

Dublin Core


Letter from Luke Osburn in New York City, to The Governor of Alabama in Baton Rouge, Alabama.


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


Luke Osburn asks Governor Miller to use his influence to give the Scottsboro Boys a just trial. He writes that he does not criticize the state of Alabama and he is not particularly interested in the Scottsboro Boys themselves, but he is especially concerned about the principle of a fair trial, namely "air-tight evidence" and a jury of peers.


Osburn, Luke


Alabama Governor, Scottsboro Case appeals to the Governor, SG004237, Folder 22, Alabama Dept. of Archives and History








United States--New York--New York

Text Item Type Metadata


Luke Osburn
543 W. 123 St.
MAR 29

The Governor of Alabama

Baton Rouge, Alabama.

543 W. 123 St., N. Y. C.

The Governor of Alabama,
Baton Rouge, Alabama.
Dear SIR:
I should like to urge you to use you influence in
assuring to the Scottsboro Boys a just trial. I believe I
voice the sentiment of enlightened America when I ask this.
I have lived many years in the South and I love it. We are
not criticizing the State of Alabama, and we have no intense
interest in saving the lives of certain negros whom we have
never seen. But we are decidedly interested in the principle
of the thing. After a fair trial and air-tight evidence, we
shall have nothing more to say if they are executed. But we
do not wish America and the State of Alabama to be shamed by
the conviction of innocent people--or the conviction of even
guilty people without ^fair^ trial. It is that right of every human
being on earth to a fair trial before punishment that we will
fight for from this day on to the crack of doom.
This pleasant little matter of the jury.... I wonder
how a white man would like to be tried by a jury all Chinese, or
Mexicans, or Tasmanians, or Eskimos? How would a white man who
had raped a negress like to be tried by an all-black jury? Would
he have a chance of a fair trial?
I call myself a Southerner, but I tell the State of
Alabama this: If you convict the Scottsboro Boys on bad evidence
and with an all-white jury, it will be an everlasting stain on
your state and it will not be forgotten. (And by the way I am
not a negro but a white and a graduate of the Rice Institute
in Houston, Texas.Yours truly,
Luke Osburn