Microfilm Reel 231, File 152a, "Segregation"

All the microfilm scans concerning file number 152a, "Segregation," of file number 152, "African Americans," on reel 231 from the Executive Office files of the Woodrow Wilson Papers, series 4 in the Library of Congress finding aid.


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152 a


To His Excellency the President of the United States, Hon. Woodron Wilson.

Dear Sir:

A deep sense of obligation to the highest welfare of our country leads us to request you to use your porwerful personal influence in a matter which threatens that spirit of unity and mutual respect which we all so earnestly desire to see prevail.

It is the wisdom, breadth, justice, and courage that you have shown which makes us appeal to you, who alone can do it, to prevent the rekindling of smouldering sectional feeling, which must result if the tendencies of the present are not wisely controlled.

We refer to the disposition to change the present status of the negro in Washington. The north has for many years wisely abstained from interference with conditions in the south. Should not a delicate sense of courtesy impel the chivalric spirit of the south to de-


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cide that, in so far as our nations capital is concerned, they will respect the convictions of the north?

The very absence of important matters of adverse criticism, which the wisdom of your administration has secured, will induce a partisan press to make the most of an appeal to the but half-forgotten prejudices of the past. Will it not be a claim to renown worth seeking, that you, while perhaps sympathizing with the feeling of the south, were, by your large conception of the deity of a chief magistrate able to carry out a geuerous policy which prevented all sectional bitterness?

The utmost pains has been taken to prevent outside knowledge of this letter, so that whatever action you may take may have its full weight as coming from yourself.

Very respectfully, Cyrus Northrop Reverend [?] Hillis James M. Buckly [?]


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[postmark: MINNEAPOLIS MINN. MAR 7 930 PM 1914]

To the President. White House, Washington, D. C.


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Negros in United States service Continued.

Employees. Total Salary
Departmental service at large:
Diplomatic and Consular 16 836,410
Treasury 1,082 743,373
War 2,342 1,705,320
Post Office 3,599 2,807,134
Interior 31 25,738
Agriculture 102 53,212
Commerce and Labor 64 42,612
United States Army 4,426 1,162,221
United States Navy 1,529 678,050
United States navy yards and stations 2,146 1,210,070
Miscellaneous 775 581,515
Total 22,540 12,456,760

Employees. Total Salary
Washington, D. C. 6,347 4,099.118
New York 635 599,394
Chicago 670 588,902
Boston 91 86,491
Cincinnati 56 49,840
Richmond 86 78,540
Jackson, Miss. 33 29,230
Mobile, Ala. 63 60,173
Indianapolis, Ind. 40 30,460
St. Louis, Mo. 195 167,120
Louisville, Ky. 98 86,890
Miscellaneous points 14,130 6,609,352
Total 22,540 12,456,760
There are about 490,000 persons employed in the Government service and since 1912 there have been appointed about 2,000 negroes, making approximately 24,500 negroes in the Government service.

(National Democratic Fair Play Association.)



Before me, a notary public within and for the District of Columbia, this day personally appeared Maud B. Woodward, of lawful age, whom I certify is worthy and entitled to credit, and who being by me duly sworn, upon her oath deposes and says:

That she is and has been for several years an employee in the office of recorder of deeds, Washington, D. C.; that there are now employed in said department 22 negroes and 15 whites.

That the recorder, Henry Lincoln Johnson, a negro, absents himself from his office, leaving it in charge of his deputy, and the time actually spent in his office during the past 3 years would not exceed 6 months at labor out of 36 months; that the major part of his time is devoted to his private business at Atlanta, Ga., or elsewhere, to the neglect of said office, for which duties he is supposed to draw a salary of $4,500 per annum

That on or about April 25, 1913, one Mary V. Malvin, a negro woman, an employee in said office (reputed to be married to one Judson Malvin, a negro employed in the War Department), said to and in my presence and hearing, that "if Ralph W. Tyler (a negro) was removed by President Wilson, then that he (said President Wilson) was a s__________; this and like expressions have on numerous occasions and times been used by said Malvin with great bitterness and force; and on these occasions she has cursed President Wilson and the Democratic Party, saying, "she was in hopes that Japan, China, and Mexico would go together and wipe the United States off the map," and using frequently the words "s________," and speaking in very disrespectful terms and Expressions of the President, of other officials, and of the Democratic Party.

That the said Mary V. Malvin, a negro woman weighing perhaps 225 pounds, is what is known among departmental employees as a "10-per-center," meaning, that


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she loans money to other employees at usurious rates, charging 10 per cent per month for the use of money so loaned; that she favors those emplovees in the office with good grades who may be so unfortunate as to borrow money from her, but often grades "low" the white girls, when at the same time she will grade "high" those who borrow money from her, and many instances have been known where she favors negro men and women with higher grades than they were entitled to, when she desired to push them ahead of white girls working together in same office.

That Gussie Tignor (another negro woman, whose husband is an employee in the Post Office Department) is very abusive in her language and conduct toward white girls, and is what is called in our office a "disturber" and she spends a great portion of her time talking to and with other employees, stirring them up on different matters, to the detriment of and interference with the business of the said office of recorder of deeds. That said Tignor, like her negro associate and intimate, Mary Malvin, often gets mad, rants, and raves around the office abusing white employees, greatly to the disturbance of the business and afftairs of said office, and upon complaint being made or filed with the manager, also negro, the said negro women are sustained or upheld, to the annoyance, distress, and humiliation of the white girls and white employees.

That one (Mona) Jackson, a negro girl employed in said office, a few days or a short time ago, said that "she wanted an earthquake to come and swallow up Wilson, Bryan, and the whole Democratic Party," and "The Ohio flood wouldn't be a circumstance to what God Almighty should send to punish Wilson and all the rest of the Democratic Party"; that one Pearl Denny, a negro girl, also an employee of said office, was fully in sympathy with the sentiments so expressed, as above mentioned concurred in, and approved all that was said by the aforesaid negro women, and so have and so do other negro women employees of said office, when said questions are being discussed, the expressions used at said times being even worse or more degraded than those herein mentioned.

That the "merit system," as attempted sometimes, is a mere sham and does not apply in this office; that very little attention is paid to the civil-service law or to the rules or regulations of that system, this office working more on the line of favoritism; that some of the white girls are compelled to remain off duty or from work sometimes as long as two weeks, while negro women work constantly without loss of time; that should complaint be made to the recorder, more often is the white girl reprimanded or criticized for complaining of discrimination and abuse at the hands of negro men or negro women.

That there are more negroes employed in this office than there is any use for, in order to give some one a job; these extra or surplus negroes are practically in the way of other employees and often prevent performance of duty by those who are at work; these extra negroes virtually do no work, but stand around in the rooms, halls, corridors, talk, read, get in the way, and obstruct the labor of others at times; that their acts and conduct have been branded by lawyers and others visiting said office on business as a great nuisance, and a number of people have complained thereof, but the same continues without reprimand from the recorder and that among these said "pets" are the following: Noble Thomas, Scott, Jones, Brooks, Pope, and Maxfield, and others at times.

That the same toilet is used by both whites and blacks, and some of said blacks have been diseased, evidence thereof being very apparent; that one negro woman, Alexander, has been for years afflicted with a private disease, and for dread of using the toilet after her some of the white girls are compelled to suffer physically and mentally.

That I make these statements of my own free will, for the purpose of informing the proper officials of the misconduct of this office, that steps may be taken to immediately remedy same, and that something may be done to relieve white girls and white women from suffering the humiliation and disgrace which they are compelled to undergo at the hands of overbearing negro men and negro women.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this 6th day of May, A. D. 1913. MAUD B. WOODWARD.



Subscribed and sworn to before me this 6th day of May, 1913, and I do further certify that affiant attached her signature in my presence.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my official seal this day and year last above written.


MRS. PAULINE M. WITHERS Notary Public, Washington, D. C.

My commission expires November 12, 1917.

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