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Feb. 15, 1918.
[Akgd 2/16/18]

His Excellency,
Woodrow Wilson,
President of the United States,
White House,
Washington, D. C.

My dear Mr. President:

The colored people, as you know, are doing
everything that their leaders advise to aid in this
great crisis which has come to the nation. Those of us,
who are not in the army are preaching the doctrine
of loyalty and patriotism from the pulpits, behind
the closed doors of secret organizations, in our homes
and in the columns of our newspapers.

The recent unfortunate and unlawful burning of a
colored man in the state of Tennessee the other day
makes our work difficult among the masses. While the
thoughtful and intelligent leaders of the race know that
the Federal Government cannot interfere and therefore
has no supervision over the state in such a case as this,
nevertheless, we feel if the President in a time like
this would make sone public statement comdemning mob
and lynch law, it would have a very wholesome and
determining effect upon the ten or more millions of
colored Americans. And we are asking in the name of
the Colored Division of the Maryland Council of Defense,
a body commissioned by the Governor of the State, if
consistent with the public good, that you will cause
some expression to be made in order to strengthen the
hands of those who have implicit confidence in your
management of the affairs of the nation.

Very respectfully,
Ernest LYON, Chairman.

152210

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