Woodrow Wilson Papers Microfilm Reels

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Microfilm Reel 229, File 152, "African Americans"

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IF IT'S NEWS, IT'S IN THE BEE, FOR THE BEE IS A NEWSPAPER.

THE BEE WASHINGTON

VOL. XXXIII,NO. 50 WASHINGTON, D.C, SATURDAY, MAY 24, 1913

NEGRO DEMOCRACY Chairman Underdow Explains Candidate for White House Stewardship. Succeeds Bishop Walters—Defends Democracy.

Editor of The Bee.

Your issue of May 10 contains sevral references to which we beg permission to reply through your valuable columns.

The character of the references as well as the nature of the subject with which they deal causes question to arise. One of these references has to do with Negroes losing their places to white men. We should like to ask in this connection that, as a matter of precedent among all political parties, if appointments are not made from the forces of a victorious partisan system?

What is there to Negro Democracy in the State of Georgia, and where does the responsibility of Bishop Walters for this State's political affairs come in? What could either a Negro or white man reasonably expect from a system for which he had not only done nothing, but had bitterly opposed?

Compare, if you please, the actions of the present administration with that of the former in this respect, the one acting under political pressure the other sweeping scores of Negroes from the tenure of their charges without political pressure. Inform us, Mr. Editor, if you know the strength of Negro Democracy not only in the State of Georgia, but practically the entire South, and allow us the benefit of observations based upon questions of fact, not upon criticism the result of sensation and prejudice.

Another of these references deals with the dismissal of Mr. Charles L. Barnes, respecting whom The Bee takes occasion to observe many qualifications and qualities of which the colored Democracy, although constantly and intimately associated with him, have not been able to discern.

As to the relationship existing between Bishop Walters and Mr. Barnes, as well as the efforts, it is alleged by The Bee, the Bishop is making on his behalf, we are at a loss to know where The Bee could possibly have gained such information.

Several instances are recalled in which the Bishop interceded on behalf of Mr. Barnes [?] this confidence seems to have been abused to the extent that patience have lost its virtue. The Democracy of the District of Columbia is unable to see how Mr. Barnes or anyone else, however important from a political standpoint, could reasonably expect to be retained in a position with glaring and gross neglect of duty.

We also note that The Bee would create an impression that Bishop Walters had severed his connection with the Democracy and had "given up hope."

It becomes our duty to advise that a recent conference with the Bishop disclosed the greatest optimism in the colored Democracy, and full confidence in the administration. We would also say for the information of The Bee that the resignation which seems to be the basis of his ill-guided reference only had to do with the local club, and was made temporarily

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IF IT'S NEWS, IT'S IN THE BEE, FOR THE BEE IS A NEWSPAPER.

THE BEE WASHINGTON

VOL. XXXIII,NO. 50 WASHINGTON, D.C, SATURDAY, MAY 24, 1913

NEGRO DEMOCRACY Chairman Underdow Explains Candidate for White House Stewardship. Succeeds Bishop Walters—Defends Democracy.

Editor of The Bee.

Your issue of May 10 contains sevral references to which we beg permission to reply through your valuable columns.

The character of the references as well as the nature of the subject with which they deal causes question to arise. One of these references has to do with Negroes losing their places to white men. We should like to ask in this connection that, as a matter of precedent among all political parties, if appointments are not made from the forces of a victorious partisan system?

What is there to Negro Democracy in the State of Georgia, and where does the responsibility of Bishop Walters for this State's political affairs come in? What could either a Negro or white man reasonably expect from a system for which he had not only done nothing, but had bitterly opposed?

Compare, if you please, the actions of the present administration with that of the former in this respect, the one acting under political pressure the other sweeping scores of Negroes from the tenure of their charges without political pressure. Inform us, Mr. Editor, if you know the strength of Negro Democracy not only in the State of Georgia, but practically the entire South, and allow us the benefit of observations based upon questions of fact, not upon criticism the result of sensation and prejudice.

Another of these references deals with the dismissal of Mr. Charles L. Barnes, respecting whom The Bee takes occasion to observe many qualifications and qualities of which the colored Democracy, although constantly and intimately associated with him, have not been able to discern.

As to the relationship existing between Bishop Walters and Mr. Barnes, as well as the efforts, it is alleged by The Bee, the Bishop is making on his behalf, we are at a loss to know where The Bee could possibly have gained such information.

Several instances are recalled in which the Bishop interceded on behalf of Mr. Barnes [?] this confidence seems to have been abused to the extent that patience have lost its virtue. The Democracy of the District of Columbia is unable to see how Mr. Barnes or anyone else, however important from a political standpoint, could reasonably expect to be retained in a position with glaring and gross neglect of duty.

We also note that The Bee would create an impression that Bishop Walters had severed his connection with the Democracy and had "given up hope."

It becomes our duty to advise that a recent conference with the Bishop disclosed the greatest optimism in the colored Democracy, and full confidence in the administration. We would also say for the information of The Bee that the resignation which seems to be the basis of his ill-guided reference only had to do with the local club, and was made temporarily persuant to the great amount of church work at this particular season and to give greater time for the more effective direction of national issues which affects our race. Our persuasion is that The Bee would with its wholesome infiuence in molding sentiment, do not only itself but also the Negro race at large an estimable service if it would give uable assistance to the courageous efforts of Bi who to my personal mate knowledge greatest humil ing efforts

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[stamp] THE WHITE HOUSE JUN 18 1913 RECEIVED

6 West 134th Street, New York City, June, 18-1913.

Assagd 6/16/13

152

Hon. J.P. Tumulty, Secretary to the President Washington, D.C.

Sir:-

As Secretary of the National Colored Demoeratic League and National Organizer of the League, I feel it my duty to direct your attention to a few interesting and to us vital facts, and I am sure you will pardon the obtrusion as the facts are revealed: Bishop Alexander Walters, Presdent of the National Colored Democratic League, is about to start on a trip to the Pacific coast, and had planned to hold enroute, several open air meetings discussing matters of interest to colored democrats primarily, and the colored voters of the country generally. I need not tell you, perhaps, that owing to the fact that no public recognition of the Administration's appreciation of the colored voter has been made in the distribution of patronage; that the Bishop will find it hard to interest colored voters in the Democratic Party, and extremely difficult to encourage men to espouse our cause. I am in persoal touch with the colored leaders of democracy throughout the country, in my official capacity, and I know, Mr. Secretary that the feeling is that the Administration is indifferent toward the colored people,politically, generally, and in the matter of patronage particularly. The situation is peculiarly embarrassing to the Bishop and to us all in that we, notwithstanding the fact that colored office holders have been replaced by white men and no colored men have been appointed to any place, have continually assured the colored people that the Administration is friendly and kind ly in its attitude towards us and that the faithful are to be rewarded. The Bishop has tried to make the people feel that the Administration has not and will not close the door of hope in their faces, but they cry, and shout SHOW US! SHOW US!! SHOW US!!!

The argument they introduce to sustain their position is: That the actual vacancies in the Liberian Mission, and that in the office of the Registry of the Treasury have not as yet been filled, so we we are and have been the laughing stock of the colored people generally and the colored Republican office holder-overs particularly. It has been told me that one of the Republican hold-overs said in a public speech before a large concourse of colored people a few days ago at Yonkers N.Y. that he had no sort of faith in the Administration and could see in every line of President Wilson's face hatred of the

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3.

I am satisfied that you are broad and generous enough to appreciate the spirit in which I have written you at such length.

With every good wish for the success of the Party, your health and that of the President's.

I beg the honor to subscribe myself,

Faithfully yours.

P.J. Smith Secy

P.S. I am sending a copy of this letter to Bishop Walters.

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2.

Negro and deep seated prejudice, and further said it made no difference to him,however he recieves his salary check every month, but we need hope for nothing good at the hands of this Administration.

You can imagine Mr. Secretary how we must have felt under such excoriating conditions, and the common talk is that if we get anything

it will be only the most servile and menial places. We are constantly being called traitors and being threatened with bodily harm, to say nothing of the vile epithets that are hurled at on every hand. I am telling you all this Mr. Secretary that you may be able to

appreciate, in a measure what we who have given the party service are having to face. I am having this heart to heart talk with you that you may know the exact situation, and help us to change the conditions. You can appreciate it as a very happy political stroke were the Bishop on his trip, which begins June 28th able to cite to the appointment of colored men to either of the vacancies mentioned if no other.

I am writing you because 1 feel that you will bring the matter to the attention of the President that he too may know of the humiliating position in which we are placed.

I need not tell you that unless some public recognition in the way of patronage is given us that it will be utterly impossible to for

us to keep the sympathy and interest of our friends and followers to

say nothing of being able to enlist men having no sympathy or interest in our cause. We are publically and frequently charged with having sold the Race into slavery and told that we ought to be beaten to death with clubs and forever despised by the colored people. When we try to show them wherein the President has been occupied with very important matters of State they come back with the argument: that the President has not been too busy to order the removal from office of colored men and replace them with white men etc.

Now I am sure if you will arrange for the Bishop to see the President before he leaves for the coast and take up this whole matter, or will make some appointment some where that he may cite to it will mean a great deal to our cause. The Democratic Party neds the colored vote in in the doubtful states Mr . Secretary.

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June 28, 1913

152

[stamp] THE WHITE HOUSE JUL 3 - 1913 RECEIVED

Hon. Joseph P. Tumulty, Secretary to The President.

Sir:

In accordance with a resolution adopted at a recent meeting of colored democrats in session at our National Headquarters, we beg to respectfully transmit the following statement and request concerning members of our Race who are sincerely interested in the welfare and continued success of the Democratic Party, and many of whom have been active in organizing and maintaining clubs for promulgating the ideals of Democracy and zealous in promoting the growth and triumph of the Democratic Party; eapecially in the East and West, our organizations have rendered valuable service to our leaders.

Heretofore the masses of colored voters have been almost unanimously misled by designing politicians professing the Republican faith, and who, with naught but selfish ends in view, have resorted to hypocritical methods calculated to prejudice the colored people against their best interests and against their best friends. In contending against this party of superficial ideals and misrepresentation, we have met stubborn re-sistance especially on the part of members of our own Race, many of whom (like Ephraim) are joined to their idol - the Republican Party, and (until properly enlightened and impressed) will remain the victims of its deceit. Our patriotic mission has been, (and will continue to be) - to bring about a proper conception of Democratic principles, policies, and ideals, on the part of members of our Race, and at least a rational division of their vote among the two leading political parties of our country. To this worthy end, we feel it not improper to respectfully ask your hearty and definite cooperation, for it is conceded that from 20 to 30% of of the colored vote was won to the Wilson-Marshall standard in the recent campaign through the diligent efforts of conscientious colored democrats who helped materially in bringing about the election of our present administration.

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___________________________191 -------Page 2-------

While our organization has not been, by any means, maintained as a job-getting or employment agency, not, a like all classes of faithful workers in the interest of a great political party, - since we have diligently labored and unflinchingly met the assaults, abuse, and criticism of our Republican opponents, we feel that we should now share some of the fruits of that great victory which our party has achieved.

Our party leaders may now render us great encouragement and vitally assist us in our future efforts toward enlarging the ranks of the colored democracy, by giving recogntion to worthy, bona fide, colored democrats who have served the party loyally in the past. To this end, and after careful consideration of the worth, character, and willingness to serve of each of the parties mentioned, we have taken the liberty to submit the enclosed list of faithful colored democrats, (all residing in Washington, D. C.) with the hope that you may be able to employ some of them at least in such positions (even as messengers, laborers, etc.) as it may be possible to appoint them; all of the names submitted are bona fide democrats and active members and workers of the Colored Democratic League.

Thanking you in advance for your kind and favorable action and reply, we have the honor to remain,

Yours most respectfully,

R. H. Underdown, President _______________________Chairman of Steering Committoee.

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LIST OF LOCAL COLORED DEMOCRATS RECOMMENDED BY THE COLORED DEMOCRATIC LEAGUE FOR EMPLOYMENT IN THE SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT: ***************************************************************************** NAME ........................................... ADDRESS (all Washington, D.C.)

Limas Houlhac, .............................. 654 Acker St. Raymond Wilkerson, ....................... 1427 Corcoran St., N. W. Charles J. Coles, .............................. 2118 K. St., N. W. W. C. Cody, ..................................... 2013 Vermont Ave., N. W. Arthur Summers, ............................ 1913 Vermont Ave., N. W. Amos W. Conrad, ............................ 1445 Swan St., N. W. Robert W. Johnson .......................... Colored Y.M.C.A.Building James Parker, ................................. 1452 Corcoron St., N. W. James E. Snood, .............................. 1704 Florida Avenue, N. W. W. T. Ferguson, ............................... 1420 Swan St., N. W. U. S. Maxwell, ................................. 1224 S. Street, N. W. John W. West, .................................. George E. Smith, ............................. 1530 Columbia St., N. W. W. H. Marshall, ............................... A. H. Underdown, ........................... 1742 Fourteenth St.N. W.

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[152]

[stamp]

Ferguson, W. T. Washington. June 30, 1913.

Application for appointment as special agent for the Industrial Commission.

Labor.

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ackgd 7/14/13

July 13th 1913

[stamp] THE WHITE HOUSE JUL 14 1913 RECEIVED

Hon. Joseph P. Tumulty. White House. Washington, D. C.

Colored # 152

Hon. Sir:--

In visiting the lodges of the above Order, which fall under my jurisdictions, I am questioned as to the Administration's attitude, towards the appointment of my people. The Republican press throughout the country have caused them no little degree of anxiety, and they knowing me as a leader, I am severely questioned on that point. I have tried to assure them of the Administration's good will, a letter from you along that line will highly encourage their hearts, and I believe be highly beneficial to the Party especially in New Jersey at this time.

Thanking you in advance for any cooperation in the matter. Believe me. I am

Sincerely Yours,

James H. Penn Grand Master.

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