Newest information on Mississippi murders involving African Americans and/or Mississippi politicians and leaders.
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After the murder of Emmett Till state officials began collecting "murder statistics" from every county sheriff.Bryant and Milam
were reported by Tallahatchie County as the murderers of Emmett Till (even thought they were acquitted and the murder took place in Sunflower County). Clinton Melton's murder was treated in the same way.
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"In a wrapup report, Ney M. Gore, Jr., Sovereignty Commission director, sent a Western Union telegram to Governor-elect J. P. Coleman that claimed 235 homicides took place in Mississippi during 1955
“... of which 159 were negroes killed by negroes, 4 were negroes killed by whites, 2 were whites killed by negroes, 36 were whites killed by whites, 6 were negroes killed by officers, 2 were whites killed by officers, 4 were whites put to death by legal institution, 4 were negroes put to death by legal institution, 1 was Indian killed by Indian, 1 was white killed by train.
".... There was 1 white suicide and 1 negro suicide, 5 white homicides are unsolved, 3 negro homicides are unsolved, 6 are still being investigated.
"Coleman, still serving as Attorney General, asked Dr. R. H. Whitfield of Mississippi’s Bureau of Vital Statistics to provide the homicide data, as well, noting at the end of his letter: 'In light of recent unfortunate developments in our State, I think this information may turn out to be of the most important value.'
"The new governor reached back into the days before the Civil War to end his letter on this note: 'A lot of people do not know that a negro was the first person killed by John Brown when he made his raid on Harper’s Ferry, and the South has been the victim of distorted publicity ever since.'”
Excerpt from "Where Rebels Roost"
M. Susan Klopfer copyright 2005
Available June 28, http://themiddleoftheinternet.com/bookorder.html