MoboReader> Literature > Kelly Miller's History of the World War for Human Rights

   Chapter 30 VICTORY—PEACE.

Kelly Miller's History of the World War for Human Rights By Kelly Miller Characters: 201163

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:04

The German Empire Collapses-Foch's Strategy Wins-American Inspiration a Big Factor-Bulgaria, Turkey and Austria Quit War-Monarchs Fall-- Kaiser Abdicates and Flees Germany-Armistice Signed-November 11, Peace.

Then came the fall of autocracy-

Victory! Peace!

With a crash that echoed around the world the autocratic governmental structure builded by the Kaiser and his forebears gave way and came tumbling to the earth in ruins on Monday, November 11, 1918.

The most momentous event in ages had come to pass and victory was perched upon the banner of democracy.

Out of the sacrifice of millions of lives, the desolation of homes and countries, the expenditure of untold energy and incomprehensible billions of dollars in money, there came everlasting, glorious peace.

The great German Empire lay a wreck, given into the hands of the people for remaking, and the arrogant Emperor William Hohenzollern had fled into Holland, and his example was imitated by the Crown Prince.


The end came swiftly and with dramatic action. Beaten back by the Allied forces, which gathered strength and inspiration from the irresistible American troops, the German army weakened all along the line from Holland to the Swiss border. The press of power exerted against the German strongholds on every side was felt within the domains and produced internal strife and dissension which undermined and weakened the military organization. Taking full advantage of this situation, the Allied forces on every side quickened and intensified their blows.

The brilliant strategy of Marshal Foch, generalissimo of the Allied armies, brought defeat to the Germans in less than four months. After bringing to an end the German advance of March 21 to July 18 with the second battle of the Marne, he compelled a hurried retirement to the Hindenburg line with the evacuation of practically all the territory conquered by the Huns.

Finally, in what may be termed the last phase of the war, he absolutely demoralized the German forces. The thrust in this phase was started by the Anglo-Belgian forces in Flanders and the Franco-American armies in Lorraine on September 26.

The British also made a gigantic and brilliant drive between Cambrai and St. Quentin. The whole colossal defense system of the Germans was shattered and in less than three months more than 100,000 German prisoners and 5,000 guns were taken and 8,000 square miles of French and Belgian territory liberated.


Not only was there great victory on the west, but in Syria the British army broke the power of Turkey and liberated Syria, Mesopotamia and Arabia. In Macedonia, too, an army made up of soldiers of many nations under a French command compelled the surrender of Bulgaria and her withdrawal, and swept the last vestige of German control from the Balkans.

On the Austrian front likewise the Italian army, strengthened and heartened by the presence of American and Allied forces, swept the Austrians before them in one of the most picturesque offensives of the war, capturing more than 300,000 prisoners and great quantities of guns and supplies.

This in brief is the way the German command was driven to a point of seeking peace to prevent the invasion of their territory.

The brilliant assaults of the various units and commands of the Allies at points along the entire 200 miles of western front will go down in history a wonderful military achievement.


One of the wonderful attacks was that of the American First Army under General Pershing, when St. Mihiel salient was annihilated. This salient for four years resisted all efforts to penetrate it and stood a guardian to great iron fields running through the Basin de Briey to the Belgian-Luxemburg frontier. It formed a strong outpost to the fortified city of Metz, with its twenty-eight forts, and made impossible the invasion of German Lorraine from the west.

The offensive of General Pershing was one of the most carefully planned of the war. More than 1,000 tanks were operated to open the way for the infantry and cavalry. A greater force of airplanes than were ever concentrated in a single attack menaced the Germans overhead and in a week the Americans encompassed a territory of 200 square miles and threatened the mining center and the forts of Metz, capturing 20,000 prisoners and hundreds of guns and great quantities of ammunition. Moreover, the Verdun-Nancy railway was released.

Support was brought to the Germans and they stubbornly resisted, but many points were gained and held by the Americans.


Another corps of the First American Army, in command of General Hunter Liggett, also made a brilliant attack between the Meuse and Aisne rivers east of Rheims on a front twenty miles long, where the crack Prussian Guards were routed. Here in one of the most bitterly contested battles of the closing days the Americans made an important advance, capturing half a dozen villages.

As at Chateau-Thierry, the Americans in the face of withering fire and against all the instruments of modern warfare handled by the best soldiers in Germany, fought their way through with a bravery that won for them the praises of the highest commands in the French and British armies, as well as from General Pershing.

At the very close of the struggle the Americans arose to the heights of sublime heroism in crossing the river Meuse, capturing the town of Dun and later the town of Sedan, famous as one of the scenes of bitter fighting in the Franco-Prussian War.


The Americans forced their way across a 160-foot river, a stretch of mud flats and a 60-foot canal in the face of terrible fire. Men who could swim breasted the stream carrying ropes, which were stretched from bank to bank and along which those who could not swim made their way over the river. Some crossed in collapsible boats, others on rafts and finally on pontoon and foot bridges, which were constructed under the enemy fire.

This difficult feat accomplished, the men waded through mud to the canal, fighting as they went, and again plunged into the water, swimming the canal, at the far side of which they were compelled to use grappling hooks and scaling irons to mount the perpendicular banks of the canal, along which were the resisting Germans. And finally, when the German Empire fell, famed Sedan was in the hands of the Americans. With the last forward movement they took possession of Stenay when hostilities ceased.

The part the American soldiers played in winning the war, merely as a matter of increased man power, is indicated by the fact that when the end came there were 2,900,000 men in the forces abroad.


The failure of the German submarine warfare and the ability of the British, French and American naval forces to protect troop ships and permit the landing of as high as 200,000 soldiers in France in a single month, had much to do with discouraging the German command.

The withdrawal of Bulgaria on September 27 and her unconditional surrender to the Allies was a distinct blow to Germany. The abdication of King Ferdinand in favor of Crown Prince Boris was shortly followed by the surrender and withdrawal of Turkey, which further weakened Germany's position, and peace offers were made by both Austria and by Germany.

Austria sought a separate peace, but Germany, seeing the handwriting on the wall, asked for an armistice through Prince Maximilian of Baden, who had succeeded Count Von Hertling as Chancellor. But while agreeing to accept as a basis of peace the points established by President Wilson as necessary to an agreement, Germany's military forces continued their ruthless and barbaric warfare.

President Wilson submitted a set of questions to the German Government to ascertain the sincerity and purpose of the request and finally brought the matter to an issue by declaring that nothing short of a complete surrender would suffice and that further negotiations must be taken up with the Allied command.

Meantime King Boris of Bulgaria abdicated and the Government was taken over by the people. This was followed by the surrender of Austria on November 8 and the abdication of the Emperor Charles.


Austria in her surrender agreed to the immediate suspension of hostilities, the demobilization of the army of Austro-Hungary and the withdrawal of all forces from the North Sea to Switzerland, the evacuation of all territories invaded, the evacuation of all German troops from Austro-Hungarian territory and the Italian and Balkan fronts, as well as the surrender of fifteen submarines and all German submarines in Austro-Hungarian territorial waters, together with thirty-four warships, and also the repatriation of all prisoners of war.

With her forces demoralized and Bulgaria, Turkey and Austria out of the war and her power broken in Russia, Germany was driven to the necessity of accepting terms submitted by the Allies as the basis of peace as outlined by President Wilson.


Thus came peace after fifty-two continuous months of fighting, in which it is estimated that nearly 10,000,000 were killed and that there were about 27,000,000 casualties, while $200,000,000 were expended by the combined nations.

America's casualties were 236,117, divided as follows: Killed and died of wounds, 36,154; died of disease, 14,811; died from unassigned causes, 2,204; wounded, 179,625; missing, 1,160, and prisoners, 2,163.

England by contrast had 658,665 killed, 2,032,122 wounded and 359,145 missing and prisoners during the four years, while Italy had about 1,600,000 casualties; France, 3,500,000; Belgium, 400,000; Rumania, 200,000, and Russia, 6,000,000. All told, twenty-eight nations, with a total population of approximately 1,600,000,000, or nearly eleven-twelfths of the human race, were involved in the world struggle at the close.


I. Military Clauses on Western Front:

One-Cessation of operations by land and in the air six hours after the signature of the armistice.

Two-Immediate evacuation of invaded countries: Belgium, France, Alsace-Lorraine, Luxemburg, so ordered as to be completed within fourteen days from the signature of the armistice. German troops which have not left the above-mentioned territories within the period fixed will become prisoners of war. Occupation by the Allied and United States forces jointly will keep pace with evacuation in these areas. All movements of evacuation and occupation will be regulated in accordance with a note annexed to the stated terms.

Three-Repatriation beginning at once and to be completed within fourteen days of all inhabitants of the countries above mentioned, including hostages and persons under trial or convicted.

Four-Surrender in good condition by the German armies of the following equipment: Five thousand guns (two thousand five hundred heavy, two thousand five hundred field) thirty thousand machine guns. Three thousand minenwerfers. Two thousand airplanes (fighters, bombers-firstly D. Seventy-three's and night bombing machines). The above to be delivered in situ to the allies and the United States troops in accordance with the detailed conditions laid down in the annexed note.

Five-Evacuation by the German armies of the countries on the left bank of the Rhine. These countries on the left bank of the Rhine shall be administered by the local authorities under the control of the Allied and United States armies of occupation. The occupation of these territories will be determined by Allied and United States garrisons holding the principal crossings of the Rhine, Mayence, Coblenz, Cologne, together with bridgeheads at these points in thirty kilometre radius on the right bank and by garrisons similarly holding the strategic points of the regions.

A neutral zone shall be reserved on the right of the Rhine between the stream and a line drawn parallel to it forty kilometres (twenty-six miles) to the east from the frontier of Holland to the parallel of Gernsheim and as far as practicable a distance of thirty kilometres (twenty miles) from the east of stream from this parallel upon Swiss frontier. Evacuation by the enemy of the Rhine lands shall be so ordered as to be completed within a further period of eleven days, in all nineteen days after the signature of the armistice. All movements of evacuation and occupation will be regulated according to the note annexed.

Six-In all territory evacuated by the enemy there shall be no evacuation of inhabitants; no damage or harm shall be done to the persons or property of the inhabitants. No destruction of any kind to be committed. Military establishments of all kinds shall be delivered intact as well as military stores of food, munitions, equipment not removed during the periods fixed for evacuation. Stores of food of all kinds for the civil population, cattle, etc., shall be left in situ. Industrial establishments shall not be impaired in any way and their personnel shall not be moved. Roads and means of communication of every kind, railroad, waterways, main roads, bridges, telegraphs, telephones, shall be in no manner impaired.

Seven-All civil and military personnel at present employed on them shall remain. Five thousand locomotives, fifty thousand wagons and ten thousand motor lorries in good working order with all necessary spare parts and fittings shall be delivered to the associated powers within the period fixed for the evacuation of Belgium and Luxemburg. The railways of Alsace-Lorraine shall be handed over within the same period, together with all pre-war personnel and material. Further material necessary for the working of railways in the country on the left bank of the Rhine shall be left in situ. All stores of coal and material for the upkeep of permanent ways, signals and repair shops left entire in situ and kept in an efficient state by Germany during the whole period of armistice. All barges taken from the Allies shall be restored to them. A note appended regulates the details of these measures.

Eight-The German command shall be responsible for revealing all mines or other acting fuses disposed on territory evacuated by the German troops and shall assist in their discovery and destruction. The German command shall also reveal all destructive measures that may have been taken (such as poisoning or polluting of springs, wells, etc.) under penalty of reprisals.

Nine-The right of requisition shall be exercised by the Allied and the United States armies in all occupied territory. The upkeep of the troops of occupation in the Rhine land (excluding Alsace-Lorraine), shall be charged to the German Government.

Ten-An immediate repatriation without reciprocity according to detailed conditions which shall be fixed, of all Allied and United States prisoners of war. The Allied powers and the United States shall be able to dispose of these prisoners as they wish.

Eleven-Sick and wounded, who can not be removed from evacuated territory will be cared for by German personnel who will be left on the spot with the medical material required.

II. Disposition Relative to the Eastern Frontiers of Germany:

Twelve-All German troops at present in any territory which before the war belonged to Russia, Rumania or Turkey shall withdraw within the frontiers of Germany as they existed on August 1, 1914.

Thirteen-Evacuation by German troops to begin at once and all German instructors, prisoners and civilian as well as military agents, now on the territory of Russia (as defined before 1914) to be recalled.

Fourteen-German troops to cease at once all requisitions and seizures and any other undertaking with a view to obtaining supplies intended for Germany in Rumania and Russia (as defined on August 1, 1914).

Fifteen-Abandonment of the treaties of Bucharest and Brest-Litovsk and of the supplementary treaties.

Sixteen-The Allies shall have free access to the territories evacuated by the Germans on their eastern frontier either through Danzig or by the Vistula in order to convey supplies to the population of those territories or for any other purpose.

III. Clause Concerning East Africa:

Seventeen-Unconditional capitulation of all German forces operating in East Africa within one month.

IV. General Clauses:

Eighteen-Repatriation, without reciprocity, within maximum period of one month, in accordance with detailed conditions hereafter to be fixed, of all civilians interned or deported who may be citizens of other Allied or associated states than those mentioned in clause three, paragraph nineteen, with the reservation that any future claims and demands of the Allies and the United States of America remain unaffected.

Nineteen-The following financial conditions are required: Reparation for damage done. While such armistice lasts no public securities shall be removed by the enemy which can serve as a pledge to the Allies for the recovery or repatriation for war losses. Immediate restitution of the cash deposit, in the National Bank of Belgium, and in general immediate return of all documents, specie, stocks, shares, paper money, together with plant for the issue thereof, touching public or private interests in the invaded countries. Restitution of the Russian and Rumanian gold yielded to Germany or taken by that power. This gold to be delivered in trust to the Allies until the signature of peace.

V. Naval Conditions:

Twenty-Immediate cessation of all hostilities at sea and definite information to be given as to the location and movements of all German ships. Notification to be given to neutrals that freedom of navigation in all territorial waters is given to the naval and mercantile marines of the allied and associated powers, all questions of neutrality being waived.

Twenty-one-All naval and mercantile marine prisoners of war of the Allied and associated powers in German hands to be returned without reciprocity.

Twenty-two-Surrender to the Allies and the United States of America of one hundred and sixty German submarines (including all submarine cruisers and mine laying submarines) with their complete armament and equipment in ports which will be specified by the Allies and the United States of America. All other submarines to be paid off and completely disarmed and placed under the supervision of the Allied Powers and the United States of America.

Twenty-three-The following German surface warships which shall be designated by the Allies and the United States of America shall forthwith be disarmed and thereafter interned in neutral ports to be designated by the Allies and the United States of America and placed under the surveillance of the Allies and the United States of America, only caretakers being left on board, namely:

Six battle cruisers, ten battleships, eight light cruisers, including two mine layers, fifty destroyers of the most modern type. All other surface warships (including river craft) are to be concentrated in naval bases to be designated by the Allies and the United States of America, and are to be paid off and completely disarmed and placed under the supervision of the Allies and the United States of America. All vessels of auxiliary fleet (trawlers, motor vessels, etc.), are to be disarmed.

Twenty-four-The Allies and the United States of America shall have the right to sweep all mine fields and obstructions laid by Germany outside German territorial waters, and the positions of these are to be indicated.

Twenty-five-Freedom of access to and from the Baltic to be given to the naval and mercantile marine of the Allied and associated powers. To secure this the Allies and the United States of America shall be empowered to occupy all German forts, fortifications, batteries and defense works of all kinds in all the entrances from the Cattegat into the Baltic, and to sweep up all mines and obstructions within and without German territorial waters without any question of neutrality being raised, and the positions of all such mines and obstructions are to be indicated.

Twenty-six-The existing blockade conditions set up by the Allies and associated powers are to remain unchanged, and all German merchant ships found at sea are to remain liable to capture.

Twenty-seven-All naval aircraft are to be concentrated and immobilized in German bases to be specified by the Allies and the United States of America.

Twenty-eight-In evacuating the Belgian coasts and ports, Germany shall abandon all merchant ships, tugs, lighters, cranes and all other harbor materials, all materials for inland navigation, all aircraft and all materials and stores, all arms and armaments, and all stores and apparatus of all kinds.

Twenty-nine-All Black Sea ports are to be evacuated by Germany, all Russian war vessels of all descriptions seized by Germany in the Black Sea are to be handed over to the Allies and the United States of America; all neutral merchant vessels seized are to be released; all warlike and other materials of all kinds seized in those parts are to be returned and German materials as specified in clause twenty-eight are to be abandoned.

Thirty-All merchant vessels in German hands belonging to the Allied and associated powers are to be restored in ports to be specified by the Allies and the United States of America without reciprocity.

Thirty-one-No destruction of ships or of materials to be permitted before evacuation, surrender or restoration.

Thirty-two-The German Government will notify neutral Governments of the world, and particularly the Governments of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Holland, that all restrictions placed on the trading of their vessels with the Allied and associated countries, whether by the German Government or by private German interests, and whether in return for specific concessions such as the export of shipbuilding materials or not, are immediately cancelled.

Thirty-three-No transfers of German merchant shipping of any description to any neutral flag are to take place after signature of the armistice.

VI. Duration of Armistice:

Thirty-four-The duration of the armistice is to be thirty days, with option to extend. During this period, on failure of execution of any of the above clauses, the armistice may be denounced by one of the contracting parties on forty-eight hours' previous notice.

VII. Time Limit for Reply:

Thirty-five-This armistice to be accepted or refused by Germany within seventy-two hours of notification.

* * *



Civilization evolves destructive forces of change. War is change in explosive form. World notions, points of view, and general ideas of 1914 have spun the cycle of years with accelerated speed. At that time the public mind gained its concept of the Negro from encyclopaedic information. He was regarded as a "sub-species of mankind, dark of skin, wooly of hair, long of head, with dilated nostrils, thick lips, thicker cranium, flat foot, prehensile great toe and larkheel."

He was described as a creature with "mental constitution very similar to that of the child, on a lower evolutionary plane than the white man, and more closely related to the highest anthropoids." His brain weight, we were told, was 35 ounces as compared with the gorilla's 20 ounces and the Caucasian's 45.

In America, conception of the Negro has ever fluctuated in direct ratio to the rise and fall of military domination of the affairs of the republic. Whenever the military agencies of the government have been exalted, the Negro has been benefited by reaction of the public mind. From 1865 to 1870 exaltation of the military element of American life brought along not only emancipation of the black man, but that conception of him which resulted in the conferring of manhood rights and privileges. In this short space of five years, so highly had the Negro come into public estimation that, with the protection of the military arm of the government, there were actively engaged in his interest an Emancipation League, a Freedmen's Pension Society, a Freedmen and Soldiers' Relief, a Freedmen's Aid Society of the M.E. Church, a Society of Friends of Great Britain and Ireland for the Relief of Emancipated Slaves of America, an American Missionary Association, a Freedmen's Bureau, a Freedmen's Bank, a British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, an American Negro Aid Commission, and other organizations, too numerous for mention. So important, however, was military organization and predominance to the success of any one of these organizations, that Carl Schurz, reporting to Congress the condition of the South, declared: "If the national government firmly and unequivocally announces its policy not to give up the control of free labor reform until it is firmly accomplished, the progress of the reform will be far more rapid and far less difficult than it will be if the attitude of the government is such as to permit contrary hopes to be indulged in."

In 1870, as the military power of the United States weakened its control over the nation, forces of opposition arose to pull down to the depths the black man, who had been exalted by the agencies of military government. The Ku Klux Klan, headed by the Grand Wizard of the Invisible Empire, and the Grand Dragon of the Realm, with malignant fanaticism worshipped the lost cause. Hatred of white man for Negro, accentuated and embittered by hatred for the Yankee carpet-bagger and the southern scalawag, resulted in the rise of a powerful southern partisanship, stunned only so long as military power held sway. Peonage took place of colored free labor. Disproportionate appropriation of taxes between blacks and whites lowered the Negro measurably year by year. With the complete removal of military supremacy, the Ku Klux courted publicity which it had hitherto shunned. A leader, the statesman of the new era, in the person of the late Benjamin R. Tillman, of South Carolina, appeared. He split the loose organization of southern aristocracy with the blacks with lily white wedge, and trampled into dust every agency which favored the black man. He deprived the black of all weapons of offence or defence, disfranchised him, shunted him off into the ghetto, and called the world to mock him in his lowly position. This southern statesman lived to see the Solid South come into national power in 1912. From that time, until the beginning of the world war in 1914, the American negro reached the lowest point of his political and social status.

Compared with Anglo-Saxon, Frenchman, Italian, Austrian, German or Russian, he was of an order and degree reputed farthest down. No celebrity attached to his menial state. No distinction might be his as an award from the courts of nations. Dignity, grandeur and majesty applied to Guelphs, Hapsburgs and Hohenzollerns. Theirs was all arrogation of supereminence. And to them all, the Negro, throughout the world, was, if a man at all, pre-eminently the mere Man Friday.

From such a status of debasement, existing in an intolerable atmosphere of derogation and disrepute, the humble and humiliated American Negro sought the exaltation of international honor. Denied and disavowed at home, through vicissitude of international war, he hoped for affirmation of a new world dictum in acknowledgment of his human qualities and worth. He did not, like Toussaint, long for the high honors of the continental emperor. He sought democratic equality, and he would as lief think of bringing the Kaiser to his level as exalting himself to the plane of that immortal celebrity.

He wanted to make good in public. He wanted to demonstrate both efficiency and initiative. He desired that popular belief conceive him as a man, not a monkey. He wished the Caucasian world to take into its head that he might function as a valuable and serviceable element of twentieth century civilization. He yearned to reveal his powers in every field of endeavor. And he expected that when the Caucasian had arrived at a fair judgment in his behalf, he would issue to him the warrant certifying that he was four-square with the dominant opinion of mankind, and, therefore, entitled to the honors of superior status.

He aimed to compensate the world by presenting a concept of beauty in place of a general notion of repellent ugliness. Instead of being regarded as a "Hottentot with clicking palate, whom the meanest of the rest look down upon for all his glimmering language and spirituality," he wished the world to find in him fitness for survival, conformity with civilization's ideal, example of the world philosophy of forbearance, human relationships, symmetry and poise in adaptation to the world's tasks, and moderation in respect of the higher laws, whose harmonies order and rectify all creation.

He sought to neutralize the misteachings of Adam Smith, of Darwin and Defoe. Smith's "Wealth of Nations" presumed the material debasement of darker peoples of colonial populations, or, in lieu thereof, such debasement of Slav, Serf or Serbian as would compensate the vanity of the superior people. Indirectly, Darwin taught, that the Negro closely approached the missing link between the savage beast and the human. Defoe delighted the world with a picture of the ideal economic status for the maintenance of white superiority over black man. These ideas the Negro wished to topple over.

He felt it necessary to repudiate the indoctrination of racial hatred proclaimed throughout the world by "The Birth of a Nation." He set over against it the reception by all civilization of the Booker T. Washington life story. He wished to substitute recognition of worth in place of the things that debase and make ashamed.

His great puzzle was the Anglo-Saxon, cold, austere and uncomplaisant. This Caucasian, fair of skin, with smooth and wavy hair, small cheekbones and elevated forehead, appeared a worshipful master whose station, under God, was of preordained and predestined eminence. Occupying Eurasia from the Channel to the Ganges, together with the most favored portions of Africa and America, he was the author and agency for law and order for the world. St. Augustine, first archbishop and lawgiver of Canterbury, himself of African descent, the son of Monica and Patricius of Carthage, had left the Anglo-Saxon from semi-barbarism to his position of world renown. Would this Anglo-Saxon ever degrade the sons of women of Africa?

The Negro's next puzzle was the French, urbane, amenable and suave. Negro emotions and French sensibilities mingled even without recourse to the vehicle of language. Imbued with all the finer Latin qualities and characteristics, the French ever invited the black man to a social world which the Anglo-Saxon denied him. E.W. Lightner, writing as a war correspondent, says:

"Long previous to the war thousands of blacks from various States of Africa were in France, most especially Paris, at the universities, in business and in the better ranges of service. Everywhere and by all sorts and conditions of whites, they were treated as equals. During several visits to the French capital I, an American, knowing full well the prejudices of whites of this country against the race, was amazed to see the cordial mingling of all phases of the cosmopolitan population of the French capital. Refined white men promenaded the streets with refined black women, and the two races mingled cordially in studies, industries and athletic sports. White and black artists had ateliers in common in the Latin quarter...."

Thus, at hob and nob with the civilities and honors and embraces of this social life, the Negro felt an unaccustomed giddiness seize him. This giddiness was not caused by lack of social poise, nor incited by the French, but it arose from the dilemma, or rather peril, in which the French intercourse placed him with relation to the adjustment of darker races to Anglo-Saxon civilization.

Nevertheless in 1914, the approach to this court of honour and equality must be made by the Negro-and made under restraint sufficient to assure Anglo-Saxon approval. This was, indeed, a complex problem. Traducers proclaimed his undeveloped capacities; he answered with a claim of long repressed aptitudes. They spoke of intolerable coalescence; he claimed that the times demanded imperative coexistence. They said he had no soul; he claimed the over-soul. They asserted his lecherous character; he referred to statistics. But when they claimed he was pro-German, he stripped for action. World war, and France, prostrate amid its terrors, offered the Negro the great opportunity of the centuries to refute the broadcast propaganda of his enemies.

Beyond the French appeared the German, ungainly, acrimonious and obdurate. Part Saxon, part Hun, part Vandal and Visigoth, a creature of blood and iron, he utilized every force of nature to exterminate his enemies. The Negro knew how to exploit none of nature's elemental energies. But he did know that he could learn how by seizing and mastering the weapons of the enemy.

Of the energies of earth he lacked both scientific mastery and the weapons which give them offensive power and direction. Of the air he lacked all control. Fire he utilized only for purposes of cooking food, but not for the development of machinery of warfare. He has no vessel upon all the seven seas. To seize and master and utilize these energies appeared a thankless job, albeit a necessary one. He voted a grim "Aye."

This is the wreath presented by the Ford-Darney Orchestra in memory of Lieutenant Jimmy Europe, leader of the famous Jazz band which won its laurels with the 369th Infantry in France. His funeral took place from St. Mark's Church in West 53rd St.

The body of Lieutenant Jimmy Europe who died suddenly this week is here seen being carried from St. Mark's Church. Europe was the leader of the famous Jazz band which won its laurels with the 369th Infantry in France.



Scene immediately after the murder of the Archduke and Archduchess of Austria in the streets of Sarajevo, Bosnia. The arrest of Gavrio Princip, the murderer.


A soldier's equipment consists of a great number of articles, skillfully packed so that they make a small bundle, considering the number of articles. The kit includes a blanket, rifle, bayonet, kit bag, cartridge belt, canteen, pan, plate, knife, fork, spoon, tent spikes, rubber blanket and other miscellaneous articles. The photo shows three views-side, front and back, with equipment attached.


This remarkable photograph taken during the Peace Conference at Paris shows President Wilson and President Poincare in the center background (directly underneath the clock). Seated next to Mr. Wilson is Secretary of State Lansing. Next to President Poincare at the right are seated Lloyd George, Balfour and Bonar Law. At the long table to the left of the photo we see seated Clemenceau, Pichon and Marshal Foch.


United States soldiers, carrying the Stars and Stripes and Regimental Standard, passed cheering crowds at the head of a National army command that marched through London on May 11th, 1918.


This photograph was taken at the State, War and Navy Building, just after they had called on Secretary of War Baker. Joffre stands on the lower step in the centre of the picture.


This is a late photograph of the commander of the British armies in France.


This picture shows the portraits and headdress of representative fighters now engaged in the European war.


Scene on the day British troops entered Bapaume, a French city evacuated by the Germans in their retreat to the Hindenburg line. Cheerful British soldiers are seen in a street.


They are on the heels of the Germans. The photograph shows how the town was wrecked by the Germans before they evacuated.


French army horses wearing gas masks, which look at first sight like oat bags. They are used when the animals have to cross a gas zone in drawing the shell wagons to the batteries.


This man is being taken over mountainous regions, and the method of transportation has been devised in order to minimize the shock.


Sailors spelling the word "VICTORY" with flags.

Sighting through the 40 power telescope on the U.S.S. Pennsylvania. Objects at great distances are clearly distinguished through this telescope.


They are from the H.M.S. Roxburgh, and took part in welcoming the arrival of Gen. Joffre in New York City


French Jackies, for the first time in the United States, learn all the delights of the great American drink, the Ice Cream Soda.


Wardroom Steward, U.S.N. Lost when U.S.A.C.T. TICONDEROGA was torpedoed and sunk September 30, 1918.


Wardroom Officer's Steward, U.S.N. Lost when U.S.A.C.T. TICONDEROGA was torpedoed and sunk September 30, 1918.


Mess Attendant U.S.N. Lost on U.S.S. CYCLOPS, June 14, 1918.


Water Tender, U.S.N. 909 N. 5th St., Richmond, Va.


Mess Attendant, 1c, U.S.N. Fell overboard and drowned, U.S.S. OZARK, July 25, 1918.


Cabin Steward U.S.N. Lost when Liberty Boat capsized, U.S.S. LANSDALE. December 6, 1918.

In doing so, he accepted the challenge of no mere enigma. Of his own volition, he entered upon the path that led through untrod and dangerous ground. It was his problem to cut the Gordian knot of Anglo-Saxon icy reserve that in the end fair England might assume as a policy of world administration the award of citizenship rights to the darker races in the sphere of influence of the league of civilized nations. It was a part of this problem to enter the equation with such deliberate caution as to upset no part of the nicely calculated adjustments of white to darker peoples. And it was also a part of his problem that he should not relinquish his grasp upon the factors that led to honor, recognition and equality.

Germany was indignant as the Negro sought entry to the war. The South was sensitive. The North was quizzical. The whole world was hesitant. The too ardent favor which the Negro found in France gave offence to both America and England. Indeed, for the Negro to lift himself too rapidly by his own bootstraps would have offended England, whose law prohibited emigration of foreign Negroes to South Africa. And it would also offend America, strangely jealous of any sign of unwanted assertiveness the Negro might display. The Negro accepted the challenge to penetrate this maze and labyrinth, with no surety, save God's good grace, of the fate that lay beyond.

To attain the goal of Recognition, it was necessary for him to demand of the people of England, France and Italy, that he be made subject to every test calculated to reveal his worth or inferiority as an individual, business, political or social equal of the allied peoples. The goal of Honor, he had attained in every war waged by America. He was with Jackson at New Orleans, a pioneer in the Mexican struggle, 200,000 strong in the great civil crisis, the acme of terror to Geronimo in the later Indian wars, the hero of San Juan in the Spanish-American combat, and at Carrizal in the latest Mexican imbroglio. By 1914, however, he had lost all rewards of honor which he had previously won. As for Equality, since the Civil War, he had been guaranteed this goal by three amendments to the Constitution of the United States. These forgotten amendments read in part:

"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction....

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws....

"Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State....

"The right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude."

America of 1914 was prone to look upon this part of the Constitution as a mere scrap of paper. From what point of vantage might the Negro hope for Honor, Recognition and Equality at the hands of the allied governments?

Land of the free and home of the brave, America is assumed to be so openhearted, munificent and princely, so liberal and so generous that could she but behold a man, of whatever hue, trampled in the mire, or hear his piteous cry, she would hasten to his aid and deliver him. So much does she admire genuine human worth that a man of heart and spirit and fortitude cannot perish while she is nigh at hand. Such, at least, is the assumption.

From the debasement of industrial serfdom, the black workman wished the American people of 1914 to stop the trend of their strenuous existence and behold him ... and test him ... and proclaim him. He not only wished to be given a free field and a fair chance to work at the same job, for the same wage, during the same hours, and under the same conditions as the white workman, but he was ready to contend for all of the industrial privileges.

The black man of business not only wished to enter into business competition with members of the Caucasian race under the same conditions as customarily pertain to such arrangements, but he was eagerly hoping to insure adjustment of this situation. The black social outcast wished "jim-crow" railway accommodations and signs proclaiming inequality of race to disappear. He wished sufficient education to enable him to develop his own society. He, too, was willing for a world war, for he had come to the point where he desired immediate and explosive change. Looked down upon because of his despised blood, the black American wished to elevate the status of his womankind, too long disproved and betrayed, to the level of free and brave womanhood of all the civilized world. Concerning this situation he was grim. It required but a spark applied here to explode with terrific outburst the sinister silence of the volcano.

But in India, in South Africa, in Nigeria, and in all countries where English rule held sway, England was committed to the policy of the white overseer or foreman for the black exponent of industry. Nor could she, save through war, adopt a policy of employing either Indians or Africans at the same job and for the same wage as that received by members of the British Labor Party. On the other hand, France, whose political life was convulsed from 1894 to 1899 by principles of racial prejudice exhibited in the Dreyfus case, offered every form of equality to the darker races under her dominion. However, such equality offered by France was not equal in the sum total of advantage to the partial equality which the Negro received in America. The French workman gave more hours of toil for less monetary reward. The Negro wanted to bring the French principle of equality to apply in American industry. But the British in 1914 could not agree to industrial equality for black men. Such agreement would upset the nicely calculated economic adjustments of the English system. America would take no step until forced to do so.

It was the problem of the Negro, alone and single-handed, to grasp the opportunity afforded by world war to bring America to this point of recognition and democratic equality. The Negro, hitherto regarded as the monkey-man, the baby race, the black brute, trained by such ruthless propaganda to disrespect himself, hesitated.

There was no leadership. No ringleader arrayed the mob. No chief appeared. No captain called the hosts. No generalissimo marshalled the black phalanx. No statesman sought entanglement in the meshes of the negro labyrinth. But the Negro proposition for a test of Negro fitness, like Topsy, "just growed." The young Negro possessed the clear eye to see the situation. College trained, his vision was not blinded by proximity to issues of the Civil War, nor by financial dependence, nor by excessive spirituality. The elder Negro possessed the oratorical and linguistic powers to state the case. Also college trained, of long experience, possessing a widespread oratorical clientele, he spoke with a voice that stirred and played upon the heartstrings of all America. Never was such a proposition advanced where men, old and young, despised and rejected, penniless and without credit, without acclaimed leadership or champion, sought position of honor and recognition and equality beside the best fighting forces of the world to help defeat the greatest military machine that hell had ever invented.

Capital and labor, in previous years, had found the Negro wanting. State governments had utilized him for the purpose of increasing taxes and court fees. The national government always handled him in accordance with political expediency, despite his unswerving loyalty. Capital, labor, State government and national government had brought the Negro so low that he was ready in 1914 for any form of relief.

The Negro was ready for change, for one reason, because he had lost the honor of ministership to Haiti, Henry W. Furniss being succeeded by a white man. He was ready for change because, as the continental war proceeded, it became evident that though America might participate, her black colonel, Charles Denton Young, a graduate of West Point, and a distinguished soldier, might receive recognition as the leader of black forces on foreign soil. He was ready for change because it appeared that there had been agreement that no American Negro should participate in a test of world equality upon the field of world honor and renown.

In the American Navy Department, in 1914, time had destroyed the wake of Negro tradition, and the log had been deleted. The Negro has rendered honorable service in the navy. He was with Perry on Lake Erie. During the Civil War, Robert Smalls, a Negro, single-handed, stole the Union cruiser "Planter" from Charleston harbor and brought her into a Union port. Half the men who accompanied Hobson into Santiago harbor were Negroes. Matt Henson was the only man with Peary at the Pole. John Jordan fired the first shot from Dewey's flagship "Olympia," opening the battle of Manila. The Negro wanted change because in 1914 the naval administration reluctantly offered Negroes positions as messmen and cooks. No seamen, no members of the merchant marine, no petty officers, no lieutenants, might apply.

In the American Treasury Department, an ex-Senator of the United States, a colored man, Blanche K. Bruce of Mississippi, was honored by having created for him the office of register of the treasury. Subsequently the honor was conferred as a political favor upon Judson W. Lyons, of Georgia; William T. Vernon, of Kansas, and J.C. Napier, of Tennessee. The democratic executive was good enough to offer this position, created as a direct result of the Negro's activities during and after the Civil War, to Adam E. Patterson, of Oklahoma. But so great was the pressure from opposing political forces that the name was withdrawn and another position of honor lost to the race. Ralph W. Tyler, auditor of the navy, resigned his position in 1912. A white man was appointed in his place. Screens were erected in this department, shutting the Negro from the view of his erstwhile fellow-clerk. He was sent down in the cellar to emphasize his degradation as he attended to his physical wants. The Negro cried aloud for change, and in his heart he cared not how soon this change should come, nor what form it should take.

The American Post-office Department, by 1914, had taken over the bulk of the express service of the United States. The Negro was found available as a clerk, but seldom, if ever, as a foreman. The appointment of large numbers of Negroes to mere clerical positions did not mean to the Negro recognition of merit. The Negro postmaster had disappeared.

The American Department of the Interior is engaged with domestic affairs of the nation. The Negro constitutes one-tenth of the population and requires one-tenth of the necessities of American life. In 1914, a definite attempt was made in a bureau of this department to give the Negro recognition, honor and near-equality by the policy of segregating him into a Negro bureau. This policy had previously been worked out in Negro school systems and in the army. But the Negro clerks of the Interior Department, by unanimous vote, rejected the proposition for this sort of change. The kind of recognition, the kind of honor and the kind of equality which they desired had taken definite shape in their minds.

The American Agricultural Department, it would appear, should be made up of a large percentage of Negroes. The Negro was essentially an agriculturist before he came to America. He was brought to Virginia for the specific purpose of engaging in agriculture. His development of agricultural conferences in the South in recent years has been a great source of production. The Negro wanted change because this department employed messengers and clerks, but demonstrators seldom, if ever, of his color. Agricultural strategy in 1914 might well have been exonerated if it had employed Negro chief demonstrators and engaged them in interstate contest for quantity production. In one Southern State the Negro operates the greater agricultural area. In another he will operate the greater portion of such districts at an early date. In still another many of the communities of large Negro population have hardly had a white foot set upon them in two decades. The Negroes of these three states could have furnished surplus food for any nation of the allies, but a Negro might receive honor if put in charge of their development at the proper salary and with full authority to act. In 1914, this honor must not be.

In the American Department of Commerce the masters of barter and exchange are exhibited. America seeks to develop the man who can strike a bargain and outbid his competitors. The Negro wanted change because, since the invention of salesmanship he has been declared out of the scope of this department. His social status prevents him from making the proper sales approach. The Negro of 1914 came to this department only as a depositor of funds, or as a beggar for charity. He was not seriously regarded.

Lastly, in the American Department of Labor, the Negro wanted change because he was regarded in 1914 as the man requiring a boss of another color. He was not regarded as a master mechanic, manufacturer, artist or journeyman, unless the labor union, to which he was ineligible, so regarded him.

In these many ways, by capital and labor, by state and national government, in every department, had the Negro of 1914 been reduced to the state of man without honor in his own country. If war be change, however explosive in form, in 1914 the Negro wanted the world war to come to America from whatever angle that promised him the greatest advantage.

Equality in citizenship, for which the Negro yearned, meant parity of adjustment to conditions of life. Equality may be considered under three forms, industrial, business and political. As the terms are understood in America, the Negro was unanimous in 1914 in desiring industrial, business and political equality. He eagerly watched the fuse of war if perchance he might foresee from the consequent explosion the termination of Anglo-Saxon prejudice. It is but fair to say that he was not the only victim of discrimination at that time. The sub-dominant nations, including the Jugo-Slavs, the Czecho-Slavs, the Serbs and the Serfs of Russia, were subject to discrimination and deprived of the higher places of honor in the world's society.

But the Negro was not immediately concerned with any one's status save his own. He was not concerned that Mexicans, Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, Porto Ricans or South Africans did not enjoy the advantage of living on American soil. He was only concerned with the fact that, living in America, performing the full duties of American citizenship, he was denied the advantages and privileges of its possession, while Slavs and Serbs of Europe, with white skins, were accorded the fullest measure of democratic opportunity whenever and wherever they set foot on American soil. The Negro wanted the world war to prove that he, too, was a coalescent element in the civilization of the world.

To summarize the burden of the Negro in 1914 we may include Caucasian arrogance, hatred and prejudice of race, injustice of attitude and treatment, personal fear for life and property, improperly requited toil, unrewarded ambition, unmerited disfavor and debased self-respect. What profound pathos in the love which he bore Old Glory!


Germany of 1914 aimed to throw off the yoke which she claimed England wished to fasten on her world relationships. She aimed to dominate the world with German efficiency. She aimed to demonstrate German superiority and expose what she called Anglo-Saxon hypocrisy and cant. Already possessing the world's supply of potash, she struck directly at the coal and iron region of Belgium and Northern France. And she took them on the initial advance. With potash, coal and iron, this was a Teutonic coup for industrial and commercial supremacy indeed. Now well might she dictate who should boycott English goods. Now well might she point to the political and military dishonor of the easy defeat of Belgium and France. Now well might she proceed to the disintegration of these countries by the weapons of poverty, disease, hunger and bitter cold. Little did Germany dream what moral advantage she gave these overrun lands in the hearts of the millions of Negroes of the world. Germany felt assured that Negroes from all Africa would gloat over the assassination of Belgium. She was positive that American Negroes would rejoice. She expected the blacks of the world would rise up and hail her as the champion of a new day.

In the twinkling of an eye she reduced Belgium to industrial serfdom. She made the Belgian merchant a business pariah. She reduced the Belgian citizen to a political Helot, and imprisoned the burgomaster of Brussels, who refused to yield his citizenship honors. She made of Belgium a desert. The Belgian woman she whistled at and made a bye-word and reproach. And she called her treaty of Belgian neutrality a mere scrap of paper. Namur fell, and Charleroi and lovely Louvain. Liege succumbed in those hot August days, and Malines and Tournai and Antwerp. Poor Belgian refugees, starved and naked, fled westward. In remembrance of barbarities in the Congo under the international commission which placed Belgium in control, the American Negro quoted the poet: "The sins we borrow two by two we pay for one by one." But there was no disposition to gloat. The American Negro, be it said, came to the Belgian relief with money and goods and prayers and tears, and forgot the sins of the fathers of the suffering little kingdom. The secret of this reaction is revealed in the sympathy which the Negro bore toward another people reduced to his American status, without honor, recognition or equality.

On, on, precipitate, headlong came Germany with diabolic efficiency, thrusting viciously at the heart of France. Running amuck through St. Quentin and Arras, Soissons fell and Laon. Rheims surrounded, astride the Marne, France awaited her invader. Joffre at the gate! Foch in charge of the defence! On came the Germans! They crushed his left! They pulverized his right! He dispatched his courier to headquarters with the famous message: "I shall attack with my centre. Send up the Moroccans!" These black troops, thrown in at the first Marne, with the British to their left, pushed the German right over the stream. Continuing their action, the colonials won on the Ourcq, and the Germans evacuated Upper Alsace. Before their terrific attack, with the British steadily pressing beside them, General Von Stein admitted his defeat by the white and black allies. Paris was saved and Foch discovered to the allied world. How the hearts of black Americans thrilled as slowly the news filtered through to them of what the black colonials had done to hold the field for France! It was then that they took it into their hearts that if the United States were ever called upon to participate in this struggle, they would not be denied a place of glory equal to that which their African brethren had achieved.

But there was no time for resolve. The cataclysm involved in the threatened overthrow of English law and orderly procedure throughout the world caused the American Negro to tremble. Always conservative, if there be anything to conserve, the Negro appreciated that English law, when properly interpreted, meant freedom and life and hope eternal to him. He was unwilling to take any chances with a German substitute. The overthrow of English law he looked upon as the impending crack of doom. On came the Germans toward Calais and the Straits of Dover! On to Zeebrugge! On to Ostend! To Ypres! In her supreme desperation, England looked about the world for a force to stay the invader until she could prepare to meet the full force of the attack. She cared not whether aid be white or black, or brown or yellow. She called for help, or else Ypres should fall. Black men of Africa, brown men of India, white and red men of Canada, and yellow men of the Far East heard her call. And while America lifted not a finger, the American Negro lifted up his heart to God and prayed that Anglo-Saxon justice, rigid and cold, so often denied him, should not perish in triumph of the Hun, who knew no law save his own lust and super-arrogation.

Aboard the "Lusitania" there were no known men of color. But there were Caucasian women and children aboard. At what moral disadvantage did Germany put herself with the black millions of America when she riotously celebrated the horrible death her submarines had meted out to these weak and helpless mortals. The "Belgian Prince," first of the vessels torpedoed without warning after President Wilson's manifesto on the subject, had one lone black survivor to tell the tale of horror. He told it to his black brethren and they chafed under the diplomatic restraint, which relieved itself by polite letter writing.

Germany threatened the Panama Canal by disruption in Mexico and Haiti. The Mole St. Nicholas gave command of the canal to anyone of the great powers who might seize it. German influence was at work in Port au Prince. There occurred a riot involving both French and German Legations. The President of Haiti was assassinated. The United States marines stepped in and took over the situation. The American Negro heart went out to little Haiti. Hoping for the best, he feared the worst.

In the midst of this situation, Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, New Mexico. Overnight Negro regiments of regular army and of national guard received word to go to the border. Black troopers of the 10th Cavalry were reported near Casas Grandes on March 17. The 24th Infantry, colored, set out for Mexico, and another Negro command was sent to Columbus on March 22. Through storm and dust and desert of alkali and cacti, the Negro troopers, led by Colonel Brown, came to Aguascalientes. They had passed through a terrible experience that must have daunted all save those who refuse to accept defeat. Hunger and thirst and mirage and exposure must all be overcome. Because of hardships many cavalrymen deserted on May 1, after three months' service in action. But every Negro trooper with Colonel Brown held on and defeated the Villistas in every skirmish.

On a day in June, 1916, a troop from the 10th Cavalry approached the Mexican town of Carrizal. They were forbidden to enter the town for purposes of refreshment. Captain Boyd resolved to make the entry regardless of any regulations the Mexicans might seek to enforce. He was called upon by General Gomez to advance for a parley. As he advanced with his troopers, Mexicans spread out in a wide circle around them. Gomez, himself, trained the machine gun which opened fire. The parley was a mere sham and decoy. Captain Boyd with Lieutenant Adair and eleven soldiers were killed. The rest of the troopers fell on the Mexicans, seized their gun, turned it upon them, and brought to death scores of their number, including Gomez himself. Seventeen black Americans were interned in Chihuahua, but were released eight days after upon demand by the American government. Captain Morey reported that his men faced death with a song on their lips. The lesson which the Mexicans learned by turning a machine gun on Negro troopers was of such force that no trouble has arisen since in this section of the southern republic. The Negro fell face forward in the scorching sand for his honor's sake, and for the honor of all America. He knew that his real enemy was not the Mexican, but the German who had furnished Mexico the means and the will to create disturbance on this side of the Atlantic.

It was not until April, 1917, that President Wilson proclaimed in Congress a state of war existing between the United States of America and the Imperial German Government. At the call for volunteers, Negro regiments of guard, who had served in Mexico, were found at war strength and ready to double themselves overnight. These guard regiments represented the cosmopolitan Negro populations of New York, Chicago, Washington, Baltimore and the State of Ohio. Everywhere the Negro dropped the mattock, left the ploughshare, poised himself at erect stature, passionately saluted Old Glory, answered "Here am I!"-counted fours, and away! Pro-German cried: "White man's war!" Propagandist yelled: "Cannon fodder!" Reactionary declared: "It must not be." The Negro burst the gate and entered the arena of combat in spite of all opposition to his service in honorable capacity under the United States government.

The honesty of his purpose was discredited. The Anglo-Saxon mind could not conceive any more than could the German why a man downtrodden as the Negro should rush to arms, save as a baser means of eking out a livelihood better than his civilian state. The Anglo-Saxon little dreamed that the Negro approached the war not only to uphold his cherished tradition, but also with definite ideas of honor, recognition and equality as its outcome. Or rather the Anglo-Saxon was too busy with his own affairs to ascertain the reason why.

His loyalty impugned by those who did not wish to see him uniformed, his fidelity the subject of bitter sarcasm, his trustworthiness disputed, the Negro for once kept his own counsel. German agents were in his midst. They came to his table. They mingled with him in all social intercourse. They brought forward business propositions to seek to make the interests of Negro and German one. Southerners, noting this unaccustomed intimacy of black and white, announced that the Negro had gone over to the enemy. But the Negro kept his own counsel. He called upon the nation to investigate him. And when his loyalty was found untarnished, he called upon the nation to investigate itself. It was through the influence of Robert R. Moton, of Tuskegee, that, after careful investigation, President Wilson put the stain of pro-Germanism where it properly belonged. Said the President:

My Fellow-Countrymen:

I take the liberty of addressing you upon a subject which so vitally affects the honour of the nation and the very character and integrity of our institutions that I trust you will think me justified in speaking very plainly about it.

I allude to the mob spirit which has recently here and there very frequently shown its head amongst us, not in any single region, but in many and widely separated parts of the country. There have been many lynchings, and every one of them has been a blow at the heart of ordered law and humane justice. No man who loves America, no man who really cares for her fame and honour and character, or who is truly loyal to her institutions, can justify mob actions while the courts of justice are open and the governments of the states and the nation are ready and able to do their duty. We are at this very moment fighting lawless passion. Germany has outlawed herself among the nations because she has disregarded the sacred obligations of law and has made lynchers of her armies. Lynchers emulate her disgraceful example. I, for my part, am anxious to see every community in America rise above that level, with pride and fixed resolution which no man or act of men can afford to despise.

We proudly claim to be the champions of democracy. If we really are, in deed and in truth, let us see to it that we do not discredit our own. I say plainly that every American who takes part in the action of a mob or gives it any sort of countenance is no true son of this great democracy, but its betrayer, and does more to discredit her by that single disloyalty to her standards of law and of right than the words of her statesmen or the sacrifices of her heroic boys in the trenches can do to make suffering peoples believe her to be their saviour. How shall we commend democracy to the acceptance of other peoples, if we disgrace our own by proving that it is, after all, no protection to the weak? Every mob contributes to German lies about the United States what her most gifted liars cannot improve upon by way of calumny. They can at least say that such things cannot happen in Germany, except in times of revolution, when law is swept away.

I, therefore, very earnestly and solemnly beg that the Governors of all the States, the law officers of every community, and, above all, the men and women of every community in the United States, all who revere America and wish to keep her name without stain or reproach, will co-operate-not passively merely, but actively and watchfully,-to make an end of this disgraceful evil. It cannot live where the community does not countenance it.

I have called upon the nation to put its great energy into this war, and it has responded-responded with a spirit and a genius for action that has thrilled the world. I now call upon it, upon its men and women everywhere, to see that its laws are kept inviolate, its fame untarnished. Let us show our utter contempt for the things that have made this war hideous among the wars of history by showing how those who love liberty and right and justice and are willing to lay down their lives for them upon foreign fields, stand ready also to illustrate to all mankind their loyalty to the things at home which they wish to see established everywhere as a blessing and protection to the peoples who have never known the privileges of liberty and self-government. I can never accept any man as a champion of liberty, either for ourselves or for the world, who does not reverence and obey the laws of our own beloved land, whose laws we ourselves have made. He has adopted the standard of the enemies of his country, whom he affects to despise.

Woodrow Wilson.

The Negro braced himself, dismissed the German coldly from his household and forbade the pro-German enter. From afar off the enemy propagandist could resort but to derision and ridicule. What an attempt at laughter he made when Haiti entered the side of the Allies! How he pretended to be choking with the ridiculousness of the thing when Liberia offered her services! He flouted the idea of Negro expertness in handling weapons of modern warfare. He ridiculed the idea of Negro discretion in ideas of likely foreign origin. He questioned the potency of the Negro's native talent to meet the European situation. It was the black man's patriotic fervor, ardent in response to the call of Old Glory, zealous with passionate love of fireside and homeland, poignant with the throbbing and thrilling reaction of public-spirited emotion toward France-which overcame all.

The South asked three questions:

First-Shall Negroes and whites of the South both remain in America while the North conducts the war? Second-Shall Negroes of the South remain at home while the flower of southern chivalry, drafted for service, is far away across the sea, annihilated in battle? Third-Shall white men of the South be left at home while southern Negroes are drafted and go abroad to do distinguished service? These questions were resolved into the conclusion that southern Negroes and southern whites both must be drafted and sent against the German foe. There was no alternative.

It was altogether becoming and proper that a man whose race has suffered as the American Negro suffers today, should point the way to this goal of recognition, honor and equality which the Negro knew but as a tradition of those days following the Civil War when Grant administered the affairs of the triumphant party of freedom.

One of those New Yorkers of Hebraic origin, whose Semitic qualities are of the highest ethical type, made the play for partial equality, for partial recognition, for partial honor for the Negro. Joel Spingarn suggested and propagated the idea of a military training camp for Negroes, where they might receive instruction in all branches of military service, be commissioned up to the grade of captain and receive the recognition, honor and equality due to such military rank as they might qualify for. In addressing Negro America, he said:

"It is of highest importance that the educated colored men of this country should be given opportunities for leadership. You must cease to remain in the background in every field of national activity, and must come forward to assume your right places as leaders of American life. All of you cannot be leaders, but those who have the capacity for leadership must be given the opportunity to test and display it."

Mr. Spingarn never realized what forces he would set in motion by mere presentation of this proposition. He merely pointed out the gate. The young Negro brushed aside the opponents among his own race of this policy of segregation. He disregarded the moral principle which had actuated the older Negroes of the Interior Department in refusing to accept segregation, and seized the opportunity to produce some sort of change and readjustment. He must go up. He could go no lower than the policies of previous generations had brought him.

Directly to the President of all the United States he went. "Give us a lift!" he cried, "We want to fight!" To the Secretary of War he shouted most unceremoniously: "Give us place!" "But," was the indirect reply, "we have not the facilities at present. For instance, we have no bedding for the men whom you might muster." It was a young Negro Harvard graduate, Thomas Montgomery Gregory, of New Jersey, who advanced before Secretary Baker. "No bedding, Mr. Secretary? We will sleep on the floor-on the ground-anywhere-give us a lift!"

The Anglo-Saxon mind is subject to orderly reactions. The Secretary of War was taken aback. He realized that the young Negroes had not approached him to sell their labor. He gleaned that it was not for the purpose of barter and exchange they had come forward. Nor had they come with dreams of political advantage and social eclat, nor with vague glimmerings of spirituality. He was not ready to answer. He dismissed the audience with a little more than the usual ceremony. One of the older Negroes of the group, whose uncanny insight had often appeared beyond the orbit of average intelligence, ventured this suggestion: "He will put it up to Pershing."

And so the word got abroad that it would be left to Pershing as to how the Negro should be disposed of. It would be left to John J. Pershing, who in his earlier days had been instructor in a Negro college under the American Missionary Association. It would be left to the man who in 1892 had been a First Lieutenant in the 10th Cavalry in connection with the Sioux campaign in the Dakotas; who had been with the 10th Cavalry in the Santiago campaign in 1898; who had led Negro troops in the Philippines in 1899 till 1903, commanding operations in Mindanao against the Moros; and who had been in command of the Negro troops sent into Mexico in pursuit of Villa in March, 1916. It would be left to the man whose whole life had been spent in close contact with darker races.

To this day the Negro does not know who was directly responsible for the organization of the camp such as Spingarn proposed. It is probable that the honor belongs as much to Henry Johnson and Needham Roberts as to any one else. These black soldiers of Colonel Hayward's 15th New York Regiment, already in France with other regiments of Negro troopers of the national guard, were thrown across No Man's Land on a cold and foggy night as a lookout, far in advance of the sleeping command of thousands of white and colored American troops. The Hun planned their capture for the purpose of psycho-analytic research. It was Roberts who detected their stealthy approach. He called to Johnson. In the twinkling of an eye, the two were surrounded by German troopers. The Negroes faced certain death, but they had lost all claim to honor, recognition or equality, if they did not take with them to eternity at least one German each. Surrounded they resolved to fight it out with shot and gun. Too, too slow! Around them the Germans swarmed like bees. Bayonets then! Too, too close! Aye, butts! Wounded and winded, with knives, skulls, feet, teeth and nails, prehensile toe and larkheel, Henry Johnson and Needham Roberts defeated ten times their number of Germans and held the field of honor. This was a great self-revelation to the Negro of his powers of more than rudimentary culture, and a mighty incentive from the guard to the soldiery of the 92nd Division.

It settled forever, in the mind of the Negro, what Pershing would say as to the advisability of training Negroes to deliver their best service for their country. That general's report electrified the entire nation. Said Pershing:

"Reports in hand show a notable instance of bravery and devotion shown by two soldiers of an American colored regiment operating in a French sector. Before daylight on May 15, Private Henry Johnson and Private Roberts, while on sentry duty at some distance from one another, were attacked by a German raiding party, estimated at twenty men, who advanced in two groups, attacking at once flank and rear.

"Both men fought bravely hand-to-hand encounters, one resorting to the use of a bolo knife after his rifle jammed and further fighting with bayonet and butt became impossible. There is evidence that at least one, and probably a second, German was severely cut. A third is known to have been shot.

"Attention is drawn to the fact that the colored sentries were first attacked and continued fighting after receiving wounds, and despite the use of grenades by a superior force. They should be given credit for preventing, by their bravery, the capture of any of our men."

Whether this citation arrived May 19, 1917, by design or by accident, it served the purpose of dissolving completely all opposition to the idea of training Negroes to halt the Hun. Immediately thereafter the War Department created a training camp for educated Negroes at Fort Des Moines, Iowa.


Des Moines Camp was organized in June, 1917, to train Negroes to the military point where other military men must recognize them, honor them and receive them on the plane of equality due their rank. The camp was designed to develop Negroid snap and vigor to the maximum of military efficiency. For this purpose, as at all other camps, there was created the background of the mother's urge, and the sister's urge, and the sweetheart's urge, the Y.M.C.A. spirit, the college fraternity spirit, and, in addition, the spirit of the elevation of a Negroid order.

The change which came over the men was indicated by their music. Their first group singing of a Sunday consisted of Negro spirituals in spondaic and trochaic verse, and phrased in many minors. The vigor of blood produced by methodical training soon permitted of vocalization only in iambics. "Over There," "The Long, Long Trail," "Sons of America," were songs they sung of hope and not of sorrow. They connoted the Negro's reaction to the cosmic urge.

Over 1200 men took advantage of the experience of the trip to Fort Des Moines for training. Theirs was the 17th Provisional R.O.T.C., but the first of national proportions. Its quota was drawn from every section of the United States. The immediate destiny of the men selected for commission from this camp would be the training of colored draftees of African descent.

Mr. Baker, the Secretary of War, in late summer, referring to the Des Moines Camp, said:

"The work at Des Moines is progressing remarkably well, and the reports I have from it are very good. The spirit of the men is fine, and apparently this camp is going to do a great deal of good, both to the country and to the men involved."

Colonel C.C. Ballou, of the War College, in charge of the work at Des Moines, said on August 19, in a Sunday interview:

"The colored race constitutes more than ten per cent. of our population, and has, since the Civil War, furnished more than its quota of fighting men of the regular army. At home or on foreign soil the ranks of colored regiments are always full, while the white regiments have with difficulty been maintained at peace strength. To question the valor of the colored soldier is to betray ignorance of history. This is the first opportunity in his history to prove on an adequate scale his fitness or unfitness for command and leadership. At Fort Des Moines, Iowa, on June 16, 1917, there assembled the largest body of educated Negroes ever brought together for a single purpose. The candidates who survive are men of marked intelligence and ability. Let any man who doubts the colored men's patriotism go to Fort Des Moines and see men who have given up professions, business and homes in order to learn to defend their country and merit a more considerate judgment of their race. Let any man who doubts the colored man's fidelity and loyalty come to Fort Des Moines and revise his opinions on what he will there learn of the spirit that has stood unswervingly behind the commanding officer in every decision that he has been called upon to make, even though that decision involved sore disappointment and shattering of hopes. These men have been started out on correct lines and will have no false ideas to unlearn."

Hardly any one in America, black or white, believed that 700 Negroes would be commissioned in the army of the United States to receive positions of honor not only beside her other troops, but on the field of battle with the flower of French and English between veteran soldiery. Everything possible to prevent, somehow or other, seemed to arise. The men were put through the bitterest drill in the hottest sun, under the most scorching orders the English language might devise. They represented every section of the United States. Not once did they break. The acid test came, when, already pricked by the numerous situations which arose to flout them, East St. Louis broke forth in the most savage pogrom Anglo-Saxon culture has ever revealed.

While 1200 Negroes, training for leadership, were undergoing the terrific process of forced attrition, their nerves turned raw by army usage, East St. Louis burst forth. Tidings reached Des Moines that the Illinois militia, called in to break up a race riot at East St. Louis, had joined the rioters and slaughtered the Negro population of the community. White women had joined in these attacks, dragging out of their houses colored women, girls and children, stoning and clubbing them to death. Aged Negro mammies, afraid to come out of their homes, had been burned to death by the mob which set fire to them. Black men had been thrown into Cahokia Creek and stormed with bricks each time they rose to the surface until drowned. A crowd of whites had torn a colored woman's baby from her arms, thrown it into the fire of a blazing dwelling, held the mother from its rescue until she, herself, was shot nigh unto death, and then allowed her to plunge into the fire to rescue her little one. Nor was this all.

But out there in camp, isolated from the usual social life, July 2 and 3 and 4, Independence Day, was indeed a test of nerve, already tried and sore and raw, for the young Negroes in training. Why should men train to fight for a country that permitted such barbarous atrocities against their race with impunity. In savage Memphis charred remains of Negroes burned at the stake before a gala mob of 15,000, were thrown from an automobile in the Negro quarter of that city! And the Negroes at Des Moines held on. It has not been recorded in history that there was here proposed any hostile demonstration, or that vengeance and ruthless retaliation was planned. Wise counsel prevailed, and the Negroes at Des Moines held on.

For three months they held on without audible murmur. Negroes from civilian life, from the national guard, from the regular army, destined for every branch of the military service, defied any propaganda, by whomever invented, to break their morale. For three months they held on. And then word came they would not be graduated. A number, in disgust, left the camp. But the great bulk of them, although at the last moment learning that they could be assigned to no military branch save infantry, remained in camp for another month and were finally commissioned as officers in the national army. It was the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1917 that they received their commissions forwarded from the President of the United States. The hour and day and month a year later became famous not only in their history, but in the history of the civilized world.

They were given a grade neither high nor low. The rank of captain was granted to men who were to serve in France and England. The former country proudly made the Negro a general when he merited promotion; the latter was committed to the policy of white officers for colonial troops. In assigning rank as high as the grade of captain, America took the middle ground. In view of the international situation, she could hardly be expected to do more. She had granted partial recognition, partial honor, partial equality. It was for the Negro to gain the rest.

Seven hundred American Negroes commissioned! A baker's dozen of captains, six hundred odd lieutenants, and five hundred who dropped by the way. German propaganda had taken contrary suggestion and forced the Negro to this point of moral advantage. Plunder, arson, lynching and burning at the stake were employed against him to break his morale or incite him against America. But he held on. Seven hundred of the "sub-species, dark of skin, wooly of hair, long of head, with dilated nostrils, thick lips, thicker cranium, flat feet, prehensile great toe and larkheel" had passed every physical, mental, moral and social test and were commissioned in the American army. Doubt existed in the minds of every American citizen, including the Negro officers themselves, that they would ever see service overseas.

Assigned to various camps, the problem of recognition by white soldiers of colored officers immediately was raised, and promptly settled. In only a few cases did open clashes occur. In far more cases was the Negro received with full merited honors of his status, and in some sections on the basis of complete equality. The Negro of a northern locality, accustomed to all immunities and privileges of his home, experienced great difficulty when first assigned to camps near Baltimore, Washington, Houston or Norfolk. He would have passed through this state of his development well enough, settling his difficulties himself as they arose, had not some evil genius prompted the commanding officer of the division in which he was finally to be assembled to issue Bulletin 35, which follows:

"It should be well known to all colored officers and men that no useful purpose is served by such acts as will cause the 'color question' to be raised. It is not a question of legal rights, but a question of policy, and any policy that tends to bring about a conflict of the races, with its resulting animosities, is prejudicial to the military interest of the colored race.

"To avoid such conflicts the Division Commander has repeatedly urged that all colored members of his command and especially the officers and non-commissioned officers, should refrain from going where their presence will be resented. In spite of this injunction, one of the Sergeants of the Medical Department has recently precipitated the precise trouble that should be avoided, and then called on the Division Commander to take sides in a row that should never have occurred had the Sergeant placed the general good above his personal pleasure and convenience. The Sergeant entered a theater, as he undoubtedly has a legal right to do, and precipitated trouble by making it possible to allege race discrimination in the seat which he was given. He is strictly within his legal rights in this matter, and the theater manager is legally wrong. Nevertheless, the Sergeant is guilty of the greater wrong in doing ANYTHING, no matter how legally correct, that will provoke race animosity.

"The Division Commander repeats that the success of the Division, with all that success implies, is dependent upon the good will of the public. That public is nine-tenths white. White men made the Division, and they can break it just as easily if it becomes a trouble maker.

"All concerned are again enjoined to place the general interest of the Division above personal pride and gratification. Avoid every situation that can give rise to racial ill-will. Attend quietly and faithfully to your duties, and don't go where your presence is not desired.

"This will be read to all organizations of the 92nd Division.

"By command of Major-General Ballou:

"Allen J. Greer,

"Lieutenant-Colonel, General Staff,

"Chief of Staff.


"Edw. J. Turgeon,

"Captain, Assistant Adjutant,

"Acting Adjutant.

It was an altogether modern type of Negro that informed the commanding general quietly, but firmly, that he had seriously impaired his usefulness by the tone of his bulletin; that he had proposed a principle which did not bode good for the future of white people of the world when seven-tenths of the world's population was of darker hue. It is to General Ballou's credit that he admitted the question to debate, listened to reason, and capitulated.

But a certain type of southern statesmanship was not amenable to reason. Despite the wishes of the President of the United States, there were published in the "Congressional Record" articles describing the peril involved in arming and training any black peoples for modern warfare. What measure of offense these articles gave to Morocco, to India, to Latin America, to Japan, to China, to Africa, loyally supporting all the cause of France and England, can only be judged by the rebuke which President Wilson gave when his chance came.

It was in the Spring of 1918 when Germany struck through the British forces in Picardy. Then came the allies' "Hurry up!" call. The enemy opened a tremendous drive against the British front, bombarding, storming and attacking along fifty miles from Croiselles to La Fere. On the first day, 16,000 British prisoners were taken. The shelling might be heard across the Channel in Dover. The German penetrated to the third British line, taking 25,000 more prisoners. William Hohenzollern, himself, directed the drive from his headquarters at Spa. Peronne, Ham and Chauny fell. Vast stores and war material was lost, including tanks. At the Lotos club dinner, Lord Reading gave voice to a message from Lloyd George urging the United States to rush men to fill the gap. Albert fell. The real need of England and France became a question of reserves. John J. Pershing, drawing no color line, offered the whole American army.

Germany separated France from her ally. Apprized of America's preparations, she sought to destroy both France and England before the new enemy might hold place. Acceleration of all fighting forces to overseas service became the imperative duty. Not a moment was to be lost. The American Expeditionary Force must be expeditious. Casting about to find those ready to answer the call, America could not deny the preparedness of her 92nd Division of colored troopers.

On Germany came! On to Montdidier! To Amiens! To Hazebrouck! To Paris! Montdidier gone! "Hurry! Hurry!" cried Clemenceau. "Hurry! Hurry!" pleaded the aged Premier. He could no longer study the possible effects of any action of his office upon the future. His concern was the very present need. He wanted men, regardless of what adjustments their presence might upset in future world relationships.

So came a day when the Negro troopers could no longer be gainsaid. "Give me these men!" cried Joffre. "I am ready for the 92nd," announced Pershing. "We submit that they are men without honor, and of inferior American status," warned some Americans. "We shall test them," was Foch's laconic reply. "But they are black men with but 35 ounces of brain-a sub-species of mankind," America warned again.

And all France cried: "Send us men-men without fear of mortal danger-men of intrepid heart-men of audacity-men of fortitude-men of resolution-men of unquestioning, unreasoning, undying courage-men of elan-men of morale! Send Jew or Gentile-white men, yellow men, brown men, black men-it matters not! Send us men who can halt the Hun!"

So early in May of 1918 went up to sea, partly under their own officers, 90,000 and more American Negroes, registered as of African descent, and drafted to do battle in France. It was sub-species against super-man, broad head against long head, flat nose against sharp nose, thick cranium against Hun helmet. It was this unprecedented synthetic group of black men sailing the sea of darkness on a mission concerning the vital interests of Englishmen and Americans who had misused them for centuries, and concerning beloved France, which laid the real claim for honor and recognition and equality for the American Negro.

The American Negro, as he bade his black comrades "Good-bye! Good luck! God bless you! Take keer o' yo' self!" felt in his heart that all America ought to forget her prejudices. He felt that if she did not do so, she was indeed only fit to be characterized as narrow-minded, mean-spirited, illiberal and warped-entirely unfit for the position of leadership in democratization of the world.

So taken up with this idea was the entire Negro race that an editorial appearing in the "Crisis," the leading Negro magazine, from the pen of the Negro scholar, W.E.B. Dubois, came as a dash of cold water from an upper window. This article set the whole race agog. There was nothing in it about America's forgetting her prejudices, the idea which filled the Negro heart and soul and mind. It was entitled "Close Ranks!" and read as follows:

"This is the crisis of the world. For all the long years to come men will point to the year 1918 as the great Day of Decision, the day when the world decided whether it would submit to military despotism and an endless armed peace-if peace it could be called-or whether they would put down the menace of German militarism and inaugurate the United States of the World.

"We of the colored race have no ordinary interest in the outcome. That which the German power represents today spells death to the aspirations of Negroes and all darker races for equality, freedom and democracy. Let us not hesitate. Let us, while this war lasts, forget our special grievances and close our ranks shoulder to shoulder with our own white fellow-citizens and the allied nations that are fighting for democracy. We make no ordinary sacrifice, but we make it gladly and willingly with our eyes lifted to the hills." While many questioned his motive, all accepted his advice.

While the grievance was not forgotten, it was not allowed to jeopardize the success of the issue to weaken the black man's allegiance. Every mother's son and father's daughter remained loyal under stress and strain which would have caused the white man to curse and die.


Regiments of Negro stevedores, earlier in the year, had been drafted and sent overseas. These men were drawn from a specific locality, and did not represent the entire nation. They were in command of white officers. They had been destined for the Service of Supply, a service which America performed so marvelously well that it is difficult to tell, if not here, where her chief glory lies.

Black stevedores from Alabama, and Louisiana, and Mississippi, Virginia and the Carolinas, numbering far more than the entire black forces of the 92nd Division, packed and unpacked the American Expeditionary Force in a manner never attempted since Noah loaded the Ark. Rear Admiral Wilson and General McClure cited several regiments for exceptionally efficient work. The "Leviathan," formerly the German steamship "Vaterland," was unloaded and coaled, in competition with other white and black stevedore regiments, by Company A, 301st Stevedores, young American Negroes, in fifty-six hours, a world record.

What a cheer went up from the black stevedores of the far South when there landed in their midst a mighty band of black infantry, nearly 100,000 strong who, in a few short months had learned the use of powder and shot, of sword and broadsword, of bayonet and bludgeon, of trench knife and battle-ax. Cold steel or blackjack, smooth bore or sawed-off, machine gun or automatic, were all the same to them. It was a great experience for stevedore and infantryman. And the stevedore's heart leaped to his throat as he saw the black officers of the 92nd Division maneuver and march away the men under their command.

The black stevedore wondered why America had brought him so far under white officers to behold such a sight. He beheld black quartermasters, ranking and outranking captains, furnishing their men with provision and supply. The handling of purveyance and cutlery on a huge scale by black commissioned officers was a revelation to the black stevedore of the far South who had never seen such a sight in all his days.

The stevedore beheld arrive Negro signal men, monitors of their troops and of a million whites behind them, death watch to the German enemy, destined to be sentinels and patrolmen of No Man's Land. He saw pass by black American scouts and spies and lookouts and pioneers headed for the frontiers of France to gain an immortal halo of glory.

The stevedore found in his midst elegantly groomed, but speechless Negroes whom, his friends whispered to him, belonged to the United States Intelligence Department. They had come, so the wide-mouthed stevedore was told, to pit their 35 ounces of brain against the German's 45 ounces, and to prove that the Hun back brain is surplus overweight and should be reduced to Negro proportions. They had come to furnish General Pershing information, news, tidings and dispatch, embassy and bulletin, report and rumor. And the stevedore wondered if General Pershing would expect these Negro men to report to him information with precision and correctitude.

It was the Negro band, fresh from America, which gave the stevedore his greatest delight. Preceding the black troops everywhere, it produced a potpourri of full and semi-scores, melodies and plantation arias, that came as a refreshing novelty to weary English hearts and to the souls of jaded France.

But there were no Negro "big gun" men. The stevedore wondered if the black boys of the 92nd Division would have to get into the fight with Germany, depending upon the kind of barrage which some of the men whom he knew in America might lay down for him. True, the Negro artilleryman had been left behind in America. At Camp Taylor he was spurned and rejected. But he refused to accept rebuff. He won his way into the heart of commanding officer and subaltern, gained his training, made a superior record, witnessed the outpouring of the entire white soldiery of the camp to present arms and salute him as he went away to service, and arrived in France in breathless haste in time to lay down a perfect barrage for his black comrades as they advanced through the terrific fighting in the Argonne and the Marbache. Long will stevedore tradition recite the story of how these black "big gun men" came by.

The black stevedore represented a section of the United States. That section was thoroughly well represented. There was work done better than it ever had been done before. But, on the other hand, the 92nd Division had been drawn from every possible corner of the United States where a quota might be raised. It was the 92nd Division especially, however great might be the deeds of local regiments of guard, that would decide the great ultimate question. Regiments of Negro guard troops from New York, Chicago, Washington, Baltimore, and the State of Ohio, and Negro pioneers from the mountain regions of the Carolinas, might cover their respective localities with the surpassing glory of their achievements. And every regiment of them did. But the real issue was wrapped up in the great 92nd Division, the Negro national army commanded in large measure by Negro officers, which stepped into the international arena on that fateful day in June, 1918.

They landed when the German had spent his third offensive and was at the gates of Paris. Almost the first news which they received after they had settled on foreign soil was that Paris, the magic city which they had come so far to see, was destined to fall into the hands of the German. Albeit Chateau Thierry, the turning point of the decisive struggle of 1918, was only achieved when, for the war, a total of more than a million black men of four continents had been annihilated, the 92nd Division was eager for the fray-was anxious to tread the field of action for the sake of honor, and recognition and equality. It was at Chateau Thierry, on a day soon after the arrival of the 92nd Division in France, that Foch, the eminent generalissimo, but then an almost unknown quantity, again gave voice to laconicism: "The offensive shall begin and shall continue. Bring up the colonials!" America was thrown into battle holding honored position beside Gouraud's invincible Africanders. The Hun was halted in his tracks, thrown back across the second Marne, and hunted like a wolf over the Hindenburg line and into his native lair.

Soissons, Rheims, Verdun, St. Dizier and Chemin des Dames, all saw Negro troops of the United States in violent action. In the Marbache, at Belie Farm, and in the Bois de Tege d'Or, the Negro guard regiments and the Negro 92nd Divisi

on went over and at the Hun.

At Voivrette Farm and in the Bois de Frehaut, other troops of this same division smote German super-man hip and thigh. In Voivrette Woods and in the Bois de Cheminot, at Moulon Brook and Seilie Bridge and Epley the 92nd Division again victoriously contested the field of honor, against the best soldiers Prussia might afford. From July until November, their brothers of the Negro guard regiments, of Negro pioneers and Negro casuals were within earshot of the murderous rumble of contending artillery. By November 8 every command in the Negro American division, including the units of guard, had more than once or twice been at the front or over the top and at them.

Ralph W. Tyler, of Ohio, a Negro on the staff of General Pershing, representing the Bureau of Public Information, says of Hill 304:

"I have learned that Hill 304, which the French so valiantly held, and which suffered such a fierce bombardment from the Germans that there is not a single foot of it but what is plowed up by shells, and whose sides, even today, are literally covered with the corpses of French soldiers who still lie where they fell, was later as valiantly held by the colored soldiers from the United States, who fought with all the heroism and endurance the best tradition of the army had chronicled. The colored soldiers who held that bloody and ever historical Hill 304 had the odds against them, but like Tennyson's immortal 'Six Hundred,' they fought bravely and well, firm in the belief 'it was not theirs to reason why-it was theirs to do and die.' And like the patriots they were, they did do, and this war's history will so record."

The Prussian, at last, sought safety in flight. Britisher, Frenchman, Italian, Portuguese, Canadian, black and white American were at his heels. Italy created a debacle in Austria. And then, wonderful news came through of what was happening in the Near East.

It had been impossible for the Negroes of America to come to France and preserve the nicely calculated adjustments which England had set up through the years. The East Indian, the Arabian, the Egyptian could not but observe, and observing, fail to understand why American Negroes could be entrusted in command of troops, if they were not given the same recognition and honor and equality. Quietly England prepared them all. Under General Allenby and dark-skinned officers of the East, the black Caucasians and the brown Caucasians and the yellow Caucasians fell upon the Turk, until, regardless of his German master, he cried aloud for terms. The horde of dark-skinned captors of Turkey, under the British supreme command, threatened and attacked Bulgaria, who quickly succumbed. So came the Turkish armistice, and the Bulgarian armistice and the Austrian armistice.

The Prussian fled from the field of battle. He was not swift enough. Brought to bay, he cried for mercy. All of the Negro American force was to be hurled at him in the greatest stronghold of the world, Metz. He pleaded with the American President for armistice, and was referred to Marshal Foch. It was the great war hero, with the Hohenzollern house of cards tumbled about him, who decided that for three days, until November 11, fighting must continue, and that in those last hours the Germans must feel at the hands of all the allies the severest punishment that could be meted within a limited time. Britishers, Frenchmen, men of all allied nations sought the honor. The American Negro could not be denied. Although regiments of Negro guard and of the 92nd Division had but recently been in action for a period of from three to five weeks, they craved the honor of being out in front at the stern and bitter end. It was practically the entire Negro fighting force of America which, under its own officers, went over the top at daybreak on the final morning of the great four years' struggle, side by side with white men of various nationalities, who, like them, were ready and most fit for sacrifice or service. In the last hours, when life seemed sweeter than all creation, there thousands of black men of all regiments overseas fell in search of the coveted honor of being nearest Berlin as the thunderous crash and din ceased, to roll no more. Hours before the order came for the supreme and final sacrifice, Negro signal men had caught from the air the message which indicated what was to be their special honor. There was not a man to desert or seek asylum elsewhere. All went over the top together!

At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, the order came to cease firing. The 92nd Division of Negro troops stood at Thann and before Metz, in advance of the progress of troops of all America. The ground which they trod had not been occupied by other than German troops in 40 years. It was the field of honor, and recognition and equality, and must be theirs of necessity. Nature had ruthlessly perfected this type of black native-born American for the high duties of a soldier. The war was over. Allies and Americans said to him:

"As brothers we moved together-as brothers-to the dawn that advanced-to the stars that fled-rendering thanks to God in the highest, that He, having hid His face through one long night behind thick clouds of war, once again will ascend above us in the vision of perpetual peace."

The Negro felt that, as the ancient Romans were too faithful to the ideal of grandeur in themselves not to relent, after a generation or two, before the grandeur of Hannibal, so he will not ever be the mere son of a peri.

The Negro knew that he could do one thing as well as the best of men-a greater thing than Milton or Marlowe or Charlemagne ever did-he could die grandly the death. Face forward on the flats of Flanders, in Picardy and Lorraine he died grandly, to make the world safe for democracy. For we of America must remember, in all our getting on and up in the world, that, as a psychological weapon, the bristling bayonet was incomplete until a stalwart, desperate black Negro American citizen got behind it to fight, not for his gain, but for the uplift of the masses of humanity.

The war was over. It was still a small voice within that told the Negro hosts: "As this hath been no white man's war, neither shall it be a white man's peace."


But yesterday the nation tried to think of the Negro as a southern problem, the solution of which belonged to statesmanship of the South. Often we have endeavored to think of him as a national problem, and have tried to persuade the national government to take in hand matters of widespread national interest wherein he was involved. But now we must of necessity think of the Negro as an international problem, ramifications of which are bound up in the roots of aspiration and kindred feeling and powerful potentiality of Frenchman and Britisher, of Asiatic and Slav, and of the great bodies of darker peoples of all the world.

As the Negro becomes an international problem, no single section of a country can be entrusted with the administration of matters pertaining to him. Such administration may be assigned by international conclave to a particular country as its national problem, but the proper channels of administration of international policy will be up from sectional caucus, through national agency to the international parliament, and down from such parliament or league, through national agencies to the section involved. And, furthermore, sectional caucus, unless it would fail in policies of its advocacy, and suffer modification by the Congress or parliament of its central governmental administration, must henceforth regard the Negro not as an aggregate all in a mass, but as a synthesis, composed of gradations from lowest to superior. This is the new concept which the war of 1918 has forced upon America, in spite of the bias of 1914.

Civilization left the parting of the ways when Woodrow Wilson's rallying cry for world democratization led America into the war. It decided to seek the path of Peace not along the lines of permitted autocracy, but of firmly and thoroughly well administered democracy. In administering democratic government, Negro regiments, graded from private to superior officer, came first as an academic proposition, and, finally, as an actuality. They came four hundred thousand strong. No group of that number can longer be considered as a mere accumulation of black men. One hundred thousand Negroes of the 92nd Division and regiments of guard have been commanded on the field of action by black headmen, with white headlight. They have taken their objectives with speed and control and the management of both of these elements of transfused morale has been in the hands of colored college men or their military equals.

The hour of decision to make the world safe for democracy was the crisis of civilization. Victory on the fields of France has been the satisfactory denouement. The question naturally arises: Shall there be a happy ending of the great drama for the white American and a tragic ending for the Negro? Or, rather, as the American brotherhood gathers about the charmed circle and smokes the pipe of peace, shall the Negro report: "I see and am satisfied?"

In other words, shall the 92nd Division of Negro fighters and the greater hosts of black war workers overseas, return to America with honor in theory, but not pursued in fact to its logical finality? Shall these black bulwarks of the business of world war find the door of the business world of peace slammed in their faces? Shall these black survivors of terrific struggle for world democracy return home only to be declared unfit to vote an American ballot? Shall the black soldier hero be allowed to take his croix de guerre into a jim-crow car? Shall the black Red Cross nurse, rushing to the aid of benighted humanity regardless of color, be refused accommodation at places of public proprietorship whither she may seek rest or refreshment? Tragedy begets tragedy. Seventeen seventy-six begot 1861, and 1861 begot 1914.

The times demand decisive action. Sociological error, committed today, will cause malformation of an important member of the American body politic. It will cause the ship of state to ride an uneven keel. This ship of state must be brought to her ancient moorings, the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address of Lincoln, and the Farewell of Old John Brown on the scaffold.

The tumult has died. Revelry and shouting fill every program. Is the Negro to return unheralded to homeland, and with his eyes to the hills, undergo patting and pitying and be given a place in the corner? Or are the colored boys in khaki to announce their return by a vigorous knocking at the gate? Shall they have cause to cry to America: "A house divided against itself cannot stand!" And shall they knock and knock and knock until America sets herself to wonder what has this army Negro to do that he becomes so unceremonious? Or shall they find the gate wide open and triumphal arches erected in every section of the country in their honor to signify that defeat of German autocracy means democratization of every section of the entire world? An international conscience demands for the Negro hero a happy ending of it all.

The Negro looks to the military agencies of America to produce a genuine peace wherein he may live happy ever after. Regarded in America as the most alien of aliens before the war, he demands recognition today as the most loyal of loyalists. But yesterday Anglo-Saxon prejudice persisted in viewing him as a physical alien, a mental alien, a moral alien and a social alien. The Negro is willing to discuss no further this prejudicial conception of himself forced home by libelous propaganda and by governmental administration for hundreds of years, if the agencies of reconstruction will perfect and put in operation a vigorous Americanization policy in his behalf.

Military life has taught the Negro the advantage derived from the use of pure food and balanced ration. It has taken him from the ghetto into the pure air of the open country, and filled his lungs with deep draughts of the free breezes of France. It has removed him from the temptation to imbibe the beverage that destroys human faculties and has accustomed him in a measure to the beneficial use of purified water. It has undertaken through carefully selected work, exercise and recreation to perfect the habits of digestion, assimilation and elimination. The result has been indeed marvelous. No America Negro who went to fight for humanity will return to America as the same physical being. No American will dare stand before the returned Negro trooper and say: "Behold a sub-species of mankind, wooly of hair, long of head, with dilated nostrils, thick lips, thicker cranium, flat foot, prehensile great toe and larkheel. Yea, behold him, dark of skin, whose mentality is like unto a child, and closely related to the anthropoid ape; whose weight of brain is only comparable to that of the gorilla." Where is the American who will dare stand before any Negro trooper returned from France and thus mock and deride him? Military agency has completely destroyed the physical concept which the white world had of the Negro in 1914, by placing him in the focus of Caucasian binocular vision, wherein his better attributes become visible in their synthetic relation.

In addition, military life has sharpened the mental powers of the Negro in command to meet the highest exactions of modern warfare. Colonel Charles Denton Young, Negro graduate of West Point, if we may trust the record, is capable of the same high character of mental processes as John J. Pershing. Military test has proven before the world that the Negro is no mental alien, but heir to all the ages of Anglo-Saxon, Roman, Greek and Egyptian culture.

In France the American Negro has produced no notorious offenders against civil or military usage. He has arisen to the moral concept of high responsibility for the future of his race in the estimation of all mankind. There is no story of moral degeneracy which has yet come from abroad concerning him. Pitfall, temptation and opportunity for vice and crime have all been shunned in light of preparation for the higher service. The Negro has proven his power of moral restraint while guided by leadership of his own color. As a social being he has sacrificed his life for the highest form of social existence, democracy. Who, then, is there to call him alien? Today he is no longer Negro, nor Afro-American, nor colored American, nor American of African descent, but he is American-simply this, and nothing more.

He has been raised to erect stature and made a man by the military branch of the United States Government, because of signal service to the American peoples. His prayer is that this military government long may live as such to train the great mass which he calls kin into a synthetic whole.

As he evolved from a student in a military training camp to military leadership, so he desires the great military organization of America to continue to exist, that through its agency he may attend the training camps which lead to industrial, business, political and social success. Universal military education for me and mine and all other Americans is his slogan, and his aim is to recreate the America of the early Seventies, which became hardened and callous through the years by reason of resistance to the German menace of autocracy, but now removed.

This American has made good in public. He has demonstrated both efficiency and initiative. He has compelled popular belief to conceive him as a man. The Caucasian world he has caused to perceive that he might function as a valuable and serviceable element of twentieth century civilization. Will the Anglo-Saxon issue to him the warrant of immunities and privileges certifying that he is four-square with the dominant opinion of mankind, and, therefore, entitled to superior status?

To this dark-skinned American are attributed all elements of beauty and racial grandeur. Forever in survival of the world's most fit, he goes on, blending readily with civilization's high ideal, philosophically tolerating abuse offered by the less refined, effecting a racial consciousness of purity in inter-social relationships, adapting himself with symmetry and poise to the tasks of the world, and bowing in humble respect before the higher laws whose harmonies order and rectify all creation.

What will the black Rip Van Winkle behold as he walks through the corridors of the American Department of State twenty years hence? Will he behold a great black mass still at the veriest bottom of our governmental organization, or will he be caused to marvel at the synthetic gradations of black American from lowest to superior? As he views progress in all departments of the government, will he see this real American organized synthetically in all branches of the service, or will he behold him still employed as the boy or the mere high private? Time and the great heart of America will tell.

The center of gravity of world interest of 1914 has shifted and come to rest at a spot most significant for darker peoples. Victory to all participants in its glorious achievement must be less disastrous than defeat. In order to satisfy the liberal opinion of the world, some form of autonomy must be devised for the newly organized man in America. Durable peace requires that American prejudice be utterly and forever stamped out; first by the reconstructed organization of the American Expeditionary Force, which beheld its organizations of every race and creed under fire and in action; second, by the American people of every locality, who have had forced upon them by world war the new concept of a branch of the species once considered inferior; and, third, by the powers of the world, who must prevent the upgrowths in America from offering malignant germs of unrest to their own systems of national government.

After the Negro has proved his value and worth in all of these trying ways, when after this he asks for a full measure of equal rights, what American will have the heart or the hardihood to say him nay?

* * *


Achievements of the Negro in the American Navy-Guarding the Trans-Atlantic Route to France-Battling the Submarine Peril-The Best Sailors in Any Navy in the World-Making a Navy in Three Months from Negro Stevedores and Laborers-Wonderful Accomplishments of Our Negro Yeomen and Yeowomen.

Stranger than fiction, the story of the organization, development and expansion of the United States navy from a mere atom, as it were, to the present time, when her electrically propelled men-of-war, equipped with the most luxurious compartments and modern mechanism for despatch and communication as well as her great merchant marine, floating the emblem of freedom and democracy in every civilized port of the world, is one of the most fascinating pages in the history of human achievement.

And, as it were, the very culmination of wonder and admiration, the chain of events reciting the deeds of valor and unselfish devotion to duty upon the part of her black sons, constitutes an illustrious record easily marking its participants as conspicuous representatives of a people, who have won their tardily conceded recognition in every phase of American public life.

The services of the Negro in the American navy very properly begin with the stirring and thrilling events of the American Revolution, which terminated in the independence of the colonies and the establishment of the United States.


The Negro in the navy was then and has been ever since no less devoted to duty and as fearless of death as Crispus Attucks, when he fell on Boston Commons, the first martyr of American independence.

In speaking of colored seamen, who showed great heroism, Nathaniel Shaler, commander of the private armed schooner General Thompson, said of an engagement between his vessel and a British frigate: "The name of one of my poor fellows, who was killed, ought to be registered in the book of fame, and remembered with reverence as long as bravery is considered a virtue. He was a black man by the name of John Johnson. A twenty-four pound shot struck him in his hip, and took away all the lower part of his body. In this state, the poor brave fellow lay on the deck, and several times exclaimed to his shipmates, 'Fire away, my boy! No haul color down!' Another black by the name of John Davis was wounded in much the same way. He fell near me, and several times requested to be thrown overboard, saying he was only in the way of others. When America can boast of such tars she has little fear from the tyrants of the ocean."

British gold and promises of personal freedom served as futile incentives among the Negroes of the American navy; for them, the proud consciousness of duty well done served as a constant monitor and nerved their strong black arms when thundering shot and shell menaced the future of the country; and, although African slavery was still a recognized legal institution and constituted the basic fabric of the great food productive industry of the nation, it was the Negro's trusted devotion to duty which ever guided him in the nation's darkest hours of peril and menace.


In the second period, the War of 1812, a second fight with Great Britain, again made it necessary to call upon the Negro for his assistance. Whether with Perry on Lake Erie, Commodore MacDonough, Lawrence or Chauncey, the black man played his heroic and sacrificing role, struggling and dying that American arms and valor, the security of American lives and property, would suffer no destruction at the hands of the enemy. The fine words of Commodore Chauncey, commending their dauntless intrepidity and unswerving obedience and loyalty to the rigorous demands of duty, should be read and carefully studied by all men friendly to human excellence and courage.


The following is a statement of Commodore Perry, expressing dissatisfaction at the troops sent him on Lake Erie: "I have this moment received by express the enclosed letter of General Harrison. If I had officers and men,-and I have no doubt that you will send them,-I could fight the enemy and proceed up the lake; but, having no one to command the Majestic and only one commissioned officer and two acting lieutenants, whatever my wishes may be, getting out is out of the question. The men that came by Mr. Champlin are a motley set,-blacks, soldiers, and boys. I can not think that you saw them after they were selected. I am, however, pleased to see anything in shape of a man."

The following is the reply from Commodore Chauncey to Commodore Perry in answer to the above letter: "Sir, I have been duly honored with your letters of the 23d and 26th ultimo and notice your anxiety for men and officers. I am equally anxious to furnish you; and no time shall be lost in sending officers and men to you as soon as the public service will allow me to send them from this lake. I regret that you are not pleased with the men sent you by Messrs. Champlin and Forest; for, to my knowledge, a part of them are not surpassed by any seamen we have in the fleet; and I have yet to learn that the color of skin, or the cut and trimmings of the coat, can affect a man's qualifications and usefulness.

"I have nearly fifty blacks on board this ship, and many of them are among my best men, and I presume that you will find them as good and useful as any on board your vessel; at least if you can judge by comparison; for those which we have on board this ship are attentive and obedient, and, as far as I can judge, are excellent seamen. At any rate, the men sent to Lake Erie have been selected with the view of sending a proportion of petty officers and seamen and I presume upon examination, it will be found that they are equal to those upon this lake."


In the Mexican War (1845-1848) we find him, in his humble positions of service and usefulness, a positive factor in the final success and triumph of American ideals. No insidious treacheries, no dark plots of poison, arson and unfaithfulness characterized his conduct, and, in the final and complete blockade of the Mexican ports, his contribution of faithful and loyal service made effective the terms by which Generals Scott and Taylor taught the ever-observed lesson of American dominance upon the Western Hemisphere and thereby preserved the Monroe Doctrine.


In the Civil War-when the violence of domestic strife menaced the continuance of the National Union; when the preservation of slavery constituted the subject of angry and stormy debate in every section of the country, it was in the navy, no less than in the army, that the Negro evinced that dauntless fidelity to duty which aided in stabilizing the discipline of the field forces, thereby effectively contributing to the success not alone of forcing the Mississippi, and intersecting the Confederacy, but also in hermetically sealing all Southern ports and reducing to imperceptible insignificance the possibility of foreign trade with the South,-a factor which made it doubly sure that Northern arms would ultimately triumph and the Union be saved. It was a colored man, Robert Small, who single handed, stole the Union cruiser Panther from Charleston harbor, foiled the Confederate fleet, and navigated her safely to a Union port. In all the annals of courage and dazzling gallantry, this incident has been recited; and it constitutes a commendable example, with many others, however, of devotion to duty and undying love for freedom. Mr. Small became a successful business man, and was one of the few Negroes who served in the Congress of the United States.


The Spanish-American War (1898-1900) also has its roll of honorable dead and surviving heroes-it was a Negro who fired the first shot at Manila Bay, from the cruiser Olympia, flag ship of the late Admiral Dewey, commanding the American forces on the Asiatic station. He was John Christopher Jordan, chief gunner's mate (retired) U.S.N. His career is a fair example of the Negro's ability. He was first enlisted in the United States navy on June 17, 1877, as an apprentice of the third class, the very lowest rating in which he could have entered. He advanced, despite opposition, through the different grades in direct competition with his white shipmates to the grade of chief gunner's mate, the highest rating that could be reached in the enlisted status.

It was not because of his lack of desire for further advancement that he did not go higher, nor was it due to his not being qualified, for it was conceded by all officers under whom he served that he was thoroughly competent and highly qualified for advancement. He was finally recommended by his superior officer for the position of warrant gunner, and the papers passed up for final approval by the commander-in-chief of the fleet, before being sent to the secretary of the navy. There he encountered the Negro's most formidable foe-prejudice. That official very unceremoniously forwarded the papers to the navy department with the following endorsement: "Respectfully forwarded to the secretary of the navy-disapproved. The explanation of disapproval will be found in the applicant's descriptive list."

However, this slur did not deter Jordan in his determination to go higher, for at the battle of Manila he was a gunner's mate of the first class, and his record was so conspicuous that it could not go unnoticed by the officials in Washington.


The following letter was then addressed to Jordan's commanding officer by the bureau of navigation: "The Bureau notes that John C. Jordan, gunner's mate first class, has served as such with a creditable service since August 6, 1899. The chief of bureau directs me to request an expression of opinion from the commanding officer as to whether Jordan possesses that superior intelligence, force of character and ability to command, necessary for a chief petty officer and particularly as to whether he is in all respects qualified for the position of chief gunner's mate of a first-class modern battleship."

The reply to this letter was to the effect that Jordan was in all respects qualified, and by order of the secretary of the navy, he was advanced to the grade of chief petty officer, filling this position with efficiency to the service and with credit to his race, until December 1, 1916, at which time he was retired, after serving thirty years in the navy of the United States. The following letter was addressed to him by the secretary of the navy upon this occasion:

"The department desires to congratulate you upon the completion of thirty years' service in the navy. The fact that you started as an apprentice and now retire as a chief petty officer, your several honorable discharges and good conduct medals, show that you were a valuable man in the upbuilding of the navy, and while the department is glad to know that you will now enjoy the benefits of the retirement law, yet it regrets very much to see you retire from active life in the navy. The department hopes that you will always take a lively interest in naval affairs, and wishes you many years of good health and usefulness."


Employees of Navy Department, Washington, D.C.


Seaman. Lost on the U.S.S. ALCEDO, November 5, 1917.


Mess Attendant, 3c, U.S.N. Lost on U.S.S. CYCLOPS, June 14, 1918.


Mess Attendant, 3c, U.S.N. Killed when shell exploded on board U.S. Von STEUBEN, March 5, 1918.


Mess Attendant, 2c, U.S.N.R.F. Died from exposure after Lake Moor was sunk, April 11, 1918.


Mess Attendant, 2c, U.S.N. Lost when U.S.A.C.T. TICONDEROGA was torpedoed and sunk, September 30, 1918.


Ship's Cook, 1c, U.S.N.R.F. Lost when U.S.A.C.T. TICONDEROGA was torpedoed and sunk September 30, 1918.


Mess Attendant. Lost on the U.S.S. ALCEDO, November 5, 1917.


Ship's Cook, 2c, U.S.N.R.F. Accidentally drowned while in swimming, May 19, 1918.


Fireman 1st Class, U.S.N. Commended for seamanlike conduct and services rendered when boiler was disabled. S.S. MacDONOUGH, Oct. 27, 1916.


Mess Attendant 3c, U.S.N. Lost on U.S.S. CYCLOPS, June 14, 1918.


Fireman, 3c, U.S.N. Lost on U.S.S. CYCLOPS, June 14, 1918.


Mess Attendant, 3c, U.S.N. Killed on U.S.S. Von STEUBEN, April 10, 1918.


Employee U.S. Navy.



Another very interesting character of the navy during this period was Mr. C.D. Tippett of Washington D.C., who enlisted in the navy in 1875, and who served honorably and faithfully, until recently, when he was retired for honorable service. Mr. Tippett enjoys the distinction of having crossed the equator on two different occasions, and holds a certificate from Neptune, a relic highly treasured by all naval men fortunate enough to hold one.

It has been the object of the preceding paragraphs to briefly recite some few instances of the Negro's activity in the American navy from its beginning up to the present struggle. Space and time will not permit a more detailed and accurate exposition of the many other cases equally as interesting, instructive, and illustrative of the superb discipline and devotion to duty of this race whenever and wherever called upon to serve.


The extent of the Negro's work in the army and the record of its brilliant achievements may in some degree obscure the service rendered our country and its Allies by the Negro in the navy, but the Negro was represented in this branch of the military service almost in the same proportion, and, just as with Perry on Lake Erie, Farragut on the Mississippi, Dewey at Manila Bay, Hobson at Santiago, and Peary at the North Pole, he rendered efficient heroic and honorable service during the World War. It must be remembered that our ships were a part of the great war forces which kept open the highways of the deep and made possible the final triumph of the Allied armies, for, had the command of the ocean slipped from our hands those armies would have languished and been beaten back for lack of support in men and material. Had the sceptre of the seas passed to our foes, our own black boys would never have inscribed on their banner the imperishable name of Chateau-Thierry, The Argonne, and Hill 304. The one essential and indisputable element of victory was the supremacy of the Allied fleet.


The Negro's part in the organization of the Grand Fleet is far from being inconsiderable, his services were utilized in the complement of every vessel and shore station and at this time as in the past, black blood was among the very first to be gloriously shed in the American navy, that free government should live imperishably among the sons of men.

On November 4, 1917, the U.S.S. Alcedo proceeded to sea from Quiberon Bay on escort duty to take convoy through the war zone; she had as members of her crew two young Negroes, just in the prime of life and patriotic to the core. It was the crew of this vessel that was first called upon to make the supreme sacrifice. Robert McCray and Earnest Harrison were their names, and the following report fully indicates the manner in which they gave their lives in order that democracy might not perish from the earth: "At or about 1:45 A.M., November 5th, while sleeping in emergency cabin, immediately under upper bridge, I was awakened by a commotion and immediately received a report from some man unknown, 'Submarine, Captain.'

"I jumped out of bed and went to the upper bridge, and the officer of the deck, Lieutenant Paul, stated he had sounded 'General quarters,' had seen submarine on surface about three hundred yards on port bow, and submarine had fired a torpedo, which was approaching. I took station on port wing of upper bridge and saw torpedo approaching about two hundred yards distant. Lieutenant Paul had put the rudder full right before I arrived on bridge, hoping to avoid the torpedo. The ship answered slowly to her helm however, and before any other action could be taken the torpedo I saw struck the ship's side immediately under the port forward chain plates, the detonation occurring instantly.

"I was thrown down and for a few seconds dazed by falling debris and water. Upon regaining my feet I sounded the submarine alarm on the siren, to call all hands if they had not heard the general alarm gong, and to direct their attention of the convoy and other escorting vessels. Called to the forward gun's crew to see if at stations, but by this time realized that the forecastle was practically awash. The foremast had fallen, carrying away radio aerial. I called out to abandon ship.


"I then left the upper bridge and went into the chart house to obtain ship's position from the chart, but, as there was no light, could not see. I then went out of the chart house and met the navigator, Lieutenant Leonard, and asked him if he had sent any radio; he replied 'No.' I then directed him and accompanied him to the main deck and told him to take charge of cutting away forward dories and life rafts. I then proceeded along starboard gangway and found a man lying face down in gangway. I stooped and rolled him over and spoke to him, but received no reply and was unable to learn his identity, owing to the darkness. It is my opinion that this man was dead. I then continued to the after end of ship, took station on after gun platform.

"I then realized that the ship was filling rapidly and her bulwarks amidships were level with the water. I directed the after dories and life rafts to be cut away and thrown overboard and ordered the men in the immediate vicinity to jump over the side, intending to follow them. Before I could jump, however, the ship listed heavily to port, plunging by the head and sunk, carrying me down with the suction.


"I experienced no difficulty, however, in getting clear and when I came to the surface I swam a few yards to a life raft, to which were clinging three men. We climbed on board this raft and upon looking around observed Doyle, chief boatswain's mate, and one other man in the whale boat. We paddled to the whale boat and embarked from the life raft. The whale boat was about half full of water and we immediately started bailing and then to rescue men from the wreckage, and quickly filled the whale boat to more than its maximum capacity, so that no others could be taken aboard. We then picked up two overturned dories which were nested together, separated them and righted them, only to find that their sterns had been broken.

"We then located another nest of dories, which were found to be seaworthy. Transferred some men from the whale boat into these dories and proceeded to pick up other men from wreckage. During this time cries were heard from two men in the water some distance away who were holding on to wreckage and calling for assistance. It is believed that these men were Earnest M. Harrison and John Winne, Jr. As soon as the dories were available, we proceeded to where they were last seen but could find no trace of them.

"About this time, which was probably an hour after the ship sank, a German submarine approached the scene of torpedoing and lay to, near some of the dories and life rafts. She was in the light condition, and from my observation of her I am of the opinion that she was of the U-27-31 type. This has been confirmed by having a number of men and officers check the silhouette book. The submarine was probably one hundred yards distant from my whale boat, and I heard no remarks from anyone on the submarine, although I observed three persons standing on top of conning tower. After laying on surface about half an hour the submarine steered off and submerged. I then proceeded with the whale boat and two dories searching through the wreckage to make sure that no survivors were left in the water. No other people being seen, at 4:30 A.M. we steered away from the scene of disaster. The Alcedo was sunk, near as I can estimate, seventy-five miles west true of north end of Belle Ile. The torpedo struck ship at 1:46 by the officer of the deck's watch and the same watch stopped at 1:54 A.M. November 5th, this showing that the ship remained afloat eight minutes. The flare of Penmark Light was visible, and I headed for it and ascertained the course by Polaris to be approximately northeast We rowed until 1:15, when Penmark Lighthouse was sighted. Continued rowing until 5:15 P.M., when Penmark Lighthouse was distant about two and one-half miles. We were then picked up by French torpedo boat number 257, and upon going on board I requested the commanding officer to radio immediately to Brest reporting the fact of torpedoing and that three officers and forty men were proceeding to Brest. The French gave all assistance possible for the comfort of the survivors. We arrived at Brest about 11 P.M. Those requiring medical attention were sent to the hospital and the others were sent off to the Panther to be quartered. Upon arrival at Brest I was informed that two other dories containing Lieut. H.R. Leonard, Lieut. H.A. Peterson, P.A. Aurgeon, Paul O.M. Andreae, and twenty-five men had landed at Pen March Point. This is my first intimation that these officers and men had been saved, as they had not been seen by any of my party at the scene of torpedoing."


The next contribution of life on the part of the Negro in the American navy was made when the U.S.S. war vessel Cyclops so mysteriously disappeared. Loaded with a cargo of manganese, with fifty-seven passengers, twenty officers, and a crew of two hundred and thirteen enlisted men (twenty-three of whom were Negroes). The vessel was due in port March 13, 1918. On March 4, the Cyclops reported at Barbadoes, British West Indies, where she put in for bunker coal. Since her departure from that port there has not been the slightest trace of the vessel, and long continued and vigilant search of the entire region proved utterly futile, as not a vestige of wreckage has been discovered. No responsible explanation of the strange and mysterious disappearance of this vessel has ever been given by the officials of the Navy Department. It was known that one of her two engines was damaged, and that she was proceeding at reduced speed; but, even if the other engine had become disabled, it would not have had any effect on her ability to communicate by radio.

Many theories have been advanced, but none seems to account satisfactorily for the ship's complete vanishment. After months of search and waiting, the Cyclops was finally given up as lost and her crew officially declared dead. This vessel was under the command of a German-born officer, who, prior to his connection with the Navy Department, was an officer of the merchant marine. Many accusations were made reflecting upon his loyalty. Some even going as far as suggesting that he had intimidated the crew and delivered the vessel into the hands of the enemy; but, it is strange to note that none of these insinuations was directed to the loyal and ever true Negroes who formed a part of its crew and presumably went to their watery graves in order that German militarism might be crushed.

What a strange episode if, indeed, these are the facts in this most unfortunate incident. In intelligent circles, it should and will mark the beginning of a period of racial justice and equity. When one's deeds and character will invariably constitute the exponent of one's appreciation.


Caucasian treachery in some of our national perils presented no charms for the Negro whose proven fidelity everywhere and on every occasion marks him the great American advocate in fact as well as in profession.

If these accusations should in the end prove true, which is highly possible, would it not have been wiser on the part of the directors of our naval policy, when the urgent pressure for manpower to officer the expanding navy of the United States asserted itself, to have recognized the ability and merit of scores of black men, whose years of faithful and efficient service in the navy of the United States and unquestioned fidelity to duty justly entitle them to the command of a vessel of this character, instead of utilizing the services of men of questioned loyalty and doubtful allegiance to command our naval vessels? For such an act of base and unpardonable treachery is unthinkable to a Negro. Rather would he most willingly have seen his last drop of rich loyal blood flow in torrents of effusion than to leave to his progeny such a record of shame and infamy.


Another incident in which the Negro displayed his constant willingness to die for the cause of America and its ideals was when the United States torpedo boat destroyer Jacob Jones was destroyed by a torpedo fired from a German submarine. This ship was one of six of an escorting group which was returning independently from Brest, France, to Queensland, Ireland. The following extract from the report of its commanding officer gives in brief detail the manner in which the majority of its crew met their death in an effort to uphold the principles of democracy. On this vessel, as well as all others that were lost, the Negro served, bled, and died, side by side with white men in a desperate struggle to subdue the German U-boat.

"I was in the chart house and heard some one cry out, 'Torpedo.' I jumped at once to the bridge and on the way up saw the torpedo about eight hundred yards from the ship approaching from about one point abaft the starboard beam headed for a point about amidships, making a perfectly straight surface run (alternately broaching and submerging to approximately four or five feet), at an estimated speed of at least forty knots. No periscope was sighted. When I reached the bridge, I found that the officer of the deck had already put the rudder hard left and rung up the emergency speed on the engine room telegraph. The ship had already begun to swing to the left. I personally rang up the emergency speed again and then turned to watch the torpedo. The executive officer left the chart house just ahead of me, saw the torpedo immediately on getting outside the door, and estimates that the torpedo when he sighted it was one thousand yards away, approaching from one point, or slightly less, abaft the beam and making exceedingly high speed.

"After seeing the torpedo and realizing the straight run, line of approach, and high speed it was making, I was convinced that it was impossible to maneuver to avoid it. The officer of the deck took prompt measures in maneuvering to avoid the torpedo. The torpedo broached and jumped clear of the water at a short distance from the ship, submerged about fifty or sixty feet from the ship and struck approximately three feet below the water-line in the fuel oil tank between the auxiliary room and the after crew space.


"The ship settled aft immediately after being torpedoed to a point at which the deck just forward of the after deck house was awash, and then, more gradually, until the deck abreast the engine room hatch was awash. A man on watch in the engine room attempted to close the water-tight door between the auxiliary room and the engine room, but was unable to do so against the pressure of water from the auxiliary room. The deck over the forward part of the after crew space and over the fuel oil tanks just forward of it was blown clear for a space athwartships of about twenty feet from starboard to port, and the auxiliary room was wrecked. The starboard after torpedo tube was blown into the air. No fuel oil ignited and apparently no ammunition exploded.

"The depth charges in the chutes aft were set on ready and exploded after the stern sank. It was impossible to get to them to set on safe as they were under the water.

"As soon as the torpedo struck, it was attempted to send out an S.O.S. message by radio, but the mainmast was carried away and antennae falling and all electric power had failed. I then tried to have the gun sight lighting batteries connected up in an effort to send out a low power message with them, but it was at once evident that this would not be practicable before the ship sank. There was no other vessel in sight, and it was therefore impossible to get through a distress signal of any kind. Immediately after the ship was torpedoed every effort was made to get rafts and boats launched. Also, the circular life belts from the bridge and several splinter mats from the outside of the bridge were cut adrift and afterwards proved very useful in holding men up until they could be got to the raft.


"The ship sank about 4:29 P.M. (about eight minutes after being torpedoed). As I saw her settling rapidly, I ran along the deck and ordered everybody I saw to jump overboard. At this time, most of those not killed by the explosion had got clear of the ship and were on rafts or wreckage. Some, however, were swimming and a few appeared to be about a ship's length astern of the ship, at some distance from the rafts, probably having jumped overboard very soon after the ship was torpedoed.

"Before the ship sank, two shots were fired from No. 4 gun with the hope of attracting the attention of some nearby ship. As the ship began sinking I jumped overboard. The ship sank stern first and twisted slowly through nearly one hundred and eighty degrees as she swung upright. From this nearly vertical position, bow in the air, to about the forward point, she went straight down. Before the ship reached the vertical position the depth charges exploded, and I believe them to have caused the death of a number of men. They also partially paralyzed, stunned, or dazed a number of others, some of whom are still disabled.


"Immediate efforts were made to get all survivors on the rafts and then get the rafts and boats together. Three rafts were launched before the ship sank and one floated off when she sank. The motor dory, hull undamaged but engine out of commission, also floated off and the punt and wherry also floated clear. The punt was wrecked beyond usefulness and the wherry was damaged and leaking badly, but was of considerable use in getting men to the rafts. The whale boat was launched but capsized soon afterwards, having been damaged by the explosion of the depth charges. The motor sailor did not float clear, but went down with the ship.

"About fifteen or twenty minutes after the ship sank, the submarine appeared on the surface about two or three miles to the westward of the raft, and gradually approached until about eight hundred or one thousand yards from the ship, where it stopped and was seen to pick up one unidentified man from the water. The submarine then submerged and was not seen again.


"I was picked up by the motor dory and at once began to make arrangements to reach the Scillys in that boat in order to get assistance to those on the rafts. All the survivors then in sight were collected and I gave orders to one of the officers to keep them together. The navigating officer had fixed the position a few minutes before the explosion and both he and I knew accurately the course to be steered. I kept one of the officers with me and four men who were in good condition to man the oars, the engine being out of commission. With the exception of some emergency rations and a half bucket of water, all provisions, including medical kit, were taken from the dory and left on the rafts. There was no apparatus of any kind which could be used for night signalling.

"After a very trying trip, during which it was necessary to steer by stars and by direction of the wind, the dory was picked up about 1 P.M. by a small patrol vessel about six miles south of St. Mary's. The commander informing me that the rest of the survivors had been picked up. I deeply regret to state that out of a total of several officers and one hundred and six enlisted men on board at the time of the torpedoing, two officers and sixty-four enlisted men were killed in the performance of duty. The behavior of the men under the most exceptional and trying conditions is worthy of praise, and the following cases are a sample of the spirit of the men under these conditions.


"One man removed parts of his clothing (when all realized that their lives depended upon keeping warm), to try to keep alive men who were more thinly clad than himself. Another man at the risk of almost certain death, remained in the motor sailor and endeavored to get it clear for floating from the ship. While he did not succeed in accomplishing this act (which would have undoubtedly saved twenty or thirty lives) he stuck to his duty until the very last. He was drawn under the water with the boat, but later came to the surface and was rescued."

Wallace Simpson, a young Negro, was a petty officer aboard this vessel. Young Simpson was a graduate of the high school, Denver, Colorado, and at the call of his country, when but in the prime of his life, made the supreme sacrifice in order that the world might be made safe for democracy.


It seems that fate always throws the Negro in a line of service wherein he can by some method, peculiarly his own, have an opportunity to display his ability, loyalty and usefulness, in spite of prejudice and opposition. I particularly refer here to the positions of firemen and coal passers, because of the physical strength required for work of that kind. The Negro can serve better in the American navy in this capacity than in any other, with the possible exception of the messman branch of service; but, nevertheless, in the former positions he has a decidedly better opportunity to bring into play originality and foresight, for the fire-room is the life of the ship and especially so when attacked.

When one of the vessels of our navy had been hit with one torpedo from an enemy submarine and was about to be hit with a second, the commanding officer had the following statement to make: "I realized that the immediate problem was to escape a second torpedo. To do so, two things were necessary, to attack the enemy, and to make more speed than he could submerged. The depth charge crew jumped to their stations and immediately started dropping depth bombs. A barrage of depth charges was dropped, exploding at regular intervals far below the surface of the water. This work was beautifully done. The explosions must have shaken the enemy up, at any rate he never came to the surface again to get a look at us.

"The other factor in the problem was to make as much speed as possible, not only in order to escape an immediate attack, but also to prevent the submarine from tracking us and attacking us after nightfall.

"The men in the fire rooms knew that the safety of the ship and our lives depended on their bravery and steadfastness to duty. It is difficult to conceive a more trying ordeal to one's courage than was presented to every man in the fire room that escaped destruction. The profound shock of the explosion, followed by instant darkness, falling soot and particles, the knowledge that they were far below the water level, practically enclosed in a trap, the imminent danger of the ship sinking, the added threat of exploding boilers-all these dangers and more must have been apparent to every man below, and yet not one man wavered in standing by his post of duty.


"No better example can possibly be given of the wonderful fact that with a brave and disciplined body of American men, white or black, all things are possible. However strong may be their momentary impulses for self-preservation in extreme danger, their controlling impulses are to stand by their stations and duty at all hazards.

"In at least two instances in this crisis below, men who were actually in the face of death did actually forget or ignored their impulse of self-preservation and endeavored to do what appeared to them to be their duty. One man was in one of the flooded fire rooms. He was thrown to the floor and instantly enveloped in flames from the burning gases driven from the furnaces, but instead of rushing to escape, he turned and endeavored to shut a water-tight door leading into a large bunker abaft the fire room. But the hydraulic lever that operated the door had been injured by the shock and failed to function. Three men at work at this bunker were drowned. If this man had succeeded in shutting the door, the lives of these men would have been saved as well as considerable buoyancy saved to the ship. The fact that he, though profoundly stunned by the shock and almost fatally burned by the furnace gases, should have had presence of mind and the courage to endeavor to shut the door is a great example of heroic devotion to duty as is possible for one to imagine. Immediately after attempting to close the door he was caught in the swirl of inrushing water and thrust up a ventilator leading to the upper deck.


"The torpedo exploded on a bulkhead separating two fire rooms, the explosive effect being apparently equal in both fire rooms, yet, in one fire room not a man was saved, while in the other fire room two of the men escaped. The explosion blasted through the outer and inner skin of the ship and through an intervening coal bunker and bulkhead, hurling overboard seven hundred and fifty tons of coal. The two men saved were working the fires within thirty feet of the explosion and just below the level where the torpedo struck.

"It is difficult to see how it was possible for these men to have escaped the shower of debris, coal and water that must instantly have followed the explosion. However, the two men were not only saved but seemed to have retained full possession of their faculties. Both of them were knocked down and blown across the fire room. Their sensations were at first a shower of flying coal, followed by an overwhelming inrush of water that swirled them round and round and finally thrust them up against the gratings of the top of the fire rooms."


Another instance of self-sacrifice and unparalleled heroism is contained in the account of the attack upon the torpedo boat Cassin by a German submarine, while on patrol duty off the coast of Ireland. The following is the story briefly related in the official report of her commanding officer:

"When about twenty miles south of Minehead, at 1:30 P.M., a German submarine was sighted by the lookout aloft four or five miles away, about two points on the port bow. The submarine at this time was awash and was made out by officers of the watch and the quartermaster of the watch, but three minutes later submerged. The Cassin which was making fifteen knots continued on its course until near the position where the submarine had disappeared. When last seen the submarine was heading in a southeasterly direction, and when the destroyer reached the point of disappearance the course was changed, as it was thought the vessel would make a decided change of course after submerging. At this time the commanding officer, the executive officer, engineer officer, officer of the watch, and the junior watch officers were all on the bridge searching for the submarine.


"About 1:57 P.M., the commanding officer sighted a torpedo apparently shortly after it had been fired, running near the surface and in a direction that was estimated would make a hit either in the engine or fire room. When first seen the torpedo was between three or four hundred yards from the ship, and the wake could be followed on the other side for about four hundred yards. The torpedo was running at high speed, at least thirty-five knots. The Cassin was maneuvering to dodge the torpedo, double emergency full speed ahead having been signalled from the engine room and the rudder put hard left as soon as the torpedo was sighted. It looked for the moment as though the torpedo would pass astern. When about fifteen or twenty feet away the torpedo porpoised, completely leaving the water and sheering to the left. Before again taking the water the torpedo hit the ship well aft on the port side about frame one hundred sixty-three and above the water line. Almost immediately after the explosion of the torpedo the depth charges, located on the stern and ready for firing, exploded. There were two distinct explosions in quick succession after the torpedo hit.

"But one life was lost. Osman K. Ingram, gunner's mate, first class, was cleaning the muzzle of number 4 gun, target practice being just over when the attack occurred. With rare presence of mind, realizing that the torpedo was about to strike the part of the ship where the depth charges were stored and that the setting off of these explosions might sink the ship, Ingram, immediately seeing the danger, ran aft to strip these charges and throw them overboard. He was blown to pieces when the torpedo struck. Thus, Ingram sacrificed his life in the performance of a duty which he believed would save his ship and the lives of the officers and men on board."


One of the most spectacular and thrilling incidents of our naval warfare in which more than a score of colored men bravely and heroically participated, was the attack and sinking of the U.S.S. President Lincoln, the commanding officer of which reports as follows:

"On May 31, 1918, the President Lincoln was returning to America from a voyage to France, and was in line formation with the U.S.S. Susquehanna, Antigone, and Ryndam, the latter being on the left flank of the formation and about eight hundred yards from the President Lincoln. The ships were about five hundred miles from the coast of France and had passed through what was considered to be the most dangerous part of the war zone. At about 9 A.M. a terrific explosion occurred on the port side of the ship about one hundred and twenty feet from the bow and immediately afterwards another explosion occurred on the port side of the ship about one hundred and twenty feet from the stern, these explosions being immediately identified as coming from torpedoes fired by a German submarine.

"It was found that the ship had been struck by three torpedoes, which were fired as one salvo from the submarine, two of the torpedoes striking practically together near the bow of the ship and the third striking near the stern. The wake of the torpedo had been sighted by the officers and lookouts on watch, but the torpedoes were so close to the ship as to make it impossible to avoid them; and it was also found that the submarine at the time of firing was only about eight hundred yards from the President Lincoln. There were at the time seven hundred and fifteen persons on board, some of these were sick and two men were totally paralyzed.


"The alarm was immediately sounded and everyone went to his proper station which had been designated at previous drills. There was not the slightest confusion and the crew and passengers waited for and acted on orders from the commanding officer with a coolness which was truly inspiring. Inspections were made below decks and it was found that the ship was rapidly filling with water, both forward and aft, and that there was little likelihood that she would remain afloat. The boats were lowered and the life rafts were placed in the water and about fifteen minutes after the ship was struck all hands except guns' crews were ordered to abandon the ship.

"It had been previously planned that in order to avoid the losses which have occurred in such instances by filling the boats at the davits before lowering them, that only one officer and five men would get into the boats before lowering and that everyone else would get into the water and get on the life rafts and then be picked up by the boats, this being entirely feasible, as everyone was provided with an efficient life-saving jacket. One exception was made to the plan, however, in that one boat was filled with the sick before being lowered and it was in this boat that the paralyzed men were saved without difficulty.


"The guns' crews were held at their stations hoping for an opportunity to fire on the submarine should it appear before the ship sank, and orders were given to the guns' crews to begin firing, hoping that this might prevent further attack. All the ship's company except the guns' crews and the necessary officers were at that time in the boats and on the rafts near the ship, and when the guns' crews began firing, the people in the boats set up a cheer to show that they were not downhearted. The guns' crews only left their guns when ordered by the commanding officer just before the ship sank. The guns in the bow kept up firing until after the water was entirely over the main deck of the after half of the ship.

"The state of discipline which existed and the coolness of the men is well illustrated by what occurred when the boats were being lowered and were about half way from their davits to the water. At this particular time, there appeared some possibility of the ship not sinking immediately, and the commanding officer gave the order to stop lowering the boats. This order could not be understood, however, owing to the noise caused by escaping steam from the safety valves of the boilers which had been lifted to prevent explosion, but by motion of the hand from the commanding officer the crews stopped lowering the boats and held them in mid air for a few minutes until at a further motion of the hand the boats were dropped into the water.


"Immediately after the ship sank the boats pulled among the rafts and were loaded with men to their full capacity and the work of collecting the rafts and tying them together to prevent drifting apart and being lost was begun. While this work was under way and about half an hour after the ship sank, a large German submarine emerged and came among the boats and rafts, searching for the commanding officer and some of the senior officers whom they desired to take prisoners. The submarine commander was able to identify only one officer, Lieut. E.V.M. Isaacs, whom he took on board. The submarine remained in the vicinity of the boats for about two hours and returned again in the afternoon, hoping apparently for an opportunity of attacking some of the other ships which had been in company with the President Lincoln, but which had, in accordance with standard instructions, steamed as rapidly as possible from the scene of attack.

"By dark the boats and rafts had been collected and secured together, there being about five hundred men in the boats and about two hundred on the rafts. Lighted lanterns were hoisted in the boats and flare-up lights and signal lights were burned every few minutes, the necessary detail of men being made to carry out this work during the night. The boats had been provided with water and food, but none was used during the day, as the quantity was necessarily limited, and it might be a period of several days before a rescue could be effected.


"The ship's wireless plant had been put out of commission by the force of the explosion, and although the ship's operator had sent the radio distress signal, yet it was known that the nearest destroyers were two hundred and fifty miles away, protecting another convoy, and it was possible that military necessity might prevent their being detached to come to our rescue. At about 11 P.M. a white light flashing in the blackness of the night,-it was very dark-was sighted, and very shortly it was found that the destroyer Warrington had arrived to our rescue and about an hour afterwards the destroyer Smith also arrived. The transfer of the men from the boats and rafts to the destroyers was effected as quickly as possible and the destroyers remained in the vicinity until after daylight the following morning, when a further search was made for survivors who might have drifted in a boat or on a raft, but none were found, and at about 6 A.M., the return trip to France was begun.

"Of the seven hundred and fifteen men present all told on board, it was found after the muster that three officers and twenty-three men were lost with the ship, and that one officer had been taken prisoner.


"Although the German submarine commander made no offers of assistance of any kind, yet otherwise his conduct for the ship's company in the boat was all that could be expected. We naturally had some apprehension as to whether or not he would open fire on the boats and rafts. I thought he might probably do this, as an attempt to make me and other officers disclose their identity. This possibility was evidently in the minds of the men of the crew also, because at one time I noticed some one on the submarine walk to the muzzle of one of the guns, apparently with the intention of preparing it for action. This was evidently observed by some of the men in my boat, and I heard the remark, 'Good night, here comes the fireworks.' The spirit which actuated remarks of this kind, under such circumstances, could be none other than that of cool courage and bravery."


(Condensed from report by Lieutenant Edouard Victor M. Isaacs on his capture and escape from a German prison camp.)

"The President Lincoln went down about 9:30 in the morning, thirty minutes after being struck by three torpedoes. In obedience to orders I abandoned ship after seeing all hands aft safely off the vessel. The boats had pulled away, but I stepped on a raft floating alongside, the quarter deck being then awash. A few minutes later one of the boats picked me up. The submarine U-90 returned and the commanding officer, while searching for Captain Foote of the President Lincoln, took me out of the boat. I told him my captain had gone down with the ship, whereupon he steamed away, taking me prisoner to Germany. We passed to the north of the Shetlands into the North Sea, the Skaggerak, the Cattegat, and the Sound into the Baltic. Proceeding to Kiel, we passed down the canal through Heligoland Bight to Wilhelmshaven.

"On the way to the Shetlands, we fell in with two American destroyers, the Smith and the Warrington, who dropped twenty-two depth bombs on us. We were submerged to a depth of sixty meters and weathered the storm, although five bombs were very close and shook us up considerably. The information I had been able to collect was, I considered, of enough importance to warrant my trying to escape. Accordingly in Danish waters I attempted to jump from the deck of the submarine but was caught and ordered below.


"The German navy authorities took me from Wilhelmshaven to Karlsruhe, where I was turned over to the army. Here I met officers of all the Allied armies, and with them I attempted several escapes, all of which were unsuccessful. After three weeks at Karlsruhe I was sent to the American and Russian officers' camp at Villinen. On the way I attempted to escape from the train by jumping out of the window. With the train making about forty miles an hour, I landed on the opposite railroad track and was so severely wounded by the fall that I could not get away from my guard. They followed me, firing continuously. When they recaptured me they struck me on the head and body with their guns until one broke his rifle. It snapped in two at the small of the stock as he struck me with the butt on the back of the head.


"I was given two weeks' solitary confinement for this attempt to escape, but continued trying, for I was determined to get my information back to the navy. Finally, on the night of October 6th, assisted by several army officers, I was able to effect an escape by short-circuiting all lighting circuits in the prison camps and cutting through barbed wire fences surrounding the camp. This had to be done in the face of a heavy rifle fire from the guards. But it was difficult for them to see in the darkness, so I escaped unscathed. In company with an American officer in the French army, I made my way for seven days and nights over mountains to the Rhine, which to the south of Baden forms the boundary between Germany and Switzerland. After a four-hour crawl on hands and knees I was able to elude the sentries along the Rhine. Plunging in, I made for the Swiss shore. After being carried several miles down the stream, being frequently submerged by the rapid currents, I finally reached the opposite shore and gave myself up to the Swiss gendarmes, who turned me over to the American legation at Berne. From there I made my way to Paris and then London and finally Washington, where I arrived four weeks after my escape from Germany."

The accounts and incidents heretofore mentioned are but a few of the exceptionally meritorious cases, of the many, in which the devotion to duty and the unquestioned heroism characterized the conduct of the Negro under the galling fire of danger and death.


Primarily due to the difference in organization between the army and navy of the United States, it is well nigh impossible to point out and record with any degree of accuracy the signal and patriotic sacrifices of any great body of Negroes as a unit in the naval service. While in the army, where segregation and discrimination of the rankest type force the Negro into distinct Negro units; the navy, on the other hand, has its quota of black men on every vessel carrying the starry emblem of freedom on the high seas and in every shore station. The operations of the navy of the United States during the World War has covered the widest scope in its history without a doubt. It carried the Negro in European waters from the Mediterranean to the White Sea. At Corfu, Gibraltar, along the French Bay of Biscay, in the English Channel, on the Irish coast, in the North Sea, at Murmansk and Archangel, he was ever present to experience whatever of hardships were necessary and to make whatever sacrifices demanded, that the proud and glorious record of the navy of the United States should remain untarnished.


He formed a part of the crew of nearly two thousand vessels that plied the briny deep, on submarines that feared not the under sea peril, and wherever a naval engagement was undertaken or the performance of a duty by a naval vessel, the Negro, as a part of the crew of that vessel, necessarily contributed to the successful prosecution of that duty; and, whatever credit or glory is achieved for American valor, it was made possible by the faithful execution of his duty, regardless of his character. For, on a battleship where the strictest system of co-ordination and co-operation among all who compose the crew is absolutely necessary, each man is assigned a particular and a special duty independent of the other men, and should he fail in its faithful discharge the loss of the vessel and its enterprise might possibly result.


Far be it from the intention of this article to condone the existing policy of the navy of the United States as regards the Negro, where unwritten law prescribes and precludes him from service above a designated status. It is well known that no Negro has ever graduated from the United States Naval Academy, at Annapolis, Maryland, which is primarily essential to receive a commission as a line officer of the navy. It is true that some three or four Negroes have attempted to complete the course of instruction at this academy, but, their treatment, as a result of race prejudice, made their efforts futile, as well as their stay there more miserable than a decade of confinement in a Hun penitentiary. Intimidation, humiliation, and actual physical violence, notwithstanding their determination, finally resulted in the conclusion to abandon the coveted goal of becoming officers in the great navy of the United States.

It is also known that notwithstanding the urgent pressure for experienced men to officer the expanding navy as a result of the World War, it became necessary to commission hundreds of men, who as a result of their experience as enlisted men, are temporary officers. But none of these commissions was given to a Negro, despite the fact that scores of them had rendered honorable service of from ten to twenty years and were exceptionally qualified as stated by their commanding officers for these commissions. During the war there were approximately eleven thousand men commissioned as officers. A great majority of this number were commissioned as pay clerks, paymasters, medical officers, and other ranks, wherein no technical naval knowledge or experience is required. And it is strange to note that not a single Negro received one of these commissions.


In his annual report to the Congress of the United States, the secretary of the navy department made the following statement: "The regular navy personnel as it existed at the beginning of the war has been repeatedly combed for warrant officers and enlisted men competent for advancement to commissioned rank, and this source furnished experienced and capable officers. But more were needed and they came from new recruits. It early became evident that as the new men came into the service they should be tried out for officer qualifications and that those having talent should receive special instruction to prepare them for officer duty. Officer material schools were hastily improvised in the various naval districts at the outbreak of war to train the new men coming in, etc."

In the face of the above admission of the serious shortage of qualified men, it can not be understood why the awarding of commissions was made to inexperienced white boys with no prior naval experience or demonstrated ability in preference to the Negro, who has demonstrated his fitness and ability by years of faithful service in every phase of naval activity to which he has been given access.


But, in spite of these outward and open acts of prejudice and oppression, the Negro never wavered in the loyal performance of any duty, however humble or arduous with which he was charged. And it might be mentioned that these acts of oppression were brought to his attention and emphasized by subtle German propagandists, who hoped to alienate his affections and devotion from his native country. As an example of this diabolical scheme, the following letter, which was dropped from German balloons over a sector held by Negro troops, in September, 1918, is quoted:

"To the Colored Soldiers and Sailors of the United States: Hello, boys! What are you doing over here? Fighting the Germans? Why? Have they ever done you any harm? Of course, some white folks and the lying English-American papers told you that the Germans ought to be wiped out for the sake of humanity and democracy. What is democracy? Personal freedom, all citizens enjoying the same rights socially and before the law. Do you enjoy the same rights as the white people do in America, the land of freedom and democracy? Or, are you not rather treated over there as second-class citizens? Can you go into a restaurant where white people dine? Can you get a seat in the theatre where white people sit? Can you get a berth or a seat in the railroad car, or can you even ride in the South in the same street car with white people? And how about the law? Is lynching and the most horrible crimes connected therewith, a lawful proceeding in a democratic country?

"Now, all this is entirely different in Germany, where they do like colored people, where they treat them as gentlemen and as white men, and quite a number of colored people have fine positions in business in Berlin and other German cities. Why, then, fight the Germans only for the benefit of Wall Street robbers and to protect the millions they have loaned to the English, French and Italians? You have been made the tool of the egotistical and rapacious rich in England and America and there is nothing in the whole game for you but broken bones, horrible wounds, spoiled health, or death. No satisfaction whatever will you get out of this unjust war. You have never seen Germany. So you are fools if you allow people to make you hate us. Come over and see for yourself. Let those do the fighting who make the profits out of the war. Don't allow them to use you as cannon fodder. To carry a gun in this service is not an honor, but a shame. Throw it away and come over to the German lines. You will find friends who will help you along."


Such a piece of infamous treachery scarcely deserves comment; for, if the Negro had been the least inclined to be a traitor, he could not forget the atrocious treatment accorded the black man in the African colonies controlled by Germany. For the Negro well remembers the treachery of von Trotha, who invited the Herero chiefs to come in and make peace and promptly shot them in cold blood. And the words of his cruel and inhuman "Extermination Order" directing that every Herero man, woman, child or babe was to be killed and no prisoners taken. All of which had the sanction of Berlin.

But, aside from his intimate knowledge of German treachery and duplicity, a still higher principle inspired the Negro; for to forget the loyalty to his own native country in this hour of trial and darkness would be scandalous and shameful and would blacken the Negro in the eyes of the whole world. Of this class of treachery, the Negro is absolutely incapable. They have endured some of the greatest sacrifices and humiliations that could be demanded of a people, but, they always have kept before them ideals, founded on loyalty and devotion to duty, and never, in their darkest days, have they sought to gain their ends by treasonable means. For the path of treason is still an unknown path to the Negro. Their duty and their conscience alike bade them be faithful and true to their government and their flag in this hour of darkness and trouble.


During the World War, there were approximately ten thousand Negroes who voluntarily enlisted in the navy of the United States. They were distributed throughout the various ratings of the enlisted status. Many of them were chief petty officers who had rendered years of faithful service and were regarded as experts in their profession, and, consequently, played an important part in the organization and function of the battle units. In the transport service, his powerful physical endurance and strength made him a determining factor in the Herculean efforts to supply men, munitions, and provisions for the battlefields of France. In order to appreciate the magnitude of his service, let us briefly note the following facts:

Two million American fighting men were safely landed in France. To do this the transport force of the Atlantic fleet of the United States had to be utilized. At the outbreak of the war the transport force was small, but it now comprises twenty-four cruisers, forty-two troop transports, and scores of other vessels, manned by three thousand officers and forty-one thousand enlisted men, two thousand of whom are Negroes.


To think of the peril and dangers of this service at best, even in peace times, seamanship is a comfortless and cheerless calling. But in war, to the ordinary perils of the sea are added unusual hardships which reach their maximum in the dangers and perils of the war zone-the attack without warning of the invisible foe whose presence is too frequently known only by a terrific explosion, which casts the hapless crew adrift on surging seas, leagues from a friendly shore. Think of the terrific strain under which these men perform their perilous tasks. Gun crews on continuous duty, ever ready with the shot that might save the ship; the black men below in the fire room, expecting every moment to receive the fatal blast which would entrap them in a hideous death; the watch, ceaseless in its vigil by day and by night, peering through the darkness and the mist, conscious that upon their alertness depended the lives of all. Yet under these conditions of unprecedented hardships every black man performed his duty with the highest degree of courage and self-sacrifice.

We will mention one of the many instance of the matchless intrepidity of the men engaged in this hazardous service. In September, 1918, a transport with several hundred sick and wounded soldiers on board, was torpedoed when a short distance out from Brest. Thirty-six men of the fire room met their death in the fire and steam and boiling water of the stokehold. With two compartments flooded, their comrades dead and dying, with a seeming certainty that the attack would continue, which would mean that every man in the compartment where the torpedo struck would be drowned or burned to death. Yet despite all, when volunteers were called for to man the still undamaged furnaces to keep up steam for the run back to port, every man in the force stepped forward and said he was ready to go below.


There was nothing spectacular about this grinding duty. Winter and summer, by day and by night, in the fog and in the rain and in the ice, it demanded constant vigilance, unceasing toil, and extreme endurance. The work of this dangerous service was endless and its hardships and hazards are barely realized. During the winter storms of the north Atlantic the maddened seas all but engulfed these tiny but staunch transports, when for days they breasted the fury of the gale and defied the very elements in their struggle for mastery. No sleep then for the tired crew; no hot food; no dry clothes. Yet despite it all, with each hour perhaps the last, with death stalking through the staggering hulls, not a man-black or white-to the everlasting glory of the American navy, not a man but felt himself especially favored in being assigned that duty.


Since this country entered the war practically all the enemy's naval forces, except the submarines, have been blockaded in his ports by the naval forces of the Allies, and there has been no opportunity for naval engagements of a major character. The enemy's submarines, however, formed a continual menace to the safety of all our transports and shipping, necessitating the use of every effective means and the utmost vigilance for the protection of our vessels. Concentrated attacks were made by enemy U-boats on the ships that carried the very first contingent to Europe, and all that have gone since have faced this liability to attack. Our destroyers and patrol vessels, upon all of which Negroes served in addition to convoy duty, have waged an unceasing offensive warfare against the submarine. In spite of all this, our naval losses have been gratifyingly small. Not one American troop ship, as previously stated, has been torpedoed on the way to France, and but three, the Antilles, President Lincoln, and the Covington, were sunk on the return voyage.


Only three fighting ships were lost as a result of enemy action-the patrol ship Alcedo, a converted yacht sunk off the coast of France, November 5, 1917; the torpedo boat destroyer Jacob Jones, sunk off the British coast, December 6, 1917, and the cruiser San Diego, sunk off Fire Island, off the New York coast, July 18, 1918, striking a mine supposedly set adrift by a German submarine. The transport Finland and the destroyer Cassin, which were torpedoed, reached port and were soon repaired and placed back in service. The transport Mount Vernon struck by a torpedo on September 5th, proceeded to port under its own steam and was repaired.

The most serious loss of life due to enemy activity was the loss of the coast guard cutter Tampa, with all on board, in Bristol Channel, England, on the night of September 26, 1918. The Tampa, which was doing escort duty, had gone ahead of the convoy. Vessels following heard the explosion, but when they reached the vicinity there were only bits of floating wreckage to show where the ship had gone down. Not one of the one hundred and eleven officers and enlisted men of her crew were rescued; and though it is believed she was sunk by a torpedo from an enemy submarine, the exact manner in which the vessel met its fate may never be known. Among the number of men lost on this vessel were at least a score of black men. Taking into consideration all the dangers and difficulties attending this service of the transport force, the comparatively light casualty list is eloquent testimony of an efficient personnel organized and trained under a wise administrative command.


Now let us briefly consider the contribution of the Negro to the construction and development of the merchant marine, a force vitally essential to the successful prosecution of the war. When America entered the war, it is a well-known fact that her merchant marine was insignificant; and, to respond to the urgent appeal of France and her allies to hurry men, provisions and munitions, a gigantic task of constructing the necessary ships stared her in the face. For the Germans at this time were making a desperate effort to starve England, France and the other Allies by destroying their commerce with America and the world, by a resort, as was brazenly announced to the world, to a heartless campaign of ruthless submarine warfare. Therefore, the very first efforts of the United States were to use every power of the navy to destroy and neutralize the effect of the lurking submarine and enter upon a policy of ship construction, which in its gigantic magnitude and comprehensiveness was unprecedented.

The manner in which the Negro generously contributed to the effectiveness of this policy is well known to all the world. For the very first record breaking riveting feat was won by a Negro crew at Sparrows Point, Maryland. His ability in this field of endeavor was ably demonstrated in all of the great industrial plants in which his services were so generously utilized. Heretofore, he had been debarred from identification in the capacity as a laborer in these plants; but, now, that war in all of its desperation was threatening the very existence of the country, the barriers of prejudice gave way and he again proved the falsity of the statement that the Negro could not handle machinery. The managers of great shipbuilding plants along the Atlantic seaboard testified before the Federal Shipbuilding Labor Adjustment Board that Negroes had worked on machines, gauged to as fine a degree as one one-thousandth of an inch with perfect satisfaction.


To the achievements of the navy, in erecting great training camps, destroyer and aviation bases, hospitals, in training thousands of men for oversea duty, the army of merchant ships, the building of a vast fleet of smaller vessels, the construction of great warehouses at home and abroad, the manufacture of heavy guns and their mounts, the production of powder and technical ordnance must be added the most spectacular achievement of all-the repair of interned German ships, in all of which the Negro participated with zeal and enthusiasm and in many instances won the admiration and commendation of his superior officers.

When these vessels, many of them of the largest type of trans-Atlantic liners, were taken over by our government, it was found that the machinery of several had been seriously damaged by the maliciously planned and carefully executed sabotage of the crews. The principal injury was to the cylinders and other parts of the engines, and, as the passenger ships were potent factors in the transportation of troops, their immediate repair was of vital necessity. Nothing daunted by the magnitude of the task, our navy undertook the repair of these broken cylinders by employing the system of electric welding, and so successful was this work, in which scores of black men were utilized, that during all the months of service in which these vessels have been engaged, not a single defect has developed.


All honor to the officers who risked their professional reputations and carried forward to complete success and accomplishment, which expert engine manufacturers considered impossible; and all honor to the patience, zeal, industry and intelligence of the noble band of laborers whose persistence and ceaseless endeavor made possible the accomplishment of these world-renowned examples of constructive and inventive American genius.

Let us not forget the mighty and tireless work of those in the department whose efforts were as assiduous as their success was complete. From the humblest yeowoman upward to the secretary of the navy, through the bureaus and their chiefs, all were animated by the same spirit of energy, of foresight, and determination to place the fleet on the highest basis of efficiency and strength. In this generous and sacrificing spirit, black men and black women, working side by side, shared in proportion and never wavered or faltered in the task of measuring up to the expectations of those whose confidence and regard are so highly esteemed.


Another just and appreciated evidence of the generous recognition with which the consistency and faithfulness of his service was awarded, may be noted in the organization and development of the muster roll section of the bureau of navigation of the navy department. Owing to a widespread demand upon the part of the citizens of the country shortly after we entered the war, for accurate and specific information concerning the whereabouts of their kinsmen in the naval service, a demand which it was practically impossible to comply with in view of the ancient methods in vogue at the time in the file section of the bureau of navigation, and in further view of the fact of the unprecedented expansion of the enlisted personnel of the navy, the secretary of the navy found it absolutely necessary to convene a conference of all the officials who had any positive and direct knowledge as to the details and operation of the file section.

This was done in order to evolve out of the multiplicity of seasoned counsel a competent and successful solution of the very important and grave problem which so heavily weighed upon the mind of the civil population of the country, when they were offering freely upon its altar their most treasured blood, as a precious sacrifice. Indeed, so important and so urgent became the necessity for an immediate and satisfactory solution of this problem that there was no evasion in a high browed manner of any creditable source of needed information. Accordingly, the bureau of navigation, in obedience to the inevitable expansion necessitated in all the bureaus of the navy by the exigencies of war, determined to organize and operate a muster roll section, charged primarily with the duty of apprehending the present whereabouts of every man of the enlisted personnel in a systematic and scientific manner.


The execution of the very essential duty of chief of the muster roll section was entrusted to John T. Risher, a colored man, to whom was given plenary power to engage and select his corps of assistants. Of course, Mr. Risher determined immediately in the face of all opposing precedents, to fully utilize the services, abilities and talents of the colored youth of the country, upon whose educational development millions of dollars had been spent in the past. In consequence, more than a dozen young colored women have been engaged in the capacity of yeowomen in this muster roll section. This is quite a novel experiment, as it is the first time in the history of the navy of the United States that colored women have been employed in any clerical capacity. And it may be noted that while many young colored men have enlisted in the mess branch of the service, it was reserved to young colored women to invade successfully the yeoman branch, thereby establishing a precedent. They are all cool, clear-headed and well-poised, evincing at all times, in the language of a white chief yeowoman: "A tidiness and appropriate demeanor both on and off duty which the girls of the white race might do well to emulate." The work of this section has proven highly efficient and satisfactory, as the plans in vogue there under its modern management are both scientific and accurate. Many of the superior officials have scrutinized the experiment very closely and are a unit in the sincerity of their admiration of its success and effectiveness.


The personnel of the muster roll section is divided in three classes, to wit:

(a) Civil service employes, who are Messrs. Albert D. Smith of Texas; David C. Johnson of Texas; George W. Beasley of Massachusetts, and W.T. Howard of Louisiana. All of the above have had years of valuable experience and are considered expert in all matters pertaining to the enlisted personnel of the navy of the United States.

(b) Yeowomen, who are as follows: Misses Armelda H. Greene of Mississippi; Pocahontas A. Jackson of Mississippi; Catherine E. Finch of Mississippi; Fannie A. Foote of Texas; Ruth A. Wellborn of Washington, D.C.; Olga F. Jones, Washington, D.C.; Sarah Davis of Maryland; Sarah E. Howard of Mississippi; Marie E. Mitchell, Washington, D.C.; Anna G. Smallwood, Washington, D.C.; Maud C. Williams of Texas; Carroll E. Washington of Mississippi; Joseph B. Washington of Mississippi; Inez B. McIntosh of Mississippi.

(c) Young men of the naval reserve force, who are: Messrs. William R. Minor of Virginia; L.D. Boyd, Brown Boyd of Virginia; Minter G. Edwards of Mississippi; Fred Jolie of Louisiana; M.T. Malvan, Washington, D.C.; U.S. Brooks; Thomas C. Bowler; Albert L. Gaskins, Washington, D.C.; Daniel Vickers of Alabama, and Mr. Fuller.


On November 11, 1918, there came that long expected and welcome message announcing to an anxious and war-weary world that an armistice had been concluded, by the terms of which actual hostilities were to cease.

On November 21, 1918, five American dreadnaughts were in that far-flung double line of Allied ships, through which passed in surrender the dreadnaughts, cruisers and destroyers of the second most powerful navy in the world. When Admiral Beatty sent his famous signal, "The German flag is to be hauled down at 3:57 and is not to be hoisted again without permission," the work of our navy as a battle unit in the war zone was over. And the following tribute from Gen. John J. Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of the American Expeditionary Forces in France, was sent to the commander of the United States naval forces: "Permit me to send to the force commander, the officers, and men of the American navy, in European waters, the most cordial greetings of the American Expeditionary Force. The bond which joins together all men of American blood has been mightily strengthened and deepened by the rough hand of war.

"Those of us who are privileged to serve in the army and navy are to one another as brothers. Spaces of land and sea are nothing where a common purpose binds. We are so dependent one upon another that the honor, the fame, the exploits of the one are the honor, the fame, the exploits of the other. If the enemy should dare to leave his safe harbor and set his ships in battle array no cheers would be more ringing, as you and our Allied fleets move to meet him, than those of the American Expeditionary Forces in France. We have unshaken confidence in you and are assured that when we stand on the threshold of peace your record will be one worthy of your traditions."

Eloquent and memorable, indeed, are these beautiful sentiments expressed in behalf of every man, black and white who had the rare good fortune to be a participant in the conflicts of these illustrious and ever memorable times. They should be indelibly carved upon the heart and soul of every loyal citizen, whose anxiety to serve his day and generation easily outvies all other sentiments of which he is capable.


Out of the mist and the snow of the morning of December 26, a great battle fleet entered the harbor of New York and in the majesty of its power steamed past the Statue of Liberty. It came as a messenger of a conflict won, a silent victory, but a triumph as complete and overwhelming as any ever won by the American navy.

Too high a tribute can not be paid the black men of the American navy, who faced the dangers of war and the perils of the sea with exalted courage and unfaltering determination. Their loyalty and patriotism have never been questioned, their valor and heroism never doubted. By their deeds they have added new lustre to the glorious annals of the American navy and have fully demonstrated that the color of the skin is but a feeble indication of the depth of love and affection with which the heart and soul of every loyal black man of America beats in sympathy with the loftiness of her ideals.

* * *

Free to Download MoboReader
(← Keyboard shortcut) Previous Contents (Keyboard shortcut →)
 Novels To Read Online Free

Scan the QR code to download MoboReader app.

Back to Top