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might in any way jeopardize the indictments by the grand jury on the ground of any such technicality. I told Mr. Robins that I would make a résumé of the whole matter and send it to him, together with a copy of the information that I had and my recommendations to him, so that he could have it upon his return next Wednesday.
Senator Van Nuys. Did you have any other letters or additional statements to make along the lines you have been testifying? If so, you may do so at this time.
Attorney General LANE. This is in the main my testimony covering the entire investigation that I made. There may be some additional details, but I think this covers it.
Senator Van Nuys. Would it be appropriate to ask you what was the result of the grand-jury investigation as to prosecution by the local authorities?
Attorney General LANE. The information that I have is only from the press. The grand jury met. There was a charge to the grand jury by the judge of that circuit, and I think in addition to the İynching investigation there were probably several other cases considered. The grand jury then adjourned, and there was no statement and no true bills were returned.
Senator Van Nuys. Have there been any bills of any kind or character returned by the local grand jury against any of these persons named?
Attorney General LANE. Not to my knowledge.
Senator Van Nuys. Senator Costigan would like to ask you some questions, with your permission.
Senator COSTIGAN. General, doubtless the various steps taken by you and other State officials have been detailed in the files you have submitted here. May I, however, ask you for the benefit of the committee to give us some particulars as to the developments surrounding the so-called "Princess Anne lynching"? When was your attention first drawn to any feature of the affair which culminated in the lynching?
Attorney General LANE. On Wednesday afternoon, October 18, somewhere about 4:30 or quarter to 5, I was attending in my official capacity
the State convention for the repeal of the eighteenth amendment. There was a memorandum handed me, which I think came from one of the newspapers, stating that Armwood had been taken back to Princess Anne, was in the jail there, and there was some disturbance. As I recall it, the disturbance was pictured as some effort to organize a crowd in Virginia, around Chincoteague. I think that rumor was subsequently dispelled by someone in Baltimore. It was just a rumor that there was a disturbance down on the lower shore in Virginia.
Senator Costicax. t'nder the law of Maryland, do you act on such information on your own responsibility, or only by direction of the Governor?
Attorney General LANE. The only authority with reference to the custody of prisoners in Maryland is with the sheriff of the particular county. His authority is not only that of custody, but it is for him to exercise the discretion as to whether or not a prisoner shall or shall not be removed. No State officer can override the discretion exercised by a sheriff, the Governor, attorney general or any other.
Senator COSTIGAN. What aroused your official concernt And what led you to act?
Attorney General LANE. I was not aroused or concerned until really after the lynching had occurred, when I found it out the following morning.
Senator COSTIGAN. In other words, there were no steps taken in advance of the lynching, either by you or by the Governor?
Attorney General LANE. Yes. When that notice was received about 4:30 in the afternoon, I went with the Governor to his office, where he made numerous telephone calls. He called the captain of the State police; he called Judge Duer, and he called several others. I think that he called State's Attorney Robins with reference to the situation that existed. I think some of the telephone calls were made after I left Annapolis and returned to Baltimore. It is my understanding that he was assured by every one that there was no difficulty and so trouble would be expected.
Senator DIETERICH. When did the grand jury meet in that county?
Senator Van Nuys. This memorandum says January 24. Is that right?
Attorney General LANE. It was called for Tuesday, January 23. Witnesses were summoned for the 24th at 10 o'clock.
Senator DIETERICH. Was that the last grand jury that met?
Senator DIETERICH. How often do grand juries meet in that county?
Attorney General LANE. There has been no set rule in Maryland. The rule in the different counties depends upon the local law. In the extraordinary session of the Maryland Legislature in November 1933 a new law was passed which requires the reconvening of the grand jury every 9 weeks.
Senator DIETERICH. Has that grand jury reconvened in pursuance of or in obedience to that law?
Attorney General Lane. I think the reconvening of the grand jury was in compliance with that new law.
Senator DIETERICH. And they reconvened within 9 weeks after that?
Attorney General LANE. On January 23, 1934.
Attorney General LANE. I have not had the opportunity, Senator. I have only had the opportunity to read it.
Senator DIETERICH. Do you not feel that you want to discuss any of the features of this bill as to its helpfulness in preventing occurrences of that kind ?
Attorney General LANE. I have not had the opportunity tu make a study of it from the standpoint of the question of policy. If I had an opportunity to make a study of the experience of lynching generally throughout the United States, I would be very glad to express an opinion, trying to be helpful to the committee, but I do not think I have given it sufficient study to warrant me in making such a statement.
Senator DIETERICH. What was the charge against the colored man who was lynched?
Attorney General LANE. Rape. Senator DIETERICH. You never went into that part of it. Attorney General LANE. No; I did not, other than the statements I have referred to. Armwood was arrested by the State police on Monday, October 16, as I recall it, in the northern part of Somerset County. He was taken to the jail at Salisbury, which is in an adjoining county. There had been some difficulty there, I think, and a collection of people. Lieutenant Ridgely was in charge, and he took Anderson out of the jail in Maryland about 7:30 and took him north, finally taking him to the Baltimore city jail, where he arrived about 4 a.m.
Senator DIETERICH. That was done to prevent violence ?
Attorney General LANE. Yes. On the way up he got somewhat of a confession from Armwood. On the following morning in the Baltimore city jail, I think Armwood again confessed in more detail to Lieutenant Itzel of the Baltimore city police force, and also to Lieutenant Ridgely of the State police force.
Senator DIETERICH. Referring to those nine men, who as your investigation disclosed, were connected with that crime, if I gather rightly from the names you gave, they were not of the highest type of the citizenship of that particular county, were they!
Attorney General LANE. Personally I do not know the individuals concerned.
Senator DIETERICH. I say that from the fact that there were some aliases.
Attorney General LANE. Except possibly one. I was in the military service, and I think one of the men was a member of one of the companies of our regiment.
Senator WAGNER. May I ask a question, Mr. Chairman?
Senator WAGNER. You asked Mr. Robins to act in this matter, did you not?
Attorney General LANE. I asked him to make some arrests. Senator WAGNER. And you also communicated with the sheriff ! Attorney General LANE. I did not.
Senator WAGNER. You did communicate with the judge of that particular circuit?
Attorney General LANE. Yes.
Senator WAGNER. Do you know whether or not the grand jury has concluded its investigation of that matter?
Attorney General LANE. I understand it has adjourned.
Attorney General LANE. So far as I know, and my information is from the press, there was no comment made and no indictment returned.
Senator WAGNER. No action was taken?
Attorney General LANE. There was no statement in the press with reference to the lynching investigation, emanating from the grand jury.
Senator Van Nuys. It is necessary, General, to recess now until 2 o'clock, if that meets with your convenience.
Attorney General LANE. Yes, sir. Senator Van Nuys. The committee will recess until 2 o'clock. (Whereupon, at 12 noon, a recess was taken until 2 p.m.)
AFTER RECESS At the expiration of the recess, the committee reconvened at 2:35 p.m.
STATEMENT OF HON. WILLIAM PRESTON LANE, JR., ATTORNEY
GENERAL OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND—Resumed
Senator Van Nuys. We apologize, but were called to the floor, and may have to suspend, Mr. Attorney General, in a very few minutes for a vote, but we will try to proceed as rapidly as we can.
I am not sure just where we left off. Were you in the midst of some comment?
Attorney General LANE. I think I had just finished answering a question by one of the members of the committee.
Since the session of the committee this morning, I find that there is an additional statement, subject to the statements that I gave the committee, from members of the State police that has a bearing on the identification of some of the persons who were named. I would like to add that to the papers I gave you.
Senator Van Nuys. That may be done. That may go in the record.
(The document referred to was marked " Exhibit X” and is here printed in full, as follows:)
STATE OF MARYLAND,
November 8, 1933.
I positively identify “ Big Boy” Smith as being in the crowd on the night of the lynching at Princess Anne. He was in front of the crowd pushing against the line.
I also positively identify Ralph Powell as being among the crowd on the night of the lynching.
I can also positively identify “Rusty” Heath. On the night of the lynching I saw him standing by the running board of Judge Duer's car while Judge Duer was making his second speech, about 7:45 p.m. He was talking and saying that he knew Judge Duer and that no one was going to harm Judge Duer while he was there. I also saw Heath at the inquest on October 24, and positively identified him.
STATEMENT OF OFFICER E. R. QUANDT I positively identify William H. Thompson as being in the crowd in front of the jail on the night of the lynching. I first saw him under the arc light at the intersection of the Deals Island road and the road in front of the jail, This was about 7:15 p.m. I saw him from time to time from then on until the jail was broken into. About 5 minutes before the battering rams appeared, William Thompson, who was directly in front of the jail in a group of several men, shouted, “ Let's get a pole.” He then left the front of the jail and about 3 minutes later reappeared with about 15 other men, carrying a battering ram. They immediately started hitting the battering ram against the outer jail door, The pole that I call a battering ram was about 8 by 8 and about 20 feet long. It was roughly finished lumber. Thompson wore a black leather coat to his knees. He was 5 feet 6 inches tall, stocky build. 175 pounds, about 35 years old, dark beard, showing through powder, fat cheeks, clear complexion, gray felt hat, pushed up in front, light shirt, collar and tie.
STATEMENT OFFICER (1ST (L.) C. c. SERMAN
I positively identify “ Rusty " Heath as being in the crowd in front of the jail on the night of the lynching. I have known “ Rusty " Heath for 15 years. I first saw him at the intersection of Deals Island Road and the road in front of the jail.
STATEMENT OF OFFICER (1ST CL.) B. H. TOWER i positively identify Gordon Butler as being at the intersection of Deals Island Road and the road in front of the jail at Princess Anne on the night of the lynching. Butler was shoving and pushing and attempted to break through our lines. We pushed him back, but he kept sidestepping our officers. He was always in front. He kept saying “Let me through; I am going to get in
there.” Butler had been drinking. He was an old man, about 60 years; 5 feet, 6 inches tall; 140 pounds; had on a dark felt hat. Several people in the crowd said he was the brother of Mrs. Denston.
STATEMENT OF OFFICER M. T. BOHLER
I positively identify “Big Boy” Smith as being at the northeast intersection of Deals Island Road and the road in front of the jail. Smith had a brick in his hand. Several of our men had been knocked down with bricks before I saw Smith with the brick in his hand. I told him to drop the brick and he replied, “Make me drop it.” I tried to keep an eye on Smith, but he got lost in the crowd. Smith is about 6 feet tall ; 160 pounds; about 25 years old and wore a baseball cap of different colors.
STATEMENT OF OFFICER J. R. MILLER
I positively identify Gordon Butler as being at the intersection of Deals Island Road and the jail road and also directly in front of the jail, shouting that he was going to get in—he dared and defied anybody to keep him out. He was always in front of the mob from the intersection up to the front of the jail. He stated so that everyone could hear him that he was the brother of Mrs. Denston.
STATEMENT OF OFFICER (1ST OL.) J. M. BRADLEY
I positively identify Gordon Butler. I first saw him at the intersection of the Deals Island road and the jail road.' This was about 7:15 p.m. At that time he was in front encouraging the crowd, telling them to “Come on " and “Let's get him." I saw him practically all the time from then on until I was injured. Just before I was injured, he was in the crowd, directly in front of the jail door. He was shoving to get up on the steps and yelling, “Let's go/let's get him—we're going to get him." He had been drinking. Butler was roughly dressed. He had on a slouch hat and an old suit.
I can positively identify William H. Thompson as being in the mob. For three quarters of an hour before I was injured, I remembered seeing Thompson in the front row of the crowd, continually pushing forward. He was one of the most determined to get in the jail. When we were forced back to within 10 feet of the jail steps, I remember pushing him in the face to keep him back.
I positively identified Shelburn Lester as being directly in front of the jail door just before I was injured. Lester was shouting and shoving and trying his best to get past the police. Corporal Wheeler struck Lester on the head with his night stick. Lester was knocked back through the crowd about 20 feet, and a few minutes later I was injured. On October 20 I again saw Lester in Salisbury in front of the Read's drug store. Lester then had a bandage on his head.
I can positively identify “Rusty" Heath, who I knew before the war. I saw Health first about 7:15 p.m, at the intersection of Deals Island road and the road in front of the jail. He was encouraging the mob and inciting them to action. I saw him off and on until I was forced back to the jail steps. At that time Heath was right in front of the crowd, shoving to get up the steps and yelling, “Let's go—let's get him." Heath had been drinking.
STATEMENT OF CORP. X. G. FALKENSTINE I can positively identify “Rusty " Heath. I first saw him going to the courthouse to be sworn in before the lynching. This was about 5:30 p.m. I next saw him between Captain Johnson's car and the jail door. This was about 8:15 p.m. Heath was moving about in the crowd. He had been drinking.