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Senator MOCARRAN. Had you heard rumblings or rumors or whisperings around the day before that there was going to be some activity in the way of a mob?

Mr. THOMPSON. I was in my store all day and I didn't hear anything about any lynching or any mob.

Senator McCARRAN. Did you know this colored man had been returned to the jail from Baltimore?

Mr. Thompson. That was general knowledge; yes, sir.

Senator MoCARRAN. That was general knowledge and had been discussed!

Mr. THOMPSON. I hadn't heard it discussed. I don't remember having heard it discussed in my store.

Senator MOCARRAN. How did you first get the knowledge he had been returned to the jail !

Mr. Thompson. That the man had ?

Senator McCARRAN. Yes; how did you know the man had been returned to the jail!

Mr. Thompson. I inquired. I saw those policemen running around on motorcycles. They brought 25 State police down with him from Baltimore,

Senator McCARREN. Twenty-five State police when they brought him from Baltimore!

Mr. 'THOMPSOx, I think so.

Senator MoCARRAx. On the appearance of these State police you made inquiry as to why it was!

Mr. TsoxYes sir.

Senator Now'ARRAN. And you were told this colored man was being returned to the Princess Anne jail !

Mr. Tueursex. Yes sir.

Senator Me'ARRIX, At that time did it not strike rou that someberly must be apprehensive about violence, otherwise the squad of Stale pole would not be around the town!

Mr. Troy. Well, res

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Mr. THOMPSON. Yes, sir.
Senator McCARRAN. What did you say there?
Mr. THOMPSON. That he should be given a trial.

Senator McCARRAN. Why did you make that remark? What brought it out?

Mr. THOMPSON. They prolonged the trial of Buell Lee at the time those four people were murdered at Snow Hill, and he spoke of there being some delay and that he thought there would be delay in this trial or something to that effect, and I told him I thought this man would get a speedy trial and that justice would be done. It was about that time that the man was lynched. That conversation was in Salisbury.

Senator McCARRAN. Before you left Salisbury had you heard of the lynching?

Mr. THOMPSON. No, sir.

Senator McCARRAN. At that time in Salisbury, when that remark was made by you that he would get a speedy trial, did you make expression as to what you thought should be meted out in the way of justice?

Mr. THOMPSON. No, sir.

Senator McCARRAN. Had you heard of the charge against the man?

Mr. THOMPSON. Yes, sir; I had read it in the newspapers.

Senator McCARRAN. You did not express yourself as to what should happen to him?

Mr. THOMPSON. No, sir; I was not competent to do that. He had not been tried.

Senator MOCARRAN. What was he charged with—criminal assault? Mr. THOMPSON. I think it was criminal assault; yes, sir.

Senator McCARRAN. You saw the body of the colored man the next morning?

Mr. THOMPSON. Yes, sir.
Senator MoCARRAN. Where?

Mr. THOMPSON. In the lot in front of the jail-not far from the jail.

Senator McCARRAN. Had the body been cut down at that time?
Mr. THOMPSON. Yes, sir.
Senator McCARRAN. How did you come to go over there?
Mr. THOMPSON. I was on the coroner's jury.
Senator McCARRAN. They took you over to where the body was?
Mr. THOMPSON. I went over.
Senator McCarran. How many were on that jury?

Mr. THOMPSON. I don't even know what the jury was--I think it was 12.

Senator McCARRAN. I was wondering how many there were. Some places there are 3, some places 5, some places 7, and some places 12.

Mr. THOMPSON. This was 12, I think.
Senator McCARRAN. Twelve on that coroner's jury?
Mr. THOMPSON. I think so; yes, sir.
Senator McCARRAN. Were your pictures taken down there?
Mr. THOMPSON. I beg your pardon?
Senator McCARRAN. Were the pictures of the jury taken there?
Mr. THOMPSON. Yes, sir.

Senator McCARRAN. You think that is where this officer saw your picture?

Mr. THOMPSON. That is what he said, I think.
Senator McCARRAN. That is what he said?
Mr. THOMPSON. I think so; yes.

Senator McCARRAN. Did he identify you in any gathering or in court as being the man that he saw ?

Mr. THOMPSON. Not to my knowledge; no, sir.
Senator McCARRAN. Is that officer here now in this room?

Mr. THOMPSON. Indeed, I don't know. I would not know the officer if I saw him.

Senator MoCARRAN. You wouid not know him?
Mr. THOMPSON. No, sir.
Senator McCARRAN. That is all.

Senator Van Nuys. Was there anyone else on the coroner's jury that was alleged to have been one of the lynchers ?

Mr. THOMPSON. Not that I know of. Senator Van Nuys. There were seven on the coroner's jury with you, were there not?

Mr. THOMPSON. Indeed, I don't know whether there were 7 or 12.
Senator Van Nuys. Where did you meet?
Mr. THOMPSON. In the justice of the peace's office in Princess Anne.
Senator Van Nuys. That was the next morning after the lynching?
Mr. THOMPSON. Yes, sir.
Senator Van Nuys. How long did that coroner's inquest last?
Mr. THOMPSON. I would say—I couldn't say. I don't know.
Things have happened so fast since then.

Senator Van Nuys. Was it an hour, or how long?
Mr. THOMPSON. It didn't last over an hour.
Senator Van Nuys. How many witnesses did you have?
Mr. THOMPSON. I don't remember any witnesses.
Senator Van Nuys. Did you not have any witnesses ?
Mr. THOMPSON. I don't remember any witnesses.
Senator Van Nuys. What verdict did you render?

Mr. THOMPSON. It wasn't much except that he had been lynched. That was about the only verdict we could give.

Senator Van Nuys. You had to have some evidence or testimony before you could render a verdict ?

Mr. THOMPSON. That is the first coroner's jury I have ever been on. I don't know anything about the procedure.

Senator Van Nuys. That may be true; but did you render a verdict that he was lynched without having any evidence?

Mr. THOMPSON. I will change that. I don't know that that was the verdict. Of course, it is generally known, I think, all over the United States that he was lynched.

Senator Van Nuys. Did you cast ballots as members of the jury, or how did you reach your decision?

Mr. Thompson. They took the different members of the grand jury out to view the body, as I remember. We had a doctor who went and viewed the body, and as I remember his verdict was that he had died from either strangulation or hemorrhage.

Senator Van Nuys. Did they try to fix the responsibility for the death?

Mr. THOMPSON. I think as nearly as they could, but that was almost an impossibility.

Senator VĂN Nuys. Did you make any effort to do it?

Mr. THOMPSON. Yes; we made inquiries—each member of the grand jury.

Senator Van Nuys. You do not mean the grand jury? You mean the coroner's jury, do you not?

Mr. THOMPSON. Yes; the coroner's jury. We did not give a verdiet that morning, I don't think. We were called together later, then, in the board house, and we did hear witnesses. I was wrong about that.

Senator Van Nuys. The same day or later?

Mr. THOMPSON. Oh, we heard the State's attorney and heard the prisoners in the jail. We heard the sheriff and deputy sheriff, or whoever the officers were. That was at a later date.

Senator Van Nuys. Did any of those witnesses pretend to identify any members of the mob?

Mr. THOMPSON. No, sir.

Senator Van Nuys. Was there any inquiry made of any of those witnesses as to the identity of any members of the mob!

Mr. THOMPSON. Oh, yes; they were questioned.
Senator Van Nuys. What did they say?
Mr. THOMPSON. They could not identify them.
Senator Van Nuys. Even the jailer could not identify them?
Mr. THOMPSON. No, sir.

Senator Van Nuys. About all you found was that the man was dead?

Mr. THOMPSON. That is all.

Senator Van Nuys. That is about the sum total of your finding, is it?

Mr. THOMPSON. Yes, sir.
Senator Van Nuys. And about the sum total of your efforts ? ?
Mr. THOMPSON. Yes, sir.

Senator Van Nuys. Do you not think that by proper effort, in an open lynching such as evidently occurred in your community, it would have been possible to identify and prosecute the leaders, at least, of this mob?

Mr. THOMPSON. I don't know that. I don't know. They did not do it evidently.

Senator VAN Nuys. I know they did not do it, but you think it would be possible, do you not?

Mr. THOMPSON. I could not say. I don't know.
Senator Van Nuys. That is your honest opinion?

Mr. THOMPSON. My honest opinion is that I could not say; yes. sir. I don't know.

Senator Van Nuys. Senator Costigan, do you care to ask any questions?

Senator COSTIGAN. No; no questions.

Senator Van Nuys. Do you care to make any further statement, Mr. Thompson?

Mr. THOMPSON. I would like for you to hear Mr. Colborn who was in Salisbury while I was there.

Senator Van Nuys. You have no further statement to make yourself!

Mr. THOMPSON. I want to thank you gentlemen for this opportunity. It is the first opportunity I have had to present my side of it

. The paper has carried my name all over the country and this is the first time I was ever arrested, and I have tried to clear it up.

Senator Van Nuys. We are very glad to give you the opportunity.

Mr. THOMPSON. Here are also a couple of affidavits from three people as to my being in Salisbury, and I would like for you to read them.

Senator McC'ARRAN. They are to the effect that they saw you there? Mr. THOMPSON. In Salisbury: yes, sir.

Senator M«C'ARran. In extreme cases of this kind, where a colored man is charged with criminal assault upon a white woman, do you believe in lynching!

Mr. THOMPSON. I believe in the law taking its course. I believe in law and order; yes, sir.

Senator McCarrax. You do not believe there is any case that justifies a mob in taking the law into its own hands?

Mr. Thompsex. No, sir; I beliere in the regular procedure of the lawr. I think we would have a poor country without it.

Senator VAN Xrys. That is all, Mr. Thompson. (Witness excused.)


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