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I| THC MONIXOR j ]
A National Weekly Newspaper Devoted to the Interests of Colored Americans THE REV. JOHN ALBERT WILLIAMS, Editor $1.50 a Year. 5c & ty OMAHA, NEBRASKA. FEBRUARY 2, 1918 Vol. III. No. 31 (Whole No. 134) *—-— ■ ■ ■■■■ —■ V -——_____________ The 92nd Division \ Is Getting Fu Good Nature is One Reason the Ne groes Make Good Soldiers. Troops at Funston Are Only Fart of the Big Division—Ballou’s Com mand a Happy, Singing Lot. (By Staff Correspondent.) Camp Funston, lvas., Jan. 26.—Over the headquarters building of the 92d Division at Camp Funston—the only Negro division in the United States— floats a large American flag. Under it Negroes are being gathered from many states. The commanding officers of the di vision are white men, selected on the strength of long and successful records in handling Negro troops in the regu lar army. Maj. Gen. Charles C. Bal lou commands the division. He also , commands Camp Funston as a whole, * being the ranking general since Maj. Gen. Leonard Woods’ departure for France. Lieutenant Col. A. J. Greer of Tennessee is chief of staff for the Negro division. Maj. S. Whipple of New York is division adjutant. The Division is Scattered. Not all the division is being mobil ized at Camp Funston, only' the head quarters and its attached units and trains, approximately 2,700 men. The units here have been made up from a regiment composed largely of Kan sas and Missouri men, but also con taining hundreds from adjoining states, originally gathered here under a plan of attaching one regiment of Negro troops to the 89th Division. From this regiment men were assign ed to 317th Trains and placed under the command of Col. I. C. Jenks. Capt. E. J. Turgeon was placed in command of headquarters troop and Maj. Robert Stirrett made commander of the ma chine gun battalion of the headquar ters detachment. The remaining units of the divi sion are stationed in srx other camps, as follows: Camp Meade, Md.—The 368th Reg iment of Infantry and the 351st Reg iment of Artillery. Camp Dix, N. J.—The 107th Field Artillery Brigade headquarters, the 349th and 350th regiments of infantry. Camp Sherman, O.—The Field Sig nal Battalion and Engineers’ Regi ment. Camp Upton. N. Y.—The 184th In fantry Brigade headquarters and at tached machine gun battalion and the 367th Regiment of Infantry'. Camp Dodge, la.—The 366th Regi ment of Infantry. Camp Grant, III.—The 183d Infantry Brigade headquarters and attached machine gun battalion and the 365th Regiment of Infantry. Whether the division will be assem bled , before embarkation is entirely problematical, as no intimation of the War Department’s policy has been given at any time. However, it is not' expected to be done, as training is hampered little by the separation of the units. Funston Units Are Complete. The units at Camp Funston virtu ally are complete, as they are at the other camps also, with the exception of the Field Signal Battalion anti Reg iment of Engineers at Camp Sherman. Those two units are short technically trained men to fill expert positions. One difficulty encountered at Camp Funston was a surplus of cooks. When , a mustering officer would ask that all who had had experience in cooking to step out of line the whole line would advance. The cooks were found to be adept in other lines, also, however. A dining car chef, for instance, also had been chaffeur for millionaires. An other chef who used to reign supreme in the kitchen of the Albany hotel at Denver was also an excellent barber and followed that trade when the smell of chicken a la king and breaded pork chops grew less enticing than the scent of bayrum and highly perfumed pomade. He has a second hand bar ber chair in the comer of his bar racks which helps his income greatly. If his record card in the divisional statistical office reads rightly, Dewey /Summersmith Robinson of St. Joseph, Mo., besides being a cook, at one time attended to the business of polishing the boots of Theodore Roosevelt. He made special mention of the fact when he came to the word “remarks” on the card he was given to fill out. Dewey is a trumpeter and enjoys waking his comrades in the morning. Were Late in Mobilizing. In training, the 92d Division is far behind the other divisions, as mobil ization was deferred until later. Even after being assembled the units were 'ot established with the dispatch that j haracterized the organization of the other troops, because an uncertainty existed for some time as to how the men should be handled. Divisional schools have not been es tablished, as the first few weeks of training are devoted to study of squad movements, but when the division does enter the more advanced training the Negroes will have a great advantage over the white soldiers in one way. Being separated into seven camps, their schools will be smaller and the men thus should receive more benefit from the schooling. One of Sambo’s hardest tasks has been mastered—dropping “boss” and adopting “sir.” Squad movements offer no problem to the Negro, for the basis is keeping time, and that is his natural instinct, whether swinging a pick, stropping a razor or whipping a polish on a patent leather toe. Negroes Always Good Natured. To a visitor the camp of Negroes,, when they are not on duty, is one big minstrel shpw, a laugh in every bar- j rack, every street. This good nature, officers say, is one of the things that makes the Negro a good soldier. In equipment the Ninety-second is behind the white divisions. Most of the Negroes at Camp Funston are still wearing the blue denim blouses and pants issued when they reached here. Some have leggings, nearly all have | overcoats, and all have service hats. Just a hat makes a lot of difference in the bearing of a Negro soldier. He throws back his shoulders and is a different man from the stoop shoul dered laborer with dragging feet in civilian life. The theory that a Negro cannot stand cold is overturned every day A strapping big mulatto, too big for the “baby size” overcoats issued, was walking post around headquarters building a recent blustering day. The division adjutant sent an orderly to ttJoiiiiiiue'J on fourth page) Nebraska’s Great Feeding Ability Food Administrator Wattles Tells What State Can Do to Help Feed World. Omaha, — Nebraska’s wonderful ability to feed itself and other people I was shown by Gurdon W. Wattles, j federal food administrator for Ne braska, in an address on “Crumbs Which Fall From the Rich Man’s Table.” “For every man, woman and child in 1 Nebraska the state produced last year 700 pounds of meats, 647 pounds of flour and 112 pounds of sugar,” said Mr. Wattles. "Without wasteful habits, the aver age consumption of flour per capita is 246 pounds annually; of meats, 150 pounds annually, and of sugar, 88.8 pounds annually. If we did not econo mize, but continued these habits, we will have enough left to feed flour to 2,000,000 others, meats to 4,500,000 others and sugar to 267,500 others. “Hut if we follow the suggestions of the food administration and eat four pounds of flour each week, two and a half pounds of meat each week and three pounds of sugar each month we can furnish in addition the equivalent of 791,666 bushels of wheat, 25,000, 000 pounds of meats and 66,000,000 pounds of sugar. “What a wonderful army we can take care of and feed, and what a won derful tribute to the great state of Ne braska!” COMMUNITY HOUSE FOR FUNSTONj A campaign for a community house at Camp Funston has been opened. The building is to cost $50,000. Omaha is asked to give $2,500 and, of course, Omaha, which goes “over the top” for everything good, will do it. More about it next week. Colonel Roscoe C. Sim mons, the famous orator, is expected to speak at the Auditorium February 11 in behalf of this fund. GROOM M’CRACK EN FOR LEGISLATURE St. l’aul, Minn.—Fred D. McCracken is being urged by many friends to en ter the race for representative in the Eighth ward of St, l’aul against Rep resentative George Nordlin. He has manypolitical friends among the white citizens, made duirng the campaign of ex-Congressman Fred C. Stevens, for whom he was secretary in Washington for sixteen years. JURY RECOMMENDS LIFE IMPRISONMENT Charles Smith Adjudged Guilty of Nethaway Murder at Second Trial; Public Sentiment Strongly in His Favor; Itelated Story Responsible for Verdict; Prisoner Collapses When V'erdict Is Announced; At torneys Move for New Trial; May Appeal Case to Supreme Court. Charles Smith, who was accused of the murder of Mrs. C. L. Nethaway of Florence on August 26, was found guilty of murder in the first degree by the jury last Saturday morning, Jan uary 26, exactly six months after the crime was committed. The jury fixed the penalty at life imprisonment in stead of electrocution, a significant fact, which show's that there was an element of doubt even in the jury’s mind as to the guilt of the accused. The opinion has been freely expressed everywhere by lawyers and others that Smith is not guilty. It is believed that his insistence upon going on the stand at the last hour, after months of si lence, testifying that he saw' two men deposit the body of Mrs. Nethaway on the ledge where it was found and a third scattering evidence of the crime, and that when he came down and saw it to be the body of a murdered woman he became frightened and ran away, prejudiced his case. Indeed, he told The Monitor that he knew his law'yers had acquitted him, but that he insisted on going on the stand over their pro test to tell what he knew to free his mind. He saiii: “I am responsible for my conviction, but I told the truth and my mind is now free. I wanted to testify in the first trial. I told just what I saw. I have no kick on my lawyers. I didn’t kill that woman and the truth will come out some day.” On the first trial the jury stood nine for acquittal and three for conviction. The prosecution offered no new evi dence on the second trial, w'hile the de fense added some damaging testimony. A. Anderson, postmaster of Florence, who was present with Nethaway when he undressed the Sunday night of the murder, testified that Nethaway had blood on his collar, necktie and shirt. Nethaway’s explanation was that he got this blood on him when he was kissing his wife after he found her body some hours after her death. No blood was found on Smith. M. O. Cunningham, a prominent Omaha attorney, and William Sievers, a merchant of Calhoun, testified to seeing a path leading DOWN from the bluff to the body. The state’s claim was that Smith attacked Mrs. Neth away on the railroad right-of-way and carried her body up to the bluff along the single diagonal path, leading up from the railroad, on which her hat and other articles were found. The defense was about to rest its case Friday morning when Smith went on the stand and testified that he saw two men carry the body of Mrs. Neth away to the spot where it was found and soon after he saw a third man come to the spot and scatter the hat and other articles which were discov ered in the vicinity of the body. Saw Men “With Big Bundle.” Smith’s testimony was interrupted frequently by objections and colloquies of counsel. Detailing the incidents di rectly connected with the sight of the two men he said carried the body to the cut, he, said: “I had walked up the track till I came to the bridge at Briggs’ station. I climbed up on the bridge and sort o’ looked around, and I saw the two men come down from the top of the cut, down to the little bench where the V body was found. “They had something—a big bundle, like, they were carrying between them, and it looked like it was heavy.” Asked if he had a suspicion what it might be, he said: “I did. I thought it looked like may be it might be a body of some kind.” Counsel for the state asked him if it were not true that he knew that the body was there at the time he went to see what the men had put down. “Got Down and Prayed.” “I did not,” Smith answered. “I kind o’ thought it looked like a body they was carrying, but I surely never know ed nothing about it until I climbed the bank and saw it.” “What did you see?” “It was a woman with her throat cut. A twisted rag was laid across the cut and it was soaked with blood. I looked at it a minute and her hands were tied. And then I was scared of the dead body and left. After I got away up the track I knelt down and prayed, because I was scared, and then I got some apples out of an orchard and sat on some ties until the train came along. I swung on and at a grove of trees, a little beyond, three other men got on the car next behind the one I was in. They got off at the junction near Calhoun.” Smith said one of the men was tailei than the other, and that from a dis tance they appeared to be roughly dressed. Claude R. Nethaway, husband of the murdered woman, was not in the courtroom at the time Smith gave his sensational testimony. His story of his arrest by the sheriff of Washington county at Blair did not vary from the statements made by himself and officers several times since the arrest. Sticks to First Story. Smith was on the stand practically all forenoon and part of the afternoon. A rigid cross-examination did not shake his story. He stated that his real name is Larkin McCloud and his home in Ottawa, Kan. He said he be came known as “Smith” while he was wrestling as a semi-professional in the South and was advertised as “Cannon ball” Smith, and later as Charley Smith. The defense rested shortly after 3 o’clock and the jury was sent for a last inspection of the scene of the crime. The court allotted two hours to each side for argument and recessed until 7 o’clock. When the night session opened the courtroom was packed to its limit of capacity, many people even encroach ing upon the space back of the judge’s bench. Major Ray Abbott and L. J. Piatti of the county attorney’s office de mar 'i.'d the death penalty' for Smith, charging that the case had clearly es tablished his guilt. Major Abbott made much of the op portunity afforded him by Smith’s story and he used it in his eloquent way to great advantage. Mr. Piatti was melodramatic but not convincing in his argument. “A dream; a bloody tale more lurid in its fantastic coloring than one of ‘The Arabian Nights,”’ was Assistant County Attorney Abbott’s characteri zation of the version of the crime of fered in Smith’s testimony in his own defense. Attorneys Scruggs and Timlin, for the defense, appeared to good advan tage in their calm, incisive analysis of the evidence. They insisted that the state had not established Smith’s guilt and warned the jury against the dan ger of circumstantial evidence. “We have been criticised,” Attorney Timblin declared, “for casting asper sions on the husband of the dead wo man, by innuendo insinuating that he might have been guilty. There is a mystery in this case that will not be cleared up by conviction of Charles Smith. If the evidence adduced in this case has seemed to point to any per son, no matter who, it is not our fault, but the trend of the evidence." Smith’s counsel declared that death alone should be the penalty for the murder of Mrs. Nethawa.v, but urged that Smith had not been found “be yond reasonable doubt” to have com mitted the crime. Saturday morning the jury brought in a verdict of guilty and recommend ed life imprisonment. When the verdict was delivered Smith collapsed in a fit of hysterical screaming and it took the efforts of four deputies to remove him from the courtroom. The prisoner threw him self on the floor, cried out, beat the floor with his feet and finally lapsed into semi-consciousness, in which con dition he was returned to his cell. This was in striking contrast to his absolute composure maintained throughout this and the former trial. Smith’s counsel Monday filed a peti tion for a new trial, which is to be ar gued today. If refused by Judge Sears, which is quite likely, the case will probably be carried to the supreme court. Despite the jury’s verdict the Omaha public is by no means satisfied of Smith’s guilt. The sentiment sets the other way. Washington, D. C.—A police census reported November 1 gives the popula tion of Washington as 395,000, and places the Colored population at 102, 000. Colored females exceed the males by 9,234. i MARY CHURCH TERRELL GETS RESOLUTION PASSED Washington, D. C.—At a general meeting in the rooms of the Y. M. C. A. Monday, January' 14, the National Council of Women, composed of prom inent female leaders from all parts of the United States, voted unanimously in favor of opening trades and pursuits to women which are nowclosed against them. Resolutions to this effect were put through by Mrs. Mary Church Ter rell, seconded by Rev. Anna Garland Spencer. Mrs. John Hays Hammond (white) put the matter to a vote and it was carried without debate. Mrs. Terrell was elated at the result, as she has endeavored for more than twenty years to secure the passage of such resolution. ECHOES FROM EAST ST. LOUIS St. Louis.—To judge from the many arrests and convictions of Colored men one would think that they were solely responsible for the race riot at East St. Louis. The latest victim is Charles Collins, who fled from the city during the riot. He is charged with being a j member of the mob that killed two de tectives. His bond is fixed at $2,000. YOUNG COLORED WOMAN RANKS HIGHEST Cleveland, O.—Miss Minna Bell Wallace is receiving congratulations from her many New York friends for standing highest in a class of acci dent nursery and minor surgery, and has secured a position with Dr. A. W. Binckley, accident surgeon for the ln-‘ dustrial Commission of Ohio. Miss j Wallace won over thirty white com | petitors. _ Government Urges Saving of Food The American People Are Not Asked to Go Hungry, But to Use Discretion. Washington, D. C.—The American j people are depending upon the United ! States food administration to see that i our soldiers, allies and ourselves have I plenty of food at as reasonable a price as the war conditions will allow. This is one thing to remember, that we are living in war times, hence we must govern ourselves accordingly. The number of food administration j window cards in the windows of loyal j homes is one of the best signs that | they who pass may see that the people | of those houses have pledged them ! selves to do what their government asks them to do in the saving of I wheat, meat, fats and sugar, by using I less of these foods and substituting | other foods in their stead. So don’t be a slacker. Let other people know that you are with them in doing your “bit.” If you have no card in your win dow, get one from the federal food ad ministrator of your state. If you want to have that “great, grand and glori ous feeling” do all the things your government asks you to do. The food administration does not | want you to go hungry. The food ad I ministration wants you to have plenty i to eat, but you are asked not to eat all I you want of those foods which we I must ship to our soldiers and the al ilies. Eat a little less wheat, meat, fats j and sugar, and all you need of the I other foods. Patriotic people are cheer fully making personal sacrifices in | their eating. Thi§ is not the time for the “big eats.” — HOSPITAL REFUSED AID TO DYING M AN Savannah, Ga., Jan. 8.—Friday of | last week a Colored man fell upon the j sidewalk of Huntingdon street, in the rear of the home of Mrs. W. W. Gor don, a wealthy white woman. The ser vants called Mrs. Gordon, who saw the man was ill. She called the Savannah hospital, just across the street. They sent over, but finding the man was Colored, refused to take him to the hospital. Mrs. Gordon frantically plead for help, but the hospital people permitted the man to die on the side walk. Galveston Sentinel Guarding the Sea Monitor Correspondent Recounts Mat ters of Interest Gleaned on Visit to Southern City. San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 21, ’18. To the Readers of The Monitor: Monday morning found me riding along a low level country full of veg etation that shows the effect of the recent extreme cold weather, every thing dying and decaying. You must remember that this is the land where the markets are supplied with the green stuffs the year round. Twenty miles south of Houston I stopped at Ellington aviation field and witnessed the capers of a hundred planes in the air at one time. I lin gered here just a few moments, then continued my journey south to Gal veston, the island city, sometimes called the wall call city because of the great sea wall that was built to prevent the flooding of this city dur ing the storms that often frequent this coast. Entering the city from Point Texas on the main land over the great concrete causeway, passing ; over the bay for the distance of two i miles on to the island, one gets the : best view of this great, and at one ; time the most important southern port and city. Rising abruptly out of the ocean, with hills of granite walls sur rounding it on every side, we proceed ed by' large and imposing government, city office buildings and beautiful residences, well paved streets, lined with palms. You have but to forget the present century and recall the stories of ancient history, and you will think you are entering portals of some strong, ancient island kingdom. Upon entering the central portion of the business district you will be much impressed by the air of militarism that exists here. The streets are patroled everywhere by the soldiers in full uni form and gun and bayonet; also by the special military police, who are provided to help the civil authorities I properly police the city. It is guarded at both east and west ends by Forts San Jacinto and Crockett. The entrance to the bay, where the shipping of the world enters for this poi't and the city of Houston, fifty miles up Buffalo bayou, is at the east ern end of the island. I only stayed here for a day, as the inquisitive stranger is viewed with suspicion. The race population, which formerly numbered many thousands, is now al most depleted, for the lack of suffi cient employment. They have been forced to seek new homes further north. Occupation of this important and strategical gulf port by the United States government has imposed an air of secrecy and silence which is felt by every one. Standing at Market and Twenty-fifth streets, I gazed across the dome of the government building and custom house. I saw a flag being rapidly hoisted. As it reached the top and a strong breeze caught its folds it displayed to our gaze a white flag with a black center. , My companion said it was a storm signal, the one thing that puts fear in the heart of every Galves tonian, for he instantly remembers September, 1900, and August, 1916. I, too, thought of those two destructive events and inquired the schedule of the ! next north interurban, which I board ed and, crossing the bay over the causeway to the mainland, I felt the effects of a strong breeze, which was whipping the waters of the bay into a choppy, white-capped sea, the kind usually taken as an indication of rough weather. My last view of Galveston, as I passed rapidly north, was like that ! of a stern white sentinel keeping ! guard over the safety of that great | Gulf of Mexico. Into Houston that night and out ! over the main line of the Southern Pa cific, due west to San Antonio, where I arrived late Saturday evening, after stopping at Richmond, Rosenburg, Eagle Lake, Columbus, Schulenburg, Tulling and Sequin, at each point in troducing The Monitor and meeting with success, which I hope to continue in this city, of which I will write you next week. Until then I am correspondingly yours, FRED C. WILLIAMS, Traveling Representative of The Monitor. — SOUTHERN COLLEGES TO GET HALF A MILLION DOLLARS Cincinnati, Jan. 18.—In the general distribution of educational funds the Freedman’s Aid society has appro priated $500,000, to be expended be tween twenty-one Southern schools and colleges.