Stand Against Intimidation

⇐ Part 10 Part 11 of 12 Part 12 ⇒
"The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them." Ida B. Wells-Barnett, 1892

The Great Migration of African Americans into Illinois following the Civil War, and the increased segregation that accompanied it, led to growing tensions between blacks and whites. Between 1891 and 1914, there were at least 22 racially motivated lynchings in Illinois. Moreover, between 1908 and 1919, three of the nation's most significant race riots occurred in the state — in Springfield, East St. Louis and Chicago.

William Donnegan, an acquaintance of Abraham Lincoln, was a victim of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot. He came to Springfield in 1845 and worked as a cobbler. He often hid fugitive slaves and later helped numerous African Americans relocate to the north and find work. During the second day of the Springfield riot, a white mob dragged the elderly Donnegan out of his house, slit his throat and lynched him. Donnegan died the next day.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett was a famous anti-lynching activist. Born a slave in 1862, she first spoke out against lynching when three acquaintances were killed in 1892. She then published a pamphlet entitled Southern Horrors: Lynch Laws in All Its Phases. In the mid-1890s, Wells-Barnett moved to Chicago, where she founded the city's first African American kindergarten and was a founding member of the NAACP.

"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that 'all men are created equal.' We now practically read it 'all men are created equal, except negroes.'" Abraham Lincoln, 1855

Stand Against Intimidation Video

Additional Resources