Mississippian, August 19, 1884

Mississippian, August 19, 1884

INCENDIARY LANGUAGE.

We are informed by gentlemen who heard the speech, that upon the trial in the Justice’s court of the case of the State against Willie Saunders, upon a charge of assault and battery upon Rachel Randolph (an old woman over fifty years of age) with a cowhide; John D. Webster used the following outrageous and incendiary language in his argument to the jury:

“I tell you, would to God we had a thousand young men like this boy. He ought to have armed himself with a Winchester rifle and gone and cowhided this woman. For oppression to the innocent, God has already caused a portion of this town to cave in the river; and if you gentlemen of the jury, would find this boy guilty, the people, as I believe they will, ought to sweep the rest of it from the face of the earth, like God did Sodom and Gomarrah.” -Greenville times.

Our contemporary in commenting on the above incendiary language, asks with much reason, “how long will the law-abiding people of this community, regardless of race, sit quietly by and allow such firebrands as the creature who uttered this language, to run at large unchecked by the restraining influence of the law?”

The aim and purpose of the speaker is discoverable by the whole tone of his harangue. Such a man in any community operates continually as a fire-brand, a menace to its peace and security, and we pity the neighborhood that is infested with such a grievous nuisance. The better class of colored people of Greenville have no sympathy, we hope, with the wild fanatical utterances of the negro lawyer, John D. Webster, who is nothing if not incendiary and outrageous in his conduct generally.

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