The Dixie Murders

Source Type: Newspaper
Publisher: The Linden Reporter
Place of publication: Linden, AL
Date of publication: 5/22/1885
Source URL: View Source

The Dixie Murders- The series of crimes in the vlcinity of Dixie Station, in Chilton county, on the E. T., V. & U. R. R., is very unfortunate. The country for twenty-five miles square, embracing parts of several counties, is in a feverish condition, and the race antagonism is incited on both sides to a degree that must be harmful for months to come. Of course there was great provocation of the whites at the beginning of the trouble. The rape of a chaste white wife by a negro is enough to make Saxon blood boil at any time. It was perfectly proper for the white men of that section to bunt the black fiend down, but not with the purpose entertained and understood. It was their duty to capture him, but not to lynch him if found, or to stir up the quiet negroes’ passions by their unlawful objects. The negro is an animal with a vast deal more passion than reason or will power; the white man is infinitely his superior in the latter attributes, and should always display them in his relations with the negro The passion of one type in one negro shonld not ha?e on-reined the stronger passion ot a higher type in the whites. So while the negro afforded grave provocation at the outset the mass of whites should not have added fuel to the fiames. The killing of Scipio Atchison, the father of the rapist and of 8teve Sullivan, their sympathizer, was unnecessary, inexpedient, wrong and unlawful. The fears by the whites of an insurrection among the negroes, in the light of the past with its myriads of such reports and paucity of results, were altogether groundless. The threatening negroes should have been arrested and carried to jail: their threats should have been laughed at by the sensible and courageous white population. Wrongs cannot be righted with wrongs, nor grave violations of the law effectively punished by equal disregard of order and justice. Scores of negroes, yes scores without exaggeration, have been lynched in Alabama in the past few years, yet is not the crime of rape in tho increase I Certainly it is not decreasing. The negroes are an ignorant passionate, impulsive race, and the swift administration of justice for outrages do not deter them at all from repetitions of the crime. White people should learn this from long observation, and not persist in a method of treatment that does not cure. Murders are wrong whether committed by one man or a hundred, and since they accomplish nothing and only disgrace the superior race and our section, they should not be repeat ed.


“The Dixie Murders.” The Linden Reporter (Linden, AL), May 22, 1885.