Letter from Dr. Turner: March 18, 1876

Letter from Dr. Turner.

The Colored Tribune, March 18, 1876

Editor Colored Tribune:

Several exceptions have been taken to my position in regard to going to Africa and establishing a negro nationality, and thus protecting ourselves from a set of ravenous white wolves, who are preying like the vampires of hell upon our people. I am called a fanatic, a fool, an aspirant for royal honors, the would be king, etc.

But if those stay here parties will answer me this question, I will surrender my convictions and join their cavalcade. That question is this: How long can the negro race last in this country at such a ratio of murdering as is now in process of operation in this State? I have just figured up the reported number of colored persons who have been brutally killed within the last twenty-five days in this State alone and find the sum to be twenty-seven. Some it is said were convicts who were shot trying to escape the chain gang: but it is cold blooded murder, nevertheless, and we are the dreadful victims.

Now I shall expect these anti-negro nationality men to put a stop to this thing, or I shall have to charge them as accessories to these murders. No white man has been or will be arrested if he kills forty negros. (I judge the present by the past.) So you anti-emmigrationists must now come up with your life preservers, or tell us how long the negro race can exist at this rate before he will become exterminated. The twenty-seven murders which has come to my attention, would possibly be augmented to thirty-seven if all the facts were known through the State. I am not complaining about it; I use to complain, but I have to quit; it use to be the fault of white men- but it is now the fault of negro men. We all know our lives are not worth a cent. If a negro killer wants it, shall we say, let us stay here and take it? All right gentlemen, if they will spare me this year they will have to come some distance to find me next. The only reason I am here now is on account of a few debts hanging over my head. I pray that God may help me cancel them soon, and those who wish to remain can have my place.

Henry McNeal Turner