Springfield, Ohio, Racial Conflicts

From Ohio History Central

In March 1904, an African-American man killed a white police officer in Springfield, Ohio. After local police arrested the murderer, a mob formed and marched to the jail. The prisoner was dragged from his cell, and hanged. The mob then moved to a part of Springfield known as the Levee. Located along the Mad River, the area consisted of gambling parlors, bars, and houses of prostitution. Many of the people who lived or worked in this part of town were of African-American descent. The African-American murderer had killed the police officer in the Levee. The mob set businesses and homes on fire and destroyed the Levee

Racial conflict did not end in 1904 in Springfield. In February 1906, a mob descended on the Levee again. Over the course of the previous year, many people had rebuilt their homes and businesses. Once again, members of the crowd set homes and businesses on fire. They also assaulted a number of people who lived in or near the Levee.

During the late 1800s and the early 1900s, racial confrontations like the ones in Springfield occurred across the North.

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