Friday, October 27, 2017

Letter about the history of neo-Confederacy sent to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings

Since the Dallas Task Force on Confederate monuments failed to get any information on the history of Dallas neo-Confederacy, the public hasn't been educated fully as to why these monuments need to go down. So the number of Confederate named streets was a very short list and none or maybe just one or two will be changed. The Confederate monument in Pioneer Park might end up staying. It doesn't look like anything will be done for Fair Park. The Commission on Cultural Affairs didn't vote on the Task Force's recommendations.

So I wrote this certified letter to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings with copies sent to all 14 city council members. 

Some of the supporting documentation I will put after the letter and some will be inserted into the letter. Further I may have explanatory notes which will be in square brackets [ ].


Again, I had a brain fade and the plantation house in Oak Lawn park is Arlington Hall. Stratford Hall is the ancestral mansion of the Lee family. 

October 15, 2017

                                                                                    Edward H. Sebesta

Mayor Mike Rawlings
City of Dallas
Mayor and City Council City of Dallas
1500 Marilla St.
Dallas, TX 75201

Dear Hon. Rawlings:

The Task Force on Confederate monuments did not research or investigate or report on the history of neo-Confederacy in Dallas and Texas.

This has had the unfortunate result in that the public hasn’t been educated and doesn’t know the motivations of the people who erected these statues and what was the ideology behind them. There were presentations about the fact that Dallas was a white supremacist society during the period in which they were put up, but the historical record of the beliefs of these organizations and supporters of the monuments has not been examined.

This results in some not really taking seriously the reason to remove these Confederate monuments. The need to eliminate Confederate street names is not taken that seriously and rationalizations are given to only change some. As of 10/15/2017 it is unclear what will be done with Fair Park. The one-third replica Lee plantation house, Stratford, isn’t being discussed, the remaining memorials that seek to honor Confederates aren’t addressed.

So I think it would be useful that you and city council get a sampler, a small sampler of what neo-Confederacy stood for in Dallas.

1.       The United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1934 and 1935 campaigned against a play Jute that was planned to be performed by the Oak Cliff Little Theater. The UDC opposed it since it was planned to use an interracial cast to perform it. The performance of the play was prevented and the Oak Cliff Little Theater closed down. The Texas Division UDC President in the UDC convention minutes reported it as a triumph in the defense of the South.  The Dallas Morning News reported on this multiple times: “Interracial Body Meets Opposition of Confederates,” Dec. 4, 1934, page2; “Quince to Revive ‘Jute’ on June 4 at Cliff Theater, April 27, 1935, page 10; “Title Role of ‘Jute’ Still Remains Uncast,” May 13, 1935, page 6; “Cast for ‘Jute’ Already Complete,” May 17, 1935, Page 14; “Confederate Daughters Oppose Playing Whites and Negroes in Drama,” May 18, 1935, page 6; “Another Confederacy Chapter Opposes Two Races in Theatricals,” May 23, 1935, page 6; “Guarantee No ‘Social Upheaval,’ Quince Asks Protests to Cease on Mixed Cast for Play ‘Jute,’” May 24, 1935, page 2; “Quince Drops ‘Jute’ In Face of Protests,” May 27, 1935, page 7; “Oak Cliff Merges Membership with Dallas Little Theater’s,” May 28, 1935, page 14.

2.      Walter White of the NAACP came to speak at a YWCA against lynching in 1937. [Correction, 1938] The campaign against his speaking engagement was so ferocious that it was moved to a different Y for safety, a police guard had to be assigned, and White had to fly in at 3 pm and fly out at 6 pm for his own safety. The campaign was led by Walter E. Hurt, Commander-in-Chief of the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

3.      An extract for John H. Reagan, from the Dallas Morning News, April 28, 1897, page 1 in which Reagan explains that the restoration of white supremacy after the Civil War was more meritorious than any of the Civil War battles that the Confederates fought.

4.      A report on a speech made by the Historian General of the Texas Division of the United Confederate Veterans at UCV meeting in Fort Worth asking that all African Americans be sent back to Africa and giving forth on his biblical theories of racial inequality. It is from the Confederate Veteran, Vol. 24, No. 12 pp. 529, Dec. 1916.

5.      Selections from the John B. Hood Journal of the John B. Hood SCV camp in Dallas in 1965. The raw rancid racism really shows what Confederate “heritage” is all about.

I could supply a lot more. I want you and the city council to understand the motivations behind these monuments and other Confederate items of the built environment of Dallas and not be inclined to be lax in addressing the issue involved instead of strenuously de-Confederating Dallas.

                                                                                    Sincerely Yours,

                                                                                    Edward H. Sebesta

This is from the Texas Division UDC annual convention minutes. I extracted into a page the Texas Division President's comments from the year book. It succinctly summarizes the attitude of the UDC.


The whole article was mailed. You can get this article from the Dallas Public Library. It is from the Dallas Morning News, April 29, 1938, pages 1, 12. I sent the entire article with the bibliographic note. I am just including the headlines here and sections, but I think they tell the story.  Walter White, historically famous leader of the NAACP was scheduled to speak in Dallas before the Dallas Interracial Commission against lynching. A campaign was led against his speaking. This really shows what Confederate "heritage" in Dallas was about. 

The intensity of the protest was such that the speaker had to be guarded by police and the venue moved. This is from the article, "Police Guard Appearance of Negro Speaker," Dallas Morning News, April 30, 1938. 

Walter White had to be flown in at 3pm and flown out at 6pm by airplane for his safety. 

This is the raw racism of the Sons of Confederate Veterans at that time. Note that Hurt says that he speaks for the organizations.

This is from John H. Reagan, Confederate veteran and former member of the Confederate cabinet at the dedication of the Confederate monument which later was moved to Pioneer Park.

Reagan finds restoration of white supremacy glorious – Ed Sebesta 10/10/2017

In this section of a speech given by John H. Reagan, former member of Jefferson Davis’s cabinet, given at the dedication of the Confederate monument in Dallas in 1897, we see that Reagan regards as more glorious than the battles of the Civil War the restoration of white supremacy after the Civil War. Note his racism in reference to “a servile race” which makes “reconstruction worse and more humiliating than war.”

From “Men Who Wore Gray,” Dallas Morning News, April 29, 1897, page 1, Newsbank. (The image of the original text is on the following page.)

“… The strife of the war is over, peace has been restored. It is true that in this restoration we had to pass through a period of reconstruction worse and more humiliating than war ---“

(Here the speaker was interrupted by the arrival of Mrs. Hayes and family, who were enthusiastically received.)

“But we have the fruits of peace, and it is one of the grandest things connected with the memory of that struggle and of what followed. Our country’s resources were exhausted, our property sacrificed, the bravest and best of our men slain upon the battle fields, denied the privileges of self-government, subjected to military power, the attempt made to subject us to the control of a servile race. With all of this, the highest compliment that could be paid our people seems to me, better than all the victories of battle, was that under such circumstances we were able to preserve the organization of society, to re-establish organized government, to restore the industries of the country and to establish constitutional laws which protect and vindicate the rights of a free people.” (Applause.) [Bold face added.]

The restoration of white supremacy, the overthrow of Reconstruction, the maraudings and terror of the Ku Klux Klan, Red Shirts, White League and the Knights of the White Camillia and just general violent white terrorism is according to John H. Reagan is “the highest compliment” that is “better than all the victories of battle” in the Civil War.

It was generally understood in the early 20th century by Confederate and neo-Confederate groups, such as the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans, that the Ku Klux Klan of the Reconstruction period, as well as other white terrorist groups was the effort of the ex-Confederate soldier.

The Confederate Monument at Pioneer Park is a monument to white supremacy. It needs to go. 

This is the image of the extract referenced above.

This is a speech asking that all African Americans be sent back to Africa. Also, it says that Indians are the result of hybridization with animals. It is from the Confederate Veteran, Vol. 24, No. 12, pp. 569. The lecture is by the Historian General of the Texas Division of the United Confederate Veterans. 

Selections from the John B. Hood Journal of 1965 of the John B. Hood Sons of Confederate Veterans camp.

This is the review of the material. The photos follow.

Compiled by Edward H. Sebesta 10/18/2017

The John B. Hood Journal was the publication of the John B. Hood Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) and the Dallas Public Library (DPL) has a bound copy of four issues from 1965. They show the blistering racism of the SCV and which is representative of the mentality of neo-Confederates then and now.  This is what so called Confederate “heritage” is really about.

Notes: The pages in the bound volume are unpaginated. The page numbers in this document do not correspond to any pages in the document. They are just for internal reference in this document only.


This directory is to point out some of the more notable pages using the page numbers of this document. Additionally red arrows are added to point out these notable items. This is a short selection of some of the anti-civil rights items in the bound volume.

1.       Page 5: “White only” stickers offered for sale by the Journal. “Think of the possibilities. On your personal bathrooms, etc., anywhere they are still legal.”  Enlarged view on page 26.

2.      Page 9: Praise and support for right wing radio personality Richard Cotton attacks on the civil rights movement. Page 34 Enlarged view.

3.      Page 11:

3.1.   White supremacist quote of Thomas Dixon from “The Leopard Spots,” one of his novels.
3.2.  Quote of Abraham Lincoln supporting white supremacy.
3.3.  Two condemnations of the Supreme Court decision, one Florida Legislature, one Georgia Legislature.

4.      Page 12: “The Negro 23rd Psalm.” What is interesting is that neo-Confederates in the 1950s and 60s will have these long discussions of the Constitution and then next to it these rabid rants which give away the whole game. They are so racist that this doesn’t even occur to them.  Page 45. Enlarged.

5.      Page 14: Various racist statements.

5.1.   Robert Toombs explains that Robert E. Lee demonstrates white superiority.
5.2.  Condemnation of “Sammy Davis” who is called “Negro agitator.”
5.3.  Short item asserting that God supports segregation.

6.      Page 15:  Essay explaining that there is no place in the SCV for someone who supports civil rights.  Specific complaint about President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s support for the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act.

7.      Page 16: Various racist statements.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts Last 30 days

Popular Posts All Time