Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Racist Violence in Fort Myers, FL, 1895

On 9th December 1895, The New York Times reported:
WAR AGAINST FLORIDA NEGROES; Twelve Drowned While Fleeing from Their Persecutors -- Alleged Conspiracy Against Owners of Cotton Groves.

TAMPA, Fla., Dec. 9. -- Nearly 200 negroes have arrived here from Lee County, having been driven out by whites.
The article reported that 200 'negroes' who were working for orange grove owners in Fort Myers were taken by a white mob at gunpoint to the wharf and left unfed for 48 hours until a steamer took them to Tampa. The article speculated that this was a conspiracy to drive the grove owners from their land, allowing the conspirators to buy the groves cheaply.

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