Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rosewood Massacre (1923) What Really Happened

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                         Rosewood Massacre: Fiction & Fact


NOTE: American initiated riots against African Americans between 1900 to 1960 is only 31 (at least, that's all I could find >>Link). And of those 31 ... 78% were a direct consequence of either a sexual assault or a murder (usually a police officer).


1923 Rosewood massacre : Fiction & Fact

The town of Rosewood (FL) in 1923 was an entirely African-American town and boasted a population of about 300 or more. 

    Fact:  Rosewood was described as “mostly African-American”, therefore, there were some Americans living in the community. In the book The Chronological History of the Negro,  a far left-leaning, pro-integration recounting of African-American experiences from the 1700s and up until 1968, tells us there were “six buildings” burned down in the town (the town had just recently been vacated due to news of impending mob violence).  And after the buildings were burned, then, a few days later, “the 12 remaining structures” were burned. These 12 structures were obviously residences (homes) in the African-American part of the small community. Doing the simple math here, it tells us that most likely there were only 12 African- American families in Rosewood. The typical African-American family back then would have consisted of about six or seven. That would put the African-American population of Rosewood at approximately 80, with the adult male population at around 12 to 14.

Note: Despite Wikipedia's claim (produced from a thoroughly unreliable source, African American Maxine Jones) that Sumner and Rosewood had a combined population of  "344 blacks and 294 whites,"  there is no existing census data that I could find to support this claim.  Rosewood shared a census tract with Sumner, so there is no way of knowing exactly how many people (white or black) lived in Rosewood.  However, the "12 structures", or homes, in the black section gives a pretty accurate clue. Whites were likely about half or less of the black population in Rosewood, so that would put the white population at about 30 or 40 (6 or 7 families) ...and make the total Rosewood population ( white & black) around 120.

Of further note: I am assuming that the white mob only burned the black homes. However, all reports of the Rosewood riots state that the town was completely destroyed. So it could also be that the 12 structures were the total number of homes in Rosewood. That, of course, would greatly reduce the population size of Rosewood.  If one were to assume, for example, that eight of the structures belonged to African-American, and the remaining four were occupied by Americans, that would put the approximate size of the black population at around 50, with about 7 or 8 adult black males; the white population would be around 35. The total Rosewood population in this scenario would be about 85 people.  I'm also assuming (no way to find the truth here) that all 12 structures were actually occupied by families on January 1st.


    Fiction:  From Wikipedia:  South, Florida had imposed legal racial segregation under Jim Crow laws, requiring separate black and white public facilities and transportation.[6] Blacks and whites created their own community centers: in 1920, the residents of Rosewood were mostly self-sufficient. They had three churches, a school, a large Masonic Hall, a turpentine mill, a sugarcane mill, a baseball team named the Rosewood Stars, and two general stores, one of which was white-owned. 

    Fact:  "Jim Crow laws" : South Florida, as well as the entire country, was actually operating under Plessy  v. Ferguson (1896 Supreme Court decision allowing for the separation of the races). One distinct  people living separate from another distinct people was the established norm in America at that time.  It was also the established norm throughout human history.  Blacks were a free people, free to build their own towns, their own cities and their own industries; or colonize a place in the vast expanse of unsettled land in America (e.g. like the Mormons).  Regarding the buildings in Rosewood, this has already been covered. There were "six buildings" burned.  The quote above indicates there were nine structures in Rosewood that were non-residences. The existing structures in Rosewood at that time were:: two churches (white and black); two schools (white and black); a likely abandoned turpentine mill ; and only one daily operating business in Rosewood, which was  the general store operated by a white male (John Wright). 


    Fiction:  The railroad stopped in Rosewood.

    Fact:  The railroad did not have a regularly scheduled stop in Rosewood in 1923. And why would it? The only industry in the area, the timber industry, had moved more than two decades earlier to Sumner. There was also no hotel and no business activity (one general store) in Rosewood.. 

    Fiction: All the African-Americans who formerly lived in Rosewood had remained silent about the incident over all these years (1923 to 1982) because they decided that it was just such a terrible event ... they would all just blot it out from their memories.
    Fact:   When the news of impending mob violence reached Rosewood,  all African Americans fled the small town, with the exception of Mrs. Carrier , a couple young kids (actual number unknown) and the African-American fugitive (Jesse Hunter).  Since Mrs. Carrier and the fugitive died in a hail of gunfire from the posse, and the kids were too young to actually recall what happened,  there were no other African Americans left in the tiny town as an eyewitness to report on the incident.   
    Fiction:  An American female,
Mrs. Fannie Taylor, was in fact attacked and beat-up ... but made up a story about an African-American male doing it.  Why? Because the brutal attack was really perpetrated by her  “white” male lover (i.e. she was having an affair) and she knew she would have to explain the bruises to her husband when he arrived home from work.  Hence, the “made up story”.

    Fact :
  1.)  On the day of the home invasion / assault, an African-American male, Jesse Hunter, had escaped from a prison work detail in the vicinity of Rosewood. The fugitive would have been penniless and, naturally, in need of money to get out of the Rosewood area.  Strong-arming a young American female home alone would be an obvious source to obtain some quick money.

  2.)  The source for the
story of the alleged “white guy” seen coming out of Fannie Taylor's home, came from an African-American Arnett Doctor. He wasn't alive at the time of the Rosewood incident.  He told a white male journalist, Gary Moore, that his mom, Philomena Goins, who would have been 7-years-old at the time of the incident, told him all about how she and her mother, Sarah Carrier, witnessed the white lover leaving Mrs. Taylor's premises on the day of the assault.   Note:  Gary Moore and Arnett Doctor's  "new" version to Rosewood was created in 1982.   

   Reality check...  The new version to Fannie Taylor being beat-up claims Fannie Taylor was beat-up by her "white lover," then he fled toward Rosewood (about 3 miles away). Here are the only two possible scenarios - that I can think of - where Fannie Taylor would run to the sheriff and report an erroneous assault on her by a black man.

Scenario 1: After the beating by her white lover, Fannie Taylor looks in the mirror and notices bruises she knows she cannot explain  to her husband, so she and the white male cook-up a story where she intends to frantically run to the sheriff and tell him a black man beat her and robbed her. Well, if this is the scenario, then why is the white male fleeing? He has nothing to worry about. He knows Fannie is blaming a black man. Right? Hmmm. Maybe the white male walked the three miles to Rosewood. Possible. 

Scenario 2: The white male strikes Fannie Taylor. Furious, Fannie Taylor tells her white lover she's going to the sheriff and report him, then storms out of the house. However, along the way, Fannie decides against blaming the assault on her white lover and instead hurriedly cooks-up the story about a black man beating her. Again though, why would the white male be fleeing for his life? He has nothing to really fear. There were no domestic violence laws back then, so a female being struck by a male in a lover's quarrel would not be an arrestable offense. Also, the white male, one could logically expect, would quickly figure out that if Fannie Taylor did report her beating to the sheriff, this would reveal to everyone, including her husband, that she is having an affair!  And what would that mean in 1923? Scandal! Divorce! Ostracizing!   So under this scenario as well, one would expect the white male lover would not flee.  But it certainly would have been time for him to leave her premises.  Again, maybe he walked toward Rosewood.

Both of the above scenarios, in my opinion, are actually equally implausible. In fact, no scenario can be created to provide a logical reason for the white male to flee for his life toward Rosewood. The only plausible scenario as to who beat-up Fannie Taylor is the original version:: An escaped convict, Jesse Hunter, invaded Fannie Taylor's home, beat her up (possible rape?) , made her reveal where any household money was, then he fled toward Rosewood.
  And one final thing to consider: When Gary Moore heard this fantastic new version to Rosewood from Arnett Doctor, who, again, was claiming he was reciting what his mother told him about the event,  why didn't Gary Moore go straight to the source i.e. the mother? WHY?? Read below:

 " [Philomena Goins] Doctor called her family members [after Arnett Doctor and Gary Moore's new version of Rosewood was published in 1982] and declared Moore's story and Ed Bradley's television exposé were full of lies."

The alleged affair in the new version is simply not to be believed. .


 Six African-Americans, perhaps many more, were murdered; many being lynched. Also, sadistic white people actually cut off body parts of the blacks and took them home for souvenirs.

   Fact: Four African-Americans died, two adult males and two adult females
: Sam Carter; Mrs. Sarah Carrier; Jesse Hunter;  Miss Lexie Gordon. There were no lynchings (hangings) in these "riots", which occurred over two non-contiguous days. None of the four blacks were dismembered for souvenir body parts.

    Day 1, Jan.1st : A couple hours after the assault, an American posse with bloodhounds tracked a scent from Fannie Taylor's home in Sumner to the home of an African-American male, Sam Carter. This piece of information, which is beyond dispute, is of vital importance.  Where did the bloodhounds get the scent they tracked to Mr. Carter’s home? They got that scent from the clothes of Fannie Taylor that the African-American male left on it when he physically assaulted her. The bloodhounds, able to track a human scent up to 36 hours after it was left, had no trouble tracking the scent to Mr. Carter’s place (no, these dogs where not bred by white people to be racists toward blacks).
 At Mr. Carter's home is where the scent stopped. The group of armed Americans, ergo, had no other conclusion to draw than Mr. Carter had met with and aided the fugitive to escape by wagon.  A rope was tied around Mr. Carter's neck and he was threatened with being hanged if he didn’t reveal what he knew. However, Mr. Carter remained uncooperative and, much to the consternation of the mob, an American (unknown ) shot and killed him with a single gunshot to the body (or head). Mr. Carter was left where he fell and the mob moved on (Mr. Carter was NOT hung).

From the official coroner's jury inquest, 1923: 
"We the Jury after the examination of the said Sam Carter who being found lying Dead, find that the said Sam Carter came to his Death by being shot by Unknown Party so say we all."(1)

   Day 2, Jan 4th :  In the evening hours, hearing rumors that the African-American fugitive was at a house in Rosewood, a small group of armed Americans (no way of unknowing how many) descended on the home of Mrs. Sarah Carrier (an African-American). Two American males went to the front door and knocked loudly, demanding everyone inside come out.  NOTE:  This is where the known evidence of what follows ends. What did happen here, however, is really the most important related to the burning of the African-American homes in Rosewood. The two white males who knocked on the Carrier front door were fact gunned down.  And it was this incident that set the stage for the torching of Rosewood. 

   Most Likely scenario: At the home of Sarah Carrier, two Americans,  Henry Andrews, 42, and C. P. "Poly" Wilkerson, 45, knocked on the front door and demanded everyone inside come out.  The fugitive, Jesse Hunter, is inside and likely holding a gun on Sarah Carrier (And how did Jesse Hunter get to the Carrier's home?  There's only one way he could have got there: Sam Carter [gunned down three days earlier]  took him there by wagon to hide him).   When Sarah Carrier opened the door the Negro fugitive
ambushed the two Americans, murdering them at pointblank range.  Gunfire immediately erupted from the posse and Mrs. Carrier was killed in a hail of bullets. The fugitive was also mortally wounded; however, he still returned fire. After a period of time the posse members, running low or out of ammunition, and also not sure if the fugitive was actually dead, decided to leave and return the next day. Upon returning the following day the two dead Americans are claimed.  Inside the Carrier home are two dead bodies:  Sarah Carrier and an adult Negro male.

Note: There is no known source that has positively identified the adult African-American male found dead in the Carrier home.  The 'new version' to this event insists that the victim is Sylvester Carrier (son of Sarah Carrier). Naturally, this would create a scenario where Mr. Carrier is simply defending his house and avenging the senseless slaughter of his mother by sadistic and bloodthirsty white guys.  However, a few questions arise with this version: Why would members of the posse gun down Sarah Carrier for no reason, a woman some or many there were likely acquainted with?  Why would Sylvester Carrier gun down two white males on his front porch that he likely knew for years?   Why would Sylvester Carrier risk the lives of his mother  and the children in the house ... by provoking a gunfight with a posse?  In my opinion, the new version here (that Sylvester Carrier was defending his house) just doesn't seem logical.  The only logical version that does fits is that the rumor was true that the fugitive was inside the Carrier home and he (Jesse Hunter) slaughtered the two Americans.

   Day 3, Jan. 5th. :  A large group of Americans (no way of knowing how many) set fire to six buildings in the Negro section of Rosewood.  These were not homes.  No person (white or black) was killed or injured in this incident. 

   Day 4, Jan. 7th :  To avenge the
of the two white males, white people from nearby towns gathered in Rosewood and burned the remaining 12 structures - specifically the 12 African-American homes.  An African-American female, who was apparently suffering from typhoid fever and was bedridden, was burned alive (or escaped the house but died of smoke inhalation) when her house was set afire. Most likely, the ones setting the fire were not aware she was inside.

Note:  Wikipedia's version states that a black male was “shot in the face” and then “hung…”.  This alleged incident first appears after 1982 in the
“new version' of Rosewood, that was manufactured by Gary  Moore, a white male “self-employed” (unemployed?) freelance writer.

   Fiction: One African-American
 is known to have been forced to dig is own grave before he was killed. Another African-American male, Mingo Williams , minding his own business and doing some hunting, was gunned down when he was spotted by a some white males who were driving to Rosewood (Jan.7th).

   Fact:  The African-American male being forced to dig his own grave was said to be James Carrier.  The newspaper account of this incident tells us that James Carrier was shot days after Rosewood was burned.
Americans most likely blamed him - one would assume on provable evidence - that he was directly or indirectly involved in the shooting deaths of the two American posse members.  There is also NO existing credible evidence - that I can find -   that a group of Americans gunned down an African-American male who was out hunting.


 So let’s sum up what we have as to the true and ironclad facts concerning Rosewood :

  1.  An American female was attacked and beat-up by a an African-American male. There is nothing I can find in the way of credible evidence that states the female was raped. However, there is evidence that states that members of the posse hunting for the African-American fugitive believed the woman was raped. 

  2. All credible evidence points to the perpetrator of the attack on Fannie Taylor being an African-American male who had just escaped from a nearby prison work-crew (Jesse Hunter).

  3. According to the book Chronological History of the Negro (published in 1969), and whose sources were newspaper accounts from the Rosewood riots period, stated "four Negroes and two white people were killed."  Only ONE African-American male (Mr. Sam Carter) is known to have been deliberately shot and killed by someone who was certainly an American (white). Three more African-Americans, Mrs. Sarah Carrier, fugitive Jesse Hunter,  and Miss Lexie Gordon, were also killed.  Sarah Carrier and Jesse Hunter died in
the Carrier home from a hail of gunfire from the posse ... after two American posse members were massacred - ambushed.  The other African-American, a female, Lexie Gordon, stricken with typhoid fever and bedridden, died by fire or smoke inhalation when her home was set afire. 

  4. Because an African-American gunned down two Americans, this caused a fury among the local American population, and they took out their rage against the physical structures belonging to African-Americans in Rosewood: six buildings were burned then, a few days later, 12 African-American homes were burned.

  5.  Mr. Sylvester Carrier, whose mother died inside their home, presumably in a hail of gunfire after the killing of the two Americans, according to Arnett Doctor, Mr. Carrier was still alive after the Rosewood incident.  Arnett Doctor claims his family received Christmas cards from
Sylvester many years after the incident. 

>>>> Proof that Sylvester Carrier was NOT defending his house against white males trying to break his door down: "Arnett Doctor [son of Philomena Goins Doctor - whose grandmother was Mrs. Carrier and killed by the posse], in his interview for the report given to the Florida Board of Regents, claimed that his mother received Christmas cards from Sylvester Carrier until 1964"  <<<<   Ergo, Sylvester Carrier was alive and well after the Rosewood incident.  In other words, he was not the black male lying dead in the house with his mother.

So who was the dead African-American male on the floor with Sarah Carrier?  It had to be the African-American fugitive Jesse Hunter.  

  6. Two other deaths allegedly related to the Rosewood burning were added after 1984 - likely so those surviving family members could cash in on any settlement that was in the works.

1. http://afgen.com/roswood2.html  


  1. Thorough...Good Read!

  2. Your opinion is just as biased as you say the "Black Versions" are. This case was presented to the legislature by lawyers and a group of researchers who in fact did their job by proving that there was an injustice and crimes that were committed. Race will always be an issue in this country and being that you were not around in 1923 nor spoke to anyone who was there proves that this is racially charged article with no real proof of discrediting the actual story. I would believe the group of lawyers and researchers who were paid to review this information for its accurateness before believing you. That group of people contained both black and white citizens who have no need to lie. It would probably help if you obtained the research that was done by those individuals so you could get the real story.

  3. You are truly ignorant..in every aspect of the word, some what racist..but mainly unadulterated ignorance...were you there???...yet, there was actual eye witness testimony and you still print this hypocrisy...*you're gonna have to give an account for every vile lie you tell, so for your sake there better be some true( highly doubt it) to some of this..next time you feel like printing lies..DON'T....instead count the stars in the sky....it's a better waste of your time ding dong

  4. This entire article is ignorant. I quickly picked up on your level of intelligence when u used the word "massacre" to describe the death of the two white men whom approached the Carrier's home. A "massacre", is a killing of a LARGE amount of people. Two white men is far from a large amount of people. Which brings me to my nxt point, this entire article is ignorant because its one big opinionated view of the situation FROM U. Through out the article, u constantly found ways, or "cook-up" disagreements about every detail of the story. Dude...get over it. It happen, and its still happening, just on another level. If u wanna dig up facts, how bout digging up how America got rich off of slavery, free labor. Dig up how after 200yrs of slavery, blacks out numbered whites down south, and it scared them to death. Dnt get me started "friend"...do REAL research.

  5. I have to agree while I found your Story to be interesting its very one sided, I think your family was one of the Klans members involved in the ordeal and your just passing on your opinion. The Whites back in that Day and time looked for any reason to harrass the blacks and they all slept with the young black women, and if your a Black man down South today in 2011 watch your Back cause WHITE women still holler RAPE and blame it on the NIGGA!! No matter who did it!! So Get OVER it and the TRUTH is the CRACKERS went on a RAMPAGE and killed the BLACKS that where minding their own business and trying to live RESPECTFUL lives!!!

  6. I would also like to add I know a woman right now that is 43 years old and can tell you every detail of her Daddy raping her when she was 5 so please don't try and PRETEND to understand what one person can remember from their youth until you YOURSELF go thru a TRAUMA!! You will be surprised what can be burned into your Memory especially when so many are effected by it!! Your a PERSON That is PREJUDICE!! And wheter you admit it or not, YOU SAY it loud in clear thru what you WRITE!! I Hope your not trying to MAKE a name for YOURSELF because that will never happen for you!!! Have a Great Day!!

  7. this has to be the most ignorant thing ever .the rosewood massacre happened and all the facts that you claim to be fiction are indeed FACT. Survivors of rosewood would be highly offended to read something like this .i dont doubt for one second that the white lady cried rape , blame it on a black man and white men going insane over something with NO FACTS .shit like that still happens to today .a man just recently got out of jail after 15 years because a white girl blamed rape on him .he was just proven innocent after all that time .too bad none of those innocent men women and children werent proven innocent before the white man decided to take someone's life .if white people were as innocent as you are trying to make them out to be they would have never started slavery .there would be no kkk .and they wouldnt be so racist and prejudice today .you can run up in someone's country .take them away from their home and be mad at them and hate them .whites brought blacks over for a reason .because Africans could do a lot of things whites could not .i live in a all white town so i know how white people can get and its sickening just like your acrticle ..

  8. You must be white to try to justify a hate crime massacre .. i wasnt there to witness it and neither were you ..so you cant give facts only opinions .your just as wrong as them hateful ass white people from rosewood .your basically calling every black people from rosewood in 1923 a liar .they lost family friends businesses and their own lives ......but their lying ?

    Ohh and i can recall damn near everything from when i was 5 .if you knew anything that's when your brain is the most active as a child your learn and retain the most information .read a damn book or something ...

  9. Very interesting I must say but how do u now what's fact or Fiction was u there. I don't believe so as u point out Maxine's credibility where in the hell did u get yours. Everything you stated was your opinion not facts, I would like to see some referenced cites from you. None of the surving victims from Rosewood have a reason to lie about the actions that took place back then. As the others state go do some real research then cite your references so I can see if u know what the hell u talking about.

  10. Why isn't the fact that it was other Africans who sold their fellow Africans into slavery ever acknowledged? Instead, it's always blamed on the white man. (what isn't?) Also, blacks claim they were the only slaves when in fact, Scottish and Irish slaves were here before them in the 1700's. Free black men also had black slaves yet we don't hear about that. There's also the claim that blacks built this country. It was the Chinese laborers who laid down the railroad tracks which actually did help build this country. How did picking cotton build anything? Although many other races were slaves (including my own people) it seems that blacks insist this is the reason they're entitled to anything and everything instead of taking advantage of every opportunity handed to them and bettering themselves? Foreigners come into this country without even knowing the language but will flourish within a few years. Is there a reason blacks can't? Perhaps if they thought of themselves as equals instead of victims it would be an immense help to their culture. Perhaps they should look forward instead of insisting on looking backwards.

  11. Why isn't the fact that it was other Africans who sold their fellow Africans into slavery ever acknowledged? Instead, it's always blamed on the white man. (what isn't?) Also, blacks claim they were the only slaves when in fact, Scottish and Irish slaves were here before them in the 1700's.

    Excuse me, but have you ever been sold as a slave? No, so don't be so don't be so incredibly ignorant. You sound as though you're pitying yourself as a white person, which is frankly ridiculous because at the end of the day, a lot of the atrocities commited in history, ARE the fault of white people. I'm not saying that all white people should be blamed for what our ancestors have done, but we certainly can't turn around and expect pity for 'being blamed for everything', which in fact isn't true, as i have never once been held to blame for slavery in my life.

  12. Honestly. I am not even going to give you the pleasure of you feeling like you are worthy of a valid argument! I refuse to waste my time. You and your rhetoric can be summed up in a single word. Pathetic!

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. Black & White
    Great job done by author. Information helps me a lot to improve my skills. Thanks for the author for sharing. Please keep posting.

  15. This blog is hilarious to say the least. Bless your heart. I will pray for you and everyone else involved. God knows the truth and on judgment day, you will have to answer to Him.
    John 3:16
    Romans 10:9
    God is love. Feel it!!! Share it!!! Spread it!!!