The Elaine Massacre is the deadliest racial confrontation in Arkansas history and among the bloodiest racial conflicts in the U.S. At least 200 black people were killed by white people over the course of several days, beginning September 30, 1919, when African American sharecroppers met to discuss better pay for their cotton. During a union meeting, shots were fired, sparking mass killings. Up to 1,000 white people from surrounding Arkansas counties and as far away as Tennessee traveled to Elaine to take part in the massacre. U.S. troops were eventually called in, and the white mob finally dispersed October 2, 1919.
Afterward, more than 200 African Americans were put in jail or stockades, where there were reports of torture. A Phillips County grand jury charged 122 African Americans with crimes connected with the massacre, and a jury convicted 12 African American men of murder. The 12 men were sentenced to death but were eventually released after long court battles.
Charles H. Brough served as Arkansas Governor during this racial riot and massacre.
Scrapbook containing booklets, documents, newspaper clippings, photographs, and programs relating to Governor Charles Hillman Brough, the Elaine (Phillips County, Ark.) race riot of 1919, and other events.