Signature of Edward B. Walker Genealogy of Edward B. Walker
1756-1838, Duplin County, North Carolina - Sullivan, Claiborne, Hancock Counties, Tennessee


Amanda (Hodges) Demarcus to Sarah Alice (Hodges) (Atkins) Gose

Alice (Hodges) and Albert Sidney Atkins with children Delia and Frank; courtesy William Bryan Longmire


Sarah Alice "Alice" (Hodges) (Atkins) Gose, the recipient of this letter, was the widow of Albert Sidney Atkinsoffsite link to WorldConnect, though she had, 18 years before this letter, remarried to Thomas Jefferson "Tom" Gose and still lived in the Bear Creek area of Claiborne County, Tennessee.

Her sister, Amanda (Hodges) Demarcus, apparently had recently visited Alice and wrote this letter upon her return to Knoxville. The letter includes a curious mention that 'the "negros" have qui[e]ted down', which bears further mention. In fact, the then-recent problem may have had something to do with Amanda's visit to Alice, though no reason is actually stated in the letter.

After World War 1, the United States experienced its First Red Scareoffsite link graphic, an absurd hysteria that the country was on the verge of a full-fledged communist takeover as had happened during the war in Russia. Labor unions, immigrants, and African-Americans were among those most often suspected and attacked.

In the summer of 1919, race riots as part of the First Red Scare hit their height. In most cases, such riots involved strictly white-on-black violence, but, in a few cities, blacks fought back after being attacked for some of the first times in U.S. history.

Knoxville experienced its own race riot during this period, specifically on 30-31 August 1919, less than three weeks before this letter was written. At the beginning of Knoxville's riotoffsite link graphic, a group of whites broke into the local jail, ostensibly to harm a black man accused of murder, but instead they freed a number of white prisoners, even murderers, and helped themselves to the liquor supply. The riot spread, and one black man was killed as was one National Guardsman, the latter by his own men, but an all-white jury refused to convict any of the whites involved.

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[1] Thomas Jefferson Gose, Alice's husband
[2] Perhaps Alice's son James Franklin Gose but possibly not
[3] Unknown
[4] Unknown

Knoxville, Tenn
212 Conn. Ave.
Sept. 18, 1919.

Mrs. Alice Gose.

Dear Sister:

I arrived here O.K. and feel very well.
I hated mighty bad to
leave you. You all were
so good to me. Sure
will miss you. Tell Tom[1]
I sure do thank him
for his kindness.

Dear Alice, I answered
Frank's[2] letter Yesterday

and told him "Buisness"
was "buisness" and that
I would go to Akron as
soon as he sent the
money. Tell Grace[3] to be
a good girl and to pray
for me to reach my
journeys end.

Alice everything has
quited down in town.
The "negros" are scared
of the white people. Don't
think they'll do any thing
else. Alice, Vestie's[3] family
is well the twins are as

Fat as they can be and
sure a pretty too

If Trula[4] writes to me
and it compes up there
be sure and sent it
to me.

Alice, I'll close for this
time hoping to hear
from you real soon.
Write me a long letter
and tell me all the "news".

Your sister

All original material © 2007-9 by Phillip A. Walker or by cited authors. Submissions are welcome. Reuse allowed under limited conditions. Page last modified Sunday, 09-Sep-2018 13:19:44 MDT .