William Cowper Brann: "The Complete Works", 1898

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The following provocative document contains extremely derogatory language about African Americans, and hints that violence against that group might be an option. It is reproduced on OutHistory.org for the insight it provides into what it was possible to publish in the U.S. in 1898, and republish in 1919.

The document also provides startling insight into a Texas libel case of 1896-1897 in which white, Irish conductors on the Galveston City Railroad who discriminated against black women passengers on the city's street cars, were charged in a pro-black publication with being, among other things, "descendants of Oscar Wilde (meaning that they commit the crime of sodomy)". That legal case is published on OutHistory.org at: W. L. Jones v. The State (Texas): November 24, 1897.

William Cowper Brann writes in 1898:

I had hitherto supposed that Hon. R. B. Hawley, congressman-elect from the Galveston district, was very much of a gentleman; but am compelled that evidence recently submitted makes very strong against that presumption.

[Space added for facility of reading on the Web.]

There is a disreputable little sheet published somewhere in Galveston by a gang of niggers whose illiteracy is equalled only by their impudence. In November it printed a dirty diatribe against the street-car conductors of the [Gaveston] Island because they were not in the habit of helping wenches on and off the cars. It alluded to them [the conductors] as "Irish snides, mangy apes, lousy puppies, pimps, beastly bastards," and added other reflections too foul for reproduction.

[Space added.]

The conductors being white men could not afford to dignify these filthy coons by killing them; but the grand jury took cognizance of the matter, and indicted the self-styled "editor" and soidisant "business manager" of the nigger-equality sheet.

[Space added.]

When they were arrested Congressman-elect Hawley became their bondsman. Of course, he is a Republican and was elected by nigger votes; but I submit that an alleged Caucasian who stands between the bat-cave and such coons as those under consideration should not be permitted to occupy a reserved seat in the lower court of hell, much less make laws for this country.

[Space added.]

His nigger proteges are unworthy a second thought by themselves considered; but what opinion must the world form of a man who takes the part of such cattle against his own race, because they have helped him to a seat in Congress? Does Col. Hawley aspire to be known on the floor of the House as a representative of the substratum of the impudent coon element?! [1]


  1. William Cowper Brann. The Complete Works of Brann the Iconoclast. Copyright1998 by Mrs. W. C. Brann. Copyright 1919 by The Brann Publishers, p. 220. Excerpt from Google books search April 28, 2011.