[Chattanooga Times, 3/17/1906]

Preachers Are Now Taking Up Much of His Time
Effort Being Made to Stir Up Public Sentiment in Nashville.

Ministers and others of all religious denominations are interesting themselves in the future welfare of Ed Johnson, the condemned rapist. Yesterday there were four white preachers and one lady at the jail to see Johnson. Negro preachers of various persuasions also visit him and his time during the open hours of the day are now being rather constantly occupied.

Little is being said to the negro by his visitors concerning his crime, but rather they talk and advise with him about his condition from a religious standpoint. To all comers Johnson states that he has experienced religion and is ready to die at any time and declares himself as ready to see his end next Tuesday as at any other time.

Negro preachers at Nashville have been active in securing the publication of resolutions of their organization declaring that Johnson is innocent and calling upon the white people of that city to mediate with the governor for some action that will further stay the execution. No faith is expressed by them in the present appeal to the supreme court of the United States and reliance is placed solely in the governor as a source of relief.

The resolutions as published attempt to say that the best element of citizenship in Chattanooga does not believe in Johnson's guilt, that there was no proof in the trial to warrant conviction and that the young lady herself did not say he was guilty. These resolutions have been repeatedly published in the Nashville papers but there has been nothing heard of any further developments on that account.

The publication was shown to officials here yesterday and it is probable that some authoritative statement will be made through the Nashville papers placing the people there in possession of information different from the inferences of the negro preachers of that city.

No word was received from Washington up to last night as to whether the case had been taken before the supreme court. The presumption is that whatever hearing is afforded will be given at some hour today.

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