[Associated Press, 5/28/1906]
Quoted as Laying Blame for Lynching on the Supreme Court.

(By Associated Press)
 BIRMINGHAM, Ala.  May 28.—J. F. Shipp, of Chattanooga, sheriff of Hamilton County, Tenn., against who steps have been taken by the federal government in connection with the lynching in that city in March, spent the day in Birmingham.  Capt. Shipp says he is not alarmed over the news from Washington and continued:

 “The Supreme Court of the United States was responsible for this lynching.  I had given that Negro every protection that I could.  For fourteen days I had guarded and protected him myself.  The authorities had urged me to use one of two military companies in doing so but I told them I didn’t need them.

"Many nights before they lynching there had been one man on duty.  I had looked for no trouble that night and on the contrary did not look for it until the next day.  That night no one was on duty except the jailer, which is the usual guard at the jail in ours as well as in other counties.

"In my opinion the act of the Supreme Court of the United States in not allowing the case to remain in our courts was the most unfortunate thing in the history of Tennessee.  I was determined the case should be put in the hands of the law as it was.  The jury that tried the Negro Johnson was as good as ever sat in a jury box.

 “The people of Hamilton county were willing to let the law take its course until it became known that the case would not probably be disposed of for four or five years by the supreme court of the United States.  The people would not submit to this and I do not wonder at it.

 “These proceedings in the United States Supreme Court recently appear to me to be only a matter of politics.  I do not wish to appear in the light of defying the United States courts but I did my duty, I am conscious of it, thoroughly conscious of and I am ready for any conditions that may come up.”

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