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About this collection

 

Tulsa Race Massacre

 

The documents in this collection describe one of the darkest episodes in American history. The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 constituted two days of violence that left an unconfirmed number of dead citizens and destroyed 35 square blocks of the prosperous Greenwood neighborhood. The Tulsa Race Massacre has also been known as the “Tulsa Race Riot” and the “Greenwood Massacre.”

 

This collection features documents and images from various Oklahoma state government agencies, such as the Governor’s office and the Attorney General’s office, regarding the investigation into the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. The collection includes eye-witness testimony, letters, telegrams, police reports, and court cases. Additionally, some documents relate to prostitution, gambling, and illegal alcohol in Tulsa during the early 1920s.

 

Highlights of the collection:

  • Telegrams between the National Guard’s office and the Tulsa police chief on the night of May 31st provide a vivid depiction of the events as they unfolded.
  • Governor Robertson’s declaration of Martial Law on June 1, 1921.
  • Oklahoma Supreme Court cases relating to race relations, lawlessness, and police corruption in Tulsa County in the 1920s: Waldrep v. Exchange State Bank of Keifer, No. 9798 (1921), Sanford v. Markham, No. 14713 (1923), Spencer Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church v. Brogan, No. 15201 (1924), Robertson v. Chapel, No. 15291 (1925), and Redfearn v. American Central Insurance Company, No. 15851 (1926).

 

The Tulsa Race Massacre Reconciliation Commission, a state-appointed investigatory commission assembled in 2001, frequently used the original documents in this collection housed at the Oklahoma State Archives.

 

For more information about the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 visit:

 
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