W.E.B. Du Bois


June 1, 1915

At first, inquiries at the White House concerning the intentions of the United States in Haiti were appeased by reference to the proclamation of the southern-born admiral, who is now ruling that island as conqueror. This proclamation contains certain smooth promises of benevolent guardianship in Haiti with no intention to interfere with the political integrity in Haiti. Recently, however, the veil of the State Department has been partially withdrawn and inquirers are now told by letter over the signature of A.A. Adee, the second assistant secretary of State: “In reply to your request for a statement of our purposes in Haiti, the Department begs to inform you that it has refrained, for the time being, from making public any statement regarding its policy in Haiti.” We notice, too, that a southern white man has been appointed American minister to Haiti. His name is Blanchard and we believe that he is from Louisiana. We would like to know if this Blanchard is related to the Blanchard who signed the following advertisement in the Shreveport, La., Times, January 10, 1908.

To the Colored Citizens of the Parish of Caddo
  We notice at a meeting of the colored citizens at the Antioch Baptist Church a few evenings ago, that they passed resolutions endorsing the prohibition movement in the parish of Caddo, and have pledged themselves to aid in the moral wave, which they claim is now sweeping the country. So far we have no objection, but we wish to say to the colored voters of Caddo parish that the present prohibition contest is a white man’s tight, and that they must not take part in it. We have had various offers of assistance from the colored voters for the anti-prohibition cause, and our answer to them has been that they should not attempt to vote in the coming election on January 14th.
  We do this in all kindness to the colored man, believing that he should not attempt to obtrude himself in this tight, which is purely a contest between the white citizens of this parish. We do it because of the memory which we have of the dark days of Reconstruction when one race was arrayed against the other, and when no man’s life was safe in the state of Louisiana. We do not wish to appear dictatorial in this matter, but we are determined that this question shall be settled by the intelligent white voters of the parish of Caddo, and our colored friends may resolute as much as they please, but we warn them now, once and for all, that they must not attempt to vote either for one side or the other. We do not believe in Negro domination on either side of this question, and while we are sure that more colored people would vote for prohibition, yet as white men, believing in the rule of the Caucasian, we cannot tolerate their interference in this election. Respectfully submitted.
J D. Wilkinson
Ashton Blanchard,
Andrew Querbes
For Citizens’ Committee.

It will be remembered that the parish of Caddo has lynched more Negroes than any single county in the United States.


For attribution, please cite this work as:
Du Bois, W.E.B. 1915. “Haiti.” The Crisis 11 (2): 80–81. https://www.dareyoufight.org/Volumes/11/02/haiti.html.