“By the early hours of May 29 the mobs were tired out, and an unidentified riot leader was heard to say, “Come on, fellows, let’s go home. Tomorrow night we’ll be ready for them. We are not armed now, but tomorrow we’ll all have guns. We’ll burn the negroes out and run them out of town.” However, some of the whites proceeded to the railroad depot to meet an Illinois Central train supposedly arriving with five hundred migrants. When the rioters realized the report was false they finally went home. Shortly after two o’clock in the morning, hundreds of Negroes carrying battered suitcases were seen heading for the bridges that led to St. Louis, and, although many whites were still on the streets at that hour, the refugees were not molested. During the long night, damage to life and property had actually been comparatively light. Two or three Negroes were shot, some were severely beaten, but no one was killed.”

Posted June 28, 2003

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