Startling Correspondence


Startling Correspondence


In this newspaper article from an unknown source, Bishop Turner writes in graphic detail about the beating and stabbing of AME Deacon Robert Alexander. The crime was committed by a group of white men who were enraged by the AME's efforts to open a school. This is an interesting primary source because it is evidence that the AME's role in integrating African Americans into society through opening schools was met with much resistance from the white community. It sheds light on the atrocities committed by whites towards blacks at this time. Furthermore, it highlights this complex idea that whites not only felt threatened by blacks integrating into their society, but they were also threatened by blacks forming their own separate institutions away from white society. Clearly, the idea of the AME serving as an instrument to set up schools and educate blacks was the impetus for white violence.


Bishop Henry McNeal Turner




June 19, 1866


From a PBS site called "This Far by Faith"




I have just arrived at this place, from an inspection tour of our work in East Alabama. The colored people being apprized, by some means, of my passing through that portion of the country, came out at several stations where the cars stopped for a few moments, and begged me to supply them with preachers. At Opelika, Ala., I met Rev. Robt. Alexander, (Deacon) whom Bishop Payne appointed to the Auburn Mission. He informed that after church on Thursday night, he had been severely cut and beaten wearily to death. Four white citizens broke into his room at midnight and beat and stabbed him till' he appeared, when I met met him, like a lump of curdled blood. Opelika, where this fiendish outrage was perpetrated, is seven miles this side of AUburn. The miscreants told him that no d-d negro schools should be taught there, nor should any negro preacher remain there.


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Bishop Henry McNeal Turner , “Startling Correspondence ,” Inbetween Peoples, accessed September 24, 2020,