Saturday, September 29, 2007

This Date in Arkansas Labor History

September 29, 1891 A Planters' Posse under leadership of Lee County Sheriff W. T. Derrick crushed the Colored Alliance cotton pickers' strike for higher wages, killing or lynching 15 strikers, including union leader Ben Patterson.

It would be almost thirty years before blacks again tried to organize an agricultural union in the Arkansas delta, bringing a response from the planters, law enforcement officials, and state government that is still remembered as "the Elaine Massacre."

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