Duluth Lynchings

Background and historical documents relating to the tragic events of June 15, 1920

Duluth Lynchings Online Resource. Background and historical documents relating to the tragic 
events of June 15, 1920

Additional Resources

MNHS Reference Library

The following resources are available at the MNHS Reference Library. They are good places to begin your research on the Duluth lynchings and related topics. For further resources, search the library catalog.

Books

Allen, James, et al. Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America. Santa Fe, N.M.: Twin Palms, 2000.

Chadbourn, James Harmon. Lynching and the Law. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1933.

Dindorf, William Edward. History of the Duluth Police Department. Published by and for the Benefit of the Duluth Policemen's Training School. Duluth, Minn.: Duluth Policemen's Training School, 1920.

Duluth Publishing Co. (Duluth, Minn.). Mob Violence: A Photographic Review and Descriptive Account of the Appalling Lynching of three Negroes by a Revengeful Mob after Alleged Assault on a Young White Girl, at Duluth, Minnesota, June 15, 1920. Duluth, Minn.: Duluth Publishing Co., c1920.

Fedo, Michael. The Lynchings in Duluth. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2000. Buy Book
[Originally published: "They Was Just Niggers". Ontario, Calif.: Brasch and Brasch, c1979.]

They Chose Minnesota, A Survey of Minnesota’s Ethnic Groups, edited by June Drenning Holmquist. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, 1981. Buy Book

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Eleventh Annual Report of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, for the Year 1920. New York: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 1921.

Thirty Years of Lynching in the United States, 1889-1918. New York: Negro Universities Press, 1969 [1919 ed.]

Nelson, Paul D. Fredrick L. McGhee: a Life on the Color Line, 1861-1912. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2002. Buy Book

Sandvik, Glen N. Duluth: An Illustrated History of the Zenith City. Woodland Hills, Calif.: Windsor Publications, 1983.

Shay, Frank. Judge Lynch, His First Hundred Years. New York: I. Washburn, Inc., c1938

Spangler, Earl. The Negro in Minnesota. Minneapolis: T. S. Denison, 1961.

Taylor, David Vassar. African Americans in Minnesota. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2002. Buy Book

Blacks in Minnesota: A Preliminary Guide to Historical Sources, compiled by David Vassar Taylor. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, 1976.

Waskow, Arthur. From Race Riot to Sit-in, 1919 and 1960s: A Study in the Connections Between Conflict and Violence. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1966.

Wilkins, Roy. Standing Fast: The Autobiography of Roy Wilkins. New York: Viking Press, [1982].

Articles

Hoffbeck, Steven R. “Victories Yet to Win: Charles W. Scrutchin, Bemidji's Black A, Steven R. “Victories Yet to Win: Charles W. Scrutchin, Bemidji's Black Activist Attorney.” Minnesota History. Vol. 55, no. 2 (Summer 1996).

Ziebarth, Marilyn. “Judge Lynch in Minnesota.” Minnesota History, Vol. 55/2 (Summer 1996) .

“Duluth Apologizes After 71 Years.” Crisis (New York, N.Y.) Vol. 99, no. 1 (Jan. 1992).

Records

Fedo, Michael W. Duluth lynchings book files, 1978-1979. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul.

Duluth (Minnesota) lynchings of 1920: selected materials, 1920-1976 (bulk 1920-1925) [microform]. Saint Paul, Minn.: Minnesota Historical Society, 2001.
[The entirety of this microfilm has been scanned and is searchable on the Duluth Lynchings Online Resource website.]

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Subject file: Lynching: Duluth, Minn., 1920-1921 [microform]. Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, c1987.
[NAACP records relating to the Duluth lynchings]

Oral Histories

The lynchings and the black community in Duluth are discussed in several oral history interviews conducted from 1970-1975 as part of the Minnesota Black History Project.

Newspapers

The Minnesota Black Newspaper Index (pdf) is a guide to people and subjects — including the Duluth lynchings — covered by the state’s black newspapers from the 1880s to 1940s.

The Duluth News Tribune Newspaper Index (pdf) is a guide to articles appearing in the Duluth News Tribune in the months after the lynchings.

The Duluth Herald Newspaper Index (pdf) is a guide to articles appearing in the Duluth Herald in the months after the lynchings.

Articles regarding the Duluth lynchings appeared in several newspapers, including:

  • The Appeal (St. Paul)
  • Duluth Herald
  • Duluth News Tribune
  • Ely Miner
  • Labor World. (Duluth)
  • Mankato Daily Free Press
  • Minneapolis Journal
  • Minneapolis Messenger
  • Minneapolis Morning Tribune
  • Minnesota Messenger (Minneapolis)
  • National Advocate (Minneapolis)
  • Northwestern Bulletin (St. Paul)
  • Saint Paul Dispatch
  • St. Cloud Daily Times
  • St. Paul Daily News
  • St. Paul Echo
  • St. Paul Pioneer Press

Photographs

Use Collections Online to search and view photographs, artwork, and posters from the collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, including historical photographs of Duluth and images from the lynchings.

External Web Links

Clayton, Jackson, McGhie, Memorial Committee

Minnesota Public Radio. Lynching Victims Memorial Takes Shape in Duluth

PBS Online Newshour. Atoning for Racism in Duluth, Minnesota.

Tolerance.org. It Happened Here.

Without Sanctuary

New Georgia Encyclopedia. Atlanta Race Riot of 1906.

Library Catalog, University of Illinois at Chicago. The Race Riots: Biennial Report 1918-1919.

Illinois Periodicals Online. The Springfield Race Riot of 1908.

Library of Congress, American Memory. African American Perspectives, Pamphlets from the Daniel A. P. Murray Collection 1818-1907.

University of North Carolina. Documenting the American South.

PBS. The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow.

American RadioWorks. Remembering Jim Crow.