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GUNS, GOATS, AND ITALIANS: THE TALLULAH LYNCHING OF 1899

 

By EDWARD F. HAAS

 

From North Louisiana Historical Association, vol. XIII, Nos. 2 & 3, 1982

 

Madison Coordinator’s Note: Many thanks to Dr. Haas, now a Professor of History at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, who has kindly agreed to allow the inclusion of this article on the Madison Website. RPS dicksevier@gmail.com

 

During the 1890s lynchings peaked in United States. In the last decade of the nineteenth century, 1665 persons died at the hands of lynch mobs. Although lynchings occurred throughout the nation, they “emerged as regularized routine feature of the New South....” Southern blacks were the prime targets for "Judge Lynch," but they were not the only sufferers.[1] Many victims were Italian immigrants.

 

Six times in the 1890s Italians fell prey to American mob violence. Three of these tragedies happened in Louisiana.[2] The most famous case resulted from the fatal shooting of New Orleans Police Superintendent, David Hennessy, in October 1890. Before he died, the chief reportedly whispered, "The dagos did it." Authorities attributed the crime to the Mafia and soon arrested a score of Italians. After a public meeting in downtown New Orleans on March 14, 1891, an angry mob that included numerous prominent citizens descended upon the city jail, and meeting no resistance, systematically shot or clubbed to death, eleven of the Italian prisoners. When an investigation excused the mob's actions, the Italian government severed diplomatic relations with the United States and briefly contemplated war. [3]

 

Five years later "a determined mob of 50 men” assaulted the jail in St. Charles Parish. The crowd dragged out six Italians and hanged three of them.[4] Although newspaper reports indicated that community leaders may have participated in the violence, a jury of inquest stated that the Italians "came to their death by being lynched by parties unknown."[5]

 

The third incident occurred in Tallulah, an unincorporated village in Madison Parish that did not merit inclusion in the federal census. Five men comprised the Italian community of the town. On July 20,1899, a fierce mob brutally lynched all five and forced two other Italians who lived in nearby Milliken's Bend to flee.[6]

 

All of the Italians were natives of Cefalu, Sicily, who "followed the occupation of fruit vendors and kept small groceries.” Frank Defatta, a thirty-year-old grocer who “spoke English better than the rest,” was "the moving spirit among those at Tallulah."

http://www.rootsweb.com/~lamadiso/articles/lynchings/frank.jpg http://www.rootsweb.com/~lamadiso/articles/lynchings/joe.jpg http://www.rootsweb.com/~lamadiso/articles/lynchings/rosario.jpg

                                                . Frank Defatta                            Joseph Defatta                                  Rosario Fiducia

From Harper’s Magazine September 1899

 

His brothers, Joseph, thirty-six years old, and Charles, aged fifty-four years, owned vegetable stands. Thirty-seven-year-old Rosario Fiducia (known as Si Defichi or Defersch) had a fruit stall near the railroad tracks. Giovanni Cirano or Cirone (known as John Cerano, or Cyrano), aged twenty-three, also sold fruit and vegetables.[7] Guiseppe "Joe" Defina, the brother-in-law of the Defattas, operated a successful store in Milliken's Bend with his son Salvatore.[8] All of the Italians "had resided in Madison parish for some time . . ..[9]

 

Newspapers reported that the immigrants were "a bad gang." One source contended that "they all had reputations of being bad and violent men, easily excited--thrown into a perfect furry [sic] at the least cause."[10]

 

Numerous violent acts gave credence to these suspicions.[11] In late 1897 or early 1898--accounts differed--Joseph Defina killed in cold blood Pat Matthews an old soldier who tended the landing at Milliken's Bend, after a trivial dispute over freight.[12] Upon another occasion, Frank Defatta "shot down in a rage a negro boy for stealing a watermelon at Ashby."[13] The New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 24, 1899, asserted that Defatta, "who was a surly creature, killed ... without a real cause."

 

After these incidents, "the entire [Sicilian) colony became bolder."[14] At one time "several citizens called upon the Italians to behave themselves, but they paid no attention.'' The immigrants reportedly "had frequently made their boasts that they would do as they pleased, and their money would clear them.”[15]

 

Economic problems added to the tension. After a business reversal, Joseph Defatta "skipped to New Orleans....” Upon his creditors' demand, police tracked him to the Italian Quarter. Defatta "was arrested . . . [returned] to Tallulah and fined." The Daily Picayune stated that "since that time he has never neglected to show his hate for the men who were responsible for his arrest."[16]

 

In early 1899 an altercation between Frank Defatta and Will Rogers, son of a leading citizen, nearly precipitated more violence. After the quarrel, Defatta armed himself and crouched in the shadows near the railroad station, "waiting for young Rogers to pass." Rogers luckily walked home in another direction.[17]

 

Rogers' father, learning of the incident and "knowing the character of the Sicilian, ... was for bringing matters to issue at once." Dr. J. Ford Hodge, a close friend, intervened, using "all his power to dissuade him, and the matter apparently blew over . . .. Defatta, however, "knew the friendship between the Rogers and Hodge, and he evidently for this reason had no good feelings for the doctor."[18]

 

Hodge had practiced medicine in Tallulah for two years and was the coroner of Madison Parish. He was well respected in the community. When he stopped the Rogers quarrel, he unknowingly postponed a bitter confrontation that would later erupt into savage violence with himself at the core.[19]

 

Hodge, nonetheless, argued that he "had always been very friendly with them (the Italians] and had attended to them on several occasions when they were sick." The immigrants seemingly responded with "the highest regard and good will." They often refused his money for purchases.[20]

 

The source of friction between Hodge and the Italians was a number of goats that Frank Defatta allowed to roam freely near his shop. On the same street, the doctor maintained his residence. At night the goats would wander onto the physician's porch "and stamp around, rendering sleep a matter of difficulty." Dr. Hodge later stated, I told Frank about his goats, and warned him that I would shoot them if he did not keep them up."[21] When the goats again made their nightly visit on July 19, 1899, Hodge fired at two of them. Immediately after the shooting, friends advised the doctor (he noted later) "to look out for the Italians, that they were treacherous and cruel, and that they would stick a knife in my back on account of the goat episode if I was not careful."[22]

 

On the following morning, Frank Defatta appeared at the doctor's office and asked if Hodge had shot his goat. When the physician said yes, Defatta exclaimed, "you shoot my goat, now you better shoot me."[23] Hodge recollected, "I told him I didn't care to shoot him, but that if it was necessary I would do so." The Italian then left, sullenly muttering to himself.[24]

 

The Italians later gathered in Frank's store. Throughout the day their establishments remained closed. This behavior ultimately convinced local residents that the immigrants "had deliberately planned to murder the doctor "[25]. During the day, moreover, Hodge passed John Cerano, who made a "hideous grimace.”[26]

 

At sundown, the doctor met a friend of his, I. Kaufman, for dinner. Their path led directly by the shop of Joseph Defatta who was standing in the door. His brother Charles sat on the front steps. Hodge noticed Charles, but he "was expecting no trouble... " since earlier in the evening he had seen Defatta and had spoken with him.[27]

 

When Hodge came before Charles, the Italian lunged upward and struck the doctor. Hodge later recalled "that when Charles rushed on him he threw his hand under his left arm," but the physician could not tell "whether he drew a dirk or not.... "[28] Kaufman recalled that the Italian had shouted, "you shoot my goat."[29] The doctor punched Defatta to the ground and tried to hold him down while he drew his pistol. Because the weapon stuck in its scabbard, Hodge had to release the Italian and use both hands to free the gun. He then "knocked Charles down with a blow on the head, using the pistol as a club." The New Orleans Daily States, July 24, 1899, reported that the doctor "began a fierce assault upon the Sicilian, striking him down after several severe blows over the head." Defatta also attempted to draw [a weapon], but could not from the violence of the assault...” Hodge, by his own admission "turned and saw Joe Defatta coming at me and fired one shot at him." The physician then "struck Charles over the head again knocking him down."

 

Hodge next recalled that he saw Joseph Defatta standing in the doorway of his store with a gun leveled at me.” The Daily States explained that the Italian could not fire because his brother was too close. As Charles fell down, however, Joseph yelled, "Look out, I'm going to shoot.” Joe Davis, a black man who stood nearby, cried, "Look out, doctor, Joe is going to shoot you." Hodge tried to cock his weapon, but it would not work. One account indicated that he had broken the pistol over Charles Defatta's head. The doctor, realizing that he could not return fire and observing the Italian's aim, pulled his coat over his body and crossed his hands, "still holding the pistol over the coat.” The swift reaction saved his life.

 

In the following instant, Joseph Defatta fired both barrels of number six shot from thirty-five feet away. The force of the blast was so great that pellets penetrated the metal casing of Hodge's watch. He suffered severe wounds to his abdomen and his left hand, and some pellets lodged in his groin and upper thighs. One witness later commented, "his stomach looks like a coleander [sic], so saturated is it with shot, singly and in groups." The doctor, however, "was game to the last." Despite the pain and a considerable loss of blood, he remained on his feet and "called for a gun to finish the row." He later remembered that he had "walked back around toward my office to see if I could get a gun that would work...”[30]

 

As Hodge left, he saw Frank Defatta and John Cerano running in his direction. Si Fiducia was also there. All were armed. Observers perceived that the Italians "evidently meant to get to the assistance of the two who had attacked and tried to murder Dr. Hodge. "[31] A crowd, however, intercepted them. The three Italians tried to reach Frank's store, but the mob, along with Sheriff C. H. Lucas and his deputies, followed and soon disarmed them. The sheriff then arrested the men.

 

The capture of Joseph and Charles was more difficult. After the shooting, they fled to their store and barred the entrances. The crowd, however, battered down the rear door, found Charles, crouching under a bed and dragged him out.[32]

 

Joseph Defatta was nowhere to be seen. He had escaped to an adjacent house and crawled under a chimney. The mob found him "only after a bicycle gas light had been pressed into service." Someone from the crowd fired five shots at Defatta, slightly wounding him. The crowd then rushed his position and pulled him out.

 

Sheriff Lucas later maintained that he tried to take the two Italians to jail after the capture. The mob, however, overpowered him and took the keys to the jail. In the face of superior force, Lucas claimed, he "had nothing else to do."[33] After the capture of the Italians, "the wild fury of the crowd knew no bounds." Convinced that the attack upon the doctor had been a conspiracy and that Hodge's wounds would be mortal, the mob was ready for drastic action. The Daily States commented:

 

Every man in that crowd knew all about the mafia and all about the Hennessey [sic] murder. They were determined there should be no repetition of that--they looked on these degenerates as monsters, capable of any infamy and they determined to destroy them root and branch, just as the traveler places his armed heel upon the head of the viper.[34]

 

The mob dragged the two Defatta brothers toward the cattle slaughtering pen outside town. Although "a good many citizens pleaded for the lives of the Sicilians," these pleas had no effect.[35] The Daily States reported; "the crowd heard and did not hear."[36]

 

At the slaughter pen, the crowd found a device used to hoist dead cattle for skinning. Its upright posts and crossbar made an excellent makeshift gallows, a function that it had previously served. The mob first dispatched Joseph Defatta. Fifteen minutes later, "Charles was served in a similar manner.... "[37]

 

Before their death, the brothers traded recriminations. Joseph denied the shooting, contending that Charles had done it. Charles, though he regretfully admitted the assault on Hodge, attributed the crime to his brother. He further argued that Frank Defatta and Si Defersch had started the trouble.[38]

 

After the hangings, "there was a rest of some little time." The lynchers then decided to dispose of Frank and Rosario Fiducia, marching them to a cottonwood tree in the jailyard. Defatta was quite calm. As his executioners prepared a rope, he asked for a cigar and began to talk. Pointing to the crowd, he reputedly shouted, "I liva here sixa years. I knowa you all--you alla my friends." A jerk of the rope" and he was in midair before he could finish." Rosario also died. An hour passed and many believed that John Cerano, who was cowering in a cell, would escape death. The mob, however, "believing him equally implicated . . . dragged him out and hung [hanged] him up, too.[39]

 

http://www.rootsweb.com/~lamadiso/articles/lynchings/lynchingphoto.jpg

From an Italian song sheet (Courtesy of Dr. Cynthia Savaglio, Assistant Professor of Radio & TV at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY.)

 

On July 22, 1899, two days following the incident, The Daily Picayune stated that "the crowd was orderly and quiet, but very determined."[40] The same day, The New Orleans Times-Democrat reported that the "lynchers soon dispersed to their homes" after they completed their grim task.[41] Joe Defina, the Defattas' brother-in-law, however, disagreed. He reputedly received a warning that he should leave the parish for his own good. Some accounts claimed that the lynch mob gave Defina three days to flee, but he needed only three hours. Purchasing a skiff for six dollars, he abandoned his store and hired Buck Collins, a black man, to pull his son and him to Vicksburg.[42]

 

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From Fisher Funeral Home (Vicksburg) Ledger (Courtesy of Dr. Cynthia Savaglio, Assistant Professor of Radio & TV at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY.)

 

The press eventually gave extensive coverage to the incident, but nearly twenty-four hours passed before news of the lynching went beyond Tallulah. A telegram from Vicksburg to The Times-Democrat reported that newsmen in the town “had received a hint to the effect that it would be very unhealthy for them to serve their papers.... On the evening of the lynching, the mob placed a guard in the sole telegraph office and warned the operator "that if he touched the key his brains would be blown out."[43]

 

 Press reaction to the incident varied. The Vicksburg Herald proclaimed that "men who choose such a violent and lawless method of executing vengeance . . . are sowing dragon teeth across the future of their community." The New York Post contended: "The lynching affair... was an act of infamous cruelty fit only for barbarians and which ought to be punished by the hanging of all participants." The Vicksburg Dispatch admitted that the provocation was great, but the newspaper added that the Italians "were clearly entitled to a trial by the courts. If that had been done, the innocent ones would have been spared and only legal punishment administered to the guilty."[44]

 

Other newspapers thought differently. Although The New Orleans Daily Picayune condemned lynching as "one of the very greatest evils which curses Southern society," it attributed the crime to "the general Indifference with which bloodshed is regarded, and the readiness with which it is excused . . . in the courts."[45]

 

Henry J. Hearsey of The Daily States typically assumed a tougher stance. He castigated, "the intemperate and needless abuse heaped upon the people of Tallulah by a considerable part of the Mississippi press..." and argued, "on the highest principle of justice the people of Tallulah were justifiable in what they did." In his opinion, the Italians were "a colony of vicious murderers and assassins" to whom "murder and blood were . . . what roses, moonlight and music are to poets and lovers...” For the citizens of Tallulah, "the only recourse" was "to extirpate the colony.[46]

 

Hearsey, in another editorial, asserted: "... it should be understood that the moment a foreigner puts his foot on American soil, he is amenable to all the civil and criminal laws of the State, and that if he gets into an ugly scrape he must take his chances just as the native citizens do." In conclusion, the editor attacked Italy and the federal government. Although Hearsey did not know how the federal administration, "a loud mouthed bully and a cringing coward," would react to a request for indemnities, he stated, "that Italy should be told to go to hell and mind her own business."[47]

 

The Italian government, however, viewed the Tallulah affair as its business. Charles Papini, Acting Consul in New Orleans, informed his superiors of the incident and sought an investigation. In Washington, Count Vinchi, the Italian Charge d'Affaires, called upon Secretary of state, John Hay to seek information and to gain protection for other Italians in Louisiana. Despite his dismay over the lynching, Vinchi spoke moderately. In Italy, however, the Fanfulla, a newspaper, condemned the "indifference of the United States government, which . . . has not the strength to vanquish fanatical prejudices . . . Another journal attacked "sham American civilization." At the request of Italian envoys, Hay wired Louisiana Governor Murphy J. Foster for more facts.[48]

 

Foster replied: "I will lose no time in obtaining the desired information." Of great import was the nationality of the victims. Because the Louisiana Constitution of 1879 allowed immigrants to vote in local elections before they became naturalized citizens of the United States, the status of foreigners in Louisiana was uncertain. Naturalized citizens, of course, were beyond the jurisdiction of their mother country.[49]

 

Despite the governor's promises, some of the Italians demanded that the lynchers be brought to justice and started an investigation. Enrico Cavalli, editor of the New Orleans L'Italio-Americano, on official orders, went to Vicksburg where he met Nat Piazza, Italian Consul at New Orleans, and Patrick Henry, a local attorney. For two days the men conducted interviews.

 

On July 24, 1899, with assurances of their personal safety, the three proceeded to Tallulah. In the company of a local delegation, the investigators studied citizenship papers at the parish courthouse, viewed the scene of the attack on Dr. Hodge, examined the sites of the hangings and conferred with several witnesses to the grisly incident. A high point of the visit was Nat Piazza's meeting with Dr. Hodge. Despite the dire predictions of attending physicians, the doctor had survived. The New Orleans Times-Democrat noted: "He showed gut from first to last . . . ." His recovery, of course, meant that five men had died for a murder that never happened.

 

Throughout this visit, the investigators enjoyed cordial relations with Tallulah officials. Although they were reluctant to discuss their mission, they were always polite and friendly. At the end of the day, the three men returned to Vicksburg although Tallulah dignitaries invited them to stay.[50]

 

A reporter from The Times-Democrat who accompanied the investigators made some interesting observations. He learned that nine unpublicized lynchings of blacks had taken place in Madison Parish during the preceding eighteen months. In the reporter's opinion:

 

...the people believe that they were justified in the action they took and there is no way of convincing otherwise. It is the same old story, which is ever recurrent in North Louisiana, the story of the 'maintenance of white supremacy at any cost.'

 

 Though the newsman did not state that the people viewed Italians to be non-whites, he noted that "the few white men are dominated by the belief that it is incumbent upon them to act quickly in any emergency, and to stamp out any tendency toward lawlessness in the land, no matter at what cost."[51]

 

On July 26, 1899, Cavalli filed a report that explained his reticence in Tallulah. From their earlier interviews, the investigators had developed some exceptional insights. Frank Raymond, an itinerant painter, was an excellent source. He "knew the deceased, spoke well of them and said that there was a latent grudge against them and that he had often warned them to avoid difficulties that might result in a catastrophe." Raymond, arguing that many witnesses would talk, cited "a man named Blander, a barber at Tallulah, who conducted his business opposite to the establishment of one John Wilson, who (Raymond said) had been an instigator of or participant in the murder." Another agitator was an unnamed saloon keeper who had "egged on the crowd to perpetrate the murder, promising whiskey and beer gratis to them if they would lynch the Italians, Frank Difatta [sic], Rosario Fiducia and Cirone." According to Raymond, "there was a plot, not among the Italians to harm the doctor, but among the shopkeepers of the village and others, from a spirit or rivalry in trade, and from a desire to prevent the Italians from voting."[52]

 

Another witness was Guiseppe Defina, the refugee merchant. On the night of the lynching, Defina related, a man named Ward "met a crowd of armed men on the road from Tallulah to Millikens (sic] Bend" that was "going to Defina's house to kill him." Ward "dissuaded the crowd" on the grounds "that Defina did not deserve to be lynched," but mob leaders warned that the Italian should leave the area within twenty-four hours or face the consequences. The next day, Dr. Gaines, a friend of Defina, "having learned at Tallulah that the twenty-four hours' delay . . . had been reduced by those rascals to two hours,.. went to Defina's residence and told him to leave . . . . The Italian then fled.

 

Another source was an unidentified priest from Lake Providence, a Frenchman who often visited Tallulah. The man was perhaps Father May, mentioned in several news accounts. This priest insisted, "that all the people of the locality took part, either directly or indirectly, in the killing of the Italians.”[53]

 

For the three investigators, the time in Tallulah was excruciating. The welcoming committee, despite its friendliness, was "pledged to silence." Because the three men had "no ground to hope to obtain . . . any reliable information and because they would have "been obliged to accept the hospitality so generously extended, and the cordial welcome of those persons, a part of whom, perhaps--if not all--had taken part in the murder . . ." they decided to depart the town quickly.[54]

 

On July 27, 1899, Governor Foster reported that three of the lynching victims had been naturalized citizens. Only Joseph Defatta and John Cerano had been Italian nationals. Foster added that local officials had expressed "an earnest disposition to bring the perpetrators to justice."[55]

 

This aim, however, was hardly evident. On July 21, 1899, A. Jordan, foreman of the parish grand jury, had reported that . . . the men who were lynched had formed a conspiracy to assassinate Dr. Hodge and the mob learning of these facts took the law into their own hands. After dilligent [sic] inquiry we have not been able to learn the names or identity of the men composing the mob."[56] Two succeeding grand juries "investigated the affair, without finding evidence to implicate anyone."[57]

 

These questionable proceedings, Governor Foster's, indifference, and the Cavalli report prompted the Italians to continue their investigation. On July 28, 1899, the Marquis Camillo Roman, of the Italian Embassy in Washington went to Louisiana to confer with the governor and other local officials about the lynching and the citizenship of the victims The Marquis' findings indicated that, despite the claims of state officials, all of the dead men were Italian citizens. The Marquis further insisted that Joseph Defatta had fired in defense of his brother after Hodge had taken the first shot, and "that the mob made three distinct movements against the Italians and that there was sufficient time for the blood to cool and for the anger of the lynchers to abate after they had disposed of the first two men." This elapsed time (before the second and third lynchings) made these acts "particularly atrocious." Romano's report, most observers predicted, would be used "as a basis by the Italian government in its claim . . ." for indemnities.[58]

 

This claim was soon forthcoming. Baron Fava, the Italian Ambassador to the United States, however, also demanded "that the persons guilty of lynching the five Italians at Tallulah, La., . . . should be punished" and held the federal government accountable.[59] Ambassador Fava based his demand upon Article 1018 of the Revised Statutes of Louisiana. In his opinion, the spirit and the letter of the law are intended to confer upon the attorney-general of the state the power and the duty of instituting and conducting investigations concerning criminal acts of which the ordinary judicial authorities neglect to take recognizance." Fava insisted that Washington press local “authorities to fulfill the contractual obligations of the confederation to which they belong, and to comply with the laws of their own State and the general principles of universal justice."[60]

 

On January 15, 1900, Fava tried to force the issue with information on the identities of those persons who "were at the head of the Tallulah lynchers." The Italian investigators had found two talkative black witnesses. One of the two "in consequence of suspicion of or because he had talked too freely about the lynchers," had already been murdered. The other, Joe Evans, a former employee of Frank Defatta, additionally named "two other negroes, the brothers Paul and Bill Bruse who can also testify against the lynchers. These men produced a list of nineteen participants that included Mr. Rogers, "the leader to go to Millikens [sic] Bend to hang Joe Delfino [sic] and his son”; Mr. Coleman who "climbed the tree and tied the rope"; Fred Johnson, "the one that carried the rope"; and Anden Severe who "furnished the rope."[61]

 

Secretary of State John Hay immediately forwarded the Italian list to Governor Foster. When Foster responded with “protracted silence," Fava asked, "what measures the Federal Government intends to take in order to settle this matter" since local investigations had failed "to implicate anyone." On June 12, 1900. Hay decried the lynching and reminded the Italians "of the dual nature" of the American government.[62] Although Secretary Hay asserted that he could only promise the payment of indemnities, Fava continued his demands throughout the remainder of the calendar year.[63]

 

On January 29, 1901, President William McKinley, at the recommendation of John Hay, called for indemnities in his message to Congress.[64] With this monetary payment, the Tallulah incident came to a belated but unsatisfactory conclusion. The lynchers completely evaded punishment. Baron Fava furthermore, did not achieve the protection for Italian nationals that he fervently sought. Later in 1901 a mob in Irwin, Mississippi, killed two Italians.[65] Eight years later in December 1907, a riot broke out in Jackson Parish between negroes and Italians. The blacks "resented the intrusion of Italian laborers on jobs the Negroes regarded as their monopoly." A number of Italians were killed. Again, the Italian Consul in New Orleans "bluntly demanded that the guilty parties be punished.'' Governor Newton C. Blanchard maintained that parish officials could handle the investigation and refused to interfere.[66] For Italian immigrants in Louisiana, the danger persisted and justice was not secured for them.

 

For transcriptions of diplomatic letters, depositions, attachments, etc., written between July 26, 1899 and December 4, 1900 concerning the details of the lynching click here.

 

http://counter.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/Count.cgi?df=italians visitors since July 29, 2007



[1] . Herbert Shapiro, "Lynching," in David C. Roller and and Robert W. Twyman, ed. The Encvclonedia of Southern History (Baton Rouge and London, 1979, pp. 762-763. See also Walter White, Rope and Faggot: A Biography of Judge Lvnch (New York, 1929, 1969), pp. 230-33.

[2] Alexander DeConde, Half Bitter, Half Sweet: An Excursion into Italian-American History (New York,

 1971(, pp. 122-25; Richard Gambino, Blood of my Blood: The Dilemma of the Italian-Americans (Garden City, 1974(, pp. 116-19. The three cases outside Louisiana occurred in Colorado (1893 and 1895) and West Virginia (1891).

[3] Humbert S. Nelli, The Business of Crime: Italians and Syndicate Crime in the United States New York, 1976), pp. 47-66; Richard Gambino, Vendetta: A True Story of the Worst Lynching in America, the Mass Murder of Italian-Americans in New Orleans in 1891, the Vicious Motivations Behind It and the Tragic Repercussions That Linger to This Day (Garden City, 1977), passim: Charles H. Watson, "Need of Federal Legislation in Respect to Mob Violence in Cases of Lynching of Aliens," Yale Law Journal, Vol. 25 (May 1916), pp. 573-75.

[4] Donaldsonville Daily Times, August 10, 1896. Quoted in Jean Ann Scarpaci, "Italian Immigrants in Louisiana's Sugar Parishes: Recruitment, Labor Conditions, and Community Relations, 1880-1910" (Ph.D. dissertation: Rutgers University, 1972), p. 248.

[5] . Emil, Rest and Robert J. Perkins, to Governor Murphy, J. Foster, August 15, 1896, Senate Document 104,' 55 Congress, Second Session; DeConde, Half Bitter, Half Sweet, pp. 125-26.

[6] The New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 25, 1899; James Calhoun and Nancy Calhoun, ed., Louisiana Almanac,  1973-1974 (Gretna, 1973), pp. 110-111

[7] The New Orleans Daily States, July 24, 1899. See The New Orleans Times-Democrat, July 24, 1899; The Baton Rouge Daily Advocate, July 25, 1899.

[8] Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1900, p. 727; The New Orleans Times Democrat, July 24, 1899.

[9] The New Orleans Times-Democrat, July 22, 1899.

[10] The New Orleans Daily States, July 22, 24 1899.

[11] The New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 24, 1899.

[12] Ibid. See also The New Orleans Daily States, July 24, 1899.

[13] The New Orleans Daily States, July 24, 1899.

[14]The New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 24, 1899. The Dafattas had other altercations with black.,. Joe Defatta "often . . . has driven negroes out of his stores and made them race over the town for their lives." Ibid., July 23, 1899.

[15] Ibid., July 22, 23, 1899.

[16] Ibid., July 24, 1899. Other accounts stated that Frank Defatta had had business failures. Perhaps both men did. See The New Orleans Daily States, July 24, 1899.

[17]The New Orleans Daily Advocate, July 25, 1899; The New Orleans Daily States, July 24, 1899. See also The New Orleans Daily-Picayune, July 22, 24, 1899; The New Orleans Times-Democrat, July 23, 1899

[18] The New Orleans Daily States, July 24, 1899.

[19] Ibid. See also, The New Orleans Daily Advocate, July 25, 1899; The New Orleans Daily States, July 24, 1899.

[20] The New Orleans Times-Democrat, July 24, 1899. This same story appeared in The New Orleans Daily States, Jul, 24, 1899.

[21] The New Orleans Times-Democrat, July 24, 1699. See also Ibid, July 22, 1899; The New Orleans Dailv States, July 22 1899; The New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 22, 1899

[22] The New Orleans Daily States, July 24, 1899; The New Orleans Times-Democrat, July 24, 1899.

[23] The New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 22, 1899.

[24] The New Orleans Times-Democrat, July 24, 1899; The New Orleans Daily States, July 24, 1899.

[25] The New Orleans Tines-Democrat, July 23, 1899. See also The New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 22, 1899.

[26] The New Orleans Daily States, July 24, 1899; The New Orleans Times-Democrat, July 24, 1899.

[27] The New Orleans Daily States, July 24, 1899. See also The Daily Picayune, July 22, 1899; The New Orleans Times-Democrat, July 22, 24, 1899; New York Times,  July 22, 1899.

[28] The New Orleans Daily States, July 24, 1899. See also The New Orleans Daily Advocate July 26 1899. One newspaper account indicated that Defatta "pulled a knife from under his arm" when he sprang at Dr. Hodge.

[29] New York Times, July 22, 1899; The New Orleans Times- Democrat, July 22, 1899.

[30] The New Orleans Daily States, July 24, 1899. See also The New Orleans Daily Advocate, July 25, 1899; The New Orleans Times-Democrat, July 22, 1899; The New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 22, 24, 1899.

[31]The New Orleans Times-Democrat, July 23, 1899.

[32] The New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 22 1899. An early report stated that three Italians were taken to a local hotel not jail, The New Orleans Times-Democrat, July 22, 1899.

[33] The New Orleans Daily News, July 24, 1899. See also The New Orleans Times-Democrat, July 23, 1899; The New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 25,1899.

[34] The New Orleans Daily States, July 24, 1899.

[35] The New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 22, 1899.

[36] The New Orleans Daily States, July 22, 1899.

[37] The New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 25, 1899.

[38] Ibid. July 22, 1899.

[39] The New Orleans Times-Democrat, July 24, 1899.

[40] The New Orleans Daily Picayune July 22, 1899.

[41] The New Orleans Times-Democrat:, July 22, 1899.

[42] Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1900, pp. ' 717-718; The New Orleans Times-Democrat, July 23, 1899; The New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 23, 1899

[43] The New Orleans Daily States, July 22, 1899; The New Orleans Times-Democrat, July 22, 1899.

[44] Cited in The New Orleans Times-Democrat, July 22, 28, 1899.

[45] The New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 22, 23, 1899. Particularly, the newspaper noted the example of the New Orleans lynching of 1891.

[46] The New Orleans Daily States, July 27, 1899

[47] Ibid., July 26, 1899.

[48] The New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 22, 23, 1899; The New Orleans Times-Democrat, July 23, 25, 1899 New York Times, July 23, 1899.

[49] The New Orleans Times-Democrat, July 23, 1899. See also George E. Cunningham, "The Italian, a Hindrance to White Solidarity in Louisiana," Journal of Negro History, p. 50 (Jan, 1965) pp. 22-23.

[50] The New Orleans Times Democrat, July 24, 25, 1899; The New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 25, 1899.

[51] New Orleans Times-Democrat, July 25, 1899.

[52] Ibid.

[53] Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1900, pp. 727-728.

[54] Ibid, p. 726.

[55]New York Times, July 27, 1899; The New Orleans Dailv Picayune, July 28, 1899. See also John Hay to William McKinley, January 29 1901, Senate Document 125, 55 Congress, Second Session.

[56] The New Orleans Daily States, July 22, 1899

[57] Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1900, p. 721.

[58] The New Orleans Times-Democrat July 29, August 5, 6, 1899; The New Orleans Daily Advocate, August 5, 6, 1899

[59] New York Times, October 10, 1899, January 14, 1900; The New Orleans Daily Advocate, January 14, 1900.

[60] Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1900, p. 716.

[61] Ibid., pp. 716-717.

[62] Ibid., pp. 717-23.

[63] Ibid., pp. 723-29.

[64] Hay to McKinley, January 29, 1901, Senate Document 125, 55 Congress, Second Session. See also McKinley to Congress, January 29, 1901, Ibid.

[65] Gambino, Blood of My Blood, p. 119; Watson, "Need of Federal Legislation," p. 577.

[66] Garnie William McGinty, A History of Louisiana (New York, 1951), p. 248