San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, California) September 20,1902

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San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, California) September 20,1902 - H CRUSHED TO DEATH IN At WILD PMC At Scores...
H CRUSHED TO DEATH IN At WILD PMC At Scores 0r9lsilldJa - a Stampede of Wtiw d BooKer Washinglons Audiences - i B IRMINGHAM Ala Septem - J physicians say in many cases they ber 19 Seventy - eight people fainted and died of suffocation A re - are known to be dead1 and markable feature oflthe calamity is eJEhty Injtihed come perhaps that no blood was seen on any of the fatally as the result of a panic which occurred in Shlloh Negro Baptist Church here to - night during the evening session of the negro National Baptist Convention Fifteen hundred delegates were crowded into th church which had a seating capacity of ohly 00 when the audience was thrown into a stampede by a conflict between two pf the delegate In the rear of the church The cries of fight which flowed the audience mistook for an alarm pf fire and in the wild effort to escape seventy weight persons were crushed to death and eighty more received Injuries some of which may prove fatal The list of dead and injured Includes only negroes In attendance Owing to the number of visiting delegates the Identification of the dead and Injured has been difficult The catastrophe occurred at 9 oclock Just as Booker T Washington had victims They were either crushed or j died from suffocation Captain Frank H OBrien former Sheriff of Jefferson county and one of the most prominent citizens of Birmingham was a witness of the catastrophe He lived within half a block of the church and hearing the coin - motion went to ascertain U19 trouble As he reached the front of the church the crowd had begun blocking the entrances In describing the scene he said I have witnessed many appalling sights but the wild ecece at the head of those steps is beyond description Wildly excited negroes reached the top of the steps and began falling headlong down the incline Otherswere pushed upon them and notwithstanding the warnings from the outside the crowd continued to push In a few minutes - nvn and women were piled upon each other to a height of ten feet Presently a concluded his address to the NationalJgroi woman with a baby in her arm Convention of Baptists and for three I mounted the mass and climbing ovir hours the scenes around the church were indescribable Dead bodies were strewn In every direction and the ambulance service of the city was utterly unable to remove them until after 1 oclock Dozens of dead bodies were arranged in rows on the ground outside of the house of worship awaiting removal to the various undertaking establishments while more than a score were laid out on the benches inside Just as Booker T Washington concluded his Address Judge Billou a negro leader from Baltimore engaged in an altercation with the choir leader concerning ah unoccupied seat and it is said a blow was struck Some one In the choir cried Theyre fighting Mistaking the word fighting for fire the congregation rose eh masst and started for the door One of tin ministers quickly mounted the rostrum and admopished tpeonletakeen nnlt TTa ranioUiT hinArT 1AtltM several tlmesand motioned to his hearers to be seated Again the excited congregationcongregation - mlatdok the word quiet fdr Are and renewed the struggle to reach the door - Men and women crawled oyer benches and fought their way into the aisles and those who - had fallen were trampled upon like cattle The ministers tried again and again to stop the stampede but no power on earth could stay the trugglftg fighting mas of humanity The screams if women and children added ttfthe horror of the scene and through mere fright many persons fainted and as they fell to the floor were crushed to death The level of the floor is - about fifteen feet from the ground and long steps lead to the sidewalk from the lobby Just outside the main auditorium the bodies leaped to the ground without injury to herself or the infant As quick - fly as possible a rescue party was organ ized and as soon as the entrance was cleared began the removal of the hodles Rev Dr T D Walker pastor of Shlloh Church raid to - night Shlloh church is a modern brick structure and has Just been completed at a cost of 75000 There are four entrances to the building and the main one is sixteen feet wide The deaths were caused by everybody trying to rush out the main entrance at the same time Inside the church not a bench was overturned and all of those who were killed died In or about the entrance The people near the front of the church were not in - IJjired in the least Mayor W M Drenner said Most of those who were killed were strangerST but their bodies will be cared for until J identified nd claimed yrejatixei ooner - E waamcn arter the ac ciderit said I had Just finished delivering my lecture on Industry and the singing had commenced when some woman back of me was heard to scream Some members of the choir yelled quiet which the gallery understood to be flre This was repeated and - started the stampede I found on investigation that a Birmingham man had stepped on the toes of a delegate from Baltimore named Ballou Ballou resented it and made a motion as If to draw a gun This caused the woman to scream There was little excitement in the center and front of the church The ferear of the church was congested and some 01 ine men inea 10 wane out on the heads of the crowd At the time of the alarm there were probably 3000 Jloatof tbedcadTarewomen and tbo ure accounted for the large loss of life The majority of those killed were smothered to death very few having bones broken When I saw that a Stampede was imminent I started the cboit ringing and part of the audi - ncfr - Jolned - them I remained until the excitement had subsided for fully thir - iyxninutes One good sister whose name I do not know caught me firmly by the wrist and held me throughout the excitement saying Keep still I am unable to siy positively but there is a prqbabUItyvthat the convention will adjourn otiff irespect to the dead The sesioriiwfquld have closed next Monday nighU - So far as Is known about ten dele - f gates were among the killed two from Texas and two from New Orleans being among the number WAS CHIEF ENGINEER ON THE PACIFIC MAIL Brick walls extend on each side 0fJ People In the church and fully that these steps for six or seven feet and jsnumber without The crowd on the these proved a veritable death trap I sidewalk surged in and this in a meas - Negroes who had reached the top qf the steps were pushed violently fqr - wardand many fell Before they conld move others fell upon them and in fifteen minutes persons were piled upon each other to a height of ten feet This wall of struggling humanity blocked the entrance and the weight of 1500 persons was pushed against it More than twenty persons lying on the steps underneath the heap of bodies died from suffocation Two white men who were in the rear of the church when the rush began escaped and realizing the seriousness of the situation rushed to a corner near - by and turned in a fire alarm The department came quickly and the arrival of the wagons served to scatter the crowd which had gathered around the front of the church A squad of police was also hastened to the church and with the firemen finally succeeded in releasing the negroes from their positions In the entrance The dead bodies were quickly removed and the crowd inside finding an outlet came pouring out Scores of them lost their footing and rolled down the long steps to theV pavement sustaining broken limbs and internal injuries In an hour the church had been practically cleared and the sights which greeted the eyes of those who had come tq aid v the Injured were sickening Down the aisles and alqng the outside of toe pews the dead bpdies of men and wqmen were strewn and the cries of the maimed smd crippled were heartrending In s few minutes the work of removing the bodies was begun j bn th edge bt South Highlands the fashionable residence section of this city arid all the physicians living vfnaV part of fqwn went to the as4 Sisiance 01 me injured as many 01 - rtoexsUffBff7egToes as could be moved by the ambulances were taken to the hospitals andthe rest were laid but on - the frbrwdndere the phy sicians aeaeainerrj jaj least niteen dledibefbreithey could bemoved Lgpf the ground j - jA IX purjngfiithe stampede BSokerWW Washington and several other proml - ent negroes werebn the istage andwerq unwilling witnesses tq tne frightfuL catastrophes jKpnerDtbsnthecliqir or In the pulpltjwas 1 injured jtothq least - - jr IICIIJUICU w - restore order but jingtheijeffortsf were futllewalted until the struggling cwdHhadadvancedfaenoogJfqrj Abraham Boyce Jones Dies After a Long JUneaa In New York NEW YORK September 19 Abraham Boyce Jones died last evening at his home after a long illness of Blights disease He was born In Tarrytown Ki T and forthlrty - five years had been chief engineer with the Pa - eiflc Mail Steamship Company on ves - Stls plying between San Francisco Co - ioii aridj Panama if He had resided two years in Brooklyn with his family Two daughters and a sott survive him Jones Just before the Spanish war began took the steam - er Newport from ew York to San Pranclsw where she was bbught by the Government and used as in transport fop the Philippine wryjee OANNUpO SFBAiD ipMERltoREP0RtERS ISJVRKSepteraberJ9 - A cable tbithe Jpurnar f rqm Rome i says Qa - brili dAnnunzlbV the author of The Trlumphpfpeathand other famous works has declined an Invitation to I Keeure JntJetJnIted Stetesj He etves ineamusang rwspn inat jie icars ne owottldlber annqyedfby Arnerican rt pqrteriiwith auestlbnsVregarding hla friendship t of f toaey j jneanqrxlusej the fampus Italian actress MmeDuso ihjj the r utbbr1 werV qn time v reV brteditb boTengaeed and - J iaterthera thenrto pickplhidjri jqrwSa isal tqjb AlbreakjMthr friend JfP i

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  1. San Francisco Chronicle,
  2. 20 Sep 1902, Sat,
  3. Page 1

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  • San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, California) September 20,1902

    csimrellhay – 25 Mar 2013

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