“Our race has furnished some brutes lower than the beasts of the field, who have stirred the passions of the Anglo-Saxon as nothing in all of human history has before stirred them. The shibboleth of the Anglo-Saxon race is the courage of man and the virtue of woman: and when, by violence, a member of a despised race assails a defenseless woman; robs her of her virtue, her crown of glory; and sends her back to society broken and crushed in spirit, longing, sighing, praying for the oblivion of the grave, it is not to be wondered at that hell is scoured by the Southern white man in search of plans to vent his rage. The lesson for him to learn is that passion is ever a blind guide and the more violent the more blind. Let him not cease to resent with all the intensity of his proud soul the accursed crime; but let this resentment pursue such a channel as will ensure the execution of the guilty and the escape of the innocent. As for us, let us cease to furnish the inhuman brutes whose deeds suggest inhuman punishments.
“But, I am aware that in a large majority of cases where lynchings occur, outrages upon women are not even mentioned. This fact but serves as an argument against all lynchings; for when lawlessness breaks forth, no man can set a limit where it will stop. It also warns us as a race to furnish no crime that provokes lynching; for when lynching once gets started, guilty and innocent alike will suffer, and crimes both great and small will be punished alike.
“In regard to the lynching of our Comrade Cook, I have this to say. Every feature connected with that crime but emphasizes its heinousness. Cook was a quiet, unassuming, gentlemanly being, enjoying the respect of all in a remarkable degree. Having wronged no one he was unconscious of having enemies. His wife and loving little ones had retired to rest and were enjoying the deep sleep of the innocent. A band of whites crept to his house under the cover of darkness, and thought to roast all alive. In endeavoring to make their escape the family was pursued by a shower of bullets and Cook fell to the ground, a corpse, leaving his loved ones behind, pursued by a fiendish mob. And the color of Cook’s skin was the only crime laid at his door.
“If ye who speculate and doubt as to the existence of a hell but peer into the hearts of those vile creatures who slew poor Cook, you will draw back in terror; for hell, black hell is there. To give birth to a deed of such infamy, their hearts must be hells in miniature. But there is one redeeming feature about this crime. Unlike others, it found no defense anywhere. The condemnation of the crime was universal. And the entire South cried out in bitter tones against the demons who had at last succeeded in putting the crown of infamy of all the ages upon her brow.