The Plot to Kill "Diamond Dick Rowland" and the Tulsa Race Massacre - Part Three

By Randy Hopkins–

A scene from the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 courtesy of the Tulsa World

Part 3 - War comes to Tulsa

James Hirsch, writing in Riot and Remembrance, reports that by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31, 1921, Tulsa police officials “feared the explosive combination of forces” resulting from the news of Diamond Dick Rowland’s arrest.[i] If so, the police did a good job of concealing their fears. Besides allowing the off-duty police to stay in bed, they neglected to summon a force that could have easily prevented trouble - the Tulsa contingent of the state’s national guard which that very day was preparing for summer encampment. In his after-action report, Byron Kirkpatrick, later Tulsa County Attorney, wrote that he was “well acquainted with both Tulsa police and county officials,” who failed to say anything about mobilizing the guard at a time when “we could have mobilized a sufficient force to have handled the situation.”[ii] Brigadier General Barrett claimed that the presence of a mere six uniformed guards would have prevented the riot.[iii] Certainly, six uniformed guardsmen outside the courthouse, bayonets gleaming, would have dampened everyone’s ardor. Without the possibility of a show, the audience would have little reason to stay, and the disastrous chain reaction less likely to ensue. It was not the only time Tulsa city authorities catastrophically slow-played the national guard.

When the police did venture out that night, they may as well have been blindfolded. Gustafson claimed that he and Patton drove to the county courthouse around 7:30 p.m. and found a “not very large” crowd.[iv] He offered the first of a series of excuses that the audience was not a mob, but merely curious and not ill-spirited. This was not a good sign, as Gustafson well knew. Nine months earlier another curious crowd was treated to a devil’s passion play near Red Fork. Some attendees stripped Roy Belton’s lynched corpse bare for souvenirs. Now, an encore appeared in the offing. Adjutant General Barrett described it as the hope for a “Roman Holiday.”[v] Gustafson and Patton left those who had assembled to their anticipations, returning to the station “without stopping.”[vi] At least in its initial stages, the growing audience might have been viewed as placing pressure on McCullough to run from the courthouse with his prisoner in tow.


James Patton, Chief Detective of the Tulsa Police Department courtesy of the Tulsa Tribune


In his 1922 deposition, Gustafson explained that about 8 p.m. a “Dr. Cook called me on the phone and told me he had had a report that they were going to try to take the nigger out of the county jail at eight-thirty.” Gustafson ordered Patton to call McCullough and remind him “if he needed any help to let us know.”[vii] The off-duty police remained at home.

Possibly in response to Cook’s call, Gustafson decided to retest the waters, testifying that “about 8 o’clock” or “sometime after eight o’clock,” he and Patton returned to find the still peaceable assembly had grown to two to three hundred. Remaining “just a few minutes,” they again returned to the station.[viii] Their passivity was fatal and again Gustafson knew the risks. Nine months earlier, he stood “a few feet” from one masked Belton killer when he ordered the police to stand down for fear, he said, of causing harm to innocent men, women, and children. The growing crowd also triggered a risk absent in Belton - the arousal of an armed constituency opposing mob rule and “the actions of Judge Lynch.”[ix] By placidly driving away, Gustafson and Patton condemned Greenwood without lifting a finger.

Dr. Cook’s warning was well-given. Around 8:20 p.m., three men, apparently unarmed, entered the County courthouse for their famous confrontation with McCullough and his shotgun-wielding sidekick Ira Short. McCullough testified in 1922 that he recognized one of them.[x] More clues are provided by state District judge Redmond S. Cole. Assuming that a federal investigation would ensue, Cole reported to former associates in the U. S. Justice Department that:

"Beyond peradventure of a doubt the same group of rough necks and hoodlums who mobbed Belton last September planned this outrage. As nearly as I can get it some 15 or 20 of them went to the Court house; it was known throughout town what they expected to do." [xi]

Cole also named a name:

"There is a party in Tulsa known among the underworld as Yellow Hammer who is supposed to have been the leader in the Belton mob and who was whitewashed by the Belton grand jury. It is common talk around Tulsa that he was one of the ring leaders in this bunch; his correct name is Cranfield."

Yellow Hammer Cranfield was listed in the attorney general’s file as a ringleader in Belton’s execution, along with his older brother William. It was William Cranfield who assured the Tulsa assistant county attorney that “the police had agreed them to help them lynch this boy (Belton) and that they had some good citizens in addition to that.” Of the hundreds that Adkison and Gustafson specially commissioned, only two names have survived. One is Cranfield.[xii]

Dick Rowland, in the center holding the ball, courtesy of Booker T. Washington High School

The three-man invasion was a last, forlorn throw of the dice to get McCullough to run or cave under pressure. The police had failed to roust Rowland; the street gang took its turn, such as it was. Their meek performance notwithstanding, the closing act of the plot to kill Dick Rowland was the first overt act of the Tulsa Race Massacre.[xiii] Rumors flew. The crowd grew. After the three were shown the door, they rejoined their allies outside and engaged in a shouting match with McCullough, who had followed them. Hooting and hollering spread to the no longer just-curious assembly.[xiv]

None of this phased the police. Not until 9 p.m., a full hour after Dr. Cook called, did Gustafson, accompanied by captain George Blaine and detective Doc Mondier, venture back to the courthouse, still just four blocks away.[xv] The occasion for this visit was the blockbuster news that armed men from Greenwood were mobilizing and even driving past the police station. Gustafson “found a great crowd of spectators surrounding the courthouse, including women, men and children.” Blaine quantified this as two thousand people “packing the street.” Joining the mix now were “many armed negroes on foot and in cars,” said by Blaine to be in an “ugly mood.” The foul temper was shared by the whites, as “each (negro) car was followed by 200 or more whites who screamed and shook their fists.”[xvi]

On the courthouse stairs, Gustafson and Blaine had their “practically suicide” conversation, yielding they claimed to a sudden realization that the audience of innocents meant they were powerless to act - it would have meant “death to scores.”[xvii] The remorseless Evans read from the same script in his post-Massacre report.[xviii] Evans also blamed a “shot fired by a fool black person” for the “racial war” and that the “uprising was inevitable.” He had certainly helped make it inevitable on May 31. By 10 p.m., the Tribune estimated the number of “armed negroes at between 100 and 200” and “probably 100 of the whites in the crowd had procured arms.”[xix]

Captain George Blaine and his family courtesy of the Tulsa Tribune

The outbreak of shooting caused Adkison and Gustafson finally to request help from the local national guard.[xx] Even then, duplicity reigned. Having been told, or rather reminded, that permission from the Adjutant General Charles Barrett in Oklahoma City was required, Gustafson swore under oath that he called Barrett for help.[xxi] Barrett wrote that it was he who placed the call to Gustafson, who “replied with the assurance that the civil authorities could control the situation.”[xxii] Gustafson may have desired help from the local national guard, but the out-of-town contingent, with its connection to Barrett and Governor Robertson, was anathema.

Under Oklahoma law, local authorities were required to request the calling out of the national guard. By failing to do this, Tulsa’s city authorities kept Barrett’s Oklahoma City guard at arm’s length. Had a request been made when the shooting first broke out, Barrett’s men would have arrived hours earlier, perhaps in time to disarrange Wednesday’s dawn invasion of Greenwood. Yet, in spite of Barrett’s repeated pleas, no such request was made until Barrett and Kirkpatrick initiated the process at least three hours after the fighting began. The resulting 1:46 a.m. telegram finally allowed the “full mobilization” of Barrett’s Oklahoma City city guard.[xxiii]

Barrett’s trainload of men arrived at the Frisco station sometime after 8 a.m., “ready for instant action.”[xxiv] Under Oklahoma law, however, Bartlett was first required to report to local authorities and secure their “orders” or the invocation of martial law.[xxv] In spite of knowing when he was arriving, Gustafson, Adkison, and the others stayed away, forcing Barrett and his guard to wander ridiculously south away from the action in search of constituted authority. They went first to the unavailable Sheriff and then to city hall.[xxvi] The attitude of city officials during the resulting meeting was likely revealed when Adkison later bragged that he and the police had “the city pretty well in hand before Adjutant General Barrett arrived.”[xxvii] As it was, they agreed to martial law just in time to get help cleaning up the mess they had created. Barrett finally took control at 11:29 p.m., about three hours after his arrival, during which time Greenwood continued to burn and people continued to die, many in the flames.[xxviii]

Afterward, Mary E. Jones Parrish disclosed the loud praise of “the State Troops who so gallantly came to the rescue of stricken Tulsa,” who used “no partiality in quieting the disorder,” and that many lives and valuable property would have been saved “if they had reached the scene sooner.”[xxix] Yet, from start to finish, Tulsa’s city officials impeded the arrival and deployment of the only institution in the state that might have saved the day, or at least part of it. If those government officials had desired to murder Greenwood, they could have implemented no better policy.[xxx]

Was the plot to kill Diamond Dick Rowland also a prearranged set-up for the destruction and ethnic cleansing of Greenwood and its replacement by train stations and real estate developments? Or, did the failure to get Rowland simply create a sudden target of opportunity, empowering city officials and others who “made up their minds between Tuesday and Wednesday morning to drive the Negroes from the town.”[xxxi] Either way, the destruction would have been an intentional crime, or rather, many of them.

Randy Krehbiel argues out that a carefully planned scheme would have found a better pretext than shooting-up downtown and killing white people.[xxxii] Another question is whether Gustafson and the others would have concocted a plan where their own lives would be at risk from a hothead’s bullet?[xxxiii] Police bravery was in short supply that night. Commissioner Younkman, the only one to cover himself in the least bit of honor, accused the police of being “yellow” and that Gustafson was terrified that the police station was going to be stormed by the white mob.[xxxiv] Self-preservation may have been one reason why the police were so quick to fling out “handfuls of badges like trinkets from a float in the Mardi Gras parade.” While the newspapers missed it, the lights were turned out at the station, the better to keep the police safe.[xxxv] Patton left the station right after the shooting started and spent the evening atop the Tulsa ice plant. Twelve to fifteen other officers spent time around the plant, which offered an air-conditioned safe space.[xxxvi] Others scattered elsewhere and eyewitness Gene Maxey, later Tulsa County Undersheriff, said, “there wasn’t any police around.”[xxxvii] The initial vacuum at the police station was such that a former chief deputy U. S. marshall testified that an actor from the Orpheum Theater took charge in front of the station shortly after the riot broke out.[xxxviii]


The Tulsa Ice Company served as Detective Patton's retreat during the Massacre. Courtesy of Col. Clarence Douglas' History of Tulsa

Yet, when Sheriff McCullough finally emerged around 9 a.m. Wednesday morning, he found the police back in charge and “engineering” the round-up of negroes, all with hands held high including “old women who couldn’t hurt anyone.”[xxxix] According to Gustafson, the police station was the coordinating headquarters between the police and the “militia.” Gustafson was described as exercising “complete charge” during the evening’s events, handing out orders, and working the telephones all night long.[xl] Apart from Barrett pleading with Gustafson to call the state guard, most of the persons on the other end of those lines are presently unknown.[xli] Control had been restored to the police, city officials, and anyone above or behind them by the prompt arrival of reinforcements. At 10:45 p.m., Lt. Col. L. J. F. Rooney, commander of Tulsa’s national guard contingent, placed himself and his men at Gustafson’s and Adkison’s disposition.[xlii] It was a professional force capable of defeating armed resistance, part of which was itself war-trained.[xliii] Organized veterans of the World War assembled in formation to await orders.[xlvi] Member of Tulsa’s wartime Home Guard, who had also been commanded by Rooney, mustered under arms and arrived as well.[xlv] Numerous eyewitnesses describe this reassembled Home Guard playing a coordinating role in Greenwood’s destruction, enticing people to leave their homes under unfulfilled promises that their property would be protected, as well as engaging in sadistic behavior. Just as praise for Bartlett’s late-arriving national guard contingent was “on every tongue,” so was “denunciation of the Home Guards on every lip,” according to Mary E. Jones Parrish.[xlvi]

The specially commissioned police, loaded with badges and guns, provided yet more foot soldiers, along with the outraged, hateful, thrill-seeking, or just greedy thousands who joined the party and helped make the terror so multi-faceted. By dawn, sixty or seventy automobiles filled with armed men formed a “circle of steel” about “Little Africa” accompanied by “many reports” that they planned to range through Greenwood and “clean it out.”[xlvii]

The police department even had its own air force, or “air police” as the Tribune called it. The airplanes were owned by the Curtiss Southwest Aeroplane company and flown by war-experienced pilots.[xlviii] Having previously winged “back and forth through the smoke” over the Mid-Continent refinery in search of radicals, they would buzz low over Greenwood in the first seconds of Wednesday’s dawn invasion, spreading terror in their wake.[xlix] Tulsa’s air police tracked the location of armed resistance to the invasion, the spread of fires, and the roads “crowded with fleeing negroes,” which intelligence was communicated to the police station via dropped messages.[l] Described in the press as “heavily armed,” both the planes and the pilots were specially commissioned when in city operation.[li] That meant that any weapon dropped, thrown, fired, or shot from any of those airplanes constituted official ordnance of the City of Tulsa.


Tulsa had long been preparing for battle, though when it came the enemy was not the Germans, or radicals, or crooks, but part of itself. In November 1917, the Daily World announced a plan designed by “prominent citizens, the Tulsa police, (Tulsa) council of defense and the Home Guard” whereby “Tulsa will soon be in a position to become a bristling arsenal upon a moments (sic) notice.” The scheme centered on a “peculiar signal of the fire whistle at the Public Service plant,” which would be “distinguished from the regular fire alarm.” Upon hearing the signal, regardless of the hour, “citizens all over town would hasten to the street with firearms.”[lii] By November 1920, the Public Service fire whistle was upgraded so that it could be heard for twenty miles.[liii]

By dawn on Wednesday, June 1, 1921, only the want of a signal stood between Tulsa’s bristling arsenal and a holocaust on the other side of the tracks. J. C. Latimer, the architect and contractor whose new Booker T. Washington high school was one of the few buildings to survive, later told Mary Parrish what happened then:

"Early in the morning, between 5 and 6 a.m., a “riot call” was given; that is the city whistle gave one long blow, and then looking through windows, I could see the Whites, armed with high-powered rifles, coming from the hill and surrounding the colored district."[liv]

Endnotes: [i] James S. Hirsch, Riot and Remembrance, 81. [ii] “Letter Major Byron Kirkpatrick to Lieut. Col. L. J. F. Rooney,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062, 3: I wish to further state that at no time during the day or night of May 31st, 1921, did I receive any intimation of trouble to be apprehended. I am well acquainted with both police and county officials of Tulsa County, Oklahoma. None of these said anything whatever about mobilizing the guard or getting ready for possible trouble. If such information could have been had, I have no doubt that we could have mobilized a sufficient force to have handled the situation. Coming as this order did, after 10:00 at night, after the men had gone home, it was a matter of great difficulty to get word to them. [iii] “Tulsa in Remorse to Rebuild Homes; Dead Now Put at 30,” New York Times, June 3, 1921, quoted in Tom Streissguth, ed., Reporting: The Tulsa Riot 1921, 70; Robert D. Norris, Jr., ”The Oklahoma National Guard and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921,” 44. [iv] “Chief Tells His Own Story about Riot,” Tulsa Tribune, June 19th, 1921. 1; also, “Chief and Officers Take Witness Stand,” Tulsa Daily World, July 20, 1921, 1 (crowd at 300). [v] Charles F. Barrett, Fifty Years, 206. [vi] “Chief and Officers Take Witness Stand,” Tulsa Daily World, July 20, 1921, 1, 8. [vii] Gustafson 1922 deposition, 2. Gustafson may have referred to the same conversation in his trial testimony but said the caller did not leave his name. Gustafson 1921 trial testimony, 8. Dr. Cook appears to be Fred S. Cook, who worked for a Standard Oil subsidiary, Prairie Oil. Dr. Cook, who had accompanied Rev. Cooke, Townsend, and J. Arthur Hull on their tour of Greenwood, also witnessed the shooting of Ed Wheeler during the Massacre. “Sheriff Slept Through Tulsa Riot,” Tulsa Daily World, July 15, 1921, 8; “Police Accused From Stand,” Tulsa Tribune, July 15, 1921, 9. [viii] Gustafson 1921 testimony, 11-12; “Chief Tells His Own Story about Riot,” Tulsa Tribune, July 21, 1921, 1 The Tulsa Daily World’s version seems to suggest that Gustafson estimated the crowd as “over a thousand,” but this may relate to his later post-9 p.m. visit. “Chief and Officers Take Witness Stand,” Tulsa Daily World, July 20, 1921, 8. [ix] Charles F. Barrett, Fifty Years, 206. [x] McCullough 1922 deposition, 16 (“Tom Bailey, was the only one I recognized”). On the other hand, McCullough was quoted by a reporter that he did not recognize the three. “Sheriff Says Telephone Call Started Riot,” Tulsa Tribune, June 3, 1921, 1. [xi] Cole to Findlay letter. Judge Cole also named E. S. Macqueen as “the man that fired the first shot” on May 31, 1921. Ironically, the shot appears to have been fired beneath the window of the County Attorney's office, out of which Macqueen worked at the behest of the wartime Committee of 100. McCullough 1922 deposition, 18. The Tribune reported that Macqueen then “fired point blank” into the negroes. “Seven Battles Rage During the War of the Races,” Tulsa Tribune, June 1, 1921, 3. Macqueen’s name also appears on the list of knowledgeable individuals regarding the lynching of Roy Belton. AG Civil Case 0017-004. [xii] “Part 1 Police Officer Notepad,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062, 15. [xiii] The entry into the station was the first legal violation of the evening, assuming that it did not occur when Adkison urged McCullough to take flight. It was a “rout,” a misdemeanor under the state’s riot statute. The next violations were those of the white crowd who refused McCullough’s requests to leave. These were an “unlawful assembly” and a “failure to disperse,” also misdemeanors. This is important because a consultant to the 2000 Race Riot Commission argued that the brandishing of arms by Blacks constituted the first legal violation (also a misdemeanor). Robert D. Norris, Jr., ”The Oklahoma National Guard and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921,” 83-86, 92, 311-12. This, in turn, supported the argument that has existed since 1921, namely that the arrival of armed Blacks “caused” the disaster. That starts too late in the chain of events. The opening of the “riot” stage of the Massacre, involving felonies, may have occurred with the attempted storming of the National Guard Armory which triggered reactions in Greenwood. Whenever the “riot” started, it meant that all participants were as guilty of murder, maiming, robbery, or arson as if they had fired guns, threw torches, or dropped bombs with their own hands. “Oklahoma’s Riot Statute,” Black Dispatch, June 17, 1921, 4. Roscoe Dunjee printed the statute to demonstrate the “ground of action” for murder against the rioters. “Read what the law says," he pleaded, but to no avail. [xiv] “Sheriff Says Telephone Call Started Riot,” Tulsa Tribune, June 3, 1921, 1. Everyone assumed that Rowland was inside the county jail at this point. Deputy Barney Cleaver, however, was later quoted in the Black Dispatch that Rowland “was not in the jail when the mob appeared there, but we could not afford to tell where he was.” Had McCullough somehow slipped his targeted prisoner to a hiding place unbeknownst to the police and mob? If Rowland had been transported to Cleaver’s farm outside of town, as Krehbiel suggests, it would explain why they could not tell anyone where. The Tulsa

Tribune said that the transfer occurred on Wednesday at 2 a.m. and McCullough was quoted that the removal came at 8:00 a.m. Adding to the unreality of the situation, Cleaver also told the Black Dispatch that Rowland was in South Omaha, having been released without charges. Rowland’s indictment occurred on June 18, 1921, and the available court papers suggest, but do not confirm that Rowland remained in custody until his late September 1921 dismissal. Compare, “Dick Rowland in South Omaha, No Trace of Girl,” Black Dispatch, June 17, 1921, 1; “Dick Rowland Is Spirited Out of City,” Tulsa

Tribune, June 1, 1921, 6 (2:00 a.m.); "Story of Attack on Woman Denied,” Tulsa Daily World, June 2, 1921, 14 (8:00 a.m.); Krehbiel, Tulsa 1921, 77, 82 (taken to Cleaver farm). [xv] “Chief Tells Own Story about Riot,” Tulsa Tribune, July 19, 1921, 1. At 9 p.m., Greenwood businessman Tolly J. Elliott called Evans to warn him of a “dangerous and excited crowd” gathering in Greenwood. Evans replied that “he had just finished a conference with the police department head and that they had the situation in hand and no serious trouble could occur.” “Mayor Warned of Uprising Negro Avers,” Tulsa Tribune, June 6, 1921, 1. [xvi] Gustafson 1921 trial testimony, 16; “Chief Tells Own Story about Riot,” Tulsa Tribune, July 19, 1921, 1. For Blaine's testimony, see “Chief and Officers Take Witness Stand,” Tulsa Daily World, July 20, 1921, 1. [xvii] “Chief and Officers Take Witness Stand,” Tulsa Daily World, July 20, 1921, 1, 8. [xviii] “Message Mayor to Commissioners,” Record of Commission Proceedings, City of Tulsa, Vol. XV, June 14, 1921, 24-6; “Riot Statement Made by Mayor,” Tulsa Daily World, June 15, 1921, 1 (per Evans, to have fired upon the negroes when they first visited the courthouse would have meant lives of innocent men, women and children). [xix] “Many Shots are Fired in Clash at the Frisco,” Tulsa Tribune, June 1, 1921, 5. [xx] “Chief Tells Own Story About Riot,” Tulsa Tribune, July 19, 1921, 1 (“when the shooting began, Adkison and I talked it over at the police station and decided the best thing to do was to get the assistance of the local national guard”). Gustafson and Adkison testified that the chief made the call, but Major Bell’s after-action report claims that he made that call. “Letter Major Jas A. Bell to Lieut. Col. L. J. F. Rooney,” 1921 July 2, Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062, 2. Even then, Gustafson did not make a formal request for help from the state national guard. [xxi] “Chief Tells Own Story About Riot,” Tulsa Tribune, July 19, 1921, 1. [xxii] Charles F. Barrett, Fifty Years, 207. [xxiii] Robert D. Norris, J., “The Oklahoma National Guard and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921,” 136-137, 146-147 (request by local authorities was mandatory in order lawfully to call out the guard); “Letter Major Byron Kirkpatrick to Lieut. Col. L. J. F. Rooney,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062, 2. As a result of Tulsa’s delayed request for help, Barrett could only tell the Frisco railroad that a train to Tulsa would probably be needed, but that he could not yet make a definitive order. A round-up of troops was also delayed. The official orders were given at 3 a.m. and the train finally departed "at five something.” Charles F. Barrett, Fifty Years, 212. [xxiv] Charles F. Barrett, Fifty Years, 212 (shortly after 8 a.m.). [xxv] Robert D. Norris, Jr., ”The Oklahoma National Guard and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921,” 212-213, 221-224, 337. [xxvi] For Barrett’s tour south, “Arrival of the State Troops,” Tulsa Race Riot: A Report by the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, map 9. [xxvii] “Arsenal Urged for City Hall,” Tulsa Tribune, June 29, 1921, 1. Gustafson was aware of the arrival time because Kirkpatrick had been stationed at the police station by Barrett's orders. Kirkpatrick knew of the arrival time and met the train. Police inspector Charles Daley was there as well. Robert D. Norris, Jr., ”The Oklahoma National Guard and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921,” 224. [xxviii] Kirkpatrick’s after-action report puts Barrett's arrival at 9:15 a.m. If so, then "only" two hours were lost due to the added obstructionism by city officials. “Letter Major Byron Kirkpatrick to Lieut. Col. L. J. F. Rooney,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062, 2-3. [xxix] Mary E. Jones Parrish, Race Riot 1921: Events of the Tulsa Disaster, (Tulsa, OK: Out on a Limb Publishing 1998), 31. [xxx] Robert D. Norris, Jr., ”The Oklahoma National Guard and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921,”137, 224-225 (“a sorry, inexcusable, and probably disastrous loss of time which could have been avoided if the civil authorities had made a timely call for assistance from the Governor”). [xxxi] George W. Buckner, “Riot Victims are Neglected,” St. Louis Argus (MO), June 24, 1921, cited in Tom Streissguth, ed., Reporting: The Tulsa Riot 1921,125. [xxxii] Randy Krehbiel, Tulsa 1921, 47. [xxxiii] In contrast, an ambush would have placed Rowland and McCullough at primary risk. During the 1917 Deep Fork Valley ambush, Gustafson positioned himself well down the line in the second rank of ambushers, armed with his weapon of choice, a shotgun. “Tulsa Detective Tells of Fight,” Tulsa Daily World, January 20, 1917, 1. [xxxiv] “Arsenal Urged for City Hall,” Tulsa Tribune, June 29, 1921, 2. Younkman’s accusations came at the June 28, 1921 city commission meeting. After hearing Younkman call his police “yellow,” Adkison demanded to know where Younkman was that night. Younkman replied with a withering critique of Gustafson’s performance. The water commissioner was probably looking at Adkison when he disclosed that he gave orders to the Fire Chief to loose water hoses on the courthouse mob, adding “I don’t know why that was not done.” After this, “Younkman was not questioned further.” As Fire Commissioner, Adkison also ran the fire department. [xxxv] “Miscellaneous Witness List,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062 (names and addresses of witnesses to the lights at the Police Station being turned off), 1. For Mardi Gras trinkets, Robert D. Norris, Jr., "The Oklahoma National Guard and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921,” 227. [xxxvi] “Miscellaneous Witness List,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062 (per Norman Bickers, night operator at ice plant First and Cheyenne), 1; “More Police on Stand at Chief’s Trial,” Tulsa Tribune, July 20, 1921, 1; Scott Ellsworth, “The Tulsa Race Riot,” 70-71 (one-fifth of police force at ice plant). [xxxvii] ”Maxey_Interview_Copy_1.pdf, Avery Collection, 9-11. Maxey also reported that on the afternoon of June 1, he saw “truck load after truck load of colored people stacked-up like cord wood” driving south on Main Street for disposal. He also said they used “trucks owned by the City of Tulsa, for they’d hold a lot of people.” Byron Kirkpatrick, serving as the Adjutant General’s aide, acknowledged reports of bodies being removed by trucks operated “by citizens.” “Dead Estimate at 100; City is Quiet,” Tulsa Daily World, June 2, 1921, 1. J. Burr Gibbons, head of the wartime Tulsa Council of Defense, lent support for this claim in his 1946 interview with Loren Gill. Loren L. Gill, “The Tulsa Race Riot,” 45, n63. Gibbons was in charge of the Tulsa Convention Center when it was a collecting center for captives during the Race Massacre. [xxxviii] “Sheriff Tells of Plans to Guard Negro,” Tulsa Tribune, July 14, 1921, 11. [xxxix] McCullough 1922 deposition, 26 (“It looked to me like everybody had guns; some of them in uniform, but the police seemed to be engineering it”). The failure to hold hands high could be a capital offense, as eyewitness Dr. Jack Smitherman claimed that a man was shot on Brady street for that very reason. Dr. Smitherman also reported that four men were shot in front of Convention Hall, though he gave no reason, if there was a reason. “Dick Rowland in South Omaha, No Trace of Girl,” Black Dispatch, June 17, 1921, 1. [xl] “Keep Off the Streets, Plea of Police Boss,” Tulsa Tribune, June 1, 1921, 2 (Gustafson says working in co-operation with the “militia"). “Sheriff Slept Through Tulsa Riot,” Tulsa Daily World, July 15, 1921, 8 (Gustafson in complete charge per Dr. Fred Cook); “Instruction is Denied by Court,” Tulsa Daily World, July 16, 1921, 2 (Gustafson “completely in charge” and conferring with the head of Tulsa national guard contingent per police inspector Charles Daley); “More Police on Stand at Chief’s Trial, Tulsa Tribune, July 20, 1921, 1 (Gustafson in control per Doc Mondier). [xli] One known telephone contact occurred when J. P. Roberts, principal of the Sequoyah school in north Tulsa, called Gustafson at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning to report that three or four policemen could prevent the burning and sacking of the “best negro residential district” if sent at once. Roberts said Gustafson promised he would send them “immediately,” but they never came. Very shortly afterward, four or five men arrived and began to “systematically fire the houses.” Roberts said that a “few armed policemen could have easily dispersed these men.” A looting party of forty or fifty men followed the firebrands, dashing in and carrying out everything of value they could find. Finally, one guardsman appeared at 10 a.m. “after the arson and looting had ben (sic) accomplished.” “School Chief Says Officers Failed in Duty,” Tulsa Tribune, June 3, 1921, 5. [xlii] This was the command passed on by Bartlett. Charles F. Bartlett, Fifty Years, 209; Robert D. Norris, Jr., ”The Oklahoma National Guard and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921,” 139. Both Robertson and Barrett chose to overlook the fact that city authorities had not yet asked for help as required by the law. However well-intentioned, it meant that Gustafson received an augmentation of power notwithstanding his own calculated failure to seek it. Rooney expressed his view of affairs when he described the crowd of armed whites mobbing the police station as a “friendly one.” “More Police on Stand at Chief’s Trial,” Tulsa Tribune, July 20, 1921, 1, 5. [xliii] For the role of Rooney’s Tulsa national guard contingent, Scott Ellsworth, “The Tulsa Race Riot,” 66-81; Robert D. Norris, Jr., “The Oklahoma National Guard and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921.” Police Inspector Charles Daley testified that Rooney and Gustafson conferred during the night. “Instruction is Denied by Court,” Tulsa Daily World, July 16, 1921, 2. [xliv] “More Police on Stand at Chief’s Trial,” Tulsa Tribune, July 20, 1921, 1, 5. In addition to the “great mob” in front of the station, Rooney also found 125 or 150 armed men drawn up in military formation, which he discovered to be American Legion men. He marched them through downtown. The presence of these war veterans refutes Gustafson’s later alibi that an extra fifty trained men would have allowed the police to “prevent the wholesale rioting and burning.” “Ex-Yanks on Guard; O. N. G. Troops Gone,” Tulsa Tribune, June 4, 1921, 1. [xlv] William T. Lampe, Tulsa County in the World War (Tulsa, OK: Tulsa County Historical Society, 1919), 66, 73-77 (“The Tulsa County Council of National Defense recognizes that Captain Rooney and his Home Guard have been its own right arm of power”). The Council of Defense’s official history describes the paramilitary force as armed, trained, available on “immediate” notice for “any emergency,” and that few emergencies could have arisen which could not have been “handled on the spot.” The ranks of the Home Guard was said to be made up of soldiers of fortune, men who served in many wars, adventurers, old Indian fighters, ex-Mounties, dead shots, ex-lawmen, gunmen, rough-riders, ex-guerrillas, and former secret service officers “eager for more mysteries to uncover.” [xlvi] Mary E. Jones Parrish, Race Riot 1921: Events of the Tulsa Disaster, 31, 37, 39, 49, 55-56, 59, 86; “Loot, Arson, Murder!” Black Dispatch, June 10, 1921, 1; Bob Hower, Angels of Mercy, 3, 211. While there were many men with uniforms running about, many of these witnesses had lived in Tulsa during the World War when Rooney’s Home Guard had been a heavy presence. The Home Guard had also worn uniforms distinct from U. S. Army or national guard uniforms. Robert D. Norris, Jr., ”The Oklahoma National Guard and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921,” 243. They also wore distinctive scarlet stars on the sleeves of all uniforms, shirts, and coats. “Small Red Star Indicates Tulsa Home Guard,” Tulsa Daily World, October 3, 1918, 5. The consistent eyewitness identification of their tormenters as the “Home Guard” merits some respect. [xlvii] “White Advancing into ‘Little Africa;’ Negro Death List is About 15,” Tulsa Daily World, June 1, 1921, 1 (3rd edition). [xlviii] “Air Police Sworn in by Mayor,” Tulsa Tribune, May 1, 1920, 1. [xlix] For buzzing and terror at Wednesday’s dawn, Mary E. Jones Parrish, Race Riot 1921: Events of the Tulsa Disaster, 20 (“daylight had a depressing surprise in store for us…we heard such a buzzing noise that, on rushing to the door…the sights our eyes beheld made our poor hearts stand still for a moment. There was a great shadow in the sky and, upon a second look, we discerned that this cloud was caused by fast approaching aeroplanes. It then dawned up us that the enemy had organized in the night and was invading our district, the same as the Germans invaded France and Belgium”), 22, 37, 45, 62, 65, 87. [l] “Air Observers Watched Blacks for the Police,” Tulsa Tribune, June 2, 1921, 3. One of the commissioned pilots flying the 1920 May Day patrol, D. A. McIntyre, was general manager of Curtiss Southwest during the Massacre and a Gustafson supporter. “Much Surprise Expressed Over Gustafson Verdict,” Tulsa Daily World, July 24, 1921, 1 (McIntyre could not see a thing in the evidence to convict Gustafson). Sinclair Oil may have had involvement as well. Richard S. Wilson, “Airplanes and the Riot,” Tulsa Race Riot: A Report by the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, 104-06. [li] “Air Police Sworn in by Mayor,” Tulsa Tribune, May 1, 1920, 1. The aviation company's lawyers would have insisted that city government authorities issue special commissions for both airplane and pilot, lest company property be at risk of loss or the corporation exposed to vast liability if something went wrong. What if a plane went down while weaving through the smoke over the Mid-Continent refinery in search of radicals or while flying low over the Tulsa police station to deliver intelligence? [lii] “Signal to Call Tulsa for Duty,” Tulsa Daily World, November 18, 1917. [liii] “Innovation Here in New Whistle,” Tulsa Daily World, November 21, 1920, 6. [liv] Mary E. Jones Parrish, Race Riot 1921: Events of the Tulsa Disaster, 60-61. Before he retired to the ice plant for the evening, James Patton took time to take Doc Mondier to the public service plant to provide security, even though five or six policemen had already retreated there. It is possible that the detective they called Popcorn Shorty was the one who blew the whistle. “More Police on Stand at Chief’s Trial,” Tulsa Tribune, July 20, 1921, 1.

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