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Hostile HeartlandRacism, Repression, and Resistance in the Midwest$
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Brent M. S. Campney

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042492

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042492.001.0001

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The Old Northwest, 1890s–1930s

The Old Northwest, 1890s–1930s

“If we do our duty no mob can ever get into this jail”

(p.136) 7 The Old Northwest, 1890s–1930s
Hostile Heartland

Brent M. S. Campney

University of Illinois Press

This chapter investigates the development—particularly by the police—of white opposition to mob violence against blacks in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio from the 1890s to the 1930s. At the outset it details the methods deployed by local authorities to protect prisoners threatened with violence and the conditions required to trigger their appeals to state authorities for support, including the use of state militias (National Guard). Next it explores the responses of “ordinary” whites to these efforts. It then traces the efforts of state governments to curtail mob violence with legislation and of local authorities, especially the police, to offset their success in mitigating mob violence by appropriating mob tactics to control blacks themselves. Finally, it assesses the implications of its findings for the historiography of police violence (police brutality).

Keywords:   Old Northwest, white opposition to mob violence, state militias, National Guard, historiography, police violence, police brutality, anti-mob legislation

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