Blood in Their Eyes

$27.95 $20.96

The Elaine Massacre of 1919
Revised edition
Grif Stockley, Brian K. Mitchell,
and Guy Lancaster
370 pages, 6 x 9, 22 images, index
978-1-68226-136-1 (paper)
978-1-61075-724-9 (ebook)
May 2020


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On September 30, 1919, local law enforcement in rural Phillips County, Arkansas, attacked black sharecroppers at a meeting of the Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America. The next day, hundreds of white men from the Delta, along with US Army troops, converged on the area “with blood in their eyes.” What happened next was one of the deadliest incidents of racial violence in the history of the United States, leaving a legacy of trauma and silence that has persisted for more than a century. In the wake of the massacre, the NAACP and Little Rock lawyer Scipio Jones spearheaded legal action that revolutionized due process in America.

The first edition of Grif Stockley’s Blood in Their Eyes, published in 2001, brought renewed attention to the Elaine Massacre and sparked valuable new studies on racial violence and exploitation in Arkansas and beyond. With contributions from fellow historians Brian K. Mitchell and Guy Lancaster, this revised edition draws from recently uncovered source material and explores in greater detail the actions of the mob, the lives of those who survived the massacre, and the regime of fear and terror that prevailed under Jim Crow.

This project was funded in part by a grant from the Black History Commission of Arkansas
Virtual: University of Arkansas Press Author Spotlight with Brian K. Mitchell and Guy Lancaster at the Fayetteville Public Library (YouTube)

Five Minutes, Five Questions: Historian Guy Lancaster (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

Grif Stockley is an award-winning novelist and historian whose many books include Daisy Bates: Civil Rights Crusader from Arkansas and Black Boys Burning: The 1959 Fire at the Arkansas Negro Boys Industrial School.

Brian K. Mitchell is assistant professor of history at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He has researched and published on the Elaine Massacre, the 1859 expulsion of free blacks from Arkansas, and urban renewal in Little Rock.

Guy Lancaster has written or edited three previous works on racial violence in Arkansas, including Bullets and Fire: Lynching and Authority in Arkansas, 1840–1950. He serves as editor of the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, a project of the Central Arkansas Library System.

Introduction to the Revised Edition
Introduction to the First Edition
Chronology of Events

Chapter 1 – Charles Hillman Brough’s Midnight Train Ride
Chapter 2 – The Law of the Delta
Chapter 3 – The Boys from Camp Pike
Chapter 4 – A Committee of Seven
Chapter 5 – More Than One Version
Chapter 6 – Little Rock and New York
Chapter 7 – The Trials Begin
Chapter 8 – Colonel Murphy for the Defense
Chapter 9 – The Retrials of the Ware Defendants
Chapter 10 – The Changing of the Guard
Chapter 11 – Affidavits from Unlikely Sources
Chapter 12 – Moore v. Dempsey
Chapter 13 – Scipio Jones Takes Charge
Conclusion – On the Larger Meaning of Elaine

Appendix I
Appendix II
A Note on Sources

“This expanded edition of Blood in Their Eyes: The Elaine Massacre of 1919 is a valuable resource for coming to grips with one of the most significant episodes of racial violence in Arkansas and US history. Building on Grif Stockley’s pathbreaking first edition, Stockley, Mitchell, and Lancaster offer further analysis that incorporates newly uncovered sources, subsequent historical scholarship, and other recent developments in the efforts to excavate what occurred in Phillips County, Arkansas, in 1919. Their thoughtful, essential scholarship draws from a deep and probing knowledge of Arkansas and southern history. Their book is one of the best local studies of American racial violence that I have read.”
—Michael J. Pfeifer, author of Rough Justice: Lynching and American Society, 1874-1947

The first edition of Blood in Their Eyes won the 2002 Booker Worthen Literary Prize and the 2003 American Association of State and Local History Award.

“The Arkansas Race Riot” by Ida B. Wells-Barnett

The Forgotten History of America’s Worst Racial Massacre (New York Times)

Elaine Race Massacre: The Red Summer in Arkansas (Arkansas Studies Institute)

Elaine Massacre of 1919 at The Encyclopedia of Arkansas

Arkansas’ Phillips County remembers the racial massacre America forgot (Facing South)

Remembering The Elaine Massacre In Arkansas 100 Years Later (WBUR)

A massacre of blacks haunted this Arkansas city. Then a memorial tree was cut down. (The Washington Post)

Newly discovered documents reveal what may have started Elaine Massacre 100 years ago (THV11)

A new monument will honor the victims of a century-old racist massacre. Some say it’s not where it should be. (CNN International)

To Those Known and Unknown: The Elaine Massacre Memorial (Arkansas Times)

Scars remain from 1919’s Elaine Massacre, crowd at Little Rock ceremony told (Arkansas Democrat Gazette)

Elaine Massacre defendants honored on Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail (KARK)

Newly Discovered Historic Records Reveal New Details Surrounding the Elaine Massacre (Newswise)

Elaine Massacre Gets Second Look 98 Years Later (KARK)

Examining the Elaine Massacre (KUAF)

Marker Unveiled Honoring Black Sharecropper In 1919 Arkansas Race Massacre (KUAR)

Reliving the brutal Elaine Massacre 100 years later (New York Post)

A belated Purple Heart for victim of Elaine Massacre (Arkansas Times)

UA Little Rock researchers discover locations of missing Elaine 12 graves (Newswise)

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