skip to main content

H.Res. 917: Condemning the atrocities that occurred in Forsyth County, Georgia, in 1912 in which over 1,100 Black Americans were terrorized and driven out by white supremacist mobs, including dozens of Black Americans who owned land in the county, and reaffirming the House of Representatives’ commitment to combating white supremacy, hatred, and injustice.


The text of the resolution below is as of Feb 9, 2022 (Introduced).


IV

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. RES. 917

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 9, 2022

(for herself, Ms. Williams of Georgia, Mrs. McBath, Mr. David Scott of Georgia, Mr. Bishop of Georgia, and Mr. Johnson of Georgia) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

RESOLUTION

Condemning the atrocities that occurred in Forsyth County, Georgia, in 1912 in which over 1,100 Black Americans were terrorized and driven out by white supremacist mobs, including dozens of Black Americans who owned land in the county, and reaffirming the House of Representatives’ commitment to combating white supremacy, hatred, and injustice.

Whereas until 1912, Forsyth County, Georgia, was home to over 1,100 Black residents, at least 58 of whom owned land in the county;

Whereas in 1912, a White woman named Ellen Grice accused two Black men, Toney Howell and Isaiah Pirkle, of attempting to rape her;

Whereas, that same month, an 18-year old White woman named Mae Crow was murdered in a crime that remains unsolved in Forsyth County, Georgia;

Whereas Rob Edwards, Ernest Knox, and Oscar Daniel, Black residents living in the area, were immediately accused of Mae Crow’s murder, without due process;

Whereas Ernest Knox was coerced by a prominent resident of the area into confessing the crime and implicating the others;

Whereas Rob Edwards was forcibly removed from his jail cell and lynched in the town square of Cumming, Georgia, and Oscar Daniel and Ernest Knox were denied due process, convicted in a one-day trial, and publicly hanged shortly thereafter;

Whereas White men on horseback referred to as night riders rode throughout Forsyth County, terrorizing families and burning Black churches and businesses;

Whereas following these events, nearly the entire Black population of Forsyth County was driven out, and the county continued to have little to no Black residents for nearly a century;

Whereas at least 58 Black landowners in Forsyth County had their property taken from them without just compensation, or were forced to sell their land under threat of lynching, arson, and mob attack;

Whereas many poor Black residents were driven from their homes and sought refuge in cities hundreds of miles away;

Whereas the story of Forsyth County is only one of many such atrocities and horrific incidents, and shows the lasting impact of white supremacy in our Nation; and

Whereas the theft of property from Black landowners as well as the displacement caused by the terrorizing of the Black community in Forsyth County shows how historic racism and injustice has significantly contributed to persistent wealth inequality between Black and White Americans in the United States: Now, therefore, be it

That the House of Representatives—

(1)

condemns the actions of the white supremacist mobs that drove out nearly the entire Black population of Forsyth County and the lynchings of Rob Edwards, Oscar Daniel, and Ernest Knox;

(2)

honors the memory of the victims, and acknowledges the lasting impact that this incident has had on the Black community of North Georgia;

(3)

expresses support for the designation of a national day of remembrance for the victims of forced migrations of Black Americans throughout our Nation’s history; and

(4)

reaffirms the commitment of the United States Federal Government to combat white supremacy, and seek justice and reconciliation for the mistakes of its past, present, and future.