Joplin: April 15th, 1903
Policeman C. Leslie was shot on April 14th while attempting to arrest a group of indigent African Americans at a rail-yard. An unnamed member of that group was taken into custody, only to be forcibly removed the next day by a riotous mob of White Joplin citizens. They hung him from a telephone pole four blocks from the police station and from there went to the Black side of town to continue venting their rage. Innocent Black Joplin citizens were stoned, their houses burned.
Eventually, as in Pierce City, the Black people of Joplin fled the violence.
I, uneducated and ignorant, once a slave, and now a free man, have lived in Joplin for about thirty years. I have been a property owner and taxpayer, and if I refuse to pay my aces by the law of my country my property would be taken away from me. As I ave it in my own name, you can see at once I must be a citizen of the city I call my home, Joplin. I suppose the money I have paid in the way of taxes has gone to school funds to educate people such as came to my house last Wednesday night and broke out my window panes and roused my wife and children and scared them nearly to death. I found them in a box car near the railroad tacked, crouched in there for a place of safety and I sit in my house and hear the hwling fiends utter oaths that drove me mad: 'Get out, niggers, this is a white man's town.
- An anonymous Black citizen of Joplin