“Alleged Mixed Blood Raises Row in School,” from the French Broad Hustler, Hendersonville, N.C., September 21, 1916.
Wake County Having Trouble in One School Over Race Question—Appeal Availeth Not
County Superintendent D.F. Giles of Wake County strove to open Mount Vernon school one day last week but when he closed his beautiful appeal to the manhood of the place, parents led away their children and precipitated the old trouble.
The school failed last year when J.R. Medlin’s children, about the likeliest looking to be found, it is said, came for registration. Mr. Medlin’s children were pronounced pure-blooded by the Superior court, by the Supreme court and by all the law that could be scraped up. They were therefore within their perfect rights. But the neighborhood swears by all the horns of the altar that they have an infinitesimal tinge of black blood in them and the community will not support the school.
Last year when Superintendent Giles placed his teachers out there the school broke into hostile camp and a subscription session was taught near that place, which is three miles from Raleigh. It was thought the prejudice was overcome and it was announced that 40 or 50 would stick this year. They did show up, and Mr. Giles is up against immemorial trouble.
The community has not persecuted the Medlins. It has simply refused to attend the school since the Medlin mixed blood controversy arose. When it came up the board of education ruled against the Medlins. They appealed to the Superior court and there the jury deciding the issues of fact pronounced the children of pure blood. The appeal went up and Chief Justice Clark, writing the opinion, relied on the jury. Justice Walker dissented. Yesterday Professor Giles tried to appeal to the community by telling it that its citizenship, good and true, had decided the children all white. The patrons demurred to his flattery. They said the jury had been picked for a peculiar purpose.
Mr. Giles had commissioned Mr. and Mrs. R.L. Hoke to teach the school. These good people are relatives of the soldiers and jurists who bear that name, it is said. The teachers began as though they had never heard of trouble. They weren’t troubling trouble until trouble troubled them. Which was uncommonly early.