A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

African Americans in the Matawan Journal - 11 July 1918

Two front page articles from The Matawan Journal, 11 July 1918 offer insights into the lives of African-Americans in the Matawan area at the onset of America's involvement in World War I. The first tells how African Americans were subjected to the new draft. The second tells the story of an African American's struggles in the local defense industry.

Eight Colored Men In Next Call

A call for eight colored men from this district has been received but the date of their entrainment has not yet been announced. Ten men are to be asked to appear in the Borough Hall, Keyport, of which the last two named are for a reserve in the event that some of the others do not present themselves. Those to go are: Oscar Herbert Seruby, Hayward Johnson, William Reed, Henry Thornton, Ernest D Jones, Benj II Cranshaw, Ernest Fowler, Harvey Quarles, Harold Holmes, and Asbury Carney.

"Butsy" Holmes Acquitted: Jury Decided He Was Not Guilty of Malicious Mischief

This article tells how Edward "Butsy" Holmes quit his job at a local nickel plating company in a dispute over wages. His employers at the Munning-Loeb plant accused him of returning to the job and filing down some furnace points in retaliation, shutting down the furnace for two weeks. The jury acquitted him of the charges, seemingly agreeing with his testimony that he had filed the furnace points weeks earlier to improve the flow of fuel oil. Holmes contended that his actions did not cause the furnace shutdown. The plant was doing work for the US Government, likely producing nickel-plated war materiel, like bullet casings or ammunition boxes.


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