CALS EOA—Expanding to Provide Context

Elaine Massacre defendants Ed Hicks, Frank Hicks, Frank Moore, J. C. Knox, Ed Coleman, and Paul Hall. Scipio A. Jones, the group’s counsel, stands to the left.

The CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas is a changing, evolving resource. This fact will, I hope, become even more evident as we approach the centennial of the Elaine Massacre of 1919. The Elaine Massacre was one of the entries with which we launched the CALS EOA back in 2006, but since then, we have added not only numerous entries that provide a broader context for the violence that happened in Phillips County—such as our entries on race riots and the “Red Scare”—but also entries that enrich our understanding of the people involved. In that latter category, we have Robert Hill, the founder of the union targeted by local white authorities; Edgar McHaney, a lawyer who worked with Scipio Jones to free the Elaine Twelve and later served on the Arkansas Supreme Court; and many of the Elaine Twelve, the African Americans sentenced to death following sham trials in Helena for their alleged role in the violence; entries online for the Elaine Twelve include William Wordlaw, Joseph Fox, Ed Ware, Frank Moore, Alfred Banks, and Albert Giles, with more in progress. The Elaine Massacre is but one subject, yet as we near its centennial, our understanding of it continues to grow, and so, too, does the CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas, in order that all Arkansans have access to the best and most complete history possible.

 

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