Caswell County Fears That Night Riders May Burn Tobacco Barns
Threatening Notice Posted on the Barns Terrify Tobacco Growers.
BARNS ARE FULL OF TOBACCO
Reidsville, N.C., Oct. 3  -- "Outrages similar to the deeds of the night riders in Kentucky are threatened in Caswell County, and the independent tobacco growers, especially in the neighborhood of Purley and Blanche, are greatly alarmed as a result of notices which have been posted on tobacco barns and other places where they might be read. While as yet no deed of violence has been reported, a number of the farmers have grave fears that their crop might be destroyed.
"The notices appear to have been freely posted for a distance of about eight miles by some unknown parties, and all of them warn the independent growers to pool their tobacco and not sell it at auction on the warehouse floor. 'If you do, you must bear the consequences.' Another notice reads: 'Pool your tobacco or you will smell fire.' Neither of the above notices was signed, but the supposition is that they were inspired and written by parties who are in sympathy with the movement of the Bright Tobacco Growers' Protective Association of Virginia and North Carolina, the object of which organization is to discontinue the placing of tobacco on the warehouse floors to be sold at auction, but to place it in warehouses operated under the auspices of the association, to be held until prices deemed just and reasonable can be secured.
"In short, the union farmers hope by this method of pooling tobacco to advance the price and believe that they, as producers, should fix the price rather than the buyer. In justice, however, the Farmers' Association, it can be stated that neither as a body nor as individuals have any deeds of violence or threatening methods been countenanced. The officers of the association and the leading members in public speeches made on various occasions have violently opposed any rash act, and declare that the purpose of the association was to advance the price of tobacco only by honest and legal methods. The Tobacco Growers' Protective Association is backed by some of the most prominent and respected farmers of this section, as well as many substantial business men, and the body should not be held responsible for the act committed by any individual.
"The fact that practically all of this season's crop of tobacco is not in the barns increases the alarm of the Caswell farmers, who are inclined to take the notice seriously. All efforts to find out who are responsible for the threatening notices have proved futile."
Source: Daily News (Greensboro, NC), 4 October 1908.
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