Muddle Over Brownsville.

December 7, 1907


The Senate Committee on Military Affairs sends in a majority report stating “the black soldiers were responsible for the shooting and should be dismissed.” If a discharged soldier can prove his innocence he can reenlist.

Muddle Over Brownsville.
[Washington Post, December 3, ’07.]
There ls a bad mix-up in the Senate Committee on Military Affairs in its attempt to reach an agreement on the character and scope of the report which it will make to the Senate of its investigation of the affray at Brownsville, Texas, in August, 1906, which resulted in the dismissal of three companies of Negro troops from the army by President Roosevelt. After a long discussion yesterday the committee adjourned until Thursday. It is certain that its report will not be submitted to the Senate until next week.
The membership of the committee is very much divided. Senators Fulton, of Oregon and Hemenway of Indiana, about whose attitude there has been considerable uncertainty, made it plain at yesterdays meeting that they would join with the majority to sustain the contention of President Roosevelt that the Negro soldiers were responsible for "shooting up" Brownsville. But some of Republicans who will sign the majority report want to qualify their approval of the President's action in dismissing the Negro troops by recommending that all the discharged soldiers who can show that they were not concerned in the raid and did not try to conceal the identity of the guilty persons, shall be restored to the army.
The four Democrats who will join ln the majority report object to any such qualification. They hold that none of the discharged soldiers should be reinstated, and want to make a recommendation that all colored men shall be excluded from enlistment. The five Republicans who will join the Democrats in fixing the responsibility for the raid on the Negro troops will not go that far.
Senators Foraker. Scott. And Bulkeley, the Republicans who will submit a minority report, will hold that the evidence does not warrant fastening the guilt upon the discharged soldier, and may recommend that all the men discharged be restored to the army immediately. It seems to be pretty well established that three reports will be submitted by the committee.
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Benton Camper


“Muddle Over Brownsville.,” Black Virginia: The Richmond Planet, 1894-1909, accessed January 22, 2020,