The Color-Line in Boston

February 15, 1896


The writer calls for legal action against hotel proprietors who refused a respected man service because he was black.


The refusal of the proprietors of the Adams House, Parker House and Young's Hotel of Boston, Mass., to accommodate the Rt. Rev Benjamin W Arnett, senior bishop of the A. M. E. Church, Jan. 29, 1896, has created general surprise throughout the country and caused all manner of unfavorable comment to be directed against this northern city.
Bishop Arnett is a gentleman and a scholar, a man of wide spread influence among both races, and that he should be thus treated is as unfortunate as it is disgraceful.
We note that on Thursday night Feb 6, Councilman Ruffin of the city of Boston offered the following resolutions which were unanimously adopted:
Whereas, a distinguished divine Bishop Arnett, of Ohio, in the cause of Christianity visited our city; and
Whereas finding it necessary to apply for shelter at various public inns located in this city, licensed under our laws and amenable to the laws of our State, the said Bishop Arnett was, because of the color of his skin, refused accommodations, in direct violation of the law; therefore be it
Resolved, That the City Council voicing the sentiment of the people of Boston, condemn such discrimination and urge upon the district attorney the necessity of bringing the violator of our laws to a sure and speedy punishment.
Now will this district attorney dare to bring these hotel-keepers to justice? Will he use his efforts to have the good name of the city of Boston vindicated or will this outrageous insult of Bishop Arnett pass by without any positive action and the memory of it be as dream? We shall wait and see.
About this article

Location on Page

Upper Left Quadrant

Contributed By

Liam Eynan


“The Color-Line in Boston,” Black Virginia: The Richmond Planet, 1894-1909, accessed June 20, 2024,