Article reveals Tate Brady's checkered past

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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 9/02/2011 10:11 am Published: 9/01/2011 10:32 pm

Tulsa ---

Could it be a dark side of Tulsa kept in the shadows for decades?

A report about one of Tulsa’s founding fathers entitled, “The Nightmare of Dreamland” paints a picture of Tate Brady as a leader in the Ku Klux Klan.

It alleges he “tortured” people, and fostered an atmosphere of racism.

The article is receiving national attention and causing a lot of people to question what we think we know about Tulsa’s history, and what may have been covered up.

The Brady District, The Brady Mansion and The Brady Theater; his name is all over Tulsa, but do we really know who Tate Brady was?

One local author says he does now, and he’s revealing it to the world.

"He didn't view African-Americans as human beings, and he sought through his political power to keep them separate from white Tulsa,” says author Lee Roy Chapman.

After years of research, Chapman is opening Pandora’s Box. He says Tate Brady, one of Tulsa’s most prominent leaders from its early days, was a racist Klan leader who tortured Union members.

"They were in a union that was anti-war and anti-capitalist and you know 40 of these rogue, masked men took them from police custody and took them out,” says Chapman.

"According to all 17 members that were tarred, it was Tate Brady that actually applied the boiling tar to their backs, which had been whipped,” he says.

Chapman’s findings have been published in the September issue of “This Land.”

"This article was meticulously and exhaustively researched. It's won the support of nationally recognized historians who truly understand the riot,” says This Land editor Michael Mason.

He is referring to the Tulsa Race Riots of 1921 when armed white men looted, burned and destroyed Tulsa’s flourishing black community, known as “Black Wall Street.” The Red Cross estimates more than 300 people were killed, and 1200 homes were destroyed.

Chapman says Tate Brady contributed to that atmosphere of racism and hatred.

"This Land" says it tried to contact the Brady family for comment.

"Tate Brady's great granddaughter sent us a really inflammatory email and she doubted the legitimacy of the research, and she was implying that he had actually help shelter people during the riot,” says Mason.

Nonetheless, the paper is standing by its story.

"The fact of the matter is… that we have Brady's own testimony talking about his Klan involvement. We have witnesses that identified him at the scene of the torture. We have tons of documentation connecting him with the Klan,” says Mason.

And yet, his name is respected in Tulsa. Through the years, has history been rewritten, and if so, why?

“This side of the story has not been told and we have millions of dollars being poured into the Brady District downtown,” says Chapman.

If you would like to know more about the article and Tate Brady, a panel discussion will be held on September 13th at the Greenwood Cultural Center. The discussion will begin at 7:00pm.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Rickr - 9/2/2011 9:31 PM
0 Votes
Why can't people just let go of the past and focus on the future? People are finding it much to easy to be offended about things. Hey, it offends me that I offend you! Anyway, I'm sure you can find fault with anyone at some time or another because no one is perfect. I think people complaining about Brady make about as much sense as if someone was to say we should strike down Martin Luther King because he spent some time in jail and we shouldn't be honoring a person that broke the law.

MichaelTaylor - 9/2/2011 6:15 PM
0 Votes
Very well said kgregory. Unwashed Mass...At least the North came to their senses and realized the error of their ways. However, the South chose to fight and die to keep humans enslaved. You do the math.

Unwashed Mass - 9/2/2011 3:44 PM
0 Votes
Saying everything about the former Confederacy is evil is a very myopic view if history. How many years was slavery legal in the northern states? As far as this article, was any independent verification offered?

irwindale - 9/2/2011 12:32 PM
0 Votes
Well all I can say is I have found Tulsans to be racists(both)and to think this kind of history should be left in the past is why you Tulsans will repeat history. How many times have you heard posters comment on north Tulsa. I knew Gene and he was at our house several times over the years. Nice enough guy but the apple did not fall far from the tree.

kgregory - 9/2/2011 12:14 PM
1 Vote
And as a Brady Heights neighborhood resident, the recent publication and airing of this story has caused a lot of worry among neighborhood residents (especially the Brady Mansion). There have already been 'protest' signs hung around the Brady District but we are concerned over this geting more out of hand and there being any 'non-civil protesting.' At what point (FOX) does this surpass educating the public and become sensationalism??

kgregory - 9/2/2011 12:09 PM
0 Votes
Michael thoughts exactly.

dikkrowland - 9/2/2011 8:17 AM
0 Votes
I AGREE with watchdog. Tulsey town was founded by a Black Creek Indian by the name of Perryman Brady just married the woman who had the land of what is known as the brady district

watchdog11 - 9/2/2011 1:26 AM
0 Votes
Of course the Bradys heirs should be left alone, we don't get to pick our ancestors, anyway, the Muskogee Creek Indians founded "Tulsey Town",not Tate Brady, he just stepped in and re-created it in his own image, and the results speak for themselves folks. Most Tulsans today would rather claim Tulsa was founded by a cruel, racist b%$#@(* than admit it was founded by Native Americans, so have we really learned anything or moved beyond racism, I think not.

Insider - 9/2/2011 12:09 AM
0 Votes
And I see where you're going with the Gacy thing. The current generation of Bradys had nothing to do with Tate's crimes. They should be left alone.

Insider - 9/1/2011 11:47 PM
0 Votes
Michael, you have made some great points here. And I already knew about the founding of the Ku Klux Klan, it was Democrats that created that mess. I agree that we need to let go of the past to move on but I also believe that sometimes we must take a look at the past to prevent similar mistakes in the future. There are countless problems this country faces today because we didn’t pay enough attention to past events and warnings. So I mostly agree with you but wanted to add my own thoughts to yours.
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