TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa Historical Society received a four page letter from a woman in New York that provides a new, firsthand account of the aftermath of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
According to Tulsa Historical Society’s Executive Director Michelle Place, the woman sent the organization this letter in order to preserve another side of history.
“And [she said] ‘I feel like this is something I think should be preserved,’” Place told FOX23.
The letter dates June 28, 1921, less than one month after the massacre. Thomas Sharpe wrote to his parents in New York, and the woman who donated this letter explained her brother gave it to her 20 years ago.
She recalled the letter was found in the wall of their New York home.
While parts of the letter are Sharp’s observations about Tulsa’s oil industry, other parts of the letter contain disturbing recollections of the darkest chapter in the city’s history.
The letter describes what Sharp — a white man — saw as he drove through Tulsa’s Greenwood District just days after the massacre.
“There wasn’t a tree left standing, and the burning, and the devastation,” Sharp’s family recalled. “And [the letter] moves into very derogatory white supremacy terms and language.”
In part of the letter contains especially disturbing language:
“They tell of 100 [residents of Greenwood] barricading themselves in the church and shooting every white they saw. It was necessary to mount the machine gun to get them out of the church.”
For the full letter, you can check out the Tulsa Historical Society’s website.
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