|Marcus Garvey - Message from Tombs Prison|
|June 19, 1923|
|I am satisfied to be a victim of an international "frame-up," a conspiracy, not only engaged in by members of the opposite race, but including selfish and jealous members of my own. "It has taken my enemies more than ordinary effort to injure my fair name. They have tried to rob me of the precious treasure, but that cannot soil my soul and conscience. "I am sorry that the name of the United States should be drawn into a "frame-up" and conspiracy to "get me," but the Government is not at fault. We have and must expect misrepresentations in Government, as well as in other human activities; hence I shall not entirely blame the Government for my present position. "In the trial of the case, I have had occasion to observe the ferocious attacks and unfair methods of Assistant District Attorney Maxwell Mattuck, and his hirelings. If he were a typical representative of our Government, then I should have no hope for America, but I feel sure that we have men of honor in this Government, and this great country who will jealously guard its fair name. "Mattuck through his agents, used the press to stir up white public opinion against me during the trial. They made a cowardly noise about the African Legion, which they know to be untrue. To imagine that Mattuck would be afraid of Negroes in an overwhelming population of a well prepared race. The thing is shameful and a disgrace to white bravery. I will dismiss the evil thought for what it is worth. It shows however how scared some people are. I know I have been sacrificed by the jury to bolster up the reputation of Mattuck. I am no lawyer, but in the face of evidence and the conduct of the case, Mattuck had easily lost to the defense. His handling of the ease was a mean job and low down, it lacked dignity even though he was assisted by the shrewd and able jurist, Judge Julian Mack. "The peculiar and outstanding feature of the whole case is that I am being punished for the crime of the Jew Silverstone, Who during my absence in the West Indies took $36,000 of the Black Star money, without being able to account for it, and which has caused the ruin of the company. "I was prosecuted in this by Maxwell Mattuck, another Jew, and I am to be sentenced by Judge Julian Mack the eminent Jewish Jurist. Truly I may say, "I was going down to Jericho and fell among friends." "The Jury remained out for eleven hours after being directed twice by a skillful Judge. After the verdict, there was not one member of the Jury who could look me in the face. I am sorry for these twelve men, for the innocence of my soul shall rest with them, and haunt their consciences through the coming years. " My work is just begun, and as I lay down my life for the cause of my people, so do I feel that succeeding generations shall be inspired by the sacrifice that I made for rehabilitation of our race. Christ died to make men free, I shall die to give courage and inspiration to my race." Returning Thanks. June 20, 1923. To the Members and Friends of the Universal Negro Improvement Association: I take this opportunity to return thanks to you for the splendid interest you have manifested in me during the trial of my case. I bear with me the kindliest feelings toward you, I commend to your care and attention, my wife, who has been my helpmate and inspiration for years. She has suffered with me in the cause of service to my race, and if I have any sorrow, it is only on her account, that I cannot be alongside of her at all times to protect her from the evil designs of the enemy, but I commend her to your care and keeping and feel that you will do for her as much as you have done for me. Her tale of woe has not been told, but in my belief that truth will triumph over wrong, I feel sure that a day will come when the whole world will know the story of her noble sacrifice for the cause that I love so much. With very best wishes, I have the honor to be, Your obedient Servant, MARCUS GARVEY President-General Universal Negro Improvement Association. Interest and Sympathy. June 25, 1923. To the Members and Friends of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, Liberty Hall, N.Y. "Ladies and Gentlemen: "I have been informed by my wife of the keen interest and deep sympathy you have shown in my case and imprisonment. This, as I have always said, was to be expected. "No one, in a day like this, can successfully lead a movement of reform like ours without making enemies and causing plotters to seek his ruin. Imprisonment or death means nothing to me in my service to our race. I am only expecting that you will hold fast to the glorious faith and work unceasingly for the triumph of our sacred cause. "You must pray for strong men and women to grow up among you to continue leading the race as your martyrs and heroes fall. Fall they must, as they do appear, but there must be a continuous procession until the goal is reached. "You must not mistake lip-service and noise for bravery and service. We have been so deceived for too long. True courage, bravery and real manhood cannot fail to show itself when embodied in the individual. It has no time and no place, it is ever evident. "Men and women who will bow, cringe and hide when the cloud seems dark are those whom we should avoid in choosing leaders. True leadership looks at dreadful odds, and smiles at them for the cause that needs assistance. I say to you, cheer up. A better and brighter day is in store-that day when Ethiopia shall in truth stretch forth her hands unto God. MARCUS GARVEY President-General Universal Negro Improvement Association. Arousing Public Opinion. July 1, 1923. Members and Friends of the Negro Race: I have been informed of your efforts on my behalf, that of holding a protest meeting to draw the attention of the public of our great country to the injustice that has been done me in the name of our great government. I appreciate very highly the step you have taken to arouse public opinion. I have an abiding faith in the justice of the people, and believe that when the truth is brought home to them they will not be slow to register their protest against any and all acts of injustice. I need not repeat that I have been "framed up" and sacrificed because of prejudice and the political and organization designs of my enemies. I believe that when my case is properly presented to the higher and responsible officials of our government they will see that justice is done, and that they will not hesitate in upholding the sacred principles of the Constitution. America is founded upon truth, liberty and justice, and these, I feel sure, will not be denied the lowest of her citizens. I desire that you be peaceful and loyal in your assembly and that you be mindful of the fact that I am always willing to suffer for the cause of my race. and the general uplift of humanity. Be cheerful, be loyal, be firm, be men, is the prayer of your humble and obedient servant. MARCUS GARVEY President-General Universal Negro Improvement Association. "All Is Well." July 7, 1923. Fellow Members of the Universal Negro Improvement Association: It is indeed a pleasure to me to send you a message of love and cheer at this time, when you are all anxious to learn oŁ my condition. What more can I say to you than that all is well? I am not peeved nor sad because of my confinement. Surely not. And I hope you are not thinking thus of me. The road is hard and rocky, and we must make up our minds to travel the whole way. I am only a part of the journey, and the end is still afar. Our generation is only signaling to the watchman on duty, the sentinel that guards our entry into the realm of a future that shall give to the world a nation and a flag that shall compel the respect of all men. It is for you to keep up the fight. Be brave soldiers in the cause of African redemption, and never say die! With abundance of good wishes, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant, MARCUS GARVEY President-General Universal Negro Improvement Association Insistence For Justice July 16, 1923. "To the Negro People of Liberty Hall and of the World: "Your insistence for justice on my behalf is very much appreciated by me. "Whether your effort is successful or not will not disturb me in the conclusion I have reached. "Our struggle for right and justice is eternal. So long as man through conceit and selfishness arrogates to himself the authority, because he is strong, to abuse and trample upon the rights of his fellows, we will ever find cause for protest. "The strong, through their unfair methods and practice of injustice will not always last. Their day and time will be numbered, so let us work and pray for the restoration of Ethiopia's glory, for in that time, and then only, will black men enjoy the full rights of liberty and justice. "Keep up the spirit of service to Africa and to the race. Fight the good battle of organization to the end, and surely victory will crown our efforts. "With deepest affection and best wishes, "I remain, Your obedient servant, MARCUS GARVEY President-General Universal Negro Improvement Association. Posterity Will Not Forget. July 22, 1923. Members and Friends of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, Liberty Hall: Again it affords me a great deal of pleasure to salute you with a few words of comfort and cheer. Your splendid demonstration during my imprisonment for our cause will, I feel sure, go down in history as the sign by which we conquer. No other people or organization could have done more than you, under the circumstances, to prove your loyalty to one of your own who was called upon to pay the price, small though it be, for the advancement of African redemption. Posterity will not forget you, for truly the historian will dip his pen into the ink of truth and record your deeds as they stand out nobly, patriotically and loyally. Our cause is won because of our confidence; it is lost because of our lack of faith; but by your actions we know that Ethiopia will triumph and Africa will be free. It is a new experience to be in jail, but life is made up of variety, and I have absolutely no objection in knowing and seeing everything, so that I can, from a fullness of knowledge, better serve the cause of my race. It is not likely that our African jails of the future will be as massive as the one in which I now have my residence, but there will be improvements I hope, for the accommodation of those who will be in for good and those who will be awaiting their "TURN OF JUSTICE." If you can imagine what is in my mind, then you ought to be truly cheerful and happy. With love and best wishes, Your obedient servant, MARCUS GARVEY President-General Universal Negro Improvement Association. The Cost of Service. July 29, 1923. "Members and Friends of the Universal Negro Improvement Association: "I trust you are not over-worried and disturbed over my continued confinement without bail, other than to realize that all those who make efforts to serve humanity are bound by the same law of suffering and injustice. "I fully calculated the cost of service to my race, and know that what is being done to me is only a part of the price I must pay for daring to arouse the consciousness of four hundred million Negroes to the hope of Empire. "But a few days ago my attention was drawn to the new slogan for Africa on the part of the Europeans 'Keep Africa for the White Man'. In this slogan lies the doom of our race. Because I attempted to combat the sinister effort with the retort of 'Africa for the Africans', I find myself where I am. "You have enough intelligence to know that I am not here because I committed any crime against society or defrauded anyone, but because I have led the way to Africa's redemption. "Keep your spirits high and yield nothing in the fight we are making to emancipate our race and free our Motherland. "With God's choicest blessings, I remain your obedient servant, MARCUS GARVEY President-General Universal Negro Improvement Association. Anniversary of Convention Aug. 1, 1923. "Officers, Members and Friends of The Universal Negro Improvement Association, Liberty Hall, New York City. "To-day marks the anniversary day of our annual international convention, which is being celebrated all over the world. For reasons, we do not assemble ourselves in international conclave this year, but the divisions are holding local conventions. I trust, as you gather in your local conventions, that you will be mindful of the fact that our greatest work is still ahead. The best you can do to-day is to re-dedicate yourselves to the grand and noble cause of Africa's redemption. "Personally and physically I am prevented from being with you, but in the spirit I am one of your assemble, and your joy shall be my joy, and your sorrow shall be my sorrow. "We shall look forward to many more anniversaries of our convention, and wait and watch until the anniversary of our REAL emancipation and Africa's redemption comes around. "Be of good cheer and remember that I am with you always. "I pray God's blessing on your meeting, and hope for a speedy realization of our dreams. "With my best wishes, I have the honor to be, Your obedient servant, MARCUS GARVEY President-General Universal Negro Improvement Association. Holding the Fort. Aug. 2, 1923. To the Members and Friends of the Universal Negro Improvement Association: Gratefully do I thank you for the wonderful spirit you have shown in continuing and promulgating the work and ideals of the Universal Negro Improvement Association. Nothing in the world affords me greater pleasure than to learn of the spiritual earnestness of those of you who pledge yourselves to "hold the fort" for our ideals until our generations rise in their consciousness to the salvation of their own souls, and the redemption of their own country. The wait seems long, and the distance is far, but nothing worthwhile is achieved in a day. Have patience, be strong and firm, and as surely as the night changes into day, so also shall our condition of oppression and wrong change into liberty and justice. Real members and co-workers of the Association as you are, make me feel that our time, energy and sacrifice are not in vain, but a meager contribution to a noble cause that shall live when all human opposition will have crumbled and the ashes of our enemies mingled with the dust. Time is eternal and the Everlasting Watchman, who stands at the Gate of Eternity, beckons to us; and we, in humble obedience, stretch out our hands as our "Princes rise from the dust of past ages." Why be sad? Have you not heard the news? It is not to-day, it is not to-morrow, but God knows when, and the time shall come when Ethiopia will be free and our race redeemed. Carry on the work of love! Hold high the banner of the red, black and green and stumble not until the Cape's silvery waters roll back the echo: "Ethiopia, thou Land of our Fathers." Carry on! Carry on! Is the wish and prayer of Your obedient servant,|
MARCUS GARVEY President-General Universal Negro Improvement Association.