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Creator: A. J. Hoyt

Collection Number: M463

Title: Hoyt (A.J., State Detective) Letter

Dates: August 23, 1905

Abstract: The collection contains a three-page letter from State Detective A. J. Hoyt to the Chief of Police in Dallas, Texas, asking for help locating an escaped convict, R. L. Buchanan, who had been serving time for murder.

Biographical/Historical Note
In 1904, James K. Vardaman became governor of Mississippi and was renowned for his white supremacist platform that advocated violence against African Americans.  Despite his rhetoric that encouraged such violence, Vardaman was forced to take action against lynching and other racial hate crimes when bankers threatened to withdraw loans in the region and the flight of blacks left many areas in the state without laborers.  He hired A. J. Hoyt, a member of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, to investigate these crimes, and Hoyt proved quite capable.  His efforts effectively eradicated organized whitecapping, an anti-black movement that aimed to enforce “community” standards, in Mississippi.

Scope and Content Note
The collection contains one three-page letter concerning an escaped convict, R. L. Buchanan, wanted for murder, from State Detective Hoyt to the Chief of Police in Dallas, Texas.  Hoyt describes Buchanan’s character flaws, saying he is a “heavy drinker” and a “gambler with negroes.”  Hoyt also instructs the Dallas Chief of Police to “wire the Governor (Vardaman).”
The letter is on stationery from “The Collins House” in Houston, Mississippi, a boarding house run by “Mrs. M. P. Collins, Proprietress.”  The letterhead also advertises: “Everything New” and “Rates Two Dollars.”

Topics Covered
Pinkerton Detective Agency.
Vardaman, James Kimble, 1861-1930.

Administrative Information

Provenance: Donated by Diane Ross on August 21, 2004.

Restrictions on Use:  This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Preferred Citation Method:  Item, Title of collection, McCain Library & Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi.

Processing Information:  Processed by Lauren White.

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