Skip to comments.U.S. Murders in 1926
Posted on 04/11/2013 6:56:22 PM PDT by Maelstorm
To Chicago went the doubtful distinction of having the most homicides510; New York City, with approximately twice the population of Chicago, had 340. In twenty-eight of the leading cities the rate was 9.9 per 100,000, as against 11.0 in 1925. "Slight as it is, the reduction is encouraging," observes the collector of these statistics, Dr. Frederick L. Hoffman, writing in The Spectator, a New York City insurance journal. "But," he adds, "our murder record of approximately 12,000 persons each year is a most serious indictment of American civilization, and evidence of lawlessness which has no counterpart in any other country in the world." As if to confirm the statement, the Baltimore Sun finds that there were only 17 murders in London in 1926, and that there were arrests in 16 of the 17 cases. In Dr. Hoffman's statistics, we are reminded by the Baltimore paper, no distinction is made between degrees of murder and voluntary manslaughter and justifiable homicide. All are included in death by violence.
I t will probably astonish most readers," notes the Providence Journal, "to learn that in the matter of homicides, Jacksonville, Florida, headed the list of American cities, having a rate of 75.9 per 100,000 population." Tampa, Birmingham, and Memphis come next on Dr. Hoffman's list. In an effort to learn just why these prosperous Southern cities led the other 114, telegrams were dispatched to several newspapers. According to the Jacksonville Florida Times-Union:
"Jacksonville's rate is going to be better the next time an inquiry is made. Already, within the present year, there has been noticed a speedier handling of criminals, and juries have been found that would convict, and judges unafraid to rule for the safety of the people and against the wrong-doers who have violated laws of God and man.
"A movement is under way to reduce crime in Florida. The legislature in session recently took cognizance of the need for more stringent laws regarding serious crimes and did what was possible to bring about changes. Florida is undertaking to check the crime wave through every possible means, and proposes to give speedy trial to those evil-doers who are apprehended and to award such penalties as will be effective in preventing repetition where convictions are obtained.
"Perhaps the placing of the record clearly before the people may bring about a better state of affairs, through sectional and State and city pride."
Replies were not received from Tampa and Memphis, but the staggering killing record of these and other Southern cities, believes the Baltimore Sun, "is due to their large negro population." Says the Birmingham News:
"The announcement that Birmingham ranks fourth among American cities in the proportion of homicides to population in 1926 is a summons to serious thinking and sound action which this community should not fail to heed.
"In the light of the record of 124 murders, the question suggests itself: 'Have we been so intent on capitalizing the resources and opportunities at hand, that we have lost sight of larger values?'
"The social implications of the situation are easily grasped. This is in many respects a pioneer city. In less than a generation, it has changed from a small town to a great metropolis. It has drawn to it a large body of people from the farm, the factory and other fields. It is continuing to act as such a magnet. The presence of uprooted folk, finding themselves in a strange environment, of industrial transients, constantly on the move, hag made for a certain flux. The city's life is not yet crystallizedwe have not yet found our soulthe process of stabilization checked by accessions of populations and interests, has not yet given Birmingham the character and form which is described by the term 'settled down.'
"In the hectic atmosphere generated by such a social situation, the things which make for crime, the forces which drive toward bloodshed, are likely to inflict themselves on the life of the city, unless ample preventive measures are taken by the authorities."
Just why there should be 104 homicides in Jacksonville, a city of 137,000, and but two in Grand Rapids, a much larger city, "is a question worth a good deal of study," thinks the New York World. To cite another instance: There were 75 homicides in Memphis, a city of 177,000, but only three in Worcester, Massachusetts, a city of approximately the same size, according to Dr. Hoffman. The Atlanta Constitution gives us a Southern view of the problem:
"These figures invite careful study, analysis, and remedy. Is it because the murderer escapes justice more in the South than elsewhere, thereby lessening the deterring influence of the gallows or the chair? Can it be possible that liquor flows more freely in the South?
"The Southern cities deserve a better record than this. Jacksonville is a splendid city of commerce and industry and shipping, with a fine citizenship. Why should Jacksonville have five human killings to one in Chicago, on a per capita basis?
"The total of murders in the 118 cities in 1926 was 3,451 persons. This is a reproach on the weakness of our criminal laws, the loopholes through which murderers can escape or indefinitely delay punishment, and upon the administration of criminal laws.
"Homicides are invited by such laws. It is safe to say in those States where the records are best the laws are strongest."
Certainly, agrees the Detroit News:
"It is significant that in Massachusetts, which has quite a large foreign population, where judges are appointed by the Governor to hold office during good behavior, and where justice is comparatively swift, the homicide record is low. It may be that a study of the Massachusetts system would be a wise first step for Michigan and other States to take."
"Of all the large cities, Boston has the lowest homicide rate," we are reminded by the Boston Post. Moreover, points out the Providence Journal, "it is not the largest cities that have proportionately the most murders." Continues The Journal:
"There are far too many murders in the United States every year, and this disagreeable prominence among the nations of the earth is pretty sure to continue until some drastic readjustment is effected in our administration of criminal justice."
Some of the reasons for the unwholesome distinction which the United States enjoys in the matter of homicides, declares the New York World, are "the mawkish sentimentality shown by the public toward murderers, the tortuous working of the law, racial enmity, and the general sale of firearms." One of the underlying causes of the murder tendency, declares Dr. Hoffman, is the "enormous increase in wealth." To quote from his report in
"Our enormous increase in wealth is in itself one of the underlying causes of the murder tendency. Temptation to murder, as well as to less violent crimes, increases on every hand. Methods of murder are becoming more refined, more subtle and more difficult of detection. It is unquestionably true that murder in this country has become an established trade on the part of many. Police protection should not be in proportion to population, but in proportion to wealth and the accumulation of property. The best hope for the future lies in better law enforcement, in speedier trials, and in sentences more appropriate to the nature of the crime committed.
"The tabulation in detail for 1926 concerns 118 American cities. The combined homicide death rate of these cities for 1926 was 10.1 per 100,000, as compared with 10.5 for the previous year. The homicide death rate increased in 37 cities and either remained stationary or declined in 81 cities. This, then, can be looked upon as evidence of progress. No homicides were reported in 18 of the 118 cities. The cities without homicides during 1926 were:
"Altoona, Pennsylvania; Binghamton, New York; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Chelsea and Gloucester, Massachusetts; Hamtramck, Michigan; Haverill, Massachusetts; Hoboken, New Jersey; Lansing, Michigan; Malden and New Bedford, Massa-chusetts; New Britain, Connecticut; Newton, Massachusetts;
Newport, Rhode Island; Pasadena, California; Salem and Somerville, Massachusetts; and Troy, New York.
"It is gratifying to be able to note a slight decline in the murder death rate of Chicago, which in 1925 had a rate of 18.8, against 16.7 during 1926. There was also a decline in the murder death rate of New York City from 6.4 to 5.7 per 100,000 of population, while for the city of Philadelphia, the rate declined from 9.7 to 8.6.
"The cities in which the rate for 100,000 population was 18.0 or more are these:
Jacksonville, Fla........... 76.9 Tampa, Fla............... 67.6 Birmingham, Ala........... 58.8 Memphis, Tenn............ 42.4 New Orleans, La. .......... 33.7 Kansas City, Mo.......... 32.3 Dallas, Tex................ 32.0 Charleston. S. C........... 29.7 Nashville, Tenn............ 29.2 Mobile, Ala............... 28.4 Louisville, Ky. ............ 26.7 Houston, Tex............. 25.8 Detroit, Mich............. 25.3 Sacramento, Calif.......... 21.8 Pueblo, Colo. ............. 20.5 Kansas City. Kans......... 18.8 St. Louis, Mo............. 18.6 Cincinnati, 0.............. 18.2 Winston-Salem, N. C....... 18.1
Source: The Literary Digest - July 2, 1927
Gun control is much like other issues the left likes to hype. Its all smoke and mirrors. All of the gun control legislation has not achieved markedly better result than nearly a 100 years ago. Even though there are some years where numbers are significantly worse while others are significantly better the key take away is that low homicide rates can be accomplished and were accomplished without all the bureaucracy we have today. The idea that gun control is essential is just not true.
Here are the country murder rates going back to the turn of the century. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate_by_decade
The amount of murders is not a reflection on the United States, but is a reflection of the blacks and Hispanics in the United States, since they commit the murders.
If the United States were made up of caucasians we would have one of the lowest murder rates in the world.
Samo samo for Chicago in 2012.
I’ve not done the analysis but I think its more a morality issue than a race issue. You raise any group with what is an amoral dog eat dog view of the world you see a spike in homicides.
Guess we're not going to see any opinions like that in tomorrow's Baltimore Sun. :)
Someone says’ it’s the “amount of Negros”.
Another says it’s the easy availability of guns.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Shoot, I guess it’s just easier to get rid of the guns...And when that doesn’t work? Well you know who’s next.
I believe that I have seen stats that would render that untrue. I’m too lazy to look now (”sorta” watching a dvd with the g-kids) but I’m going to see if I can find that data later and relate it back to if that is ok?
They will never get rid of the guns from people who are not in legal possession of them.
Yes: they will take guns from legal owners, but the old story, when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns will never be wrong.
What they are doing with the new laws is making thousands upon thousands of outlaws, by forcing Americans who refuse to go along with the destruction of the Constitution into hiding the weapons they have a legitimate right to own.
Jacksonville FL has a population of well over 800,000, not 137,000.
That stat is for 1926, not today.
I think they are talking about 1920’s Jacksonville.
Oh, OK. Jacksonville had 137,00 in the 1920s. I read story quickly and that was not clear to me.
I'd narrow it down to blacks. On an age-adjusted basis, Hispanics offend at only a slightly higher rate than whites. Ron Unz has the goods.
Is this true? Do you have a source for this?
Using New Hampshire as a surrogate for an all white U.S. that would be true for the world outside of Japan, Singapore and one or two small Asian countries.
Open your eyes, become your own source.
Have you been sleeping.
Don’t you know what is going on?
My source is right out there for anyone to see.
Look at where the great number of murders are occurring.
Oy yah we get a crazy once in a while but the greatset source of murder in this country is in the black community.
Do you need a source for that statement too?
Sure it’s ok, let me know if you find it.
I’m retracting my previous statement. I did review and found what I was reading was outdated.