100-YEARS-AGO: "KILL ALL WHITES IN SALFORD" THREAT MADE
As I have written in earlier articles there was a spate of racial tension in Salford around the Greengate and Adelphi areas, these areas were populated by a lot of black seaman, mainly from Africa who had been paid off at Salford Docks and continued to reside here.
The Salford City Reporter often carried out stories about these new residents and sadly often in in offensive terms, which was par for the course, 100 years ago and happily no longer the case.
This story is from October 1919 and concerns four black men, none of whom resided in Salford who appeared at the Magistrates Court charged with, "Behaving in a manner likely to cause a breach of of the peace" and more seriously one of the men, Thomas Momo was charged with threatening to shoot Elizabeth Donohue and Mary Ellen Jones, also with assaulting Inspector Kelly and carrying a pistol without a licence.
Again the Salford City Reporter used inflammatory headlines when they covered this story, Threatening Nig**r scare in the Adelphi area, "Will Kill All Whites"
The Court was told that John Momo, Thomas O'Koro, Richard Dixon and James Andrews who all resided at Carter Street, Manchester were seen in Artillery Street, Adelphi and Momo was brandishing a revolver.
A strange case then unravelled before the Court as the witnesses and accused told their side of the story.
Mrs Donohue told the Court that she was on her doorstep talking to a neighbour when John Momo walked up to her and said, "You ------if you say anything, I'll put this pistol through you!"
Momo denied saying this but a witness by the name of Ellen O' Brien stated that she did hear Momo make these threats.
She then told the Court that she saw the four men accused walking down her street and remarked to a neighbour,
"We've got Dixieland back"
Momo approached her, drew his revolver from his pocket and said that he would shoot her, adding,
"I will kill all whites"
Things got heated when Momo said that as they passed young boys in the street, they began jeering him and throwing stones, he admitted pulling his revolver out but it was only to scare them he said.
P.C. Foden took the stand and said that he was on duty at the corner of Adelphi Street and Chapel Street when he heard a commotion and went to investigate.
He saw Momo walking quickly away and when asked if he was carrying a pistol, he denied this, but then showed him a pistol and said he didn't want to shoot anybody, he was then taken into custody along with the three other men to Chapel Street police station.
When he was searched the pistol was taken from him and it was found to be fully loaded with six bullets in it's chambers.
He then became violent and struck Inspector Kelly in the face and chest, he was so violent that it took four men to subdue him and put him in the cells.
The Magistrate then dealt with Momo separately, he was bound over for £100 with two sureties of £50 each for 12 months or in default, three months imprisonment, and for carrying the pistol with no licence he was fined £5 or 26 days imprisonment.
Sadly there is no mention of what sentences the other three accused men received.
Obviously Momo was provoked by the Dixieland slurs and the children throwing stones but there is no justification for brandishing a loaded revolver in the street and threatening to, "Kill all Whites"
The fine he received amounted to over £200 an amount these days which comes to almost £9,000!
Perhaps the Magistrate used his discretion in not sending Momo to prison considering the provocation he received, but decided to hammer him with a massive fine.
We'll never know if Momo managed to pay this fine and avoid jail, hopefully so, however Adelphi is a more peaceful place to live these days.