Late Saturday (April 21st) President Trump announced via Twitter that following a phone call with actor Sylvester Stallone he would be “considering a Full Pardon” of heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson also known as the Galveston Giant.
For those of you not familiar with Johnson’s story, back in 1912 when Jim Crow segregation laws were common, Johnson was arrested on multiple charges of the Mann Act which forbid a person transporting a woman across state lines for “immoral purposes.”
Following that incident according to Peggy Pascoe’s What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America she writes that prosecutors had “laid plans to charge Jack Johnson with additional offenses,” under the aforementioned Mann Act which was used back then to eradicate “white slavery”.
However according to Pascoe’s book, one problem stood in government investigators way; that problem was Lucille Cameron the women who investigators say Johnson took her across state lines “insisted that Jack Johnson had never taken her anywhere, or done anything against her will.” The government then placed Cameron in custody after she refused to testify against Johnson. Federal agents then searched the region for a “White women more willing to testify.” Agents later found a woman willing to testify against Johnson by the name of Belle Schreiber “who agreed to tell her story before a Chicago grand jury.” After Schreiber agreed to testify the feds released Cameron who then went straight to Jack Johnson was out on bail awaiting the trial in Chicago. She later married Johnson on December 4, 1912, at his mothers home.
President Trump also said in his tweet that John Johnson’s “trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial,” and that regarding the pardon “others have looked at this over the years, most thought it would be done.”
If the pardon is approved by President Trump it would be the first “Posthumous Pardon since 2008 when President George W. Bush granted a pardon to Charles Winters from Flordia for smuggling B-17 bombers to Israel.
According to Dr. Stephen Greenspan, there have only been three presidential post humonus pardons in US history.
No word yet on when President Trump might make his decision regarding Johnson’s pardon.
Keep reading the Miller News Service for updates on this story.
President Donald Trumps Twitter: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/987768453338673152
Peggy Pascoe’s: What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America
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