Home » Illinois » Carterville

James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague and remain committed to the work he began.



Basic Information

Type of Place
Independent City or Town
Metro Area
Politics c. 1860?
Unions, Organized Labor?

Sundown Town Status

Sundown Town in the Past?
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Don’t Know
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?
Probably Not, Although Still Very Few Black People

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1990 3630
2000 4616 4441 52

Method of Exclusion

  • Violent Expulsion
  • Violence Towards Newcomers

Main Ethnic Group(s)

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black


In Carterville, 1901, “five Negroes were shot down in the streets.” (N. Dwight Harris, The History of Negro Servitude in Illinois (NY: Negro Universities Press, 1969 [1904]), 242.)

“Carterville, moreover, had long imposed on the Negro a subhuman status. No colored person was permitted even to enter the town.” (Paul M. Angle, Bloody Williamson (NY: Knopf, 1952), 98.

“Then his son hired 40 blacks from Pana, when the Pana owners settled with their union and rehired their former employees. They came in on the train, but it was fired on, killing a miner’s wife and wounding 20 other people. The state indicted seven black and two white union members for shooting at the strikebreakers. They disembarked at the mine. Then “several hundred armed men surrounded the mine.” When darkness fell, shooting began. Two days later, July 2, the governor sent troops. Firing stopped. Brush brought in more black miners, 7/3 and 7/4/1899. The townspeople of Carterville resented the militia, got them withdrawn 9/11. On 9/17, two white Carterville miners challenged three Brush blacks at a small Italian saloon within the town and warned them to leave. They went away cursing and threatening to come back in force.1 Later, c. 15 blacks went to ICRR station. C. 25-30 whites approached them, ordered them to get out of town. “The Negroes hesitated, and then started up the railroad tracks. The white men followed at a distance. The white men followed at a distance. Suddenly one of the Negroes drew a pistol and fired at the group of pursuers. The miners answered with a volley. Several of the Negroes fell; the others ran for their lives. The whites followed, firing at the fugitives. In a few minutes, not a black man could be seen. Five lay dead; the others, some of them wounded, escaped to the safety of the mining camp. . .”