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James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

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

Crawford

Indiana

Basic Information

Type of Place
County
Metro Area
Politics c. 1860?
Don’t Know
Unions, Organized Labor?
Don’t Know

Sundown Town Status

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Surely
Was there an ordinance?
Perhaps, Some Oral Evidence
Sign?
Don’t Know
Year of Greatest Interest
1881
Still Sundown?
Probably

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1860 8217 0
1870 3
1880 2
1890 13941 13
1900 13476 2
1910 12057 0
1920 11201 3
1930 10160 4
1940
1950 9289 3
1960 8379 0
1970
1980
1990 9868 9 0
2000 10743 17
2010
2020

Method of Exclusion

  • Violent Expulsion
  • Threat of Violence
  • Violence Towards Newcomers
  • Police or Other Official Action
  • Private Bad Behavior
  • Reputation

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black

Comments

Emma Lou Thornbrough writes in The Negro in Indiana (Indianapolis: IN Historical Bureau, 1957):
“Crawford County, just across the Ohio River from Kentucky, also barred Negroes.” “It was an established policy that no member of the race was allowed to come in, even temporarily. In 1881 a contractor for the Louisville, New Albany, and St. Louis Railroad, who had hired a gang of colored construction workers, was warned that they would not be allowed to work. When he sought protection from the county officials, they confirmed that it was an unwritten law that Negroes were not permitted in the county.” Leavenworth is principal town. (p. 225-26)
English was said to have a sign up to warn blacks about the sundown law. Leavenworth was the same. Leavenworth was said to be the most anti black community on the Ohio River.
When the Airline railway was built 1880 1882 the blacks had to stay on the railroad property.
The sheriff was sent to warn blacks about the law.
English was the county seat after 1896 and people from the Taswell area would travel to English to pay their taxes. Individuals make remarks about the sign for blacks. An older resident remembered that when he lived in Leavenworth during the 1960’s, the older men make reference to the sign for blacks.
Two black households, 2000. Not a single black girl in school age; there are a few boys.