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State Detective A.J. Hoyt Letter

Identifier: M463

Scope and Contents

The collection contains one three-page letter concerning an escaped convict, R. L. Buchanan, wanted for murder, from State Detective Hoyt to the Chief of Police in Dallas, Texas. Hoyt describes Buchanan’s character flaws, saying he is a “heavy drinker” and a “gambler with negroes.” Hoyt also instructs the Dallas Chief of Police to “wire the Governor (Vardaman).” The letter is on stationery from “The Collins House” in Houston, Mississippi, a boarding house run by “Mrs. M. P. Collins, Proprietress.” The letterhead also advertises: “Everything New” and “Rates Two Dollars.”


  • August 23, 1905

Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical / Historical

In 1904, James K. Vardaman became governor of Mississippi and was renowned for his white supremacist platform that advocated violence against African Americans. Despite his rhetoric that encouraged such violence, Vardaman was forced to take action against lynching and other racial hate crimes when bankers threatened to withdraw loans in the region and the flight of blacks left many areas in the state without laborers. He hired A. J. Hoyt, a member of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, to investigate these crimes, and Hoyt proved quite capable. His efforts effectively eradicated organized whitecapping, an anti-black movement that aimed to enforce “community” standards, in Mississippi.


1 Folder

Language of Materials



The collection contains a three-page letter from State Detective A. J. Hoyt to the Chief of Police in Dallas, Texas, asking for help locating an escaped convict, R. L. Buchanan, who had been serving time for murder.


Donated by Diane Ross on August 21, 2004.

State Detective A.J. Hoyt Letter
Processed by Lauren White.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001