Martial Law Orders

These have been transcribed (with corrected spelling) from

Barrett, Charles Franklin.  Oklahoma after fifty years: a history of the Sooner state and its people, 1889-1939 … Hopkinsville, Ky.; Oklahoma City, Okla.: The Historical Record Association, 1941.

Hower, Robert N.  1921 Tulsa race riot and the American Red Cross, “Angels of Mercy.” Tulsa, Okla.: Homestead Press, c1993.


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The Martial Law Declaration in the collection of McFarlin Library, The University of Tulsa.

MARTIAL LAW DECLARED

Headquarters Oklahoma National Guard
City Hall, Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 1, 1921.

Following telegram from Governor J.B.A. Robertson received at these Headquarters at 11:29 a.m. places Tulsa and Tulsa County under Martial Law:

‘Chas. F. Barrett. The Adjutant General
c-o City Hall, Tulsa Oklahoma. June 1, 1921

I have declared martial law throughout Tulsa County, and am holding you responsible for maintenance of order, safety of lives and protection of property.  You will do all things necessary to attain these objects.

J. B. A. Robertson, Governor.’

THEREFORE, By authority of this order, I hereby declare the City of Tulsa and Tulsa County from and after the hour named in the telegram to be under Martial Law, which will be enforced with all the rigor necessary to accomplish the purpose of restoring peace and order within the boundaries of this City and County.

The people of Tulsa and Tulsa County will retire immediately to their homes and remain there, so far as possible, until this order is modified or revoked.

All persons, except sworn officers of the law, found upon the public streets of Tulsa or in any locality in Tulsa County, will be promptly arrested and punished as a military court may direct.

All business houses in the city will close on or before 6:00 o’clock P.M. today and will not re-open until 8 A.M., June 2nd, and will observe these hours from day to day until further orders, unless granted permission by the commanding officer of the Oklahoma National Guard.

Services of necessity, such as grocery stores, drug stores, dairies, meat markets and other agencies that contribute to the comfort of the people will be excepted from the provision requiring permission to render such service.

It is the hope of the commanding officer that a prompt compliance with this order will result in a speedy restoration of the public peace, and that the order can be so modified that there will be no interference with the ordinary process of business and commercial life in Tulsa or any surrounding city in Tulsa County.

Every good citizen should lend his or best efforts to secure a prompt compliance with this order.

Automobiles, trucks and other conveyances, except those used by doctors, officers of the law, members of the Red Cross and other individuals or organizations contributing to the health and welfare of the people will not be allowed on the streets between the hours of 7:00P.M. and 6:00A.M.

Sufficient military forces are on hand to rigidly enforce this order, and it will be done.

Equal protection under this order is guaranteed to all persons, without regard to race or color. After the publication of this order, the man or woman, white or black, found with arms in their hands without written permission from military authority or by virtue of proper commission under the civil law will be considered as public enemies and treated accordingly.

Police offices and members of the sheriff’s force will report through their chiefs to Brig-Gen. Charles F. Barrett for further orders.

Chas. F. Barrett, Brigadier General,
Commanding Oklahoma National Guard.’


Headquarters Oklahoma National Guard
City Hall, Tulsa, Okla. June 2nd, 1921


Field Order No. 1

Rules and regulations governing the enforcement of the martial law now in effect in Tulsa and Tulsa County will be further modified to enable the civil authorities of the county to begin and pursue such investigation of crimes and offenses alleged to have been committed by parties now under arrest or by those who should be arrested in connection with the riotous and unlawful conduct that has taken place in connection with the present emergency, and for performing such other functions and duties in connection with their offices as the civil law directs except that peace officers will not interfere with military orders in relation to guard duty or other service of the military authorities.

By Command Brig. General Barrett
(signed) Byron Kirkpatrick, Major A.G. Adj.


Field Order No.2

The Rules and Regulations provided in the order declaring martial law in Tulsa and Tulsa County are hereby modified to the extent that all normal business and society activities will be allowed, and guards will be withdrawn from the business area during the day of Thursday, June 2nd.  People will not be allowed to congregate on the streets nor engage in heated controversy or interfere with the right of the public the streets.

All street car service will be resumed on regular schedules.  All theaters, taxi lines and agencies of comfort, health and other businesses will go on as usual.  All white people are restricted and barred from visiting the burnt area of the negro district unless proved with military pass.  All negroes provided with the card showing police protection will be allowed to go into the burnt district or negro quarters on presentation of the card.  All negroes living outside of the city and now detained in the various refugee and detention places will be held under detention and brought before the authorities at city hall for investigation.  The commission named as a military commission and the Red Cross will work in cooperation in the work among the refugees.

By Command Brig. General Barrett
(signed) Byron Kirkpatrick, Major A.G. Adj.


Field Order No. 3

Owing to the present conditions in Tulsa and Tulsa County—funerals of those killed during the riot will not be held in the churches of the city.  Many of these churches are in use as camps for the refugees and it is against the policy of the military department to allow the use for same for funerals under the conditions of emotional stress which still prevailed within the city.

By Command Brig. General Barrett
(signed) Byron Kirkpatrick, Major A.G. Adj.


Field Order No.4

All able-bodied negro men remaining in detention camp at the Fair Grounds and other places in the city of Tulsa will be required to render such service and perform such labor as is required by the military commission and the Red Cross in making the proper sanitary provisions for the care of the refugees.

Able-bodied women, not having the care of children, will also be required to perform such service as may be required in the feeding and care of the refugees.

This order covers any labor necessary in the care of the health or welfare of those people who, by reason of their misfortunes, must be looked after by the different agencies of relief.

By Command Brig. General Barrett
(signed) Byron Kirkpatrick, Major A.G. Adj.


Field Order No. 5

To Commanding Officer, 3rd Infantry.  You will detail a Non-Commissioned Officer and 12 men to act as guard at Fair Ground Detention Camp, this detail will be armed and fully equipped will report to Clark Field at American Red Cross Headquarters.  From and after 1.P.M. this date detention camp at McNulty Camp will abolish and camps will be removed to Detention Camp at Fair Grounds.

By Command Brig. General Barrett
(signed) Byron Kirkpatrick, Major A.G. Adj.


Field Order No. 6

[There is no currently known copy of this order.]


Field Order No. 7

By authority of the Governor and Commander-in-chief of Oklahoma it is hereby ordered that the provisions, rules and regulations contained in the Military Order Putting into effect “Martial Law” in the County of Tulsa Oklahoma be and the same hereby suspended, and the authority and responsibility imposed upon me as Commander of the National Guard, by the governor is, by this order transferred to the mayor and city commissioners of the city of Tulsa and to the sheriff and board of county commissioners of the county of Tulsa, Oklahoma who have taken over all the duties and power conferred upon them by the statutes and constitution of the state. They will exercise with vigor and vigilance the police powers entrusted to them and will take proper care of all wounded, sick and distressed people, who, by reason of the tumult, riot and unlawful conduct of others have become a public charge.

The National Guard unit brought to the city of Tulsa from other section of the state have been relieved from active duty in this field and will repair under the competent orders of their commanding officers to their home stations, subject to orders already in hand to proceed to the Annual Encampment at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

The local units of the Oklahoma National Guards will remain on active duty and be subject to call under orders transmitted to Lieut. Col. L. J. F. Rooney by the Adjutant General of Oklahoma. These Tulsa units of the 3rd Infantry will be relieved from further active duty in connection with the present late disturbance at Tulsa, at 9:00 o’clock A.M., Saturday, June 4, 1921, but will be subject to orders already in hand for the Annual Encampment at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Battery B, 2nd Field Artillery, Tulsa, Oklahoma, will be held in readiness to obey orders to co-operate with city and county authorities of Tulsa and Tulsa County in case their services are required but will not act as an organization until orders are received to that effect from the Governor and Commander-in-Chief.

By Command Brig. General Barrett
(signed) Byron Kirkpatrick, Major A.G. Adj.

 

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One thought on “Martial Law Orders

  1. Local Historian Bill O’Brien in his work ‘The responsible citizens of Tulsa in 1921: Who Speaks For Us?” psge C-3 said “In my reserach I have found nothing identified as Field Order No. 6, but on June 3, 1921 General Barrett issues the following order as specified in the June 4, 1921, copy of the LIttle Rock, Arkansas Gazzet [sic] front page. “An order was issued from military headquarters early in the day for the arresst of anyone offering for recording deeds or transfers of any property in the burned district. General Barrett under the martial law proclamation in an order warned that irresponsible person were seeing to obtain property at much less than its value.” O’Brien believed that this expressed the intent of FO 6.

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