New Jersey residents signed this anti-lynching petition now contained in the records of the House Judiciary Committee. Petitioners protested the lynching of African Americans in the South for alleged crimes ranging from theft to murder. They sought to make lynching a crime and to create a “Central Detective Bureau” that would be responsible for compiling and transmitting information for use in prosecuting persons involved in lynching. The petition was submitted on the House Floor on February 21, 1900, by Representative George Henry White
of North Carolina, the only African American in Congress at the time, in support of H.R. 6963, anti-lynching legislation he introduced on January 20, 1900. H.R. 6963 never made it out of the Judiciary Committee during the 56th Congress and never became law. White left at the end of that Congress, and it was three decades before another African American served in Congress.