His Name was Sylvester Carrier. They Called him Mr. Man

Every tragedy has its heroes. Rosewood had Mr. Man.

Rosewood Florida, 1923.

It began when a white woman named Fanny Taylor said she was assaulted and a lynch mob pinned the assault on a Black chain gang escapee named Jesse Hunter.

Their bloodhounds led them to Aaron Carrier. He wasn’t a suspect in the assault, but they thought he helped Jesse get away. They dragged him behind  Model T until they got what they wanted from him.

Aaron Carrier confessed and named Sam Carter as his accomplice.

Only drunken conjecture connected Jesse Hunter to the assault. The only link between Jesse Hunter to Aaron Carrier are the noses of some bloodhounds. And the only thing that connected Aaron Carrier to Sam Carter was a confession obtained through torture.

They swept through Rosewood, warning all of the Black folk to get out of sight. And when they got to Sam Carter’s house, they kicked in the door, slipped a noose around his neck and pulled him outside to the nearest oak tree. They used mutilation and strangulation to get him to confess to driving Jesse to the edge of the swamp.

They made him show them where. And when the dogs didn’t pick up a scent, they killed him on the spot. Then they hoisted his body into the tree and they riddled his body with bullets.

By then, rumors were spreading that the Black men of Rosewood would retaliate for what had been done to Aaron Carrier and Sam Carter. Those rumors focused on Aaron’s cousin, a tall, dark skinned man named Sylvester Carrier. In Rosewood they called him Mr. Man.

Remember Mr. Man from Rosewood? He was real.
Remember Mr. Man from Rosewood? He was real.

Mr. Man was known as a tough man who was quick and accurate with his rifle. He lived off of what he could harvest from the swamps, and the occasional stolen head of cattle. The lynch mob had heard that the men of Rosewood were gathering at Sarah Carrier’s house to retaliate. Sarah Carrier was Mr. Man’s mother.

About a dozen men gathered outside of her house that night, some of whom Sara had nursed when they were children. She walked confidently onto her porch and shouted, “Y’all go on home. Get yourselves on home!” Someone in the crowd shot her. If they knew who it was, they wouldn’t admit it. After that, war broke out.

The first man to step on her porch was shot dead by Mr. Man. Another man fell almost as quickly as the first to Mr. Man’s Winchester. As the frightened mob retreated Mr. Man opened fire through the front and side windows.

He wounded a man who had tried to climb in a second floor window. And as they launched their final, lethal assault, Mr. Man wounded two more.

Soon the mob swelled to hundreds as men flocked from as far as Gainesville and Jacksonville. By the end, the entire town would burn to the ground, and those residents that survived would do so by escaping into the swamps where a sympathetic train conductor gathered them and give them safe passage.

Countless Black towns came to similar ends. Tulsa Ok and Slocum Tx ended in mass bloodshed. We forget that both Wall Street and Brooklyn  New York sit on land that was once the Black enclaves of Five Points and Weeksville until the draft riots either killed them off or drove them out.

But every tragedy has its heroes. It’s about time we started remembering their names.

“Rosewood should make negroes everywhere feel proud and take renewed hope. For our people have fought back again! They have met the mob with its own deadly weapons, they’ve acquitted themselves like freemen and were not content to be burned like bales of hay.”

The Pittsburgh American

For more information please read Negroes and the Gun: the Black Tradition of Arms by Nicholas Johnson.

 

This is what became of Rosewood. Even though it was widely documented at the time, it was quickly forgotten.
This is what became of Rosewood. Even though it was widely documented at the time, it was quickly forgotten.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letter from the Editor

Remember Mr. Man from Rosewood? He was real.
Remember Mr. Man from Rosewood? He was real.

 

Daddys-gun.com is one month old. It’s been a rough 28 days.

I began February with the pledge of highlighting one African hero in the US every day. It didn’t go well.

It’s not that I ran out of heroes. No, I have a wealth of men and women to pull from, that took up arms to fight the injustices of Jim Crow, slavery and any other threat that you could throw at them. I did, however, run out of space and time to do them justice. I thought I could tell you about the real Mr. Man in the space of an Instagram post. I was wrong. That’s not how you treat your ancestors. They deserve better and so do you.

Besides, everybody posts about our heroes during Black History month. In fact, the only posts more common than the ones proclaiming our nobility, are the ones pointing out that our history is so much greater than just one month.

One of the missions of the Daddys-Gun is to point out that there is a strong tradition of African warriorship in the United States. That needs to be said. Too many people think that we just took it, cowering stupidly through slavery and shuffling gingerly through Jim Crow. It’s just not true.

There have been countless revolts by the African captives in America. So many that the laws and customs of the land changed as a result, imposing the more restrictions on Africans here than almost anyplace else in the diaspora. I know I don’t come from cowards. I still intend to prove it.

Once a week I will talk about our heroes. That will give me enough time to plan and research, so that you’re not getting someone else’s words cut-and-pasted onto a post. I might even do it on video.

I didn’t realize how challenging it would be, covering the firearms world from the perspective of a novice. It’s not that there is a lack of material. I just want to make sure I do it justice. I know how much ire is caused when someone makes a mistake as innocent as referring to a magazine as a clip. I didn’t want to step on that landmine.

But I will. As careful as I’ve been, I still wrote a story singing the praises of an 82 year old woman that turned out to be an absolute fabrication. I’m over it. I’m diving in this month. Mistakes will be made. Get ready to correct me.

This month I intend to post once a day. If you have a problem with something that I write, we can take it up in the comments section.

Also this month..

  • I’ll be going to the range with Samuel Hayes of Caliber Training Group. Finally, I’ll be able to get into the nitty gritty of shooting
  • I’ll be interviewing Akinyele Omowale Umoja, the author of We Will Shoot Back,  a chronicle of the Mississippians who risked everything by arming themselves against “White supremacist terrorism”
  • I’ll be writing about The Real Mr. Man Remember the character Ving Rhames played in Rosewood? Yeah, that Mr. Man.)
  • I’ll be writing about the guns that Harriet Tubman carried with her as she freed captive Africans and helped fight the Confederacy
  • I’ll be sharing practical tips from some of the legends in the field of shooting
  • I’ll be talking about my own journey, beginning with the paperwork for the Ga concealed carry license
  • And I’ll be reaching out to you, my readers, to get your insight on responsible carry

Last, but not least, I want to know what you think. It’s what is going to make this blog great. But I need to get to know you.

Like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter  and Instagram @Chadvs5.

Thanks,

Chad