Note: I wrote this post last year as the 56th anniversary of young Emmett Till’s murder approached, and included some links to Sovereignty Commission files related to his death. In light of Trayvon Martin’s murder, I thought that some readers might be interested in more history about Emmett Till. If you don’t know about the Sovereignty Commission, it was a state-run spy organization to halt integration, and was formed following Till’s murder.
Very few such records actually are in the state’s archives regarding Emmett Till, since most of the records were probably boxed up and taken home by sovereignty commission directors and others.
But — it is still interesting to see what is there. It helps give a feel for the times, if nothing else.
Here are some links — there are many more. Remember that you can look up more records yourself by going to
Just search on Till, since there are various ways these records are indexed (i.e., Louis Till, Emmit Till, Emmett Till, etc.)
Part of a conversation on lynching in Mississippi, mentions Till; tries to place blame of acquittal on a “negro undertaker.” Fascinating. I spoke with that person before he died, and that is not the story he told me…
“Crack Mississippi, and you can crack the South. Crack the South, and you can crack the U.S.” History professor and Citizens Councils member fears the civil rights movement is the forerunner of Communism.