The Moore's Ford Lynching InfoCenter

8. Meet Anthony S. Pitch

 

Best-Selling Author & Historian

 

For those who wonder why the Moore’s Ford Lynching is still a matter for the Courts in 2019, it’s important to know something about the man who decided that it was finally time to shine the light of truth into a dark period of American history and examine the 1946 grand jury transcripts: Author and Historian Anthony S. Pitch.

Just prior to 2010, Pitch had been researching lynching in the United States as the subject of a new book when he stumbled upon the Moore’s Ford murders. He became interested in this case because of the unfathomable brutality meted out to two young African-American couples, all in their early 20s, but especially because one of the men, George W. Dorsey, had only recently returned from distinguished service in World War II. Another reason for his choice of the Moore's Ford case is that here was a veritable bonanza of documents available to research.

To ensure the integrity of his research, Pitch obtained nearly 10,000 documents related to the case at the National Archives and elsewhere, with those obtained from the FBI through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Pitch, a thorough and painstaking researcher, traveled to Monroe, Georgia, interviewed residents and visited strategic locations with his good friend Rich Rusk, son of former Secretary of State Dean Rusk and former Secretary of the Moore’s Ford Memorial Committee. Note: Rich Rusk passed away in January, 2018 but Pitch describes him as a "beloved guide and mentor."

Meticulously documented with 955 footnotes, “The Last Lynching: How a Gruesome Mass Murder Rocked a Small Georgia Town” was published in 2016 and is now widely regarded as the most authoritative treatment of the Moore’s Ford massacre ever published.

 

Pitch's Presentation to the National Archives, May 4, 2016

 


The Story of Moore's Ford Lynching. Pitch’s speech starts at about 11:20.

Author/Historian Anthony S. Pitch Speaks Before The National Archives (1:06:13), .

 

Author Profile

 

© Photo credit: Johnathon Kelso, New York Times

Anthony S. Pitch is the author of a many non-fiction books including “They Have Killed Papa Dead! - The Road to Ford's Theatre, Abraham Lincoln's Murder, and the Rage for Vengeance,” “Our Crime Was Being Jewish,” and “The Burning of Washington: The British Invasion of 1814,” read by President Clinton and a History Book Club selection with movie rights optioned by National Geographic. Both won an award from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference.

Pitch has narrated for Tribune Broadcasting TV inside the White House and has appeared on C-Span TV, the History Channel, National Geographic TV, NPR, PBS, Smithsonian TV, the AP Broadcast Editor in Philadelphia, and inside Ford's Theatre.

Two of his tours in Washington, D.C. were filmed by C-Span TV. He is a former Associated Press staffer in London, and Broadcast Editor in Philadelphia, a senior writer in the books division of U.S. News & World Report, and has reported from Israel and Africa.

He has been guest speaker at the Federal Circuit Bar Association, the Brookings Institution, the Library of Congress, National Archives, National Press Club, the Smithsonian Institution, Fort McHenry, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Pitch is now putting the finishing touches to a book to be titled, "Our Crime Was Being Black."

 

Sources & Resources

 

  

The primary sources used for developing content on these pages include the following:



Pitch, Anthony S., The Last Lynching: How a Gruesome Mass Murder Rocked a Small Georgia Town
Skyhorse Publishing, 307 W. 36th St., 11th Floor, New York City, N.Y. 10018 © 2016 by Anthony S. Pitch


Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI)
Region 11 Investigative Case Summary (565 pages, PDF)


Additional sources used for developing content on these pages include the following:



The 1946 Moore’s Ford Lynching Case: Another Push for Justice on 10/3/2018
By TAPINTO STAFF (Laura Ali)
2018 - September 16
https://www.tapinto.net/articles/the-1946-moore-s-ford-lynching-case-another-push-for-justice-on-10-3-2018

 

Lynching
Original entry by E. M. Beck, University of Georgia, Stewart E. Tolnay, University of Washington, Seattle, 01/26/2007
2018 - August 26
http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/history-archaeology/lynching

 

Activists look to keep history alive through reenactment of Moore's Ford lynching
By Hope Ford, Adrianne Haney
2018 - July 27
https://www.11alive.com/article/news/local/activists-look-to-keep-history-alive-through-reenactment-of-moores-ford-lynching/85-578116714

 

Investigations into 1946 Georgia lynching ends, hope for answers lingers
Chattanooga Times Free Press
2018 - March 7
by Associated Press
https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2018/mar/07/investigations-1946-lynching-ends-hope-answer/465363/

 

1946 Lynching: Investigations End, Hope for Answers Lingers
By: KATE BRUMBACK, Associated Press
2018 - February 27
https://www.wsbtv.com/news/georgia/1946-lynching-investigations-end-hope-for-answers-lingers/708032984

 

1946 lynching: Investigations end, hope for answers lingers
AP Images Blog
2018 - February 27
https://apimagesblog.com/blog/2018/2/27/1946-lynching-investigations-end-hope-for-answers-lingers

 

Answers to last mass lynching in U.S. die when investigators close case after 72 years
SPLC - Southern Poverty Law Center, By Brett Barrouquere
2018 - February 7
https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2018/02/07/answers-last-mass-lynching-us-die-when-investigators-close-case-after-72-years

 

Notorious Ga. Lynching Case Closes After Years of Anguish, No Justice
Article by Brad Schrade, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
2018 - January 24
https://www.myajc.com/news/notorious-lynching-case-closes-after-years-anguish-justice/Y8sRiwExcU7BjunYneO7PL/

 

Probes of Moore’s Ford Lynching End with No Charges, AJC learns
By Brad Schrade - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
2017 - December 28
https://www.myajc.com/news/breaking-news/probes-moore-ford-lynching-end-with-charges-ajc-learns/ozPo0GfcNVTXcl8X2tM7NJ/

 

Morris County Lawyer Wins Release of Records from 1946 Mass Lynching Case
MorristownGreen.com, by Kevin Coughlin
2017 - August 18
https://morristowngreen.com/2017/08/18/morris-county-lawyer-wins-release-of-records-from-1946-mass-lynching-case/

 

Morris County Attorney Seeks Justice in Gruesome 1946 Lynching
MorristownGreen.com, by Kevin Coughlin
2017 - July 31
https://morristowngreen.com/2017/07/31/morris-county-attorney-seeks-justice-in-gruesome-1946-lynching/

 

Righting an Historic Wrong: The 1946 Moore's Ford Lynching Case May Finally Be Drawing to a Close
By Joe Bell, Esq.
2017 - July 17
https://www.bsblawgroup.com/news/2017/2017-07-17-moores-ford.html

 

The Horror of Lynchings Lives On
The New York Times, by the Editorial Board
2016 - December 3
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/03/opinion/sunday/the-horror-of-lynchings-lives-on.html

 

A Lynching in Georgia: the Living Memorial to America’s History of Racist Violence
2016 - November 2
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/02/a-lynching-in-georgia-the-living-memorial-to-americas-history-of-racist-violence

 

70th observance of Moore’s Ford lynching set in Monroe; reenactment of killings planned
By Wayne Ford
2016 - July 21
http://www.onlineathens.com/mobile/2016-07-21/70th-observance-moores-ford-lynching-set-monroe-reenactment-killings-planned

 

FBI Questions Elderly Georgia Man in Connection with Unsolved 1946 Lynching at Moore’s Ford Bridge
New York Daily News, by Doyle Murphy
2015 - February 17, 2015
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/fbi-questions-senior-1946-moore-ford-lynching-report-article-1.2117599

 

Civil Rights Leaders Claim New Leads in 68-year-old Moore’s Ford Lynching Case
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, by Christian Boone
2014 - March 5
https://www.myajc.com/news/civil-rights-leaders-claim-new-leads-year-old-moore-ford-lynching-case/9es4IKJ8musgWB1HdiKMZO/

 

U.S. Urges Opening Up Old Grand Jury Records
New York Times, by Charlie Savage
2011 - October 19
https://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/20/us/politics/administration-proposes-opening-up-more-historic-grand-jury-transcripts.html

 

Judge Orders Release of Nixon’s Watergate Testimony
By JOHN SCHWARTZ, New York Times
2011 - July 29
https://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/30/us/30brfs-JUDGEORDERSR_BRF.html

 

Holding on to Those Who Can't Be Held: Reenacting a Lynching at Moore's Ford, Georgia
Central Washington University, by Mark Auslander
2010 - November 8
https://southernspaces.org/2010/holding-those-who-cant-be-held-reenacting-lynching-moores-ford-georgia

 

'Murder' Seeks Justice for Victims Of Jim Crow Era
Special to The Washington Post, by Ellen Maguire
2008 - October 6
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/05/AR2008100502157_pf.html

 

Seeking Justice for Victims of Terror Long Ago
New York Times, by Felicia R. Lee
2008 - October 3
https://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/04/arts/television/04murd.html

 

New evidence collected in 1946 lynching case
CNN, by Doug Gross
2008 - July 2
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/07/01/lynching.investigation/index.html

 

Looking Behind Tragedy at Moore's Ford Bridge; Foot soldier of civil rights era works to solve 60-year-old-mystery
NBCNews.com, Associated Press (AP)
2006 - July 24
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/13905047/ns/us_news-life/t/looking-behind-tragedy-moores-ford-bridge/#.W6lCKGhKiUk

 

1946 Killing Of 4 Blacks Is Recalled
New York Times
1999 - June 1
https://www.nytimes.com/1999/06/01/us/1946-killing-of-4-blacks-is-recalled.html