Los Angeles: State Defense Committee for Wesley Robert Wells, (1953). Broadsheet, printed on both sides of a single leaf, approx. 8-1/2 X 11 inches. Few shallow chips at bottom edge; small patch of toning; neat pencil notation. Item #204698
Two-sided leaflet reproducing two articles from prominent African-American newspapers in defense of Wells, an inmate at San Quentin facing execution after a lifelong series of encounters with Jim Crow justice. Steward's piece was from the California Eagle, September 17, 1953; Rogers's was in the Pittsburgh Courier, Oct. 3, 1953. In and out of prisons for many years as the result of petty offenses, Wells was sentenced to death following a violent incident with a prison guard. His case was taken up by the civil rights movement, with support of the NAACP and, later, the Black Panthers. He was finally freed in 1974, shortly before his death.