Diagram of the Chattanooga to Memphis Freight Train

(1)The fight between white boys and some of the Scottsboro boys occurred in the last gondola (car #16) after the blacks jumped  in from the adjoining boxcar (#17).
(2) Price and Bates alleged that they were raped in the last  gondola (car #16) by the Scottsboro boys after the boys threw the whites off the train.
(3) Price and Bates  were first seen by the posse in Paint Rock next to the fourth gondola (car #12).
(4) A snuffbox belonging to Price was found in the fourth gondola (car# 12).
(5) Price and Bates claimed that they moved from a tank car (car #22) to the gondola (car #16) at Stevenson.
(6) Patterson’s hand was stepped on by a white boy as he was hanging to the side of a tank car (car #23?) , starting the fight.
(7) Montgomery testified that he entered car #37 by himself and stayed there until he was arrested in Paint Rock.
(8) Roberson claimed he entered car #39 and remained there until he was arrested in Paint Rock.
(9) Andy Wright testified that he was on the flat car (car #21) at the time of the fight and remained there until arrested in Paint Rock.
(10) Roy Wright, Norris and others testified that they met on the cross-tie car and moved forward to the last gondola (car#16), where the fight with the whites took place.  They testified that they never saw Price or Bates until the train was stopped at Paint Rock.


  1. What is the key car where the fight and “rape” took place?
  2. Who was arrested on car 37 and 39?
  3. What is the significance of Gondola 12?
  4. Is it possible for Montgomery and Robertson to move from cars 37 and 39 to Gondola 16 and get back before being arrested in Paint Rock?
  5. If the rape supposedly took place in Gondola 16, but evidence of the girls was found in Gondola 12, what does that suggest about the plausibility of the case?
  6. Based on this evidence, what side of the case would you be on?



  1. Who is the letter addressed to and what organization is he associated with?
  2. Who and where is this letter from?
  3. Where does the author find his information about the case?
  4. Why might this pose a problem for bias?
  5. What purpose does this letter state as their intention?
  6. Why would someone be asking the NAACP for assistance in this case?
  7. The NAACP Why might the NAACP not want to get involved in this type of case?


May 25, 1931
From Olen Montgomery
Kilby Prison
Montgomery, Ala.

My Dear Frind Mr. George

Why sitting down warred nilly crazy i want you all to rite to me and tell me how is things going on a bout this case of us 9 boys bee cause i am in here for something i know id did not do my pore mother has no one to help hur to make a living but me she had a little girl luft unly 5 years old to take of and she has no job at all and i gest you all know how times is on the out side tims i had i did all i cud for my pore mother to help hur live and my little sister i was on my way to Memphis on a oil tank by my self a lone and i was not warred with any one un till i got to Pint Rock alabama and they just made a frame up on us boys just cause they cud any way them grond jurys come out of the room and said us five boys punishment shall bee like time in the Kilby Prison and the judge sent them back in the room and they come back out the next time and said their punishment shall bee death in the chair.

Eugene Williams
Haywood Patterson
Charlie Weems
Clarence Norris
Ozie Powell
Andy Wright
Willie Roberson

We want you all to send us some money so we can bye us something that we can ear this food dont agree with me at all i supposed to be at home any way i did not do whay they gat me for i ant give no one any cause to mist treat me this way i know i ant and i hope you all is doin all you can for us boys please sur and we supposed to have a nother trial be cause it was not a fair trial i ant crazy no way either lost my mine.


  1. Who is this letter from?
  2. Who is it addressed to and what does that signify about their relationship?
  3. What is the purpose of the letter?
  4. What is the primary fear expressed by the author?
  5. What was the author’s stated purpose for being on the train and why is this significant to the case?
  6. What might Olen Montgomery not know how to properly write?
  7. How could this letter contribute to racist sentiment towards the Scottsboro Boys?
  8. Based on this evidence, what side of the case would you be on?