The Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association (MDDC) has removed Edward J. Clarke, the late editor and owner of the Worcester Democrat, from its Hall of Fame after a review of his published work revealed vile commentary, extreme racism and the promotion of lynching. The following is from MDDC:
Clarke was editor and owner of the Worcester Democrat, which existed from 1921 to 1953. His personal writing and his newspaper’s coverage of a 1940 murder and assault case in Pocomoke City, Md., contained horrible, angry rants and racial attacks targeting three Black men — George B. Selby, Arthur Collick and Charles Manuel — in connection with the death of farmer Harvey Pilchard, who was white, and assault of his wife, Annie Pilchard, who also was white.
A Black woman, Martha Blake, and her teenage daughter, Lillian, were accused of being accomplices, but never charged.
Clarke was vicious and dehumanizing in his opinion writing, likening the accused to “a rabid dog” and “savages” and “brutes” and “a disease-spreading germ” and “garbage.” He championed “a good stout rope, a noose at one end, good stout arms at the other, a neck and a limb of a tree” as justice to be applied to “fiends who violated the home” of the white couple.