1919 | Atlanta

Progress Report

Keeping tabs on the local bootleggers.

Operator No. 259, November 7

John Willie Right is a blockade runner, and he supplies a lot of peddlers with whiskey. He has a large car and brings whiskey in from the still, wholesaling it to the peddlers. A man named Curly Daddis has a motorcycle, and I never saw him doing anything but playing pool. I believe he is transporting whiskey but have never seen him selling any.

Officers Dodd and Evans reported on duty in this district at six o’clock. They had both been drinking. I know them both. Evans was having a good time talking to a woman in one of the milk depots on Carroll St. Dodd was drinking and was very talkative. 

November 8

Bud Elrod spread the glad news that he had plenty of whiskey—but only in pint bottles and at five dollars a pint—so I bought a pint from him. Joe Alverson and Lawrence Jenkins drank most of it, but I kept a small quantity for a sample. Bud Elrod did not drink any of it, but he said he didn’t mind selling it. I had not suspected Elrod of selling whiskey before. There was a lot of drinking in and around Bud Johnson’s pool room on Decatur St.

Operator No. 249, November 8

I found a good man drinking and some selling whiskey, but it was difficult for me to get the names without exposing myself. A barbershop on Carroll St. and Bud Johnson’s pool room on Decatur St., also a Negro at the rear of the drugstore at the corner of Decatur St. and Boulevard, are the headquarters for bootleggers. A white man in the pool room whom they call Bud wanted to sell me some whiskey, but I did not buy. 

November 10

At 7:30 I was at Dr. Christian’s drugstore, at the corner of Decatur and Boulevard, and saw the Negro that runs the joint in the rear sell a man a pint of whiskey. At nine o’clock I was at the pool room run by Bud Johnson, where I found a full house. Bud was almost drunk. At 10:20 at Clay’s barbershop on Decatur St. I became friendly with a barber named Joe and asked him to find me some liquor. He went down the street to the other shop and found a man he called Ed, who lives at 266 East Fair St. He said he had only a pint and would sell it for five dollars, so I bought it, and gave the barber a drink.

About This Text

From reports by two operatives employed by Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill to document the activities of its workers. Many such reports dating from 1914 to 1922 are still extant and detail, among other things, the installation of a dictograph to monitor labor meetings, the outbreak of a fight in the mill village, and the arrest of a pharmacy owner for the sale of cocaine. There was a strike in 1914 and 1915 as labor leaders tried to have the workforce join the United Textile Workers, asking for higher wages and a fifty-four-hour workweek.