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Fighting Two Wars at Once: The World War I Veterans of Quakertown


President Wilson's Declaration of War

Colored Man is No Slacker

On April 2, 1917 President Woodrow Wilson appeared before a joint session of Congress and requested that they support his recommendation to declare war on the Imperial German government. In his speech he said, "We shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts...for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own government.” Wilson was speaking about the people of Europe, however, African Americans, with the help of political leaders such as W.E.B. DuBois, took his rhetoric and applied it to their own circumstances on the home front.

DuBois appealed to his fellow black Americans to support the war effort. He believed by demonstrating solidarity with white Americans, the full rights of citizenship would finally be earned.

Meanwhile, in Denton, Texas a thriving Black community known as Quakertown was dealing with their own uncertainties. An effort was underway to force their community to relocate to an undesirable area of the city so a park could be built where their neighborhood stood. The rhetoric regarding black citizens was growing increasingly divisive and families worried about their future.

Despite these concerns, the men of Quakertown heeded the call to duty and registered for the draft.

Fighting Two Wars at Once: The World War I Veterans of Quakertown is a digital history database that was created to counteract the historical amnesia that has erased these men, and their families, from history. Following the war they were intentionally "forgotten" by the Denton city political influencers, and it wasn't until the early 1980s that their story came to light.




If you have photographs or other documents related to the veterans included in this database please contact Christina Draper at If you are aware of any Black veterans with ties to Quakertown that are not currently included, please contact me as well so we can remember them and honor their service.