Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

a state:
Start Now

The Freedmen's Bureau Online

Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Georgia
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865 - 1869
National Archives Publication M798 Roll 36
"Unbound Miscellaneous Papers"

Resolution paper by the colored citizens of Spalding Co. in regard to J. C. Swayze, Agt.
Petition to Gen. Tillson to have him retained

Maj. Gen. Davis Tillson
Acting Assistant Commissioner, State of Tennessee

General: --

On the 24th inst., the white citizens of this city held a meeting for the purposes of devising measures for displacing Capt. J. Clarke Swayze, from the Agency of the Bureau at this place.

We, as loyal colored citizens, beg to present to you the proceedings of a mass meeting held in this city on the 26th, which met at the colored church pursuant to a call made through the scholars of the schools and friends of truth and justice.

The meeting was called to order by John Scandrett, at 3 o'clock p.m., when Sherrod Williams was called to the chair, and M. H. Matthews was appointed Secretary.

Horace Bailey stated that the object of the meeting was to send a memorial to Gen. Tillson, to counteract a petition sent up by the white citizens, and the enemies of liberty and good government, to have our Bureau Agent, Capt. J. Clarke Swayze, removed from his office. He then recommended the following preamble and resolution for the consideration of the meeting:

"Whereas, the white citizens have held a meeting and denounced Capt. Swayze as unfair and dishonest, and resolved that they would use every effort to secure his removal, and

Whereas, we, the colored citizens of Griffin, cannot believe that any good can be intended towards us, in this demanding a change, since we know Capt. Swayze to be a true and impartial friend of our race, and

Whereas, we have known him for years, and know that many charges made against him are false and without foundation, except in prejudice, therefore

Resolved, That we recognize in Capt. Swazye our chosen protector, made doubly dear to us from the part he took against the late rebellion, and for our freedom. He has not only given his advice and counsel, but has proven his words by his acts.

Resolved further, That he having proved faithful to us, it is our duty to show him that we appreciate his unswerving principle, and stand by him in his hour of trial.

Resolved, That it is the since of this meeting that Capt. Swayze has discharged the duties of his office faithfully, and acceptably to our race, and impartially between the white and colored citizens; and that he is our only friend.

Resolved, That were it not for our agents prompt action very many of our race would meet with abuse, and be cheated out of their rights - in which matters, we cannot imagine a man in our community who would be so unselfishly and promptly meet and repel wrongs.

Resolved, That it is our faithful belief that we could not live in this county in safety if Capt. Swayze is removed, and that we will do all in our power to prevent his dismissal, therefore,

Resolved, That we swear (with uncovered heads and right hands upraised) that we believe Capt. Swayze has been just and impartial with the citizens of this county; that he has administered justice without regard to color, notwithstanding what may be said to the contrary, and finally,

Resolved, That we respectfully pray General Tillson to allow us to retain our present agent.

The preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted with loud and long cheers and waving of hats.

The meeting then adjourned to meet again in the first Saturday in August. SHERROD WILLIAMS, Ch'n. M. H. MATTHEWS, Secretary."

We, therefore, General, humbly pray that you will give due weight to our humble appeal, believing that, although we are denied the right of voting for whom we prefer, you will give our voices some weight in this matter; for you must know we are loyal, and wish loyal officers, and are afraid of those who are naturally prejudiced against us.

Very respectfully submitted,

Mingo Williams
Robert Williams
Horace Bailey
Claiborne Cherry
William Isom