Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865 - 1869
National Archives Microfilm Publication M821 Roll 32
"Miscellaneous Records Relating to Murders and Other Criminal Offenses Committed in Texas 1865 - 1868"
Letter from Wharton County
Wharton July 27, 1868
Editor Flakes Bulletin
I see the Democrats are adding to the list of crime and I ask permission to submit the following to show how things are done in this county. On the 17th of July 1868. John T. Copeland and Charles Brooks committed one of the most brutal murders ever perpetrated in Texas upon the person of one Jim Jackson, a freed boy, on the West Bernard, while in the employ of Mr. Alex Jackson. From the testimony, the boy was out looking after Mr. Jackson's horses: saw three men ride up to them, and John T. Copeland deliberately and without the least provocation of earth, shot him dead, and after leaving him some hour or more returned, put a rope around his person, dragged him to a hole of water, mutilated him in a manner of which decency forbids further description, and then threw the body in: and to put an end to detection. Killed the horse the boy was riding, and hid his saddle and other rigging also in the water. The murderers are at large.
This outrage is no hearsay. I saw the boy myself, held an inquest over the same, heard all the testimony, and can produce affidavits to prove it, if denied.
A true copy