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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"

Deposition of Enoch Huff, Freedman vs. John Downer & son, George Downer
Assault & Battery, Whipping

Agency of Bureau R. F. & A. L., Washington, Geo.

Enoch Huff, Freedman, comes before me and makes statement that on the morning of Wednesday 25th day of April inst. about the hour of 7 o'clock a.m. while he was at work in the field, John Downer, a white man for whom he, Enoch, was working, threatened to shoot him. Said Downer's son, George Downer, was present and told deponent that if he did not suffer himself to be stripped & tied & whipped that his father would shoot him, whereupon rather than be shot deponent submitted, took off his shirt, let his breeches down on the ground, and exposed his whole naked person. George Downer then took the plough line and tied deponents hands and then tied the rope to a tree just high enough to keep deponent nearly swinging. George Downer then went and got about one dozen switches and brought these to his father John Downer, who commenced to whip me with them, saying at the same time, by Gd keep count of them, I've got them to pay for and I'm going to put them on right. Deponent counted one hundred lashes and was in so much agony he could not keep count any longer, but to the best of his knowledge believes John Downer struck him, deponent, about two hundred lashes before he quit. George Downer then untied deponent and he went to work again. He, John Downer, told me that he would kill me dead. About half an hour after he Downer whipt me I started to Town to report the treatment I had received and I had got about four miles on the way when I was overtaken by John Downer who ordered me to go back again to the plantation. I then went back again according to order. I got up once in the night with the intention of starting to Town then but on peeping through the crack in my cabin I saw the door of Mr. Downer's house open and thought he was watching me with the intention of shooting me so I was afraid to come out and waited until we started to the field next morning when I slipped off to Town to make my complaint and to seek for redress.

Enoch (X) Huff

Above deposition made before me this 26th day of April 1866.
Brien Maguire, Agt. Of Bureau R. F. & A. L.

Witness to the proceeding
Rias Huff, Freedman on John Downer's Plantation