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The Freedmen's Bureau Online

Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Tennessee
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1869.
National Archives Microfilm Publication M999 Roll 34
"Affidavits Relating to Outrages Mar. 1866-August 1868"

Personally appeared before me Ben Mays (col'd) who being duly sworn and deposed and says as follows:

That he is a resident of Columbia, Maury County, State of Tennessee. That on the night of the 15" inst. a party of Ku Klux surrounded his house, and he seeing it hid himself in an adjoining room under the floor, said room being occupied by a colored woman and her little daughter. That the Ku Klux party went into his room, and asked his wife where Ben Mays was saying that they were bound to kill him, his wife denying any knowledge as to his whereabouts they went into the adjoining room and asked where Ben Mays was, after terrifying the little girl with threats of all sorts, she told them where he was hid----that they then tore up all the flooring with the exception of three planks under which he was concealed. They apparently getting tired of hunting for him left with promises to return, and kill him anyhow. That while one party was searching for him the other abused and beat his wife.

He furthermore states that on the night of the 4th of July the Ku Klux Klan was out in full force and he being afraid of getting in their way left his house and concealed himself behind a rock. They however found him and took him to their leader who submitted the question whether he should be hung or not to the Klan. That they first wished to hang him, but let him off finally on the condition that he should quit going to Union League meetings. That for this and other continual threats he has left Columbia and come to Nashville.

Ben (X) Mays

?Geo. Walter

Sworn to and subscribed before me on this 17th day of July 1868.

Signed: Geo. E. Judd
Capt. V. R. C.
and Sub. Asst. Commr.
B. R. F. and A. L.