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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
"Reports of Outrages, Riots and Murders, Jan. 15, 1866 - Aug. 12, 1868"

Freedmen's Bureau
Murfreesboro Tenn.
Jany. 1866

Lt. J. T. Alden A. D. C. V. A. A. A. Gen'l.


In compliance with the order of Gen. Fisk I have the honor most respectfully to forward the "report of all known outrages that have occurred in this District since the 15th of April 1865 committed by white people against the blacks and the reverse."

July 28th 1865 - Ben (col'd) Plaintiff vs. Beverly Randolph. Ben says " on the 29th of June Randolph beat my wife with his fists then caught her by the chin threw back her head pulled out his knife swore he would cut her throat---His brother-in-law stopped him, he then went to his house got his pistol and swore he would kill some dam nigger----fired of his pistol and went to Mr. Harris's (the woman was large with child at the time)." Defendant admitted the charge----was fined 50 Dolls. Which was paid to plaintiff.

Aug. 1st. Egbert (col'd) vs. J. Irvin. Egbert says "Irvin returned from the Reb. Army & found I had a crop growing (I staid on the place and took care of his family house and stock ever since the war begun). When I began to gather the crop (I was to have the 1/3) he drove me and my family off and would not give us a bit of anything to eat and said he did not care a dam for the Bureau." Got 3 mounted men sent for & brought Irvin who was very penitent under bayonet force and secured by bond. The crop to plaintiff. Since, all paid.

Aug. 2nd. Sam Neal (col'd) vs. Andrew B. Payne. Sam says "Payne hired myself and family 10 altogether to work for the season, he has made several base attempts on my daughter, has ordered me off without pay or share of the crop & because I did not go he got his pistol & threatened to shoot me----he got Miles Ferguson to beat me & the both together beat me badly." Payne came by a summons & on proof of guilt offered to let them go back gather the crop & have their share & I fined him for beating and ordering Ferguson to beat him 25 Dolls. Paid to Sam----

Aug. 3rd. Jane Turner (col'd) vs. Tom Eland. Jane says "Eland has driven me off and beat me & owed me 20 dollars but keeps it back to pay for a Doctors bill 2 years ago." Ordered Eland to pay Jane the 20 Dollars & 50 cents for everyday lost by this suit. All paid.

Aug. 4th. Anthony (col'd) vs. Bill Murray. Anthony says "Mr. Murray did on the 1st severely beat my wife and daughter with a stick because we were singing a union song." Send an order to Murray to appear at this office but was taken with the appoplexy & it is said died from mortal fear of the being put in the Bureau.

Aug. 30th. On Sunday Wm. Jones (as reported to this office by John Ryan Constable of the 8th District) did tie up a colored boy and give him 500 lashes, the boy died on the Tuesday following. This on the Franklin Road 12 miles out & 4 from ?Friune. Presented charge &c. to Military Commission, found the boy not dead but badly whipped & the criminal gone to parts unknown----

Sept. 3rd. Bee Whitney (col'd) vs. Isaac Rucker. Whitney says himself & "wife hired to work for the one third of the crop they made. In the month of June he wanted me to leave & said he had hands enough & when ordered off did not go, he beat my wife in the head side & body with a piece of board, the last blow knocked her down. This was 6 days before she had a child----He threatened to shoot us if we did not leave, we left----." Rucker refused to come & had to be brought by military force. The case was investigated & Rucker confessed the beating the woman----was fined 50 Dollars & paid over to the woman & a note for $94.40 for their work for 6 months.

Sept. 14th. Lina (col'd) vs. Widow Brothers. Lina says "I live with Widow Brothers on Fall Creek 13 miles----Mr. May the overseer tied me up because I would not consent to him & tied my clothes around my neck & beat me very badly then drove me off without pay or a morsel to eat-----." (Said girl 19 years old was welted all over shamefully). Mrs. Brothers & Albert Jones Administrator came on order & stated they knew nothing of the beating until the next day. May ran off to Georgia.

Sept. 16th. Unity and Minerva vs. D. Beasely. Unity is 70 years of age and suckled Beasely. Minerva is 45 & with her Beasely has cohabited nightly for 17 years (they have laid in the same bed that time at night). At the fight at Stone River Beasely left his home (a poor one) & told the 2 col'd women the Black hearted Yankees were coming----they might stay & have everything he left----he was going to his children----he left and after an absence of a year he returns & drives us into the street. The cohabitation he did not deny & drove the old woman off because she could not work & Minerva because she would not submit to his lust----Ordered him to permit them to stay rent free & pay 9 dollars rent paid elsewhere while driven off & threatened with imprisonment if he ever urged his baseness on either.

Sept. 22nd. Israel Huntsman from Ohio & Agent for a carriage factory in Crawford County, Ohio goes through the country as a US Agent collecting taxes from the colored race to purchase them homes (with a six shooter). I arrested him & proved obtaining money under false pretenses----Sent to prison until he paid a fine of fifty dollars----he remained 3 weeks paid his fine (obtained by letter from his home)----I paid him 5 Dolls. to send him home 25 to the Negroes he had cheated & 15 to 3 families to help them to go to Georgia & 5 for stationary.

Dec. 10th. Sundry laborers vs. Peter Goodin. Said laborers say "they worked all the year for P. Goodin & last week he called in the due bill he gave us & paid us 20 per cent & promised to meet us all at the Bureau to pay the ballance----he left in the Cars yesterday & has cheated us all." (Gone to Napolean, Arkansas).

Nov. 27th. Tabby Wheatly vs. Andrew B. Payne. Tabby says on Monday 27 "Payne took my daughter & beat her badly----she came to my cabin & Payne & Miles Ferguson with him they wanted to beat the girl more, I would not let them. Payne then jumped on me & Ferguson struck me a dozen times with a stick. Payne took the girl down the back of the yard & pulled her clothes over her head & beat her holding his (?her) head between his knees. I heard the cries of he girl & ran down he then leg to the girl & began to beat me again." By order Payne appeared & confessed to the beating but denied that he sanctioned Ferguson's acts. Fined 25 Dolls. paid plaintiff. (This is Payne's 2nd Outrage).

Dec. 20th. Maria Posey vs. Andrew B. Payne. Maria says Payne came to her house in ?Larurgne yesterday. She was alone with her child 5 years old, she had been sick & was on the bed. "I got off the bed & was putting on my shoes when he pushed me back, I tried to pull up my clothes, I screamed, he let me alone----I jumped up & ran toward the door----I then saw a companion of his outside. Payne took up a fire shovel & was going to strike me with it when the man jumped in & took he shovel from him he then shoved me back on the fire & burnt up my dress (Dress shown). They then went off----." This case can't be proved the 3rd party can't be found & no proof but no doubt of guilt----. (This is Payne's No. 3 & is reckoned one of the most respectable among men).

Dec. 18th. Lewis Drennon (col'd) vs. T. Mahoney. Lewis says "Drennon (?Mahoney) came to my house last night about 9 or 10 o'clock (we were all in bed), he broke in the door & presented a large pistol to my head, demanded arms. I told him I had none he then struck me with his pistol over the eye, stunned me & cut my head open he then asked for my money, my wife got up, went to the box & took out & gave him my pocket book with a cents in it, he then went to the bed of my old father-in-law & searched his pockets & my childrens also & took every thing they had in it. He then went off (he had an accomplice outside). I then got up dressed myself & went to the next house, fearing they might come back, to get some help, while I was out they came back & beat my poor old father-in-law so bad I am afraid he will die." (Case is now being tried by Military Court. The old man died 2 days after the outrage).

Dec. 20th. Bill Stover vs. Rolla Miller. Rolla Miller did in the presence of 11 witnesses, ten of them white persons, shot said Stover putting 2 balls through the right arm with the intent to kill said Bill Stover while Stover was working for Miller's brother driving team. Cause----Stover took away a sister of his 10 years of age & formerly owned by said Miller. Said child was badly used. This case has been in the hands of the Military Court---now dissolved & case returned to me.

Murfreesboro, Jany. 17th, 1866
All of which is most respectfully submitted
John Seage.
Supt. F. & A. L.