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Miscellaneous Records Relating to Murders and Other Criminal Offenses Committed in Texas 1865 - 1868

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"

Carolina, Falls Co., Texas
July 11th 1868

My Dear Sir:

Our community still bleeds under the hands of the assassin. Night before last (Friday night) another assault was made on the family of the old Freedman, David Friar, who lived upon the premises of his old master, Labon Dodson, the result of which was the murder in the most atrocious & cruel manner of the old man & another Freedman, Jack Davidson, who had been wounded in the assault made upon the same family four weeks before, and the robbery of all the money, between one and two hundred dollars, the old man had.

From the evidence it seems that three men entered the house just before day, one stood at the door, and a number were outside, one of those within demanded & obtained without the slightest resistance, all the money the old man had, & then killed him & the other man mentioned, neither of them making any resistance whatever. The men then rode off stating that they had one hundred other men engaged in doing the same thing to all the Freedmen, who belonged to the Loyal League, such I learn was the evidence given before the Jury of Inquest, held over the bodies, by the wife and the other members of the old man's family. The character of the individuals murdered was that of inoffensive, orderly and industrious men, none more so in the neighborhood. Some four weeks since, I sent to the Governor & Genl. Reynolds, a petition signed by a number of the citizens of the neighborhood, the day after the first assault upon the same family. You can show this letter to the Governor, to whom I presume a copy of the verdict of the Jury of Inquest will be forwarded. The Freedmen of the neighborhood are very much alarmed and discouraged. They declare that they will leave the county as soon as they can get away, and well they may, for they have no protection under the law, & white men who would have justice done dare not say or do anything from fear of being assassinated themselves. To kill and rob the black people, especially the best and most thrifty class of them, those who have something to excite the cupidity of lawless men, is getting to be a practice tolerated by Society. No effort is made to find out and pursue the authors of such deeds.

The law is a dead letter.

Yours Truly
(signed) B. G. Shields

Capt. Wm. E. Oakes

A True Copy