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Phoebe Jones (Freedwoman) Testimony in relation to the killing of her son Kit by his former Master John Echols

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"

Brazos Bottom
Burleson Co., Tex.
Dec. 18th, 1865

Phoebe Jones (Freedwoman)
Testimony in relation to the killing of her son Kit by his former Master John Echols

Phoebe (Freedwoman) being duly sworn testifies as follows ----

On the day that my son was killed by our former Master Mr. John Echols I was laying in my bed sick when my son (Kit) came from the gin house & asked me what was the matter. I told him I did not know what was the matter. He said that he would go to the house and see the old man (Mr. Echols) & see what he had beaten Harriet about (Harriet is my son's wife). I told him he had better not go. He did go however, & in a few moments I heard the gun & I jumped out of bed & ran out in the yard to my son whom I found lying on the ground dead. He only breathed twice after I reached him. This is all I know about it.

Cross examination by the Agt. F. Bureau

Q. Did your son appear excited when he came into the house as you stated.

A. No.

Q. Did he take a knife when he started to see "The Old Man."

A. Yes he had a knife in his headband.

Q. Have you got the knife in your possession.

A. Yes I have.

Q. When you saw your son after he was shot was the knife in his hands or near him.

A. Yes, the knife was out of the headband & lying on the ground underneath him.

Q. Had you heard previous to this transaction of any threats made by your son against Mr. Echols.

A. No.

Q. How long did you belong to Mr. Echols before you were free.

A. About 15 years.

Q. During that time has he treated you & all of his slaves kindly & taken good care of them.

A. Yes.

Q. Since you were made free have you discovered that he treated you or them differently.

A. No.

Q. When was your son buried.

A. On the evening of Monday following the day he was shot.

Q. Do you know anything of Mr. Echols settling accounts with the freedmen whom he employed.

A. I saw the money they received which was specie.

Q. Did you ever hear anything about Mr. Echols saying he did not want your son to stay on the plantation any longer.

A. Yes I heard my son say so --- & Mr. Echols offered them wagons to move.

Cross examination by the accused.
The witness testified as follows.

Q. Did I not take two white gentlemen with me to your quarters & tell you in their presence that I wanted you & others who were not going to stay on the place to leave it peaceably & without any further trouble.

A. Yes sir.

Q. Do you know anything about the clubs which was picked up near the house.

A. Yes. The boys were in the habit of carrying them at night for a year or more. They did not carry them in the day time. The one shown me now belonged to my son Kit --- who was killed.

Q. When I entered your house on Saturday morning & had to make Harriet get out of bed and leave the house did you see me beat her.

A. No --- I heard & saw you trying to make Harriet (my son's wife) get out of bed but did not see you beat her.

Q. Do you know to whom the larger club (marked A. I.) belonged --- or who had it in possession at the time your son was killed.

A. I do not.

I certify & acknowledge that the foregoing statement & answers are correct & I have made them under oath.

Phoebe (X) Jones

John Goodwin
W. F. Grant