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Harriet Echols, Freedwoman Testimony in relation to the killing of her husband 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 1868

Harriet Echols, Freedwoman
Testimony in relation to the killing of her husband Kit by his former Master John Echols

Harriet Echols (Freedwoman) being duly sworn testifies as follows ----

On Saturday morning before daylight (Dec. 8th) Mr. Echols came to Phoebe's (my mother-in-law) house where I was in bed & commenced to beat me. My husband was at the gin house baling cotton. The old man (Mr. Echols) went to the corn crib & started to the house with a sack of corn. My husband Kit followed behind him which I saw from the corner of Phoebe's house. This is all I know about it until I saw the old man shoot my husband.

Harriet (X) Echols

Robt. (X) Graham Co. "B" 37th Ill. Vol. Reg.
W. T. Grant

Examined by the Agt. of the Freedmen's Bureau the witness testifies as follows ----

Q. How long before daylight on Saturday morning did Mr. Echols come to Phoebe's house.

A. About half an hour.

Q. How long had your husband been then gone to the press.

A. I do not know.

Q. Do you know that your husband had gone to the press.

A. No I do not --- I only heard so.

Q. When your husband followed behind Mr. Echols --- from the corn crib towards the house --- do you know whether he had any weapon.

A. Yes he had a knife.

Q. Did you see the knife after he was killed & if so where.

A. When I got to him after he fell the knife was lying under him.

Q. Was it out of the headband.

A. Yes.

Q. In what part of the body was your husband shot.

A. In the right shoulder.

Q. Had you previous to your husband being killed heard him or any other of the servants on the place make any threats against Mr. Echols or any of his family.

A. No sir.

Q. Did not Mr. Echols frequently tell you & your husband after you were made free that he did not want you to stay on his plantation. That he wanted you both to leave & would not pay you for staying any longer. And did he pay you or not.

A. Yes he often told us to go away & offered to furnish wagons to move us. And he also paid us for all the labor we performed for him.

Q. State what your mother said about the wages Mr. Echols paid you.

A. I don't know anything about that.

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

A. He raised me from a child.

Q. During the time you were his slave was he in the habit of treating you & his other slaves kindly, supplying your wants in food, clothing, nursing &c.

A. Yes he was.

Q. Since you were made free has he treated you or them differently.

A. He has not.

Q. Was he ever in the habit of whipping you or others.

A. Not much.

I certify that the foregoing answers were given under oath & are correct.

Harriet (X) Echols

H. Cooper
W. F. Grant

Freedwoman Phebe Jones recalled

Q by the agent of the Freedmen's Bureau. At what time in the morning did you hear did you hear in the morning Mr. Echols in the house. (transcribed exactly as written)

A. About sunrise.

2nd Q. Is the knife now in my possession the knife Kit carried the morning that he was killed.

A. It is.

Phebe (X) Jones

Thos. L. Goodwin
J. C. Goodwin