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Freedmen's Bureau Records - Testimony of James E. Haynes, a colored man

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"

The State of Texas
City of Austin

James E. Haynes a colored man, being duly sworn testifies as follows: ----

I reside in Freestone Co. have been there going on four years --- between Woodland and Cotton Gin. I have a crop on the place of Dr. Gibbs in said Co. I rent a cabin on the place. About the last of April 1868, some men came to my cabin at night, between midnight and day and called my name several times. I did not answer them --- for I expected trouble. They then broke the door down, and two men came in with pistols in their hands. There names are Capt. Davy and Jim Oliver, both living in that neighborhood. Jim Oliver tried to throw a rope which he had in his hand over my head. I threw it off. I hollered for help. Davy drew his revolver on me several times. They said that they had orders from Hd. Quarters at Waco to carry me to Fairfield. They required me to swear that I would not resist them. They caught me by the arm and led me out of doors, and in the dark I dodged round the house and got away from them.

I made my way to Waco in company with Mark Walker, and staid there about three weeks, when I returned home, and kept hid till over a month. When some U. S. Soldiers came there, on their return to Austin, I came away with them.

On our way to Austin, near Judge McCracken's, in Freestone County, Judge McCracken came to us. He talked with the Major commanding the soldiers and told him there were men nearby ready to take the prisoners, Jim Oliver, Capt. Davy and John Dunn. This is what I understood him to say. The Major gave them up.

I know of no reason for the assault made upon me by these men, unless it is because I am a member of the League. They had frequently threatened to kill the League men, Jim Oliver had tried to get me once before from my house.

A Freedman, Dick Bonner, was killed by white men in Fairfield, Freestone Co., and one in Springfield, Limestone Co. about 2 weeks ago.

(signed) James Eaton (X) Haynes

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 18th of June 1868.

(signed) Thad. McRae
Clk. Court on Lawlessness

A True Copy

I would here add that a few weeks ago, Dick Crowder, a preacher, 65 years old, in Navarro Co., was hung up three times, to a tree by some white men, saw the marks on his neck----

He is reported since then as dead.

(signed) James Eaton (X) Haynes

Sworn to and subscribed to before me, this 19th day of June 1868.

(sgd) Thad. McRae
Clerk Court ----

A True Copy