Happy Easter from The Treehouse, Butter-Style

April 21, 2019

Happy Easter!

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Restore the Ancestors, 2019 Version

April 20, 2019

There’s a facebook page about transcribing records on FamilySearch.com. This page is a collaborative effort. Their page description is as follows:

Description

The Restore the Ancestors Project is a community effort to index records of interest for African American genealogy. To begin indexing records, please visit our website for step by step instructions on how to volunteer! https://cfh.iaamuseum.org/announcing-the-restore-the-ancestors-2019-project-help-us-index-records-for-african-american-genealogy/ Please join us in making records of African American ancestors free and searchable by indexing one batch (or more!) of ten early Colleton County, SC marriage records! We will cherish your contributions. Project Coordinators are Angela Walton Raji, Toni Carrier, Alana Thevenet, Robin Renee Foster, William Durant and Candace Turpin. Organizational Sponsors are the Center for Family History at the International African American Museum, BlackProGen LIVE and FamilySearch.

Guess what? When you process a batch of ten – ONLY TEN – you can add this dandy little badge to your blog or website or facebook page or whatever.

Like this…

RestoreTheAncestors 2019

Only so far, I’ve done 12 batches of 10. Have you ever indexed records? So easy. FamilySearch is a free website; you only have to sign up, like registering for a class, in order to use the resources.

Because many hands make light work. And a rising tide lifts all boats. So, many people creating a rising tide of volunteerism benefits all people.

You can also pat yourself on the back. Just don’t break your arm; it will slow down your indexing.

Bound for Liberia: An Article from the Charleston Courier

April 15, 2019

From GenealogyBank, November 7, 1866, here is an article from the Camden Journal, reprinted from the Charleston Courier.

Camden_journal_1866-11-07_2

MISCELLANEOUS.

From the Charleston Courier.

FOR LIBERIA.

The African Colonization ship Golconda, Capt. Joseph Miskelly, will sail from this port on Saturday or Sunday next, with six hundred and fifty emigrants for Liberia.

We learn from Mr. Wm. Coppinger, Agent of the Society, that some three or four weeks ago there were twelve hundred applications for passage to Liberia this fall. The Society has also received numerous letters of inquiry from parties anxious to go in the spring. The passengers to go by the Golconda are mostly from South Carolina and Georgia, some three hundred being from Columbia, Newberry and other places in the interior of the State.

The voyage generally takes from thirty-five to forty days. Two of the parties are old residents of Liberia, returning home. These are a Dr. Isaac H. Snowden, who has been residing in Liberia some fifteen years, and the Rev. H. W. Erskine, who was taken there when a small boy by his parents from Knoxville, Tenn., and, after a residence there of thirty-six years, is now on a visit to America. He is now Attorney General of the Republic of Liberia. He takes with him his sister, 70 years old, and her husband, with their children, grand-children and great-grand-children.

The Rev. John Seys, Consul General for the United States Government and resident Minister at Liberia, who has crossed the ocean sixteen times, also goes out in the Golconda.

The Golconda was bought by the African Colonization Society last September and fitted out for an emigrant ship for this purpose. The vessel was purchased for $30,000, and the expense of provisioning and fitting her up has cost some $50,000 more, in all $80,000.

The emigrants are given free passage, and are supported by the Society for six months after their arrival at Liberia, by furnishing them with provisions and a house to live in. Grants of from five to ten acres of land are given, according to the size of the family.

Mr. Coppinger gives some interesting statistics in relation to the population, trade, etc.

Liberia is on the West coast of Africa. The Republic has six hundred miles of sea coast, and extends inland from fifteen to forty miles.– The soil was bought from the native proprietors, they having jurisdiction and ownership. The Americcan colored population is about fifteen thousand, colonized by the above Society. There are about three hundred thousand natives residing on the soil, all amenable to the laws of the Republic. Public schools have been established and there are several seminaries sustained by missionaries of this country. The college at Monrovia has a faculty of four colored men with about forty students. The college is in a most flourishing condition.

Considerable quantities of sugar, coffee and cotton are raised for export, and a large trade is springing up. During the war this trade was mainly with Great Britain, but it is now taking this direction, where it naturally belongs. Palm oil, and article peculiar to Africa, and obtained from the palm tree by the natives, is also a chief article of export. It is used mainly for the making of palm soap and for lubricating machinery. The value of the article exported in 1864 amounted to two million pounds sterling, or ten millions of dollars.

No white person is allowed to own land in Liberia or become a citizen of the Republic.

A tract of the Colonization Society gives the following account of a sugar planter:

Mr. Jesse Sharp, who was a house painter at Charleston, S. C., removed to Africa in 1852: had a few acres of cane on the St. Paul’s river, has aided in getting a mill by a judicious Vice-President of the American Colonization Society, and made his first shipment of sugar to the United States in March, 1859. He has been steadily adding to his fields of cane every year. In 1863, a much larger mill, with improved machinery, was advanced to him by two active friends of Africa, costing about two thousand dollars. This he paid for in 1864, with warm expressions of gratitude, and in the fall of 1865, he had some two thousand dollars in money in New York for the purchase of goods, and over twenty thousand pounds of sugar and nine thousand gallons of molasses undisposed of at home.

The editor of the Liberia Herald says:

“For the information of those who are incorrectly asserting in America that “Liberians have not anything else to eat but roots and wild animals,” we have thought proper to give a list of such animals, fruits, and edibles as are in general use with us in their appropriate season.

Animals–Domesticated--Cows, bullocks, swine, sheep, goats, ducks, fowls, pigeons, turkeys. Wild–Deer in abundance; partridges, pigeons, goats, cows, doves, red squirrels, summer ducks, rice birds, ground doves, etc.

Fruit–Water melon, musk melon, mango plums, orange, rose apples, sour sop, guava, tamarind, plantain, bananas, grammadilla, limes, lemons.

Fish–Mullet, whiting, perch, pike, bream, baraconta, mackerel, cursalli, herring, drum, catfish, grippers, oysters, crabs, carp, sun.

Edibles–Sweet potatoes, arrow root, turnips, carrots, shilote, cymblain, chiota, pawpaw, lima beans, ochra. peas, radishes, beets, cabbages, snaps, cucumbers, greens, salads, cassavas, yams, corn.

Besides the foregoing, there are many others, which we have neither time nor room to arrange here.

A coffee tree once planted and reared (which takes four years) will yield its increase two crops a year, year after year, bringing its reward with it–a hundred, a thousand, and tens of thousands, will do the very same, and certainly the scions, or the seed, are to be bought in sufficient quantities in Liberia. Arrow root, ginger, pinders, and pepper, grow with almost half trouble, yielding in full abundance if half planted. Indigo grows luxuriantly beyond all possible expectation; and as for fruits, the orange, lime, lemon, sour sop, guava, mango, etc, etc, we place Liberia against any country in the world, and with a fraction of labor, compared with the benefits they yield. Vegetables–the yam, potatoes, cassada, plantains, Indian corn, beans, peas, etc, etc, time would fail us to tell. Put them in the earth, and they are as sure to produce as the God of nature is to bring about the seasons. Still the idle will not have them. The lazy man has no part in this lot of good things. The word labor frightens the lazy man, and he will not curse us with his presence and example. The industrious love that word, or the thing it means, will come determined to do, and coming will conquer and be rewarded.”

 

Provisions for the Colored Deaf in Knoxville, 1867

April 14, 2019

More from the Freedmen’s Bureau’s letter from the Knoxville office. These images are from FamilySearch’s undigitized images, “Roll 16 (T142), Letters sent, vol 119, July 1866-Apr 1867″. These pertain to the office in Knoxville, Tennessee, directly after the Civil War.

2-18-1867 Deaf

Page 111

#45

Knoxville Te. Feby. 18″ 1867

Lieut S. W. Groesbeck

A. A. A. G. Bureau etc

Asst Com Office

Nashville Te.

Lieut:

In reply to your communication dated Dec 19″ 1866, asking for information with reference to the admission of Colored patients to the Deaf & Dumb Asylum at this place, I have the honor to enclose herewith a communication from the Sect’ry of the Board of Trustees of the above named institution from which you will see that “Colored patients cannot be admitted until the legislature provide apartments for them to occupy & means for their support.

I have the honor to be,

Very Respectfully

Your Obdt Servant

Samuel Walker

Bvt Capt & Supt etc

Report of the Poor: 1/19/1867

April 14, 2019

More from the Freedmen’s Bureau’s letter from the Knoxville office. These images are from FamilySearch’s undigitized images, “Roll 16 (T142), Letters sent, vol 119, July 1866-Apr 1867″. These pertain to the office in Knoxville, Tennessee, directly after the Civil War.

1-19-1867 report of poor P1

Page 96

#20

Knoxville Tenn Jan 19/ 67

Lieut. S. W. Groesbeck

A. A. G. B. R. F and A. Lds.

Nashville Tenn

Lieut:

In compliance with Your Communication of the 12th Inst. – directing me to forward an estimate of the number of destitute Refugees & Freedmen in this County to whom in my opinion it is necessary that rations should be issued – I have the honor to submit the following estimate with a brief report on the subject.

No of whites – none.

No of Colored – 5 women, 20 children = 25

The foregoing estimate embraces only those who are without any means of support & are entirely dependent on common charity for subsistence.

The attention of civic authorities – both county & city – was repeatedly called to some of these cases during last month, &, as I had hopes at the date of my last months report, December 31″ 1866 – that some measures would be adopted for their relieft, my Report was not as full on this subject as it otherwise would have been. The whole subject, however, has since been settled, by both the County, and City, authorities declining to render any relief to such cases.

The County Court met on the 7th inst. and after having the whole subject brought before it, & being urged by the Judge – Hon C. M. Jones – to either make an appropriation for the relief of such cases, or authorize him to send them to County Poor House, it declined to do either. A few days prior to this action by the County authoritiews, the Mayor & Board of Aldermen, of the City, held a meeting for the purpose of disposing of this subject. By invitation of the Mayor I was present at this meeting & after reading the orders on the subject & stating that the Government had ceased to issue rations in this state & that each town, county etc was expected to care for its own poor,

1-19-1867 report of poor P2

I urged the board to adopt some measures for the relief of such cases in this City, but they declined to take any action for their relief, except, to refund to me seven dollars, which I had expended from my own private funds, for the relief of one or two cases, which I am satisfied would have starved & frozen, to death, had I not had them taken in, & cared for, at the time I did, I was very much surprised & disappointed, at the action of the authorities here, for both the Judge of the County Court, & the Mayor of the City, had repeatedly in conversations on the subject given me to hope for an entirely different result. I am satisfied now – however that it will be useless to make any further appeals to wither the County or City on this subject.

There is no scarcity of provisions here but there are always some in all communities – both black & white – who cannot buy at any price. The Colored of this class here are now dependent, either on common charity, or the Government, for subsistence. If the Government proposes to provide for them, it will in my opinion be necessary to issue about five hundred rations per month in this City for at least two or three months – by a judicious distribution of this amount I think much suffering will be prevented.

Very Respectfully,

Samuel Walker

Bvt Captain Supt.

Relief Requested for Nancy Richmond, 1866-1867

April 14, 2019

More from the Freedmen’s Bureau’s letter from the Knoxville office. These images are from FamilySearch’s undigitized images, “Roll 16 (T142), Letters sent, vol 119, July 1866-Apr 1867″. These pertain to the office in Knoxville, Tennessee, directly after the Civil War.

RichmondNancy 12-28-1866

Page 80

#100

Bureau R. F. & A. L.

Supt Office Knoxville Tennessee

Dec 28th 1866

Col J. C. Luttarell

Mayor of the City of Knoxville

Col

I beg leave to call your attention to the case of Nancy Richmond Cold of whom I spoke to you about a few days since. This woman is evidently in a condition to require attention from some source other than common charity as she is far advanced in pregnancy and is without shelter or a home as my Orders distinctly state that the Civil Authorities will provide for their own poor it is impossible for me to take any action official, except to call your attention to the case. If this case does not come under your Jurisdiction please refer the paper to Judge Jones of the Count Court.

Respectully,

Samuel Walker

Bvt Capt & Supt.

RichmondNancy 1-3-1867

Bureau R. F. & A. L.

Supt Office Knoxville Tenn

Jan 3rd 1867

Rev Thomas W Humes

President East Tenn Relief Association

Knoxville Tenn

Dear Sir

I beg leave to call your attention to the very needy and destitute condition of a Colored Woman by the name of Nancey Richmond now quartered in the basement of the building occupied by me as an office. This woman has been begging through the streets of this City for some time but is now in such a condition that she even cannot do that as she is about to be confined. The attention of the civil Authorities has been respectfully called to this case but as yet they have declined to render assistance. The issue of rations and clothing to the destitute by the Government has ceased in East Tenn, And my Orders are such that it is impossible for me to appropriate a dollar of Govmt funds for the relief of this case. Anything I do in this and like cases must be done on my own account as a Private Citizen. I persuaded the family who now has this woman in charge to take her in by promising to see that they were paid and has already paid out seven dollars on her account. I feel satisfied that she would have perished had she not received assistance from some source. I take the liberty under these circumstances of asking you for such assistances as you may have the power to grant and feel that the case requires. I would also respectfully request that you use your influence with the city Authorities and urge them to adopt some measures for the relief of this and like cases. Unless something of this kind is done I fear there will be much suffering among this class of persons during the winter. Hoping to hear from you at your earliest convenience and that you may be able to aid me in this matter. I have the honor to be Sir

Very respectully

Your obt servt

Samuel Walker

Bvt Capt & Supt.

1-4-1867 RichmondNancy and SchoolHouse matters

Page 90

#9

Bureau R. F. & A. L.

Supt Office Knoxville Tenn

Jan 4th 1867

Rev Thos W. Humes

President E. T. R. A.

Knoxville Tenn

Dear Sir,

I have the honor respectfully to acknowledge the receipt of yours of the 3rd inst with Order on Mr. D. A. Deaderick Treasr E. T. R. A. for twelve Dollars to be used for the relief of the Colrd woman Nanney Richmond for which please accept my thanks. I would respectfully state that Judge Jones of the Count Court has been notified in this case but states that as the law requires parties to have been residents of the County for at least one year before they can be admitted to the County poor house, he has no jurisdiction over this case. I have the honor to be

Very Respectfully

Your Obt Servt

Samuel Walker

Bvt Capt & Supt

 

Funds for the Schoolhouse, 1866-1867

April 14, 2019

More from the Freedmen’s Bureau’s letter from the Knoxville office. These images are from FamilySearch’s undigitized images, “Roll 16 (T142), Letters sent, vol 119, July 1866-Apr 1867″. These pertain to the office in Knoxville, Tennessee, directly after the Civil War.

11-30-1866 Funds for SchoolHouse

Page 67

#85

Bureau R. F. & A. L.

Supt Office Knoxville Tenn

Nov 30th 1866

Maj Geo W. Marshall

Chief Q. M. Bureau R. F. etc

State of Tennessee

Nashville Tenn

Maj

In compliance with instructions from your office – dated Nov 7th 1866 directing expenditures to be made in referring the School House for Freedmen at this place – I have the honor to inclose herewith triplicate copies of No 22 Signed by R. M. Patterson – with Bills for work and material.

The Bills for Stoves and Chairs are included by verbal orders of the Ajt Comr – Gen’ Lewis.

As I have paid some of these bills myself and promised the carpenters theirs in a few days, I respectfully request that you for said (illegible) for the am’t as early a date as possible.

I have the honor to be, major,

Very respectfully,

Your obt servt

Samuel Walker

Bvt Capt & Supt.

1-4-1867 RichmondNancy and SchoolHouse matters

Page 91

#10

Bureau R. F. & A. L.

Superintendents Office Knoxville Tennessee

Jan 5th 1867

Maj Geo W. Marshall

Chief Q. M. Bureau F. F. & A. L.

State of Tennessee

Nashville Tenn

Major

Enclosed herewith please find an account for $13.49 being amount paid by R. M. Patterson Supt U. P. M. Schools for Stove & Pipe for use in School House at Beaver Creek. Mr. Burt in a communication dated Dec 8th 66 directed expenditures to be made at this point in repairing School House. Mr. Patterson made an arrangement with the Citizens of this place by which he is to have the use of a Church for the School purposes and States that this Bill of Stove etc is the only expenditures that are necessary at present. This church is owned by colored people.

Very Respectfully

Your obt Servt

Samuel Walker

Bvt Capt & Supt.

Request for Transportation, 11/1/1866

April 12, 2019

More from the Freedmen’s Bureau’s letter from the Knoxville office. These images are from FamilySearch’s undigitized images, “Roll 16 (T142), Letters sent, vol 119, July 1866-Apr 1867″. These pertain to the office in Knoxville, Tennessee, directly after the Civil War.

11-1-1866 Request for transport freedmen to Charleston SC

Page 54

#65

Bureau R. F. A. L.

Supt Office Knoxville Tenn

Nov 1st 1866

Isaac Benson Esq

Supt E. T. & G. R. R.

Knoxville Tenn

Sir

I have the respectfully to request that Beck and Henry – the parties who have the Freedmen in charge on their way to Charleston S. C. – may be furnished with transportation this day without waiting for papers. I will be responsible that you receive the necessary papers to collect the amt from the Govmt (the number of Freedmen in their charge and for which the Govmt has authorized transportation to be furnished is 162).

I have the honor to be Sir,

Very respectully

Your obt Servt

Samuel Walker

Brvt Capt Supt etc

11-1-1866 Freemen to Liberia

Page 56

#68

Bureau R. F. & A. L.

Supt Office Knoxville Tenn.

Nov 1st 1866

To the Supt

E. T. & Ga R. R.

Sir

I have the honor respectfully to request that Joseph Beck and Anderson Henry – the men who have the Freemen in Charge on their way to Liberia – may be furnished with transportation over your Road for one hundred and sixty two Freedmen. Without waiting any longer for papers.

The Government has ordered the transportation to be furnished but the papers have not yet come to hand and they have now been detained two days here an expense.

I will be responsible that you receive the necessary papers to collect the amt from the Govt.

Yours respectfully

Samuel Walker

Brvt Capt Supt etc.

Copy furnished for the Supt Western & Atlantic R. R. & the Supt of the S. C. R. R.

What happened to these Freedmen? Did they make it to Liberia?

Let’s ask the newspapers at GenealogyBank.

Clarksville_chronicle_1866-11-23_3

Clarksville Chronicle, 11/23/1866

New York, Nov. 19.–The Times correspondent gives some account of a party of two hundred and sixty freedmen, including families, who leave Columbia, S. C., to embark on the ship Golconda for Liberia.– They are to be accompanied by Miss Gregg, sister of the Confederate Gen. Maxy Gregg, who has long wished to undertake this enterprise to Africa. A second expedition is talked of for next spring. Similar agitation is reported at Columbus, Ga.

Pulaski_citizen_1866-12-21_3

Pulaski Citizen, 12/21/1866

Going to Liberia.

There is a notable movement among the freedmen in reference to emigration to Liberia. Six hundred sailed in the Golconda, from Charleston, on the 21st ult. They were principally from Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina. Another company sailed from New York on Wednesday, in the steamer Edith Rose, having come from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. They were well provided with agricultural implements and religious and educational books. They will form a colony on the St. John’s river, Grand Bassa county, Liberia, to be called Lincoln–

Nearly one thousand are still waiting transportation to the African republic.

Memphis_Daily_Avalanche_1867-08-03_[2]

Memphis Daily Avalanche, 8/3/1867

CHARLESTON.

*****

Charleston, S.C., August 2.

General Sickles’ removed the police of the town of Sumpter for alleged maltreatment of blacks and inefficiency. He has appointed two colored and one white policeman to succeed the late incumbents.

United States Marshall Epping was arrested last night on the charge of attempting to fight a duel with C. C. Bowen, owing to an abusive letter about Epping published by Rowen. The difficulty grew out of rivalry for the leadership of the Republican organization here.

Several freedmen, who emigrated from here to Liberia last year, have just returned, bringing very discouraging accounts. Letter from those who remain are to the same purport, and they advise Southern freedmen against emigration.

Brownlow's_Knoxville_Whig_1867-08-14_3

Brownlow’s Knoxville Whig, 8/14/1867

Letter of Erskine.

This interesting letter, preceded by an appeal from John Caldwell, will be found in our paper. The colored man has no better friend than Mr. Caldwell. He is the only one of a patriotic band living who, forty years ago, united in the purchase of the father of this man Erskine, whom they educated in Maryville for the Presbyterian ministry, and sent him as a missionary to Liberia.

The same letter was published in other papers.

(I’ll add here that I read up on “Parson” Brownlow, and he was said to be the most hated man in Tennessee. He caused problems and then wrote about them in the paper to boost sales. He changed sides during the War, and talked badly about the opposing sides, boosting sales again and earning money on a lecture circuit touring the North. He was the governor of Tennessee, then a U.S. Senator, causing problems everywhere he went. He bankrupted the state of Tennessee while governor. There’s more. Scholars have written about him, better than I ever could, and I certainly don’t want to write about him any more. History remembers him as a disgusting person.)

Daily_union_and_American_1867-08-20_2

Daily Union and American, 8/20/1867

LIBERIA.

The Emigrants who Left last Fall Well Settled—Preparations Made to Take More–Letter from H. W. Erskine.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 10th, 1867–

To the Freedmen of Tennessee: By reference to the accompanying letter from Rev. H. W. Erskine, of Monrovia, Liberia, you will get a history of the transportation and settlement of one hundred and fifty of your race, who sailed last fall, all of them from East Tennessee.

I take pleasure in informing you that the means are provided to transport and settle one hundred and fifty more this fall from this section. The book is now open in may office in Knoxville, and those who wish to go to their fatherland should enroll their names immediately. A vessel will sail from Charleston, S. C., early in November next.

Those who may desire to emigrate, will be furnished free transportation from Knoxville, and provisions for six months after their arrival in LIberia. Information furnished at my office.

JOHN CALDWELL.

Robertsport, March 6, 1867.–MY DEAR SIR: I am happy in inform you that the 150 people landed here are contented and happy in their new homes. The lands are already surveyed, plotted and allotted to them, and many have planted patches of corn, potatoes and garden vegetables, which are growing finely. Each married man receives twenty-five acres, and single persons ten acres. The new settlement is laid out on the river Marfie, which runs north or northeast from Cape ount, about sixteen or eighteen miles from its mouth. The lands are very fertile, and afford plenty of good timber for building purposes–such as rosewood, oak, redwood, etc., etc., etc. Water is plentiful, and of the best quality. In short, the new settlement, which we named, before we left America, Schieffelin, after our excellent Minister to your government, Henry M. Schieffelin, Esq., whose disinterested labors and numerous acts of kindness for the upbuilding of Liberia, and its future prosperity and progress, are known to but few, is in one of the best districts of Liberia. First, it is in the centre of the rice country. Second, palm oil, camwood, ivory, rice cotton and country cloths are brought constantly to market through this region. Third, fish of the finest quality are plentiful in the rivers and creeks. Fourth, the roads leading to the interior, and the Gallinas and Manna countries, lie in this district. It affords every facility for cheap living, while the soil seems to say, “Come and till me and I will reward your industry a thousand fold.” Nature has made it a healthy and inviting spot for the enterprising and industrious husbandman. An English trading house is established here, and is doing a large business. Let our intelligent people come to Cape Mount as they cannot do better anywhere. I feel it a duty I owe to them to do all I can to encourage them to come to their fatherland, and am willing to spend the remainder of my life in such a labor of love. My friends in Tennessee write to me to return again next fall, but I cannot promise the. Had I the means, I would willingly devote one or two years in the United States in giving information and directing my people to Liberia. I think I could be as useful to my race in that as in any other way. Yours truly,

H. W. ERSKINE.

 

Letter to the Honorable C. W. Jones, October 6, 1866

April 10, 2019

More from the Freedmen’s Bureau’s letter from the Knoxville office. These images are from FamilySearch’s undigitized images, “Roll 16 (T142), Letters sent, vol 119, July 1866-Apr 1867″. These pertain to the office in Knoxville, Tennessee, directly after the Civil War.

Letter to Judge 10-6-1866

Page 40

#51

Bureau R F A L

Supt Office Knox Co. Tenn

Oct 6th, 1866

Hon. C. W. Jones

Judge of the County Court

Knox Co Tenn

Sir:

I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a letter addressed by me to Mr. Wm. P. Crippin – one of the Commissioners of the County Poor House – with his reply. And would respectfully request that – if Consistent with existing Laws And Regulations governing such cases – the Commissioners of the Poor be directed to admit the Colored Woman referred to – to the Poor House.

I have investigated this case thoroughly and am fully satisfied that she is really an object of Charity.

A Surgeons Certificate now in my possession shows that she has been an idiot from infancy.

Hoping the case will meet your favorable Consideration and receive prompt attention.

I have the honor to be Judge

Very respectfully

Your obt servant

Samuel Walker

Brvt Capt & Supt.

Pag 33 & 38

The Circular Letter Report: August 31, 1866

April 8, 2019

More from the Freedmen’s Bureau’s letter from the Knoxville office. These images are from FamilySearch’s undigitized images, “Roll 16 (T142), Letters sent, vol 119, July 1866-Apr 1867″. These pertain to the office in Knoxville, Tennessee, directly after the Civil War.

CircularLetterReport 8-31-1866 P1

Page 19

#27

Bureau of F and AL

Superintendents Office

Knoxville Aug. 31, 1866

Bvt Brig Genl F E Trotter

Chief Supt etc Chattanooga Tenn.

Genl

In compliance with circular letter from your office of Aug 7, 1866, I have the honor to report as follows.

In regard to the relations existing between the whites and Blacks of this city of Knoxville and immediate vicinity I can report favorably. The Police however occasionally beat and (illegible) on the blacks on short pretexts and for reasons existing in their prejudices for the Negro only and not for any violation of the law. This disposition on the part of the police may be considered a reliable index to the feelings & sentiments of the more ignorant white population toward the black. Still in every instance that has been brought to my attention of manifest injustice toward the blacks, there have been men among the better informed and more respectable classes to come forward and secure justice in favor of the injured parties. This unproved disposition among the better classes of society here is becoming so manifest that I do not hesitate to say that the time is rapidly approaching when the colored people will receive ample protection by the courts of this County.

In the Country Districts the case is different if the complaints and representations made by the blacks to this office (illegible) in a limited sense to select upon. They

CircularLetterReport 8-31-1866 P2 and P3

Pages 2 and 3

represent that the ignorant white “low down” treat them with Great violence & I disregard their sorry right. Ordering them from their cabins with out any other pretext show as it some times happens a drunken whine and then help themselves to whatever may please their fancy or satisfy their appetites, rob other in open day of the poultry from their yards and threaten them with death if they dare to oppose them. They are often stoned or otherwise beaten and mal treated for attempting to protect their families from shameless insults or their property from loss. If they presume to lay their complaints before their county magistrates they are either denied the right to testify in the courts, or if their case be admitted to trial supported by their own evidence they are sure to lose it and have the costs to pay.

The foregoing statements are to well sustained by facts to admit of doubt and so long as such outrages once permitted to be openly perpetrated in the face of a public sentiment which fails to punish the guilty parties or some fail to protest against such conduct on their part so long will some one clothed with extraordinary authority be required in these districts to receive the ends of Justice and prompt what in time if no change is made for the better must lead to unhappy and (illegible) conflicts between the whites and blacks.

I can submit nothing more than these general statements, for although I am well convinced of their truth in the main I have not been able to visit the districts said to or ill disposed to the negro and consequently do not feel at liberty to report names or designate acts as outrages and close here as such without having full and direct evidence of all the facts in relation to them.

Enclosed herewith find tabular statements made in compliance with Circular No 14 Asst Com’s office C. S. 1866.

Very respectfully

Your obt Servt.

S. W. Groesbeck

Lt. A D C & Supt etc