Re: Senate Rpt - Negro Exodus from So. States PT 2
The following account spanned over 15 pages. Only the last one-half page is quoted here.
Statement of Affairs and outrages in the South, 1866
"...says they to me you had better leave this part of the State; if I did not I would get killed. Says I, "All right, gentlemen, I will leave; but I will see my race at another time, and they will all vote a I vote." And they told me if we voted the Radical ticket they were going to carry the election, and elect their president and State ticket, or kill every Negro in the State. I said nothing more, but left; and on my way to Cotton Galley, near the line of Bossier and Webster Parish, I seen many colored people, and they told me that the white people had told them that if they voted the Radical ticket they would not furnish them anything, but would not let them have a thing off of their plantations, and they should not have any club meeting about or in that part of the State. So I am advised by the colored people to not attempt to organize any clubs there. I left, and met white men all along the road I was traveling, asking me where I was going and what my business was, but I never would tell them nothing. At some places the colored people talked as though they did not care to vote, for fear of the white people taking away all they possessed and run them off the plantation.
After the large meeting at Longview, in Bossier Parish, I left and went above Benton, at or near Gum Springs; and I staid there all night, with a large crowd of men and women, colored. Some of them told me they had been working on the [B/]Widow Dickson plantation since 1866, and some since 1868, and some ever since the war, and before the war; and they told me that they never could get a settlement with the owners of the places, and that they had made from five to thirty-five bales of cotton per family, and they had never drawn as much as one hundred dollars during the entire year;
[Snip]... and allow them no credit, only what they got from her, and give to her own price. I seen some of their bills, and found them charged from 35 cents per pound for meat, and even 40 cents per pound, when the same meat was selling for 12.5 cents per pound. Meal $3 per bushel, when it was selling for $1 per bushel. I seen their accounts from 1866 to 1874 kept by them on their memorandum books. I also seen where they had receipts for horses, and mules, and made to pay for them again. Many were there from all parts of the parish that night, and the most of them told the same story about the treatment they received from the whites in that parish. The next day all up and down Red River on the plantations, I seen colored men and women, and talked with them about how they were getting along; and they would say to me, if we cannot do any better than we have been doing here since freedom, we had better leave the country and migrate to Africa. So I told them that if we cannot vote this election and elect our men, Republicans, without the whites taking it away from them and us, as they have done for some time, we will and can go to Liberia, if the United States Government will not give us a territory to ourselves somewhere in the United States, and I hope you will all vote this year."
Statement of Outrages Committed in Louisiana During the years 1865 to 1866
[Compiled by Henry Adams]