The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953 Page: 408
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of the Negroes in Comanche County-one of the more exposed
frontier settlements-took advantage of their new freedom to
seek the comparative safety of the interior. The census of 1870,
showing a total county population of i,ool, indicated a drop
in the negro population from 61 to 24.3 By the 188o's the frontier
had moved farther west, the Indian menace had passed, and the
population had jumped from i,ooi to 8,608. Of tils number
only 79 were Negroes.
The employment of mobs in a frontier environment was not
unusual. Comanche County had had a long and successful expe-
rience in the use of mob violence for the protection of its citizens.
Since the first settlement of the county, the townspeople had
trailed raiding Indians; five hundred men had pursued John Wes-
ley Hardin without success; and vigilantes had been active for a
time. It is not surprising that the lack of efficient protection by
the legally constituted authorities had induced the people to act
for themselves, nor should it be expected that they would yield
their customary practice overnight no matter how efficient the
The emancipation of the Negroes and their sometimes in-
judicious actions in that freedom had augmented the bitter
aftermath of the Civil War throughout the South, and a wave
of violent anti-negro activities following the war had its effect
upon the frontier. Many of the settlers in Comanche County
had come to the new lands impelled by the necessity of beginning
life again-a decision caused by the ruin of their former lives,
a ruin for which many held the negro race directly responsible
This race prejudice was a constant factor over the entire South,
but it did not receive overt expression in Comanche County
until 1875. On April 20 of that year, Mose Jones, a former slave
of the Carnes family, ran amok and killed two young girls of
his own race and the two young sons of his employer, T. J.
Nabers. Mose had been employed by Nabers as a handy man for
several years but had borne a grudge against the family which
he revenged by splitting the skulls of Joe and Fleet Nabers
sThe Ninth Census of the United States (Washington, 1870), Table II, Popula-
tion of States by Counties, 63.
4Statistics of the Population of the United States at the Tenth Census (Wash-
ington, 1883), Table XXIII, 372.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953, periodical, 1953; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101145/m1/480/: accessed February 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.