The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 28
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
In spite of this continuing opposition, Davis persevered in car-
rying to completion his militia project.
The subsequent career of the militia in Texas can be divided
into two separate and distinct periods. The first phase lasted from
its beginnings in 1870 to the spring of 1873, when the Thirteenth
Legislature drastically revised the militia law. The second period
of activity, concentrated in the month of January, 1874, centered
about the short but exceedingly bitter struggle between Davis
and Richard Coke for control of the State House.
During the earlier period, militia activity was directly con-
nected with the State Police which had been created at the same
time as the militia. The smoldering resentment which was gen-
erated by the very existence of this body was further heightened
by the fact that many of its officers were Negroes. In attempting
to perform assigned duties, these negro policemen met with de-
termined resistance that not infrequently erupted into violence.
When these uprisings were so serious as to be beyond control of
the civil authorities, militia units were placed on a war footing
and sent in to force gubernatorial declarations of martial law.
The first of these disturbances occurred in Madison County
in November, 1870. In the wake of a local uprising against the
State Police, it was rumored that several of these officials had
been murdered by a mob of desperadoes who had freely ex-
pressed their intention to "kill every . . Radical in Madison
County and then go down and clean out Grimes County."18
Governor Davis sent his adjutant general and three hundred
State Guards to Madisonville to quell the riot. Order was easily
restored and the troops were rapidly withdrawn from the area.
Shortly thereafter, in January, 1871, it became imperative to
employ the militia in Hill County where the State Police at-
tempted to arrest two persons for the murder of two freedmen.
Acting upon a rumor that the suspects were hiding out in the
home of J. J. Gathings, the police, without a search warrant,
forcibly entered and searched the premises. Finding that the fugi-
tives had in the meantime escaped, the police immediately took
up the pursuit. While searching the neighboring countryside,
the policemen were themselves captured by a group of irate citi-
1sFlake's Daily Bulletin (Galveston), November 18, 1870.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957, periodical, 1957; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/m1/41/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.