The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990 Page: 304
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
His first investigation concerned the complaint of a freedwoman
against a local white who, she claimed, struck her without cause. When
Brown called in F. W. Minn to answer to a charge of assault and battery,
Minn said he would not come. Immediately the whole town was astir,
urging Minn to make good on his threat and show up this Yankee inter-
loper. Minn eventually came in, to the cheers of the crowd, with a large
revolver in his belt. He walked into Brown's office and began to berate
the agent. Brown told him to shut up and sit down. Minn refused.
Brown fined him fifty dollars for contempt. Minn said he would not
pay. Brown then disarmed him and, as the crowd outside cursed and
hooted, threw him in jail.
That evening, as Brown passed through a local saloon, another man,
Andrew King, drew a six-shooter and attempted to shoot the agent in
the back. Brown sensed the movement behind him, spun, drew his own
handgun, and leveled back the hammer. King panicked, ducked be-
hind the bar, and darted out the back door. A crowd followed Brown
up the street to his boardinghouse. Some taunted him, others bet on his
longevity. When another mob gathered later that same night to free
Minn, Brown brought up his escort of seven cavalrymen, scattered the
menacing crowd, and set up a guardpost at the jailhouse. Two days
later, still in his cell, Minn said that he had thought it all over and would
pay the fine. Brown also required Minn to apologize to him publicly
and post a $2,ooo bond to keep the peace in the future. The jeering of
the crowd, said Brown, had stopped.2
Brown's introductory experience in Paris was typical of what awaited
any man who assumed the burdens of protecting the newly freed slaves
in northeastern Texas. Only he was lucky. None of the threats against
his life had been more than superficial. It would not always be so. The
examination of the careers of men like Brown, who were local agents of
the Freedmen's Bureau, has been a fruitful endeavor for historians, be-
cause it has led to much revision of outmoded stereotypes." In the case
2Brown to AAAG, Nov. 30, 1867, Reports of Operations and Conditions (ROC), AC, T.
When Minn's original assault case was reconvened for a hearing later in the month, Brown
found that the evidence did not support the accusation and dismissed the suit.
3John Hope Frankhn, "Whither Reconstruction Historiography?" Journal of Negro Education,
XVII (Fall, 1948), 446-465; Bernard A. Welsberger, "The Dark and Bloody Ground of Recon-
struction Historiography," Journal of Southern History, XXV (Nov, 1959), 427-447; T. Harry
Williams, "An Analysis of Some Reconstruction Attitudes," ibid., XII (Nov., 1946), 469-486;
Francis B. Simkmns, "New Viewpoints of Southern Reconstruction," ibid., V (Feb., 1939),
49-61; Howard K. Beale, "On Rewriting Reconstruction History," American Historical Review,
XLV (July, 1940), 807-827; Vernon L. Wharton, "Reconstruction," in Writing Southern History:
Essays in Historiography in Honor of Fletcher M Green, ed. Arthur S. Link and Rembert W. Patrick
(Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1965), 295-315; Staughton Lynd, "Rethink-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990, periodical, 1990; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101213/m1/360/: accessed May 28, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.