The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969 Page: 471
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The Texas State Police During Reconstruction
grams with little consideration of possible benefits. The war's disrup-
tion of the conservative Texan's traditional values often caused him
to defend with increased tenacity those southern traditions and insti-
tutions which had somehow survived the war. When given an oppor-
tunity to change or reform these institutions, even in the face of ap-
parent need, the conservatives were either unable or unwilling to do
so within the Radical framework. The conservation of traditional in-
stitutions and values became paramount to the conservative Texan,
and much of his frustration and bewilderment took the form of bitter
resentment toward the bearers of change, the Radical regime.
Texas was in political chaos during Radical rule and there was an
alarming increase in lawlessness. This lawlessness can be laid to many
factors: demoralization of a defeated section, the frontier condition
of much of the state, racial and political animosity, social disorgani-
zation, and unsteady economic conditions of the state.
Several studies indicated that a state constabulary was badly needed.
One of the most conclusive was an investigation by the Committee on
Lawlessness and Violence of the Reconstruction Convention of 1868-
1869. The committee collected pertinent information from the records
of the sub-assistant commissioners of the Freedmen's Bureau, studied
state department files, pursued reports of the district courts, and took
sworn statements from witnesses.' The committee first reported its
findings to the convention on June 30, 1868. A supplementary report
was issued on July 21 after additional information was received from
members of the convention who cooperated, regardless of their po-
litical affiliations, concerning lawlessness in their districts." The com-
mittee's two reports revealed the following statistics on homicides:'
YEAR WHITES FREEDMEN TOTALS
First Second First Second First Second
Report Report Report Report Report Report
1865 .... 39 47 38 51 77 98
1866 70 75 72 95 142 170
1867 .. 166 173 165 174 331 347
1868 171 182 133 137 304 319
Year Unknown 24 32 21 29 45 61
Race Unknown 40 40
TOTALS 471 509 429 486 939 1,035
5The Special Committee on Lawlessness and Violence was appointed by Davis on June
6, 1868. Eight members were named including Radicals G. H. Whitmore, A. Bledsoe, and
J. H. Lippard. Several moderate Republicans and at least two Conservatives, W. H.
Mullins and D. W. Cole, also served. Journal of the Reconstruction Convention, 1st Sess.
(Austin, 1870), 193, 194; 500-505.
'Ibid., 193, 194; 500-505.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969, periodical, 1969; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/m1/543/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.