Reminiscences of reconstruction in Texas ; and, Reminiscences of Texas and Texans fifty years ago Page: 14 of 58
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14 RECONSTRUCTION IN TEXAS.
ford kept his soldiers under strict control, and they did not depredate
on the white people to any great extent, except on one occasion
they broke into a storehouse in town and carried off the most
of the contents. Next morning after the raid at night every hollow
tree, hollow log and thicket in the vicinity of the camp was stuffed
full of goods. The most of the goods were recovered. Capt. Bradford
was conservative, and gave the whites and the negroes good
advice, and very often adjusted difficulties between them. Capt.
Bradford was finally ordered away, and the company was left in
charge of a lieutenant from Indiana, who was not so conservative or
effective in keeping the whites and negroes on good terms. The
company was removed from the county before the election in
/ Chief among the troubles that came in the train of reconstruction
to plague the people of Texas, none were fraught with greater
evil than the Freedman's Bureau and the Loyal League. The
originators of these organizations intended them to nurture, educate
and solidify the Southern negroes in the interest of the Radical
party, and perhaps as an incident, they intended them to protect
the negro against imposition by the Southern whites, who
they mistakenly supposed were the natural enemies of the negro.
Whether this was so or not, the corrupt influences that crept into
both of these organizations resulted in the indiscriminate robbery
of the negro and the white man. In a short time after the advent
of the League, the negroes throughout Leon county were gathered
into it. The negroes at once became insulting and impudent in
their intercourse with the whites, and much excited over the assurance
given them by the white League leaders that they would, in
a short time, receive from the government forty acres of land and
a mule. Many of the negroes were so confident of receiving this
bounty that they mentally selected the forty acres of land they
would take, and the particular mule belonging to their former master.
It was not long before parties came along who represented to
the negroes that they had authority to survey and set apart to them
their land, which they would do for a consideration. They did a
thriving business with the poor, deluded negro. Through the influence
of the Bureau and the League the negroes became soured
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Wood, William D. Reminiscences of reconstruction in Texas ; and, Reminiscences of Texas and Texans fifty years ago, book, 1902; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth14387/m1/14/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .