Reminiscences of reconstruction in Texas ; and, Reminiscences of Texas and Texans fifty years ago Page: 19 of 58
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RECONSTRUCTION IN TEXAS. 19
among the negroes, giving them tickets and soliciting their votes.
Soon he was accosted by the boss, who demanded in an angry and
insulting manner to know what he was doing. The writer
informed him, when he replied, with an oath, that he had no right
to electioneer with the negroes, and that if he knew what was best
for him he had better quit at once. At this juncture the writer
felt a tap on his shoulder, and on turning, faced a friend, a very
determined man, who beckoned him to one side and said, "I heard
what he said to you; do you want him killed? if so he shall not
live two minutes." The writer said no, he did not want him killed
or harmed. "My friend, we now have a prospect of ridding Leon
county arnd the State of negro and radical domination, if we
behave ourselves and act peaceably. What you propose to do would
ruin us in Leon county. We cannot afford it, we have too much
at stake; besides, we are right in the jaws of Davidson's police,1
who are now on the ground." A short time after this occurrence,
the writer saw the boss and his lieutenants mount their horses and
leave the town at full speed. The writer does not know the cause
of their hasty retreat; they may have discovered some danger signal
hoisted. From their hasty departure one would infer that
they deemed speed an essential element of safety.
After the admission of Texas back into the Union, the organization
of the State government with E. J. Davis as Governor, the
trials and troubles of the people of Texas had by no means ceased.
The laws passed by the Twelfth Legislature, a body seemingly entirely
subservient to the will and wishes of the Governor and the
Radical party, placed the entire political machinery of the State
'The chief of police was one Davidson, who was authorized to make
requisition, with the approval of the Governor, for money to pay off the
police force. Davidson proved unfaithful to his trust, and fled to Belgium,
a country with which the United States had no extradition treaty,
to save himself from the effect of his defalcation. For the law establishing
this police force, see Acts of Twelfth Legislature, April session, 1870,
pages 19 and 20; also Acts of same Legislature, May session, 1871, pages
70 and 71. In addition to the regular body of State police, the Governor
had a right to call out a special police force in each county of the State,
which, when in service, was to be paid by the counties in which it was
called out. Both State and Specials were under the orders and control of
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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/m1/19/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .