Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 3, Number 2, May, 1993 Page: 62
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
With that the two separated, with the clerk going back inside and Mills
crossing the road and going into the grocery store to get the molasses. Armstrong came
out to help him, and the two rode home to Martin's. There they put the bucket of
molasses away, found Wyatt in the cotton field, joked and talked with him for about an
hour, then went to bed.
Naturally, the cotton pickers and their willingness to associate with blacks
and Mexicans dominated the conversation inside Frazar's after they left. It was finally
decided that Mills, Armstrong, and Wyatt ought to be flogged, and, probably at H. H.
Moore's insistence, that it ought to be taken care of that same night. Bowers and
Cabiness had already started home, so Williamson was sent out after them. When the
three returned, they, Foard Frazar, Vineyard, Langston, Mason, and both Moores set out
on horseback for Chappell's.
Chappell had left Frazar's Store about nine o'clock and, when he got home,
had gone straight to bed. Some time later, though he could not say exactly how long,
he was awakened by a man shouting to him from in front of his house. When he opened
the front door, the man asked him where Mills, Armstrong, and Wyatt were. He replied
that they were now working for Martin and were staying at his place. The man did not
at first believe him but was satisfied when Chappell offered to let him come in and see
Like Chappell, Martin already had gone to bed. He and his other workers,
Jim Davis, Tom Weller, Rufus Bryant, and Sam Ballinger, were all black. Martin's hands
all slept together inside his small home, and the three white men, Mills, Armstrong, and
Wyatt, were no different. Wyatt, in fact, slept in the same room as Martin and his wife,
Sarah, and two other workers, Bryant and Ballinger. Mills and Armstrong slept in an
adjoining room with Davis. Weller and his wife slept in the shed room.
Martin had been in bed for about an hour when he was awakened by a call
from his door. Arising and opening the door, he saw a man standing on his porch.
Though the man had a handkerchief over his face, Martin would later testify that he
recognized him to be H. H. Moore. The mysterious man demanded to know if the three
white men were there. When Martin answered in the affirmative, he demanded a lantern.
Martin lit a cotton lamp, handed it to Moore, and leaped back into bed, hoping that his
role in the night's events had ended.
Moore and another masked man, who was later identified by more than one
witness as Foard Frazar, made their way into the room in which Mills and Armstrong were
sleeping. With pistols drawn, they roused the two men from their beds and ordered them
onto the porch. Mills and Armstrong started to dress, but were forced to snatch up their
clothes and finish dressing on the porch. There they encountered the rest of the armed
men, with the exception of Williamson, who had been left with the horses. All of the
men except S. P. Moore were masked and had pistols. He was standing at some distance
from the house, behind a wagon, and had a Winchester rifle.
H. H. Moore, who was described in later testimony as the group's apparent
leader, and his confederate then went into the room where Mills was sleeping on a pallet
on the floor. They kicked off his covers, and with a "get up, damn you," hustled him onto
the porch. Like Mills and Armstrong, he gathered his clothes and dressed outside.
Armstrong was allowed to return briefly to his room to get his coat.
Nervously, Mills asked what the men wanted. The mob ordered them to
march in the direction of the wagon. With Wyatt in the lead, they did so. But when he
reached the corner of the house, Wyatt broke and ran. Someone yelled at him to stop,
then repeated the order. Wyatt continued to run and a shot rang out. He flinched and
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 3, Number 2, May, 1993, periodical, May 1993; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151388/m1/10/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed March 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.