Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 1, January, 1998 Page: 16
- Highlighting On/Off
- Adjust Image
- Rotate Left
- Rotate Right
- Brightness, Contast, etc. (Experimental)
- Download Sizes
- Preview all sizes/dimensions or...
- Download Square
- Download Thumbnail
- Download Small
- Download Medium
- Download Large
- High Resolution Files
- View Extracted Text
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
In another incident involving a school, a Mexican by the named of Pat Lewis
and another individual entered the La Grange schoolhouse at night and pretended to be in
search of some person by order of the sheriff. Night classes were in session and the two men
threatened to break up the school. One of the disrupters drew a revolver on the pupils and
snapped the cap. No arrests were made. The following day the two parties went back and
apologized to the teacher, who agreed to let the matter drop. Stevenson apprised the sheriff
of what had occurred. He laid the matter before the grand jury, but because of the apology
and the fact that nobody had actually been injured, they refused to entertain any punishment.
There it ended.31
Crime and Violence
Throughout their respective tenures as bureau agents, Harris and Stevenson
had to contend with a variety of criminal cases. One of the chief functions of an active
bureau man was to monitor the local courts for actions involving the freedmen, to make
certain that they received a fair hearing or trial. It was also the field agent's task to keep
headquarters informed of any criminal outrages against blacks that occurred in the sub-
district supervised by bureau personnel. Although many of the complaints, whether civil
or criminal, may seem trivial from a modern perspective, it must be remembered that blacks
previously had no access to courts in the South, and thus they used the law and the bureau
to moderate a variety of disputes. Once the bureau standardized its reporting forms in late
1866 and early 1867, agents had to relay extensive information on criminal and civil actions
in the areas they directed. They, of course, had submitted this information to headquarters
before the standardization, but little was said or reported, except for a few totally
outrageous acts committed upon the newly emancipated. Both Harris and Stevenson were
generally comprehensive in keeping their superiors apprised of the various types of cases
that came before the local, county, and district courts, whether they involved freedmen or
not. This may have been an attempt by the agents to demonstrate to headquarters what type
of justice was being meted out to whites and blacks in their sub-district. Although their
major concern was quite naturally how the freedmen were treated by the legal officials, their
inclusion of whites and Mexicans allowed a broader comparison of the legal system.32
Throughout 1867 and 1868, Harris or Stevenson, when they reported on
criminal matters in their monthly report at all, would simply state that no murders or assaults
of any kind had come to their knowledge. In one report to headquarters Harris wrote that
31 Louis W. Stevenson to Charles A. Vernou, May 31, 1868, Assistant Commissioner, Operations
Reports, S-211, BRFAL, RG 105, National Archives.
32 Enon M. Harris to Joel T. Kirkman, May 31, 1867, Field Records, vol. 73, pp. 90-91; Harris to
Kirkman May 1, 1867, Assistant Commissioner, Letters Received, H-223; Harris to Kirkman, June 4, 1867,
Assistant Commissioner, Letters Received, H-234; Harris to Kirkman, June 4, 1867, Assistant Commissioner,
Letters Received, H-234, all in BRFAL, RG 105, National Archives.
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Matching Search ResultsView 25 pages within this issue that match your search.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 1, January, 1998, periodical, January 1998; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151402/m1/16/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.