Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 1, January, 1998 Page: 28
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
from jail. Stevenson obligingly sent the request to his superiors who had deep concerns
about whether the evidence sustained Lewis' continued imprisonment. Stevenson argued
that Lewis' complaint about the sheriff and his deputy (he did not specify what it was) was
unjust. The two men were simply acting under orders from the sub-assistant commis-
All of Stevenson's arguments came to naught. Headquarters disapproved of his
action in the Lewis case. They contended that the June 11 mandate of the district court which
ordered the release of Lewis could not be interfered with and the black man was to be
released. And Lewis did go free, after posting bail, which he finally succeeded in procuring.
Stevenson declared that if Lewis failed to appear in court as required by the indenture, or
if directed to otherwise do so, he would immediately notify the sureties that the bond was
null and void. Thus ended the Lewis saga. Whether he ever had to stand trial for his alleged
mule theft is not known as Stevenson never indicated what happened.63
Brooks and Price
About 11 o'clock on Saturday night, September 19, 1868, Green Brooks, a
freedman, accompanied an intoxicated friend to a store owned by Edward Price, who was
white, to buy liquor. Words of "no very friendly character" were exchanged between
Brooks and Price. Price, in a rage, stabbed Brooks in the shoulder and inflicted a wound
which paralyzed the black man's arm. Brooks immediately walked to the mayor's office
and requested that a warrant be issued and a man dispatched to forthwith arrest Price.
Nearby, some freedmen were holding a dance. Hearing of the affray, a crowd of men
rushed to Price's store to discover the cause of the altercation. On the sidewalk, Price
challenged the crowd to fight, one at a time. The black mob, in no mood to lose their
advantage, seized Price, dragged him across the street, and beat and cut him severely.
However, they inflicted no life-threatening wounds, and Price managed to escape. The "dif-
ficulty, " as agent Stevenson referred to the racial clash, occurred on the same square where
his office was located. In addition to the freedmen abusing Price, they also began to fire
their pistols at who or what is unknown since it was "quite dark." Stevenson heard the shots
and "hit the deck." Whites immediately began to organize in front of the agent's office.
62 Louis W. Stevenson to Charles A. Vernou, June 15, 1868, Assistant Commissioner, Letters
Received, S-221; William Lewis to Headquarters, June 20, 1868, Field Records, vol. 71, p. 88; Endorsement,
Vernou, June 18, 1868, Field Records, vol. 71, p. 88, BRFAL, RG 105, National Archives.
63 Endorsement, M. Morse, July 20, 1868, Field Records,
vol. 71, p. 103; Endorsement, Charles A. Vernou, July 27, 1868, Field Records, vol. 71, p. 103; Louis W.
Stevenson to Charles A. Vernou, July 31, 1868, Assistant Commissioner, Letters Received, S-261, all in
BRFAL, RG 105, National Archives.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 1, January, 1998, periodical, January 1998; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151402/m1/28/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.