Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 10, Number 1, January, 2000 Page: 14
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
Czech remained strongly in favor of the causes of the Confederacy and against the govern-
ment of the United States. These citizens, who called themselves conservatives, were con-
sumed by political opinions they embraced with a passion that bordered on madness. Though
the conservatives, who were predominantly white, were in the political minority, they con-
trolled most of the county's wealth and its only media outlets. They usually supported candi-
dates endorsed by the Democratic Party; and their contempt for black voters and other
voters who supported Republican, or as they called them, Radical candidates, can hardly be
overstated. In 1871, Fred Barnard, the editor of the Colorado Citizen, in a series of highly
inflammatory statements, summarized his view of the Republican agenda: "Heavy taxation
to keep the roads in order for the benefit of niggers ... Tax the white man to build school-
houses and educate nigger children ... Squandering the people's money to enrich scallawags,
carpet-baggers and niggers ... Disfranchising all respectable white men and placing the
ignorant negro over them ... Squandering the people's money in private speculation, to
enrich scallawags and niggers ... Heavy taxation for the white men of the South, and fat
offices for scallawags, carpet-baggers and niggers." The general disapproval of govern-
ment authority by the conservatives extended to the lowest level. On August 15, 1870, when
the state legislature reincorporated the City of Columbus, no provision for the public election
of city officials was made. Rather, the governor was empowered to appoint the mayor and
five city aldermen. Three of the men whom Republican Governor Edmund Jackson Davis
appointed, Edmund Eason, Bartley Harbert, and Isaac Yates, were black.'8
County government, too, was hampered by the extreme partisan feelings of the
citizenry. When, on July 4, 1870, the newly-installed county court met, controversy erupted
over the installation of the new sheriff, William M. Smith. The three Democratic members of
the court, Henry Clay Everett, Daniel Washington Jackson, and Johann Friedrich "Fritz"
Leyendecker, seemed inclined to reject the sheriff's bond. Though they acknowledged that
the bondsmen had more than enough wealth to support their positions, they objected to one,
Robert Earl Stafford, on the grounds that he "was a notorious desperado" whose property
was mainly cattle, and to another, Francis E. Jones, because he resided in and maintained his
property and wealth in Matagorda County. Camillus Jones, the Republican who presided
over the court, wishing to postpone consideration of the bond, set the vote on it for the
afternoon, then adjourned the court at noon, taking the copy of the sheriff's bond with him.
Though neither he or the other Republican, George S. Ziegler, returned to the courthouse
that afternoon, the three Democrats did. They declared that the session had been illegally
18 Colorado Citizen, May 11, 1871, June 15, 1876, July 6, 1876; Gammel, ed., The Laws of
Texas, 1822-1897, vol. 6, pp. 810-814; Colorado County Election Returns, Secretary of State Records
(RG 307), Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin. In addition to the three black aldermen
named above, the governor also appointed Simon Thulemeyer and John Richard Brooks aldermen,
and John C. Miller mayor.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 10, Number 1, January, 2000, periodical, January 2000; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151408/m1/14/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.