Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas. Page: 293 of 1,110
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HISTORY OF DALLAS COUNTY.
I adjourned court there Saturday and started
to my home in Dallas, but I did not get here
until Monday, the day after the town was
burned. There were no railroads in those
days, you know, and travel was slow. I then
lived on Main street, where the St. George
hotel now stands. When I got home I found
the largest portion of the town in smoking
ruins. Nearly all the buildings on the square,
about fifteen business houses, were burned.
One two-story brick house was left standing
on the southeast corner of the square. It
was a saloon and I believe a saloon is kept
in the same building to-day. Residences as
far as my house had been burned. I remember
that when I got to town everything was
very quiet. It was almost a death-like stillness.
People talked in whispers, but they
were determined-looking. They were desperate.
They gathered in groups and they
were sure that nothing was said in the presence
of anybody who was not known to be
with them. A little after dinner T. C.
Hawpe, the sheriff, came to my house and
told me that a meeting was being held in the
courthouse. He was afraid they were going
to hang all the negroes in the county and so
entail a great loss of property. He said that
three were known to be guilty and he did not
think that any more should hang. He asked
me to go down and address the crowd and do
what I could to hold violence in check. I went
and when I got to the courthouse door-it was
a brick courthouse, the second built on the
spot where the new one is being erected-I I
encountered a doorkeeper. The guards were .
admitting only those whom they knew to bo
all right. The doorkeeper asked me if I
would abide the action of the people's meeting.
I replied that I would and I went in.
The first man I found inside said: 'Now,
we must vote to hang tllen three negroes,
but it won't do to hang too many. Wo
can't afford it. After we get the three let's call
up some rich man's negro and make a fight
to save him. If we save the rich man's
negro the meeting will not then turn around
and vote to hang the poor man's negro.' I
saw that he had an eye to business and I
thought it was a good suggestion. I went
up to the courtroom and talked about threequarters
of an hour. Being a judiciary
officer I then left the meeting and took no
part in subsequent proceedings. However,
the three negroes were condemned to death
by a jury of, I think, fifty-two men. The
fourth negro brought out belonged to Billy
Miller, the richest man in the county. Sure
enough a fight was made to save him and
succeeded, but Miller said that the negro
shouldn't stay in the county, and he afterward
send him away. The moderation wing
of the meeting compromised with the other
faction by offering and voting for a resolution
to whip every negro in the county. The
resolution was adopted and a committee was
appointed to do the whipping. I remember
my cook was whipped, but she said they
didn't whip her hard, and her husband
at that time got the only whipping he ever
had in his life. He was a fine mulatto, a
splendid blacksmith, and he would have noth-
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Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas., book, 1892; Chicago, Illinois. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20932/m1/293/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Public Library.