Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas. Page: 294 of 1,110
HISTORY OF DALLAS COUNTY.
ing to do with the negroes. IHe opposed the
abolition of slavery and thereby engendered
the ill will of all the negroes. He is living
now on Elm fork, about seven miles from
here. The public meeting in the courthouse
was held Monday afternoon, and I think the
three negroes condemned were hanged the
following Wednesday in the forenoon. I
was not at the hanging and I took no part in
it, but most of the people had their negroes
there to witness it.
" I am satisfied the town was fired by negroes.
Mr. Cameron, who lived on the Fort
Worth road, twelve miles from Dallas, had a
negro boy about twelve years old who came
to town every Sunday to get the mail. When
he got back home that Sunday after being in
Dallas his master saw the smoke from the
burning town and asked him what it was.
He replied that Dallas was burning. He
was asked how he knew it. He said that as
he was going to Dallas that morning Uncle
Cato, who was then a notorious negro in
these parts, told him to look out, that Dallas
would be burning before he got back home.
This to my mind was most convincing proof.
Old Cato was captured and he implicated the
other two negroes who were hanged with
him. Their stories were corroborated by
other negroes, so that there could be but little
doubt that the negroes started the fire. They
stated that two white preachers from the
North put them up to it, and a committee
waited on the preachers. I never saw them,
but after the committee waited on them they
were whipped and told to leave the country.
At that time there was a good deal of house
burning all over the country, but the war
soon came on with its exciting events, and
that is the reason I reckon nothing was ever
recorded about the burning of Dallas and the
threatened slave insurrection. It almostpassed
out of the minds of the people."
A TALK WITH ONE OF THE JURYMEN.
The News reporter ran down a member of
the jury of fifty-two (Judge James Bentley),
a majority of whom sent the three negroes
to their execution. He declined to be interviewed,
saying that this was a bit of Southern
history that was not good. " The two white
preachers," he said, " I believe to have been
guiltless of the charge laid against them,"
and before the speaker knew it he was rattling
away with an interesting narrative of the
capture of the preachers, the burning of the
town and the hanging of the negroes.
"When the preachers were captured," he proceeded,
" one of them doubtless would have
been shot in his buggy, but his wife threw
her arms around his neck and threw herself
in front of him, so that the vigilantes could
not shoot him without shooting her. She
made such a piteous plea for her husband's
life that they decided to spare it. The elder
of the preachers was not wanted, but he refused
to leave his brother of the cloth. He
said that he would return to Dallas and go to
jail with him. The preachers were afterward
whipped and told to leave the country. I
think that about the extent of their connection
with the negroes was that they had been
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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/m1/294/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Public Library.