Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 1, Number 2, Fall, 1989 Page: 30
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County.22 While the local newspaper said the
murder was motivated by robbery, Anthony B.
Norton, Unionist and newspaperman, who had
written a letter of introduction for Eben, was sure
that his friend had been murdered because he was
a Freedmen's Bureau agent and offered a $100
reward. Shelton Howard was quickly arrested
and indicted for Eben's murder. As late as
November 30, 1871, he had not yet come to trial.23
General Reynolds appointed William A.
Bledsoe, son of A. Bledsoe of Lancaster, as the
third agent for the 40th District. Young Bledsoe,
however, for fear of his life and at his father's
urging, established his office in Lancaster and
ventured into Dallas only rarely. The senior Bledsoe
said Dallas "is so corrupted with secession
that there is scarcely a corporals Guard of true
White Union [men] in the Town .. ," and complained
of the activity of the Klu Klux Klan in the
county.24 The final Freedmen's Bureau agent in
Dallas was Lieutenant Henry Norton who
accompanied the Company G. 17th United States
Infantry from Woodville, Tyler County, to Dallas
during mid-July, 1868. Apparently, Norton got
along quite well with the people of Dallas because
he was lamented by the townsfolks when Company
G left Dallas.
Thus, an interesting episode in the history of
Reconstruction in Texas was played out in Dallas.
William H. Horton and John J. Good were the
principal players. Good struggled to maintain the
status quo ante-bellum; Horton worked to effect
change. Opposition to Congressional Reconstruction
and to giving Freedmen equal political
and civil rights in Dallas is uncontrovertible.
Indeed, Horton appears as a sympathetic hero,
who worked against great odds and amidst serious
adversity to bring about political and social
change in Texas. Unfortunately, Horton's personal
corruption allowed those goals to be diluted,
and attention was deflected away from the major
issues of Reconstruction to his own excesses.
While Dallas and Texas would never be the same
in the post-war years, the direct political and
social changes expected from Reconstruction
were not immediately forthcoming; it was up to
another generation in another time to continue
'There have been developed over the years a number of historical interpretations of
Reconstruction, a period which, because of the complex swirl of political, social and
economic forces at work, is most intricate and complex A good statewide look at Reconstruction
is seen in Carl H Moneyhon, Republicanism in Reconstruction Texas, (Austin'
University of texas Press, 1980) For the most recent and thorough work see Eric Foner,
Reconstruction America's UnfinishedRevolution, 1863-1877, (New York. Harper & Row,
2Dallas Herald, November 25, 1865
'Ibid, May 5, 1866; April 28, 1866.
4The State of Texas was eventually divided into 59 Freedmen Bureau districts, Dallas
was in the 40th District along with Ellis, Tarrant, and, later, Johnson Counties
'Letter, Samuel S Jones to William H Horton, July 22, 1867, Roll 6, Records of the
Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and
Abandoned Land, 1865-1869, National Archives This set of archives, hereafter referred to
as the Freedmen's Bureau Record, Is reproduced on 32 rolls of microfilm and is available at
the Dallas Public Library Each roll of microfilm will be identified by the roll number The
Freedmen's Bureau Record m this series will be identified as Commissioners
6This description was taken from Horton's monthly reports to Freedmen's Bureau
headquarters in Galveston and later Houston See Report, June 29, July 30, August 26,
1867, Roll 21, September, 1867, Roll 22, Commissioners, Freedmen's Bureau Record
7Dallas Herald, August 24, 31, 1867
'Letter, William H Horton to Lieutenant J T Kirkman, Acting Assistant Adjutant
General, August 28; July 14, 1867, Roll 3, Education, Freedmen's Bureau Record This
series of microfilmed archives is entitled Records of the Superintendent of Education for
the State of Texas, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Land, 1865-1870
There are 18 rolls of microfilm in the series and will be identified as Education This
microfilm is located in the Dallas Public Library
9Letter, Mattie Davlm to Gov Elisah M Pease, February 7, 1869, Roll 7, Education,
Freedmen's Bureau Record The story of the Freedmen's Bureau efforts In education in
Dallas was gathered from monthly reports, rosters, and letters scattered throughout
microfilm rolls 4; 5,7; 8; 11, 12,13; 14; 16,17 Also in Commissioners, Freedmen's Bureau
Record, Roll 26; 27
'"Petition from A Bledsoe, et al, February 8, 1868, Roll 12, Commissioners, Freedmen's
"Letter, W H Horton to J. T. Kirkman, May 13, 1867, Roll 6, Report, Criminal
Offenses, July 15, 1867, Roll 32; Report, Criminal Offenses, December 31,1867, Roll 23,
Report, William H Horton to J R Richardson, January 31, 1868, Roll 24; Report,
Criminmmal Offenses, February 3, 1868, Roll 24, Report, Criminal Offenses, March 4, 1868,
Roll 12, Report, June 30, 1868 by William H Bledsoe, Roll 26, Report, Criminal Offenses,
July 31,  by Henry Norton, Roll 26; Report, Criminal Offenses, September 14,1868,
by Henry Norton, Roll 27 In Commissioners, Freedmen's Bureau Record
2Dallas Herald, August 17, 1867
"Letter, William H Horton toJ T Kirkman, August 15,1867, Roll6,Commissioners,
Freedmen's Bureau Record
"4Letter, E A Daniel to Major General Joseph J Reynolds, February 5, 1868, W H
Horton to J R Richardson, February 11, 1868; E A Daniel to Malor General Buchanon,
May 19, 1868, Roll 11, Commissioners, Freedmen's Bureau Record 15 Affidavit of Royce
B Scott, sworn before William C Wolff, March 16, 1867, Roll 32, Letter, William H.
Horton to J R. Richardson, Roll 18, Commissioners, Freedmen's Bureau Record
'"Affidavit of Robert L Sears, sworn before William C Wolff, March 19, 1868,
Affidavit of Abel Harding, sworn before William C Wolff, March 8, 1868, Roll 32,
Commissioners, Freedmen's Bureau Record
17Letter, John J Good to Ulysses S Grant, September 17,1867, Roll 12, Commissloners,
Freedmen's Bureau Record
'"Letter, William H Horton to J T Kirkman, June 8, 1867, Roll 6, Report, July 30,
1867, Roll 21, Commissioners, Freedmen's Bureau Record
"Letters, William H Horton to P E Morse, September 22, 1868, Roll 14, John M
Crockett to John J Good, August 7,1868, Affidavit of Robert Smith Guy, March 25,1868,
Affidavit of J Perry Taylor, August 24, 1868, Affidavit of Robert Smith Guy, August 24,
1868, J Perry Taylor to John J. Good, August 24, 1868, Roll 11, Commissioners,
Freedmen's Bureau Record Minutes, State of Texas vs Farrlngton Taylor, et al, July 4,
1867, 5th District Court, vol 57-68, p 31, State of Texas vs Farrngton Taylor, et al,
Case 731, Vol. F, October 27, 1870, p 10, in Dallas Public Library
20Letters, William H Horton to J P Richardson, April 20, 1868, Roll 18; John J Good
to Joseph J. Reynolds, August 29, 1868, Roll 11, Report of Criminal Offenses, July 15,
1867, Dallas, Roll 32; Affidavit of John J Good, August 19, 1867, Affidavit of W Stultz,
August 17,1868, Affidavit of Jeremiah H Brown, August 22,1868, Affidavit of Wlliam D
Flynn, August 28, 1868, Roll 11, Commissioners, Freedmen's Bureau Record Also see
Dallas Herald, July 6, 1867
2'Ths episode was taken from court documents, Daniel Murry vs Ambrose R Murry
and William H. Horton, Case 933, April 9, 1868, p 67,Minutes, 5th District Court; Dallas
County District Civil Case Papers, Box 43, Dallas Public Library, Dallas Herald, April 11,
1868; numerous affidavits and correspondence in June and August through September,
1868 in Roll 11, Commissioners, Freedmen's Bureau Record
22Report of Changes Among Officers and Agents, April 30, 1868, Roll 31, Commissioners,
Freedmen's Bureau Record, Dallas Herald, April 11 and 18, 1868
23State of Texas vs Shelton Howard, murder, Case 341, Subpoena Docket, Civil,
Kaufman County, Kaufman County Court House, Kaufman, Texas
2Letters, William H Horton to J R Richardson, February 12, 1868, Roll 12, A
Bledsoe to Joseph J Reynolds, May 8,1868, Roll 10, Commissioners, Freedmen's Bureau
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Dallas Historical Society. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 1, Number 2, Fall, 1989, periodical, 1989; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth35123/m1/32/: accessed October 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.