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Eric England. Learn what it was like to be a one-man force in the jungles, and be so efficient that View Product. You think you've heard it all? There's much more. A white boy in the segregated But as to these grave imputa rations of corruption in the magistrates, in the grand and petit juries and the majority of the white inhabitants, so that justice could not be administeredin the courts, and that known murderers or other offenders were stalking abroad without arrest or pun- ishment, and that all this proceeded from a political combina- tion to overthrow the government or to counteract its policy as regards the colored population, they are gross calumnies, wholly unsupported by proof.

Fortunately, senators, these things depend not upon what lie has alleged, but what has been proved. It is not proved that any secret organization ex isteds at all, in the county of Caswell, and it is not proved that in the county of Alamance it affected the administration of justice in the least degree. No doubt some of the victims of secret violence may have been deterred by fear of further consequences from attempting prosecutions, v. These com- mand the sympathy and would have commanded the ready istance of all good men, upon prompt application for redress.

Whereas if they could identify the offenders, and had appealed to any re- spectable neighbor, they might have found friends who would have advised and aided them in obtaining redress. Henderson Coble, a respectable colored man, readily found such a friend in his neighbor, William Holmes, a former magis- rate, and upon his advice readily found the means of bringing to justice and consigning to the penitentiary the colored band calling themselves Kuklux, who wore the disguises and insignia of the order, led by Allen Paisley, a preacher, teacher and member of the Loyal League, who had inflicted stripes upon him.

Blood at Alamance!: The Murder Of Innocence: A Governor's Guilt

But not so with the timid magistrates at Graham. Two or three cases are brought before them, where the offenders were successful in concealing their indentity, and ail hope of success in such prosecutions is abandoned. Did it never occur to them that our law requires the same activity on the part of those who have suffered injuries or claim its protection — diligence and determination on the part of the.

Surely no offender ever will bo punished nnless some one is produced to prove the offence against a person charged with it according to law, and unless magistrates shall do their duty in arrest and commitment ; nor can grand juries or petit juries perform their office in subjecting criminals to punishment unless evidence is procured of the crimes imputed.

The respondent seems to have set out in the execution of his high office with a morbid feeling of partizanship, and a dispo- sition to convert every crime in the calendar which occurred after his accession to power into some kind of political hostility ; and very ungraciously, I think, goes hack to the protest of Governor Worth at the time he surrendered the office by the order of Gen. Canby, making a change in the government by the authority of congress and the elections held under its direc- tion. True, it is disclaimed on the part of the counsel that any imputation was intended upon the memory of Mr.

I don't think any such disclaimer is made by the respondent in his answer. Yet I think the people of North Carolina, of all parties, now that he has gone beyond the " bourne whence no traveller returns," will say that his action in office was emi- nently useful and just, and even his exit from it was patriotic and fearless. But when he yielded up the reins of authority, he did it in honor and good faith, and would, as would the friends he represented, have scorned any petty annoyances to regular government, and much less have plotted its overthrow by violence.

The idea that any man, at this day, should be so mad as to suppose that the government of the state, and much more the government of the United States, could be overturned by force, is one that could enter into the mind of none except a person of diseased and distempered imagination.

It is not within the range of any sane man's calculations. Besides, all who take a philosophic view of it, will, I think, agree that this republican system of ours, even though changes have been made in it that were distasteful to many of us, is now so much better than any other system existing in the world, that no man would think of changing it for another or incurring the hazards of anarchy for its over- throw.

This is the view of all intelligent men. And yet there is found throughout the respondent's answer a constant complaint, that the freedmen had not been allowed the free exercise of the right of suffrage ; and that to secure it to them was a chief end of his military expedition.

There have not been so many proclamations issued by a public functionary since the days of Henry VIII. And what do they contain? Do you ever see in them the word " arson," " burglary," or " larceny," or any offence except something that indicates oppression to- wards the colored people or to party men? No, sir.

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These pro- clamations are issued from time to time and there is complaint made that outrages are committed upon the person in many places. Parenthetically it is thrown into one of them that the res- pondent understands there have been some burnings by way of retaliation, bnt the facts and dates are not given to show whether the personal injuries in the burnings were of prior occurrence.

Both were great violations of the law, and an im- partial magistrate, desirous only of the public peace, would have been very careful in his enquiries, before he assumed that the acts of incendiarism to which allusion is not very pointedly made, were consequences and not causes of the outrages upon persons, which is the only subject of serious denunciation. The proof was, that some of the homicides mentioned in the proclama- tions and in the answer, all unjustifiable as they were, were committed upon the persons of men accused of burning to ashes three barns in the same neighborhood and at the same moment of time.

Now we have had a very searching investigation here.

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Has it been proved that any of the colored people have not been afowed to vote as they wished either in the county of Alamance or Caswell? On the contrary has it not been shown that they voted uniformly the republican ticket en masse, with rare exceptions to the contrary, — the very end for which they were marshaled into Leagues, of which the respondent was a High Priest? This feature in the proclamations was merely one of the old devices of party to hold every colored man to his party-fealty and insure his attendance at the polls, by rep- resenting that his right to suffrage was threatened, but that the governor championed his cause.

The pretext that an armed force was necessary to secure to the colored men the free exercise of their right of suffrage was as groundless as the calumnies upon the integrity of the grand and petit juries and the general administration of justice in those counties. You had before you, among the best witnesses for the defence, Wilson Carey, a colored member of the late legislature, from the county of Caswell. While he represents that the political feeling between parties was bitter, he at the same time admitted that the black race had the majority of voters in the county, and that they had voted as they pleased ; that although some two or three white men, as he understood, had declared that they would employ no one who did not vote the conservative ticket, the elections in general had been fairly conducted, and no troops Avere needed on that account.

But let it never for a moment be forgotten that troops of the United States sufficient for any purpose of military aid were stationed in both counties before the arrival of Kirk. July and August, As to secret outrages they had ceased in Alamance for three months: in Caswell there had been but few cases of the kind altogether, though some in each county had been atrocious assassinations : but the federal force was ample for any military need.

Kirk's force, a state army under tie command of the governor, was wanted for no purpose but to control the election and make a last desperate effort to prese: ve the ascendency of parry. The dominion of parties in a repub- lic, when elections are free, must often fluctuate ; but the hope of the patriot is that the republic itself will endure.


blood at alamance the murder of innocence a governors guilt Manual

The party which formed and put in operation the federal constitution, at the end of twelve years, was ejected from power never again to be restored. And any like period of twelve years has witnessed very considerable changes in the successes or composition of parties. But the country itself has survived all these fluc- tuations : and looking back upon the past with the eyes of patriots, and not of partisans, we are obliged to confess, that in the main it has been wisely and happily governed.

These principles are so vital to republi- can government, that the party which shall resort to force to counteract them will onlv hasten its own destruction. But to return to the act of assembly under which the governor had the power to declare a county in insurrection : as originally introduced we have seen there was a clause pro- viding that application should be made to congress for a sus- pension of the writ of It ulcus corpus.

The legislature of North Carolina could not abide that, and they struck it out. They authorized proclamation of insurrection to be made, and allowed the governor to call into service the militia in order to suppress the insurrection. But the act goes on to provide for a judicial trial, and never contemplated any other mode of trial. By declaring that on motion ot the solicitor of the district, or of his own will, the judge may orier "the removal of the " trial of any person who has been, or who hereafter may be in- " dieted in any county in the state for murder, conspiracy or viola- " tion of an act entitled ' An act making the act of going masked, "disguised or painted a felony, from the county in which such 'offence may have been committed to such other county in " his district or adjoining district as the solicitor may designate.

Why certainly to deliver his prisoners over to the civil authority, where the solicitor could take them in hand and prosecute according to the directions of the statute, before a judge and jury in some impartial county.

Is this the course he pursued '? JS T o, the very contrary. He avails himself fully of the power to make arbitrary arrests, if that was intentcd, of one hundred persons or more, but sends no one to be tried before a civil tribunal, and holds them all fast for his military judicature? This was demonstrated by Mr. Horace Binney, of Philadelphia, during- the late war, when, aroused by the pretensions of the military power, he issued a pamphlet in defence of the right of the citizen to the privilege of habeas corpus, in which he demonstrated that the only effect of a suspension of the writ- was to place the people of the country in the condition in which our English ancestors were before the passage of the statute of Charles II ; that a warrant from some person in authority was al- ways necessary in order to deprive a civilian of his liberty ; that a suspension of the privilege of the writ in England was uniformly made by an act declaring that in cases where it appeared the arrest was made by the order of a Privy Counsellor or Cabinet Minister, or it may be some other functionary, there should be no further inquiry into the cause of detention.

And Mr. But no Avhere is such a conse- quence attached to the orders of a governor of this state — the constitution forbids the suspension of the privilege of the writ under any circumstances. The statute in question, as originally, proposed, designed to procure it through the president, under the authority of congress; but this was stricken out on its passage. I have called on the "president for aid, but he is restricted by the writ of habeas "corpus.

We want military tribunals by which assassins and " murderers can be summarily tried and shot, but we cannot " have these tribunals unless the president is authorized to sus- "pendthe habeas corpus in certain localities. Please aid in " conferring this power on the president as the only effective " mode of protecting life and property in Alamance and other "localities in this state.