Digital Library of Georgia > Civil Unrest in Camilla, Georgia, 1868

Affidavit of John Davis: Albany, Georgia, 1868 Sept. 26

author: Howard, O. H.
date: September 26, 1868
extent: 4p
summary: Freedman John Davis gives his account of the Camilla Riot and events surrounding it to Freedman's Bureau subassistant commissioner O.H. Howard in this affidavit taken at Howard's office in Albany, Georgia, September 26, 1868. The riot occurred in Camilla, Georgia on Saturday, September 19,1868 when Republicans together with freedmen came to the town to hold a political rally and were met with violent opposition from the townspeople. On September 17, Davis says that he overheard a Dr. Tinsley saying, "I am going to pay out $15.00 to get my men hot with whiskey and gun powder to start the fight when the speaking comes on at Camilla." Davis proceeded with the band into Camilla on that Saturday and witnessed the first shots fired. In a moment, according to Davis' account, the freedmen were in "full flight." Davis saw the white men pursuing on horseback. In the aftermath of the riot, Davis notes that a freedman, Daniel Childs, was killed in his bed by two white men for attending the rally and that another freedman named Wilson was badly beaten for the same reason.
repository: DeSoto Trail Regional Library (Camilla, Ga.)
collection: Civil Unrest in Camilla, Georgia, 1868

Page: [1]   [jpg image | djvu image]

Georgia State
Daugherty [Dougherty] County

Personally appeared before me O H Howard Bvt Maj USA [Brevet Major United States Army] S A C [Sub Assistant Commissioner] B R F & A L [Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands] John Davis colored who being duly sworn deposes & says on or about the 15" inst he heared [heard] the report that Capt Wm P Pierce & others were to speak in Camilla Mitchell County, that on thursday the 17" inst he heared [heard] Dr Tinsley one of the [deleted text: wealthyest] wealthiest & most influential citizens of Mitchell County, say, in the presence of Mr Fance ( Wht [white] ) and Lisbon Brown ( cold [colored] ) that "I am going to pay out $15.00 to get my men hot with whiskey & gun powder

Page: [2]   [jpg image | djvu image]

to start the fight when the [deleted text: [illegible text]] speaking comes on at Camilla " that on Saturday the day of speaking Dr Tinsley went to Camilla ; that he ( deponent ) also went to Camilla with the music from Albany : that as [deleted text: they] the music accompanied by about one hundred and fifty freed-people entered Camilla he saw a crowd of white people standing in front of Mayples Store : that he saw a white man advance from toword [toward] this crowd to the wagon cursing: that about the same time his attention was called to a [added text: white] man standing in Coxes store [added text: door] (which was next to Mayples Store [deleted text: )] and nearest the band of music) attempting to shoot at the band and another white man [deleted text: near by] [added text: trying to prevent] him, The first smoke or

Page: [3]   [jpg image | djvu image]

flash [deleted text: from] that deponent saw was from this mans gun, Deponent believes this man shot [deleted text: [illegible text]] in advance of the man alluded to who advanced toward the wagon, In a moment the shooting became general and the mo ment after the freedmen were in full flight. As Deponent fled through the fields & woods he saw white men on horseback pursuing & shooting at freedmen; Deponet [Deponent] states that he was reliably informed by [deleted text: [illegible text]] the brother of Daniel Childs & others that two men come upon Daniel Childs cold while he was in bed in his cabin & killed him because he went to hear the speaking at Camilla, at the same time & place these two men beaten up badly a col [colored] man named willson for the same reason,

Page: [4]   [jpg image | djvu image]

John [added text: His] X [added text: mark] Davis

Sworn to and subscribed before me, at Albany,
Ga. [Georgia], this 26th day of September, A. D. 1868.
[Signed] O. H. Howard
Brevet Major U. S. Army,
2nd Lieut. [Lieutenant] 5th Artillery, S. A. [Sub Assistant] Commissioner,
Bureau Refugees, Freedmen & Ab'd Lands [Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands] .

John Davis
G341 RF. & AL [Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands] Vol 13/68

Return to Civil Unrest in Camilla, Georgia, 1868 Table of Contents

Digital Library of Georgia | GALILEO

A project of the Digital Library of Georgia in association with the DeSoto Trail Regional Library,
featuring archival materials from the United States National Archives and Records Administration.