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

Affidavit of Ishmael Lonon: Albany, Georgia, 1868 Sept. 27

author: Howard, O. H.
date: September 27, 1868
extent: 3p
summary: At his office in Albany, Georgia on Sept. 27, 1868, Freedman's Bureau subassistant commissioner O.H. Howard records this affidavit of Ishmael Lonon, a freedman who, twelve years later in 1880, was elected to the Georgia Legislature. Lonon was among the survivors of the Camilla Riot on September 19, 1868. The riot occurred when Republicans and freedmen came to Camilla to hold a political rally and were met there with violent opposition from the townspeople. Lonon's account includes details of the escape of Republican politicians William P. Pierce, John Murphy, and Philip Joiner.
repository: DeSoto Trail Regional Library (Camilla, Ga.)
collection: Civil Unrest in Camilla, Georgia, 1868

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Dougherty Co [County]

Before me Bvt Maj . [Brevet Major] O H. Howard . U.S.A [United States Army] & S.A. [Sub Assistant] Com [Commissioner] Personally appeared Ishamel Lunon who deing duly Sworn deposeth & saith that in the forenoon of the 19th day of Sept 1868 he approached Camilla with John Murphy William P Pierce Candidate for Congress in 2d Dist [Second District] F F Putney (White) and about 75 Cold [Colored] Persons. all inroute [enroute] to Camilla where Pierce & Murphy & Murphy were to deliver a political address, [illegible text]

Upon approaching Camilla deponent being in advance Was accosted by an armed and mounted White Man who at first stated he was in search of a Doctor to attend a freedman who had been hurt by the falling of a tree but who subsequently that he was a courier & advised Deponent . and others of the parties who had overtaken him not to go to town, that the people [deleted text: thery] there were determined that the radicals should not speak in Camilla that notwistanding [notwithstanding] the warning the party moved on toward Camilla when they were met by the Sheriff, & a passy [posse] who accosted Capt Pierce & who was asured [assured] by Capt Pierce that he desired to & intended to speak in Camilla on political Subjects, that the Sheriff endeavored to disuade [dissuade] him from doing so, telling him that the people would not permit it, that the Sheriff went back

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into Camilla and again returned saying he had done all in his power . to dissuade the People from violence . but with no avail. that the party moved onto town . that Pierce and Putney entered the town, dismounted from their Buggy. and hitched their horse to the Court House . and as the wagon containing the music of the Party enterd [entered] the town. it was fired upon by the mounted White man who had first accosted him and by several other White men that the freedmen then started to escape to the woods, that Pierce attempted a to rally them Calling on them not to fly. [deleted text: that] but the cold [colored] men being unarmed would not Stop that Deponent being mounted. dashed out of town. past, the freedmen on foot and the muiscians [musicians] who had a [deleted text: [illegible text]] abandoned, the wagon that Murphy & [deleted text: [illegible text]] Phillip [Philip] Joiner [deleted text: un] in a Buggy also drove rapidly away toward Albany . that the deponent kept ahead of them. that when about | 7 miles from Camilla . the buggy that contained Murphy & Phillip [Philip] Joiner was overtaken by 5 or 6 White men armed & mounted. that the buggy was stopped, that one horse dashed riderless up the road, towards deponent . that he saw the pursuers around the buggy some of them dismounted and he then came as fast as possible to Albany

[Signed] Ishmael Lonon

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Sworn to and subscribed before me, at Albany,
Ga., this 27th day of September, A. D. 1868
[Signed] O. H. Howard

Brevet Major U. S. Army,
2nd Lieut. [Lieutenant] 5th Artillery, S. A. [Sub Assistant] Commisioner [Commissioner],
Bureau Refugees, Freedmen & Ab'd Lands [Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands] .

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