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

Affidavit of Jackson O'Brien: Albany, Georgia, 1868 Sept. 23

author: Howard, O. H.
date: September 23, 1868
extent: 3p
summary: In Albany, Georgia, on September 23,1868, twenty-two-year-old cottonfield worker Jackson O'Brien gives this affidavit to O.H. Howard, subassistant commissioner of the Freedman's Bureau in Georgia. O'Brien reports that on the evening of Monday, September 21, 1868, two nights after the Camilla Riot, when townspeople fired on freedmen and Republicans who came to Camilla to hold a political rally, he and other workers were harrassed at home by a group of about fourteen white men on horses. The men came galloping onto Dr. Tinsley's plantation, where O'Brien and the others stayed in cabins, and the white men shouted,"Halt! Halt!" while firing their guns at the freedmen who fled into the night. O'Brien spent the night in the swamp, and afraid to return, he set out for Albany the next morning along with another freedman, Gilbert Brown. He and Brown were again harrassed by whites along the road who asked him what he was doing. When he replied that he was going to look for work in Albany the white men said, "You are going to Albany ; you d---d son of a bitch to report to old Howard." When O'Brien responded that he was not, one of the men hit him with the butt of his gun, though no one shot at him, and he made it to Albany by evening.
repository: DeSoto Trail Regional Library (Camilla, Ga.)
collection: Civil Unrest in Camilla, Georgia, 1868

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Affidavit of Jackson O'Brien, (Freedman.)
[added text: 3X]
State of Georgia
Dougherty County [added text: }]

Before me, the undersigned personally came Jackson O'Brien, freedman, who, being duly sworn, deposes and [added text: [] says that he is "going on twenty-two years old" that he has been engaged in picking cotton on Dr Tinsley's plantation in Mitchell County, is employed by a colored man, named Jim Scott . --

-- That while he and other freedmen were in their quarters, at the plantation aforesaid, at about 9.30. P.M. on Monday the 21st inst, .about fourteen white men dashed up in front of the quarters, the colored people being much frightened in view of the then recent affair at Camilla, rushed from the quarters, through the doors and windows. that the white men cried out halt, halt to those who were flying, and fired after them, deponent thinks about six or eight shots, deponent being one of those who fled does not know if any person was wounded as he has not dared to return. Deponent remained in the swamp during the night

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That in the following morning Tuesday, [deleted text: he started] with Gilbert Brown, a freedman, deponent started on the road for Albany . That at about seven o'clock A. M. they were overtaken by seven white men mounted upon horses which had the appearance of having been ridden rapidly, the men commanding the deponent to halt. That deponent and the freedman with him halted, That one of the mounted men demanded where they were going. deponent replied "I am looking for work." That the white man said "You are going to Albany ; you d - d son of a bitch to report to old Howard " deponent replied "No Sir I am not" Another white man said "Dont listen at the damned son of a bitch, shoot him down" That deponent started to run, that one of the white men who had dismounted struck at deponent with the butt of his gun, but no one fired

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and deponent came on to Albany, reaching there about 7 P.M.

Jackson [added text: his] X [added text: mark] O'Brien
Sworn to and subscribed
before me, at Albany Ga. this 23d day of Sept.
A. D. 1868 .

[Signed] O. H. Howard

2nd. Lieut [Lieutenant] 5th Artillery
Brevet Major U. S. A. [United States Army]
S. A. Com'r [Sub Assistant Commissioner] B. R. F. & A. L [Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands]

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