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Affidavit of Smith Bowen: Albany, Georgia, 1868 Sept. 25

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Type: Affidavits | Text
Creator: Howard, O. H.
Title: Affidavit of Smith Bowen: Albany, Georgia, 1868 Sept. 25
Date: 1868 Sept. 25
Description: On September 25, 1868, Smith Bowen, a twenty-three-year-old laborer on the plantation owned by Republican Francis Flagg Putney, gives testimony in this affidavit to Freedmen's Bureau subassistant commissioner O.H. Howard in Albany, Georgia, regarding the events of the Camilla Riot, an incident that occurred in Camilla, Georgia on September 19, 1868 when Republicans together with freedmen came to Camilla to hold a political rally and were met with violent opposition from the townspeople. Smith Bowen states that he began the procession as the wagon driver, but gave up his place to an old man. At Tinsley's Mill, about five miles outside of town, they met up with Republican party candidate for elector John Murphy, Republican congressional candidate William P. Pierce, Republican plantation owner and Bowen's employer Francis Flagg Putney, and ousted Republican Georgia state legislator Philip Joiner. Then the entire group, consisting, according to Bowen, of the politicians, the musicians in the bandwagon and about 300 men, women and children, only a small number of them armed and not all of those with loaded guns, encountered Camilla resident James Johns. Johns approached them on horseback with a double-barrelled shotgun, said something that Bowen found inaudible, and galloped away. They next met James Johns when they proceeded into town and Johns ordered the music to stop. When his order went unheeded, Bowen saw Johns begin firing directly into the bandwagon. Johns's shots were followed immediately by shots from other white men standing in front of the local stores, and most of the freedmen, reminded by Bowen of Puntney's prior intsructions to them "to have no fuss", fled.

Document ID: cam041.

Digital image and transcription created by the Digital Library of Georgia in 2001 of a photocopy held by DeSoto Trail Regional Library of an original record held by the National Archives.

Subjects: United States. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands | African Americans--Georgia--History--19th century | African Americans--Georgia--Social conditions--To 1964 | Freedmen--Georgia--Political activity | Freedmen--Georgia--Violence against | Reconstruction--Georgia | Political violence--Georgia--Camilla | Mitchell County (Ga.)--Race relations | Mitchell County (Ga.)--Politics and government | Bowen, Smith | Camilla (Ga.) | Mitchell County (Ga.)
Contributors: DeSoto Trail Regional Library System | United States. National Archives and Records Administration
Online Publisher: Athens, Ga. : Digital Library of Georgia, 2001
Rights and Usage: This work is the property of the University of Georgia Libraries. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

Cite as: [title of item], United States. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. Records. National Archives and Records Administration, presented in the Digital Library of Georgia

Related Materials: Mode of access: World Wide Web. | System requirements: AT&T DjVu browser plug-in needed to view images of documents. | Forms part of United States. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. Records held by the National Archives.
Persistent Link to Item: http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/zlcu/id:cam041

Related Institutions: DeSoto Trail Regional Library System
Digital Library of Georgia
United States. National Archives and Records Administration
Collection Information: Civil Unrest in Camilla, Georgia, 1868 : Reconstruction, Republicanism, and Race