The Stockade Case






Handbook of Texas Online - SMITH, GEORGE WASHINGTON

Handbook of Texas Online - STOCKADE CASE

The Smith Murder at Jefferson. Texas--Proceedings of the Commission. May 30, 1869 - Article

THE TEXAS FUGITIVE.; The Rebel Major Pratt Discharged for Want of Evidence. August 17, 1869 - Front Page


"General Reynolds, commanding Fifth Military District, forwarded October 16, 1868, report of Captain James Curtis, Fifteenth Infantry, relative to the murder, on 4th October, 1868, of Hon. G.W. Smith (delegate to constitutional convention) and two freedmen ; also, a wounding of the third, by the Ku-Klux Klan. General Reynolds, in a subsequent report, states that there are in arrest about 35 men who participated in the above murder.

General Buell, commanding at Jefferson, Texas, forwards May 5,1869, communication of C. L. Pitcher, who states he has been confined there since 9th of February without knowing the cause. General Buell states he was arrested on strong evidence as one of the murderers of the lion. Mr. Smith. In this connection General Reynolds denies certain newspaper reports regarding treatment of the above prisoners. Reports depredations of the Ku-Klux Klan and the lawlessness and murder which exist in Texas."

Report of the alleged outrages in the southern states by the ... - Page lii

Select Committee Of The Senate. - 1871





The killing of G. W. Smith and the outrages of Baker and Bickerstaff have been magnified to a most injurious degree against the people of Texas. As a citizen of east Texas residing in the immediate vicinity of Jefferson, and representing the county to which one of these outlaw bands belonged, I feel it due to this state and the country to give the true explanation of them. I shall say nothing that will not be corroborated by ever y delegate from that section, acquainted with the facts, and « especially by my colleague Judge Gray, who resides in Jefferson and witnessed the mob, his residence being but a few hundred yards from the spot on which Smith was killed. He formerly lived in the county where Bickerstaff was raised and has known him from boyhood, and was for years judge of the district in which Baker resides, and knows him well.

Capt. G. W. Smith was assassinated by an organized mob, estimated at from seventy-five to a hundred and fifty persons— not because he was a Union man or a loyal man—not because he was guilty of any crimes or odious personal vices, but because he was believed to be a dangerous enemy to the society in which he lived. The fact is true, that the chief merit of Mr. Smith, in the opinion of his friends, was that he had organized the colored people into a compact body antagonistic to the white people, and had succeeded in obtaining such absolute influence over them, that the greatest excitement pervaded that entire community from the apprehension of violence and outrage. And while I deplore the death of Capt. Smith, and reprobate as sincerely as any man can the horrible crime by which he met his tragical end, I say it was not murder in the acceptation of the common law. Gentlemen of the convention, you are not unaware that an undue importance has been given to this, not on account of any personal feeling for him at all, but simply to exasperate the government of the United States to punish the whole people of Texas by continuing them under military government, and making that military government more stringent and oppressive.

For this reason the' death of this single man has been magnified to an importance incomparably greater than the wholesale slaughter of men, woolen and children, on the frontier! And while seeking to elevate Mr. Smith to a historic character, the two colored men associated with him and killed at the same time have received no notice whatever—their names are not even mentioned and no other allusion to their unhappy end, than that, " two negroes were killed at the same time"

General Reynolds will sonic day learn that the representations made to him of the lawlessness and crime that radiated from Jefferson, was not as he supposed to induce an increase of military force to. protect life and property, at that point. Not at all, but simply to join in protracting the funeral of Mr. Smith, with the view of making him a hero and martyr, to advance the political aims of the provisional government."

Speech of Hon. L. D. Evans: On the condition of Texas, and the ... - Page 16

 - 1869


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