D.A. Sen Clair to Davis, September 10, 1873

Page 1

Although most historians focus on the shortcomings of Reconstruction, there is no doubt that it brought about a huge change in the lives of African Americans. During this time, black people were emancipated from lives of slavery. They gained control over their own lives and families, their schools and churches, and their working lives. In spite of the segregation and violence that marked their lives, African Americans began their fight to take their places as free and equal members of society.

Governor Davis addressed the violence and lawlessness in Texas by establishing a militia, or state police, and a district court system. These measures were unpopular with many white Texans, especially since the police drew their ranks from blacks and Hispanics as well as whites. The state police operated from 1870 until 1873.

In this letter from Comanche County, African Americans plead to Governor Davis for justice in a land dispute.

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Clair to Davis, page 1

Strictly Private

Comanche Sep 10th A.D. 1873

Gov EJ Davis

Dear Sir,

I write you, to inquire in behalf of some

colored people, who reside in this county

as to wheather [sic] or not there is a reward

offered by your Excellency, for the body

of one Dock Leddingham, who killed

the Dep Sheriff of Travis County and

what the conditions of that reward are.

On or about the night of the first of

September A.D. 1872 said Ledingham was

shot and killed in this county by one

Roscoe Sloan, under the following

scircumstances [sic] as near as can be

gathered, as there was no investigation

by coroner inquest, as the body was taken

very early in the morning and carried

into Eastland County and buried.

Some Eighteen months ago five families

of colored people settled on some vaca-

nt land in this county and had their


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D.A. Sen Clair to Davis, September 10, 1873, Records of Edmund Jackson Davis, Texas Office of the Governor, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: March 30, 2011