D.A. Sen Clair to Davis, September 10, 1873
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.
Comanche Sep 10th A.D. 1873
Some Eighteen months ago five families
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.