General Charles Griffin to Throckmorton, April 26, 1867

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Brevet Major General Charles Griffin of Ohio took command of the military district and Freedmen's Bureau of Texas in December 1866 and quickly became embroiled in the politics of Reconstruction. In the spring of 1867 he began to register Texas voters, both white and black. He disqualified former Confederates from holding office and found Unionist replacements for them. He also enforced the "iron-clad oath" for jurors, which required men to swear they had never given service to the Confederacy.

Griffin felt that Throckmorton was uncooperative with the Reconstruction effort, especially in conferring civil rights on African Americans, and persuaded General Phil Sheridan to remove Throckmorton as governor and replace him with former governor Elisha M. Pease, a Unionist.

Griffin died September 15, 1867, in the yellow fever epidemic that was ravaging the Texas coast.

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Griffin to Throckmorton, page 1

Headquarters, District of Texas


Galveston, Texas, April 26th 1867.

His Excellency Hon. J.W. Throckmorton


Governor of Texas,


Austin, Texas.

Sir:


I have the honor to call your attention to


the enclosed statement, which has just been received at


these Head Quarters, signed by about sixty "loyal


citizens" of Parker and Jack Counties in this state.

The Petitioners affirm, with explicitness and


detail, that the Courts of Justice in those counties


are wrested from their original intent, and made the


machinery for despoiling and oppressing peaceable Union


inhabitants, that those whose hands are red with the


blood of loyal men, range at large untouched by Justice;


while Union men for acts of self-defense are placed


on trial for their lives, before tribunals of disloyal,


vindictive, and violent men.

The County Judge and Commissioners of Parker


County are spoken of as being members, during the war,


of a "vigilance committee," guilty of cruel and atrocious


deeds, and cherishing now in their official acts, the

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General Charles Griffin to Throckmorton, April 26, 1867, Records of James Webb Throckmorton, Texas Office of the Governor, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: March 30, 2011