Anonymous Warning to Two Kentucky Freedmen

[Henry County, Ky., late February, 1867]


to John Abraham and william perry   Believeing this to be a white mans Country we are bitterly opposed to negroes settieng up to farming for themselves therefore we have concluded to brake it up   we do not wish to interfear with those that are att work for thare former masters but having reliable information that it is hard to tell whitch is the negroe you or your former oner therefore you will have to share the sam fate of the ballance so you had better get reddy to emigrate north of the ohio river prty soon for go you must   if we see that you are making any prepperation to leave we will give you ample tim to get away but if not we will honor you with our presence pretty soon and if we have to come we will come with a colts pistole in one hand and a fire brand in the other   the young black Smith as he is not a tiller of the soil can stay with his master if he will behave him self.  So fare well till we meet again

Black injions

Black injions to John Abraham and william perry, [late Feb. 1867], filed as P-21 1867, Letters Received, series 15, Washington Headquarters, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives. File notations and endorsements indicate that William Perry, a target of the notice, forwarded it to the Freedmen's Bureau assistant commissioner for Kentucky, who sent it to General O. O. Howard, the bureau's commissioner, “as a sample of the notices sent to Freedmen in this State.” Meanwhile, on March 1 the assistant commissioner, General Sidney Burbank, issued a “Notice” of his own, cautioning “all and every person or persons organized under the associations of Black ‘Injion’ ‘Regulators’ or any other organization whose purpose is to violate the laws of the United States, by assaults on the person or property of Freedmen, or their employers in Henry or any other County of this State that on their being identified as engaged in Such wicked and illegal crimes they will be arrested by the United States troops on duty in this State and Confined in the Military Prison in this city [Louisville] until tried by the United States District Court under the law Known as the ‘Civil Rights Bill.’” (Notice by order of Bvt Brig Genl Sidney Burbank, 1 Mar. 1867, vol. 16, pp. 44–45, Letters Sent, series 1063, KY Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives. The law in question was the Civil Rights Act of April 9, 1866. (U.S., Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations of the United States of America, 17 vols. (Boston, 1850–73), vol. 14, pp. 27–30.)

Published in Land and Labor, 1866–1867, pp. 965–66.