Statement of a Virginia Freedman

Alexa Va,  Aug. 24th 1865

Jacob Thomas vs. Edward Lightfoot   complaint of violent theats against his person, and of disloyal language.

Thomas states that about six weeks since he went out 12 miles beyond Culpepper C.H. to see his mother, sister, & other friends–Albert Green being with him–  that they went to the house of Lightfoot, where the latter had a sister, & the former had previously worked,  that Lightfoot came running towards them before they got to the house, and when within about 100 yards called out to know who they were, on which they told their names.  He came up to them flourishing a hickory club about 4 feet long–said that he did not want any d—d free niggers on his place–he had not got any, nor would not have any, and hit Thomas' hat with his club.  They told him that they had a pass from Genl Howard, to pass through the country on good behavior, to which he said–d—n Gen Howard and all the rest of the Prov. Marshals–  told them to get off his land quick, or he would shoot them.

That on Sat. the 19th inst., three of them–Albert Green & Wilson Green with himself went out again, and that while in the road which passes through his plantation, when about 1/4 of a mile from his house, he met them and said–“I thought I told you that if you came on to my premises again I would shoot you, to which they replied that they had not gone on his place but were in the road.  He said the road belonged to him, & they had no business through there–the d—d free niggers had come up there to spoil the others–that he had said he would shoot them and he would do it. if they came back that way.  They want to be protected and think such men ought not to be allowed to hold their property and slaves, as he is doing.  They say that he has 2 tracts of land embracing as they have heard it stated, 1600 acres,–that he with his family left the place & was within confederate lines until after the surrender of Lee, and then came back a great Union man (?)

These men state that they will go up at any time and testify to what they have stated. if necessary

Statement of Jacob Thomas, 24 Aug. 1865, Miscellaneous Records, series 3878, Alexandria VA Superintendent, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives. Given at the office of the Freedmen's Bureau superintendent at Alexandria, Virginia, and filed with court cases in the records of that office. A notation indicates that a copy was forwarded to the bureau's assistant superintendent at Culpeper, Virginia, but no further information about the case has been found in the surviving records of either his office or the Alexandria office.

Published in Land and Labor, 1865, pp. 161–62.