Missouri White Farmer or Farm Laborer to a White Farmer

[southwest Missouri?, spring? 1865]

Mr. Campbell Sir   I am Ablede [obliged] to go to town to day and I Cant help you   Mr Campbell Sir thare appears to be sum dissatisfaction about that niger setler on this side of the Creek   it appears that all the nabers is opposes to it   as we have had no nigers on this Sid of the Creek I think it would be beter for him to go back on his own Side   I am afraid it will Cass others to setel herere   that we had beter keep them out when we have them out

Mr Campbell Sir I Send this to you not to rase any hard feeling

James Martin

James Martin to Mr. Campbell, [spring? 1865], Unentered Letters Received, series 2594, Department of the Missouri, U.S. Army Continental Commands, Record Group 393 Pt. 1, National Archives. Itself undated and lacking any covering letter or file notations, Martin's note is filed among documents dating chiefly from April and May 1865 and addressed to the headquarters of the District of Southwest Missouri. There is other evidence from that district of opposition both to black settlers and to white farmers who employed them. In late March 1865, a militia officer reported that in the vicinity of Barclay's Mills, in Benton County, “rebels and rebel sympathizers” had “tried to prevent negroes from living in that vicinity, and have threatened to run them out of the county.” They had also “made threats against all persons keeping negroes about them.” (The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 128 vols. [Washington, 1880–1901], series 1, vol. 48, pt. 1, p. 1273.)

Published in The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor: The Upper South, p. 621, and in Free at Last, p. 385.