Sufferings of the Rev. T.G. Campbell & His Family In Georgia (1877)

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            My purpose in writing this sketch is to show to those whose capital, given to them in brain or muscle by the Great Ruler of the Universe, has been ignored and trampled under foot by the moneyed aristocrats of this nation; for while it is eminently proper that each individual should be protected in all their lawful rights of property, yet they should never have any paramount claim on that ground over any other person.  I hereby show the feelings of the people of the South, who cast their lot with their States, upon the theory of paramount allegiance being due to the States.  It is claimed by some of their friends that slavery being abolished, this doctrine of State rights fell with it; but that is a great mistake.  Under the name of local self-government, they now claim all they ever asked; and that is the recognition of the rights of property over that of person, which was claimed under the three-fifths rule, and which is demanded by the property-holders of the South today.  When the troops were withdrawn from the States of South Carolina and Louisiana, it was received as a recognition of State rights, and property rights; and no matter what might be the moral worth or respectability of a mechanic or laboring man, his interests or rights must not stand in the way of the wishes of the capitalists or property-holder.
            Therefore, in view of facts as they present themselves, I ask the laboring men and women of this nation.  How long will it be before you will have no rights that the capitalists or property-holder is bound to respect?  It is time you begin to think about this.




Dedicated to the Hon. Tunis G. Campbell, Sr. of Georgia.

A contest, such as men never saw,
            Placed in the time-known chair,
Within and beyond the honored law,
            One with record grand and fair.

The world is coursing the other way—
            From the base of wave-worn Plymouth Rock,
For “Policy,” priests and Levite pray.
            And the creed of the Fathers they jeer and mock

And now ‘tis the fate of the honest man
            To give to a rebel the upper seat;
To magnify the ku-klux clan,
            And cringe and bow when foemen meet

“Oh woe!” is they cry from the Southern land,
            From Dixon’s line to the Single Star;
Again they rule with an iron hand,
            Who rived the fetters before the war.

And gun and knife, and baying beast,—
            The cruel hounds, in days of yore,
From stockade scent the bloody feast,
            As in the days long gone before.

From stricken homes the children sigh,
            “The orphan and the widow save!”
The call is vain!  Peace is the party cry!
            No power now the nation claims to save!

The freedman, from the greed and wrath
            Of those who tore the country’s life away,
Let us have peace!  And if the gory path
            Of Southern empire o’er the bondsmen lay,

Beneath them lies an early tomb,
            Low out of thought and sight
‘Tis but the coming doom
            Of those whom God made black instead of white

“Peace” is our watchword now,
            At any, every cost or price;
Before it honor, truth and country bow;
            The black must turn to white, or die! the last device.




            I was born in Middlebrook, Somerset county, New Jersey, on the 1st day of April, in the year 1812.  My father, (John Campbell, Sr.,) was a blacksmith by trade.  I had five sisters and four brothers.  I was the youngest of all, except two sisters and they were living near MIddlebrook.  When at the age of 5 years, a gentleman rode up on horseback and spoke to me, as I was playing with two of my sisters by the roadside.  He inquired for my mother.  We all knew him very well, for he lived in Middlebrook.  He told my father and mother that he could get me in a school on Long Island, in the State of New York.  I was subsequently sent to a school at Babylon, on Long Island, I was the only colored child in the school.  The principal and assistants were very kind to me.  At the age of 18 I returned home, I would not agree to go to Africa as a missionary, and from this period I commenced as an anti-slavery lecturer.
            My father had removed to the city of New Brunswick, New Jersey.  Here, in the year 1832, I formed an anti-colonization society, and then pledged myself never to leave this country until every slave was free on American soil—unless I went to learn something, or to get help to secure their liberation.  I was brought up in (and intended to be sent out from) the Episcopal

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Church, but after leaving school joined the Methodist Church; and except being mobbed many times while lecturing or preaching, and nearly killed once, there was nothing of not occurred, except that I was the first moral reformer and temperance lecturer that entered the Five Points, in the city of New York.  After the work was begun, then noble-hearted white men stepped in; and where the old dens of thieves and panel-houses stood, they have raised a mission house.
            The mayor of Jersey City was kind enough to send a policeman down to the ferry, every Monday night, to protect me from the ferry, and back to the ferry, from the temperance meetings held in that city every Monday night; and through Divine Providence kind friends came forward and helped us to raise our school houses and churches in Jersey City during the years 1811, 1812, 1815, and 1816.  I also, during the same time, labored in Brooklyn and Williamsburg in the same way.
            I now pass to the year 1861.  I was at this time a partner and general agent of the firm of Davies & Co., unfermented bread manufacturers, on the corner of Third avenue and Fourteenth street, in the city of New York.  We got a contract to supply the Sickles brigade with bread, at their camp of instructions, on Staten Island; and when I went to deliver my bread at the commissary store-house, I wanted them to weigh it.  They said it was all right; unload it.  I would not unload it unless they would first sign my papers, showing the weight of each basket and the bread it contained.  This difficulty with me prevented the storekeeper from giving out the rations, and brought the officer of the day to see what was the matter.  They told their story; but when he came to me, and ordered me at once to unload, I told him I would not unload until my papers were signed, or they weighed my bread, and gave me vouchers for the weight.  The chief quartermaster now came up and asked what was the trouble.  I at once him, and showed him my papers.  He asked me who made out my papers.  I replied,

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“Myself.”  He gave me a chair, and said, “make out one.”  This I did at once.  About a month after this a committee was appointed at Washington to inspect the commissary department, and to report upon the sanitary condition of the troops on Staten Island; and I was ordered by General Eaton, chief quartermaster, United States army, to sit with them.  I did so, and signed the report with other mandates of the commission.  This was the first year of the war.  Myself and other colored men offered to aid the Government in putting down the rebellion, but our services were refused—Secretary Seward replying that we were premature.  In 1863 I sent a personal petition to the President, but got no answer.  An old friend of mine in the city of New York asked me if I had got any answer to my Washington letter.  I told him no.  He then said, “Write again, and I will try what I can do for you.”  I did write again to President Lincoln; and in about a month after this I called to see my friend, and he had that very day received a package from the Secretary of War, upon opening which, I found a commission ordering me to report forthwith to General Saxton at Hilton Head, in South Carolina; and there I remained with General Saxton, and did whatever was entrusted to me, I think, to his satisfaction.  After the fall of Charleston I requested to be sent to the Sea Islands, in Georgia, and had assigned to me Burnside, Ausaba, Saint Catherines, Sapelo and Colonel’s Islands, with orders to organize and establish governments on the islands; protect freemen and refugees for thirty miles back from the seashore; and I remained for two years governor on these Islands.  I had three teachers brought from the North at my own expense, and paid them.  Under my policy-plan (that of Presi-

*The petition which I sent to President Lincoln set forth a plan by which the freed people could be educated and made self-supporting and prepared to exercise the duties of citizens, and relieve the General Government from the guardianship which, in my view, they would have to keep over them as a protection against bad men from the North, and bad men from the South, who would use them for their own purposes.

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dent Johnson) I was removed by General Tilson, who was then placed as head of the Freedman’s Bureau, and military commander-in-chief of Georgia.
            The schools which I had established on the Islands were broken up, and the people driven off—unless they work under contracts which were purposely made to cheat the freedmen out of their labor.  Rebels, who before had appeared humble and repentant, now insisted that all colored men and women should sign these contracts; and when they refused, they would waylay them and beat them, telling them that they would have them back when the Yankees left the State.
            I went to General Tilson at the time his headquarters were in Augusta, and told him that I could not go on the Islands with safety.  I showed him my certificate as an Elder of Zion Methodist Episcopal Church in America, with my commission from Right Rev. J.J. Clinton as missionary for the States of Georgia and Florida.  He said, “That is all right; but I cannot give you any protection!”  I now returned back to Savannah.  I sent down to a little village called Thunder Bolt and got a sail boat to take me to the islands.  In it I went to see the people, to tell them that if they would come over on the main land I would try to get a plantation called Belleville, which was owned by a gentleman of the name of Hopkins, in McIntosh county.  There was 1,250 acres of land in this plantation, and he would not sell it for less than $14.50 per acre.  Looking at the pitiful condition of the people, I agreed to give it; on which I advanced $1,000.  As the people had to move with what they could only take in small boats, I got one flat-boat; but what with rain and storm, when we got to Belleville, it was almost worthless—for everything was burned up during the war on the place.
            As the people dare not stay there without me, I therefore moved my own family into a camp made of old boards on the side and ends, and a Palmetto roof—for I had to have one to cook

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in, and the other to sleep in.  I found it well that I did so, for very soon after we got there a man, who was obnoxious to the white people on account of his having been sheriff for the Islands during my administration there, was arrested during my absence, one day, waiting at Doboy Island for my mail, the object being to break up the settlement on Belleville; but my wife would not let the man be taken away until I could be there to see justice done in his case.  This encouraged the people.  I went up to Savannah after the trial to the officer of the Freedman’s Bureau, and they sent down an officer to examine into the case, who discharged the man, as there was no evidence against him, although he was fined before the court in Darien.  This was in 1867.
            Under the Reconstruction Act of Congress I was appointed one of the registrars for the Second Senatorial District of Georgia—Liberty, McIntosh and Tatnall counties, and subsequently was elected a member of the constitutional convention; and upon the submission of the constitution to the people for  ratification, I was elected Senator for the Second District of the State of Georgia.  Upon the question of eligibility to office I was compelled to stand alone for eight days on the floor of the Senate, contending for the rights of the colored members to hold their seats; and at different times when I was speaking I could see Democratic members, with their hands on the butts of their pistols, with their teeth shut hard together, and using threatening gestures at me.  On the ninth day I gave way, seeing no hope for us in the Georgia legislature; and at 1 o’clock, I called the expelled members together, and told them our only chance was to prevent the Senators from Georgia taking their seats in the United States Senate.  My son, T.G. Campbell, Jr., who was a member of the house, and myself were elected as a committee to go to Washington to protest against the Hon. Joshua Hill and H.M.V. Miller taking their seats, until the colored members of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia were reseated.  We went on to the city of Washington and saw the

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Congressional Committee, and conferred with them personally, by request of their chairman, Hon. E.D. Morgan, of the State of New York, (who knew me personally,) and Hon. Charles Sumner, of Massachusetts, with whom we had a long conference.  We told h im and other members of the committee that we did not come only to complain of wrongs done us in Georgia, and get Congress to reseat us, but that we wanted Congress to pass a law which would protect all persons in their rights, without regard to race, color, or previous condition of servitude.  Mr. Sumner at once said, “That is true.  We must amend the fundamental law.  We must have a fifteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and I will bring that measure before the Senate, or get some one to do it, as the next session.”  We then called the attention, as we also did the attention of other members of the committee, to the particular reason why the Senators from Georgia should not be admitted at that time; for if they were seated, the State would be admitted, and then Congress could not act on our cases no more than in the case of any member or members of any legislature of any other State—as of New York or Massachusetts.  Suffice it to say, we were successful in our mission—the Georgia Senators were not seated in 1869.  I was, by the Georgia State central committee, appointed with Hon. Foster Blodgett, to go to Washington and look after reconstruction in Georgia.  We went on—although threatened by many rebel sympathizers that if I went to Washington again I should not live in Georgia.  We met Governor Bullock and quite a number of prominent Republicans from Georgia.  I felt it my duty to go and see the Republican members of the House and Senate, and urge them to vote for the bill to promote reconstruction in Georgia.  I stayed until the bill was passed, in a modified form, and then went direct to Atlanta, as it was not thought safe for me to try to reach home.  I went to Atlanta by rail, and arrived there on the 25th day of December, 1869.  The General Assembly met on the 10th of

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January, 1870.  As it was well known that many who were inelegible [sic] had taken the oath prescribed by Congress, it was deemed necessary under this bill for some member in each branch of the General Assembly to read a protest against all that were ineligible, who should attempt to take the oath; but before the day came there was such an excitement that it was difficult to get any one to take the protest.  I was appointed on a committee of three to seek for and employ counsel in behalf of the State, and I found, on consulting them, that no member could be prevented from taking his seat by any civil tribunal for they could give any bond, no matter what was its requirement, to answer at the proper time, and walk in and take their seats.  I went to the Governor and made this fact known to him, and suggested to him that General Terry had better appoint a board of officers to examine all those who should be protested.  The governor said that he did not know whether General Terry would take this responsibility.  I replied, “We cannot organize without he [sic] will do that.”  On the 10th, in the morning, I was sent for by the chairman of our committee of three.  He told me that the protests were all ready, but no one would sign them as a protestant, to appear on behalf of the Government.  I at once signed my name for the Senate, and put the protests in my pocket, and went into my seat in the Senate chamber.  I was informed by Senators of the reason why they would not read or sign these protests.  They said that there was eight men stationed on the front and side of the gallery, above the Republican members, to shoot down any member who should read, or attempt to read, a protest; and told me to look up in the galleries and see how crowded they were; and said, “You had better not read them, for you will be cut in two by revolvers!”  I looked at the clock and saw it wanted ten minutes to the hour of meeting, and of course replied:  “I will read them!”  All the Senators then moved away from my seat.  There was only on Senator to be sworn

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in before me.  I was from the Second District.  After being sworn, I took the protests and layed them in order, and as each came to be sworn I began to read, and the Democratic members arose almost in a body to object, and would not obey any calls to order.  With permission from the president, (pro tempore,) I continued to read, raising my voice above their clamor; and did read all, except one, when the Governor sent for me and told me not to read any more, as the house had to adjourn without doing anything.
            As no protests could be read then, I returned to my seat; but the member whose name I had a protest against did not present himself.  Immediately after adjournment I called on the Governor, and at his request called on General Terry, to try to get him to appoint a board of officers to inquire into the elegibility [sic] of the members against whom protests had been gotten ready, whether they had been read or not, and not to allow any member to take his seat unless he was clearly entitled to it under the Reconstruction Acts.  I did call on General Terry, and he said he would consider my request, and also see the Governor.  This was on the 10th.  On the 13th, general orders No. 3, of the military district of Georgia, were issued, detailing Brevet Major General T.H. Ruger, United States Army; Brevet Major General T.J. Haines, and Major Henry Goodfellow, judge advocate, United States Army, as a board to inquire into the elegibility [sic] of those members.
            It now became the common talk that the old Negro Senator of the Second was destroying Georgia, and that the Negros [sic] would be unruly unless he was put out of the way.
            This session commenced on the 10th day of January, 1870, and closed on the 6th day of December, 1870.  There were recesses taken during that time; in one of which recesses I was sent for by Governor Bullock to come on to the city of Washington, and bring a delegation.  My wife received the dispatch and informed my son—he being with her in Atlanta.  I

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had left Atlanta on the Saturday previous, by request, to preach in the city of Rome on the Sabbath.  My son started at once, for the city of Washington.  My wife sent a telegram informing me of the communication received, and the nature of what was called the Burgham amendment to the Georgia bill.  I at once left for Atlanta; found two other members of the General Assembly, (colored,) and took them with me.  This is what was called the Georgia delegation, (all colored,) composed of ten members and two private citizens.  We were successful—the Burgham amendment was defeated.
            We all saw the danger of the State being admitted without some additional restriction, and this was brought by myself before the convention of colored men held in the city of Atlanta on February 3, 1871.  I was by that convention elected a delegate at large to go to Washington and urge Congress to pass a law to protect loyal citizens in the Southern States.  I arrived there in March, and found Congress just ready to adjourn; but, through the providence of God, the President issued his message to Congress, recommending to that body the consideration of the condition of loyal citizens in the Southern States, and the passage of some law looking to their protection.  I had the honor of calling on the President at that time, and had assurance of his sanction to any bill passed by Congress for that purpose.  The Ku-Klux Bill was passed, and of course my mission was accomplished.
            Now the rebels became more enraged at me than ever.  My friends informed me in Washington of plots layed to murder me on my way home, and advised me to stay in the North for a while; but without answering them, I came home before they thought I had left Washington, and went to work to find out, if possible, how they intended to kill me.  The plan was this:  Certain men were to come up from the country and watch for me going to or coming from the church at night, and kill me; then take my body a short distance in the woods, and leave

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something by it to make it appear that colored men from the country had done it.  I pursued my inquiries until the statements made were fully corroborated by incidents that occurred at my own house and near the church.  The parties were well known; and when they found that I was aware of their intentions, they had me arrested and taken to Savannah under the Ku-Klux Bill, before the United States Commissioner.  It was another part of the programme to keep me in lawsuits, so as to compel me to leave the county to keep out of jail; or if I was put in jail, then break the jail at night and kill me in it.  In any event, my life was to be taken.
            I was compelled, on going up to the legislature last November, to leave my house at dusk, and go by land, to meet my son, who was waiting in Savannah for me.  On my return, the captain of the steamer “Hardy” (a boat that stops at Darien coming and going to Savannah) refused to take me and another gentleman who was with me, and had my trunk put on the dock.  After first taking our fare, he then came and gave it back to us, and ordered us on shore.  All this was to get up a difficulty in Savannah; but being aware of their object, I at once ordered my things to be taken directly off the wharf, and crossed the country in a wagon, which took one day longer to get home.  The only security that I now had for my life or property was this:  The rebels knew that they would be held responsible by the loyal people of this country, both colored and white, for any injury that might be done to me.


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            My case charged false imprisonment of a man named Rafe.  This man was charged with breaking into a house in which two families, lived, and threatening to kill the two men—both heads of these families.  Upon the affidavits of said parties I issued a warrant for his arrest, and upon a hearing, he was ordered to give a bond of $50 in each case to keep the peace for six months as towards these families, and to pay the costs of court, which he agreed to do.  He went to get bond-men; but came back and said he would not give bonds; upon which, I ordered him to be locked up; but he went and made an affidavit that he had given bonds, and then ran away.
            I was indicted without having a notice to appear before the grand jury, and that charges had been preferred against me.  When the regular term of court came it was adjourned, and not time was set.  I had business in Washington, and went there.  Upon my return home I found my dwelling house had been burned, and the grocery and dry-goods store of my wife and son was also burned.  That day the court met, and I was arrested the next day.  There was a called session of the superior court.  I was not allowed to go two blocks to get my court records.  My counsel asked for one hour, but being refused, he again asked for fifteen minutes, and was again refused by Judge Tompkins.
            I plead not guilty to the indictment, and the case proceeded upon the affidavit of Rafe, who had run away, and the testimony of the sheriff, who said that he was told not to lock him

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up by the lawyer.  The lawyer was also a witness, he having written the affidavit, and swore that Rafe had given bonds.  My counsel, in open court, said it was impossible for him to get testimony, or do anything in my case, on account of intimidation, but the judge said he saw no intimidation, and the case should proceed.  He then ordered the clerk to get the jury-box, which he unlocked, and then took out two or three tickets; but the clerk whispered to him, and he put those back and took out two packages of tickets, when he tore one package open and counted out twenty-four.  He then tore open the other, and when he had counted out ten, I told my counsel to look.  He said he was looking.  When he counted out the other package, the clerk, who was keeping the count, said there was forty-eight.  This list was given to the sheriff, who called their names; and as the sheriff called, every one answered.  We of course challenged the array, but were overruled by the court as to our ground of challenge.  We were entitled to take from the first panel, and if that was exhausted, to have tales jurors—also prejudice.
            The jury in my case was out all night, and at 10 o’clock the next day the foreman informed the judge that they could not agree.  In reply the judge said, “You go back to your room, and if you don’t agree by 11 o’clock, I will have you locked up and adjourn this court until Thursday next, and you shall not have food or fire until then.”  They then went out, and (by my watch) returned in fifteen minutes with a verdict of guilty, but with a recommendation to the mercy of the court.
            We then moved for a new trial, upon which we were entitled to give bond, but the judge said he would not take any bond, when we insisted upon our rights.  He then said he would not take $300,000 bonds, but agreed to hear argument at Savannah any time within thirty days, and ordered me to be sent to State prison at once.  I was taken on Sunday, at 10 o’clock a.m., with two other prisoners, across the country, to the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad.  They hurried the horses so that they broke

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down, and we missed the train, so we did not get to Savannah until Monday morning.  My wife and son employed counsel at Savannah, and presented my case under the motion which was made in McIntosh county to hear argument in thirty days; but he put them off, and issued a special order to the guard to take me away, which they did at night.  I was released from the guard at Atlanta on a writ of habeas corpus, and put in jail.  Now, the judge refused, after hearing argument, to grant a new trial, and also refused to sign a bill of exceptions; and my lawyers could not get it, so as to make application to the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus.  The judge then came up to Atlanta, no doubt to be out of my lawyers’ way.
            My son then telegraphed to my counsel, and they brought me out for a hearing the day the judge arrived, and had issued a subpoena duces te cum [illegible]—that afternoon, and the court adjourned until the next day, at 10 a.m.  The judge at first refused to come, but the solicitor went for him.  He admitted that a bill of exception had been presented to him in my case.
            We then got papers ready while one of my counsel was speaking to move before Judge Hopkins, of the Atlanta Superior Court; and to do this, we had to dismiss it from before the Court of Ordinary.  As soon as we dismissed it, irons were put upon me.  I was then dragged to a covered wagon, and taken out of town, through by-roads, to a woods, when they made me get out and walk.  Of course I took my time.  When we got within a mile of a prison camp, two men came up on horseback and served papers upon the guard, ordering him to bring me back; but they not being officers, he refused.  I was put in irons there, and that afternoon put to work, and the next day, until 2 o’clock, I worked, when I fell—being unable to work any longer.
            The next morning it was raining.  After they had breakfast I was taken by two men up to the guard tent, or headquarters, when they took off my chains.  The captain of the guard

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showed me the order of court forbidding chains being put upon me, and ordering my return back to Atlanta.  After I had read it, he asked me when I expected my friends would send for me.  “Why,” I replied, “you are ordered by this to send me back, therefore they will not come.”  He then ordered a buggy to be brought, and ordered me put in, to be sent back to the Atlanta jail, in charge of a guard.  I was carried to the jail by two men.  When they laid me down upon the cell-floor, the men said, “He will soon die, for he is scarcely alive now.”  I asked one of the men to get me a little rice and milk.  In about two hours he brought it.  With difficulty I ate it, for I had not eating anything for two days.  The food given to prisoners was corn meal, mixed with water, without salt, made into an oval shape, and baked hard on the outside—but as a general thing quite raw inside—and a piece of fat bacon, that eight persons to one would find raw.  In going about they would pick up pieces of old-iron pots and kettles, and these were used for frying meat upon.  Then they would break open the corn bread, and lay the pieces upon the coals and cook it—or rather burn it—so as to make it more palatable; but I could not eat it.
            In the jail at Atlanta the food was better; but I had my meals brought from the hotel.  As a general thing they kept them out in the office until quite cold.  I could never see the man who brought them.  There were white prisoners who had their meals sent to them from some hotel, and the men would carry them in their cells.
            Two or three days after my being brought back—I do not remember the day, for I was very sick—my lawyers brought me out again for a hearing before Judge Hopkins.  I was carried up in a carriage.  My counsel, on the writ of habeas corpus, alleged illegality, on the ground of my having applied for a new trial, and there being no refusal; and upon my affidavit, they showed to the court that Judge Tompkins had agreed to hear argument in this case, by my counsel, at Savannah, within

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thirty days; and that we had also given notice of a bill of exceptions to the Supreme Court, and therefore were entitled to give bonds—after hearing their argument, Judge Hopkins said, “I have no doubt counsel believes the statements herein set forth to be true, but I cannot believe that any judge, upon whom the light of God’s sun shines, would refuse a bond under such a state of facts.  I cannot release the prisoner; but I will remand him back to jail, and give you time to get the papers to make the necessary showing.”  I was then carried back to jail by four men.  I remained in jail about four weeks.  My wife went to McIntosh county, and with great difficulty got a copy of the records of the court, and had my case argued, on a motion for a new trial, before Judge Tompkins.  The said motion being refused, she then presented a bill of exceptions, and, with my lawyers, found the records incomplete.
            She was compelled to travel back on dismal, dark nights, when the men who drove the wagon had to get out and lead the horses, and pick their way as best they could in darkness—for in the winter, although there is no snow to lay upon the ground, yet in the three counties which she was compelled to cross, after leaving Chatham, namely, Bryan, Liberty and McIntosh, cold rains and sleet were things of constant occurrence.  For three weeks she was kept going up and down—from Savannah to Darien, and from Darien back to Savannah—on account of malicious omissions, or errors, made by the clerk.  But with an unshaken courage she kept on her weary and dangerous journeying, until the papers sufficient to meet my case, and act as a supercedeas[?], was made out.  When I was released from jail, and on my way home, the rebels again arrested me in Savannah.  They then said that if my wife was again found in McIntosh county she would be arrested.
            One of my counsel came to Savannah, but was not able to get a record of my case in time from the clerk of the court.  Mrs. Campbell (my wife) would not trust any person, but started

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from Savannah herself about the 11th of January, 1875, it was cold and rainy—in the morning train of the Atlantic and Gulf railroad, and stopped at station No. 3, and there a friend of ours (Rev. Joseph Williams) took her in his buggy on to a neighbor’s, (Cain Jeems,) when he was to take her to Mr. John McIvers’, when he was to take her to Darien altogether a distance of forty miles.  She had to travel across the country, over roads which, with the exception of bridges across certain rivers, had never been repaired since the war, and in rainy weather almost impassable on account of suck-holes and miry places, over which poles had been layed, forming what is called a corduroy road.  But these poles had become rotten, and had dangerous holes in them, in which wagon wheels or horses legs were in danger of being broken even in the day time.  Thirty miles of this road had to be traveled at night, so as to be in Darien soon enough to see the clerk in his office in time to get the work done.  When she got there the clerk kept out of her way, and would not come to the office.  She then got some of our friends to watch for him, and they found his place of concealment—a store.  He would go in the front door and out of the back, and down a bank, and get around to his own house.  They then set a watch front and rear, and by that means got a part of the papers.  When she got back to Savannah I told Colonel Thomas to have by case at once brought before the United States Court.  He promised to come up in an hour or two, but did not come.  I then sent word to him by an officer.  He came up, and said it would be best for me to go to McIntosh county.  I said, “You know that they will pretend that I am trying to escape, and will shoot me; that is well known!”  He said, “There is no danger; and if you employ counsel, you must do as your counsel directs.”  I replied, “I will, if I think my counsel knows better than I do; but who would be such a fool as to go, when they knew they would be killed!”  He then said, “You know and think a great deal of Colonel A.T. Akerman.  If I get a

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letter from him, and he says you will be safe, will you go?”  I said, “No; I will never consent to go and be killed for any one.”  He then said, “I do not think that Judge Erskine will entertain your case.”  I asked, “Upon what ground can he object? for I can cover the statute.”  He said, “Well, public prejudice is so strong that he will not dare to act!”
            He came again to see me, and said that “Mrs. Campbell wanted him to attend to my case, and I have promised to do it for $50; so I would like to have some of your friends pay me the money, for I tell you it is a very heavy thing to stand up as we will have to do, against public sentiment—as you well know.”  I said, “Well, whatever my wife has agreed to do will be all right when I get out.”  He went away, and then came back and told me that it was best to go before Tompkins, for the case was so clearly illegal that there would be no difficulty in getting my discharge.  I said, “Judge Tompkins will not discharge me, and you ought to know that.”  He replied, “You are mistaken.  I will get you discharged.”  The next day I was taken before Judge Tompkins, who peremptorily refused to discharge or even consider my case, and said it could not be brought before him, out of McIntosh county.  He then remanded me back to jail, notifying me that I would have to appear before him in McIntosh county.
            I wrote a letter to my wife, who was in Atlanta.  She had been compelled to get out of the way, for there was a warrant out against her, alleging that she was a dangerous character and ought not to be at large among the people.
            They had two indictments against my son, on trumped-up charges, and said they would chain him and me together, and take us both to the State prison at one time.  But we got my son (T.G. Campbell, Jr.,) and his wife off to the State of Massachusetts, (he had been a member of the legislature for four years, and of course, as he could not be bought, he must go or [illegible] before I was arrested the first time; therefore there was not [illegible]

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my family here now but my wife and daughter Cassey, as we call her—Catharine Amelia is her name.  She was 14 years old in the spring of 1877.  They were both in Atlanta.  My wife employed Colonel G.S. Thomas, assistant United States attorney for the State of Georgia, to bring my case into the United States Court, and agreed to pay him $50.  She gave her gold watch as security for the payment.  Colonel Thomas was down in Savannah on business.
            With great difficulty he got it signed.  My wife and son sent it up to my counsel at Atlanta.  I was then brought out again, before Judge Hopkins, and gave bond.  I now went down to Savannah, on my way home.  I got to Savannah about 5 o’clock in the afternoon.  The next day, at 2 o’clock p.m., I was arrested upon an old snit, which was not only out of date, but had been decided in my favor by the Supreme Court.  In this case the judge refused to take bonds.  I was then put in the jail at Savannah, which had been condemned by the grand jury on account of its unhealthiness.  I was kept there for eight months and ten days.  The first month I was kept there for eight months and ten days.  The first month I was kept in a cell down stairs, nine feet long and four and one-half feet wide.  The prisoners were let out to walk in a hall six feet wide once in two weeks.  Mr. Russell, after I had been there about four weeks, ordered me to go up stairs, and every day after that my cell was unlocked, and I was allowed to walk about the hall all day.  My wife also made arrangement with a friend of ours to send me something to eat every day.  She also sent me medicines, for her knowledge of the medicinal qualities of roots and herbs was very extensive.
            I was attacked with a severe cough, and a swelling in my body, but was relieved of them by rubbing with a liniment and taking three doses a day of a syrup which was made by her.
            I wrote a letter to President Grant, after I had been three or four months in jail, and, in answer, Attorney General Pierrepont [sic] informed me that he did not see how he could do anything

Page 23
for me.  About three days after I got a communication from the Attorney General.  I also received a letter from my wife, informing me of her having written to President Grant; and the same afternoon I received communication from the Department of Justice, informing me that my wife (Mrs. Harriet Campbell) had written a letter to the President; and from statements made therein said letter having been referred to him—that an immediate investigation should be made in my case.  Just when I got through reading this letter I was ordered down to the office, and there I found the assistant attorney general for the State of Georgia—Colonel G. Thomas.  He said that a dispatch had been received at Atlanta, ordering them to take my case into the United States Court.  He had an affidavit drawn up, already for me to sign.  He read it to me.  I told him that was all right; but there was the other caser before the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia, which ought also to be

WASHINGTON, D.C. November 20, 1875
[date hard to read]

TUNIS G. CAMPBELL, Chatham County Jail,
Savannah, Ga.

            DEAR SIR:  The President has referred me your letter of the 13th instance addressed to him from your place of confinement in Savannah.
            I am deeply interested in your case, and have this day written to the United States attorney for Georgia, expressing to him my ideas, and desiring his active and persistent attention[?] to relieve you from your difficulties.  It is through him that I must act in the case, and I am sure he will do whatever can lawfully be done for you.
            Very respectfully,
                        EDWARDS PIERREPONT
                                    Attorney General


WASHINGTON, D.C., November 16, 1875
[date hard to read]


            MADAME:  Your letter of the 11th instant, addressed to the President and asking him relief, has been referred to me.  I have this day addressed a letter to Mr. Farrow, the attorney of the United States [illegible] Georgia, referring a copy of your letter to him, and [illegible] him, further to investigate and to see if anything can be done for your relief, and to enable your husband to be relieved from his imprisonment.
            I am disposed to do whatever can be done by the government to deliver your husband from the difficulty under which he labors.
            Very respectfully,
                        EDWARDS PIERREPONT
                                    Attorney General, United States

Page 24
brought into the United States Court.  He said, “That is so; but you had better let us get this case first.”  He then went away, and came back the next day, and said, “Colonel H.P. Farrow requested me to say that he had been slow to move; but now he would move, and I should be righted.  That I must get $50 ready, and as soon as they saw what action would be taken by Judge Tompkins they would go to work on my case.  I then said, “My papers are not properly before the Supreme Court, and that I wanted them brought before the United States Court and properly prepared.”  He replied “You are all right.”
            My wife informed me by letter of an order having been sent front the Department of Justice, to Colonels Farrow and Thomas, to have all my cases brought into the United States Court.  There was only two cases now against me; for when I was last in Darien, before the court, I drew a plea myself in support of a motion to dismiss five indictments found against me at the previous term.  I showed it to a Democratic lawyer, who was very anxious for me to employ him.  I agreed to give him $30 if he was successful.  He went to the judge, and after a short conversation he made the motion, when the judge granted the order.  It was done so quickly that no one appeared to notice it.  I was well satisfied that the other two cases would not amount to anything, unless I failed to defend them.
            About three weeks after this a letter came from my wife, informing me of my case having been dismissed by the Supreme Court of Georgia.  My counsel failed to file the brief of evidence with the bill of exceptions.  Upon a proper showing, my case could have been brought de novo even then.  But I saw myself betrayed, and resolved to suffer or die!  There were certain persons, (Democrats,) out of pretended pity, wanted me now—as they said Republicans had deserted me—to accept of offers that had been made to me—namely, $35,000 and keep quiet, and to preach as the white ministers directed, or leave the State.

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This offer of $35,000 was first made to me in the year 1868.  Before this—in 1866—I was offered $5,000 a year to preach under the direction of white land owners, and a house built to suit myself wherever I chose to locate on the Islands in the black belt or main land.
            I told the jailor not to send for me when they came any more to get me out by bargains, as I had made up my mind to die in prison.  On or about the 12th of January, 1876, the guard from the State prison came, about 7 o’clock a.m., and handcuffed me, and, with a chain about twelve feet long, dragged me along the streets of Savannah to the Central railroad, and then took me one hundred and forty miles from Savannah, to a prison-camp on the plantation of Colonel Jack Smith’s, in Washington county, State of Georgia.  The weather was very cold, and they took me up in a wagon.  I was helpless when we got there, at 1o’clock in the night—my hands being chained together.  I had a very bad fall in getting out of the wagon.  I tried to get pen and ink, and finally did get pen, ink and paper, and wrote a letter to my wife.  I suffered very much from my fall.  They were clearing land, and ordered me to pile brush.  It is impossible to describe the way in which prisoners were worked.  They were taken out as soon as they could see—both winter and summer—and kept to work as long as it was light, with one hour for dinner.  They had breakfast before daylight.  If wood was to be cut, the strongest and most expert men with the ax were made leaders, and every other man had to keep stroke with him all day long; and if they failed to do so, they were beaten most unmercifully with a leather strop, or a buggy trace, and given from fifty to one hundred strokes, until they would keep up or die.  I am well satisfied that four men in the camp where I was were whipped to death—and this was considered one of the best camps in the State.  These beatings made men reckless, and they would rush here and there, like wild men, to get the favor of the guard.  I must say that the guards were a low

Page 26
and brutal set of men, as a general thing.  You could hear them all the time calling out to the men, “I don’t hear those axs [sic]!  Go in with those axs!  Go in with those axs!”  If a man could not stand the work, then he was reported, and of course beaten.  Women were treated in the same manner.  I was in this camp eleven months and twenty-one days.
            Two women—one a prisoner and the other a hired woman (both colored)—had white babies—which shows the state of morals there.  I preached in this camp.  I was for three Sundays in chains; but the Monday morning after the third Sunday my chains were taken off, and I was put as overseer of the wheelwright and blacksmith shops.  The keys of the store houses and cribs were given to me, as also the books for all accounts of work done on the place, or for our neighbors.  Mr. and Mrs. Smith always, from that time, treated me very kindly.  My meals came from their table.  My wife sent me every month a box of nourishments and medicines—clothing, soda-crackers, , sugar-cakes, pound-cake, strawberry and other preserves, pickled eggs, &c.  Since I have been out of prison I found that my wife went to the principle keeper and stated my case to him, and through her statements he was induced to have my chains taken off.  Yet I feel under many obligations to Colonel J.T. Smith and lady for their kindness to me.
            My wife and daughter were, during my confinement, in the city of Atlanta; and every dollar that she had been able to collect from her customers was used up in trying to help me.  She also made up medicine in the winter to sell; and in the summer, went into the woods around Atlanta and picked blackberries, and brought them to the city to sell; and from the fields brought strawberries in, and sold them.  About three weeks before I got home—January 6, 1877—my little girl went out to work, so as to keep a room, that I might have a place to come once more, and be with them.  She wrote all the letters sent to President Grant by her mother.  In this connection,

Page 27
must say that Mrs. Campbell (my wife) is a woman of remarkable good judgment, guided by firm Christian principles, and I have no language to express my thankfulness to God for both wife and child.
            During the whole of this time I was in dread of the ku-klux, or parties of men who broke open jails and prison camps to get persons that they wanted out of the way.



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