Mar 30, 2017 - Sale 2441

Sale 2441 - Lot 219

Price Realized: $ 5,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
BLACK TEENAGER SHOT BY POLICEMAN (CIVIL RIGHTS.) SWAYNE, MAJOR GENERAL WAGER. Documents ordering the Arrest and Detainment of a Policeman for the Shooting of an Unarmed Black Teenager. Two partially printed documents, accomplished by hand. Western Union Telegraph and Headquarters District of Montgomery, Signed by Major General Swayne's Aide de Camp, S.C. Greene. Alabama, 1867

Additional Details

an un-unarmed black teenager is shot and killed by a policeman---in 1867. Major General Wager Swayne (1829-1902) President of the Alabama Freedmen's Bureau, orders a detachment of twenty-five men of Company C, 5th Cavalry to arrest and detain a number of civil officers, and the policeman that shot the unarmed black boy.
It seems a group of white boys were playing and tossed a firecracker at the head of a black boy, who then reciprocated by hitting the white boy with a stick. The boy's father, Mr. Morgan, a policeman determined that this dreadful crime against his son should not go unpunished, produced a pistol and fired two shots, at the now fleeing Negro boy's back, killing him. A local newspaper observed that 'The Negroes then became very excited, and would not be quieted or listen to reason" (really?). The military police, demanded the whites hand over the policeman; and a riot seemed sure to follow--all of this on Christmas Eve.! The local Union military official, General Swayne (the author of the telegram offered here) called for troops, and the arrests, all according to the documents offered here. A Xerox copy of a contemporary newspaper account is included with this lot. A full transcription of the early documents, as well as a letter from the present day archivist for the state of Alabama is all included. Unfortunately this scenario has repeated itself, in endless variations up until this day.