This goal of this page is to organize the records and transcriptions of the Homer, Louisiana Field Office of the Freedmen's Bureau. Topics of interest within this Office may be disaggregated into separate page as content grows. Furthermore, this will hopefully be one page under the umbrella of a Freedmen's Bureau Project that aims to make these records easily searchable and accessible to all.
How to Join
- Contact Dominikus Miller if you are interested in contributing to this project. With enough help, we can expand to other offices and other states.
- Add the project tag Homer_Field_Office
- The goal is to transcribe the document perfectly as written, spelling and grammatical errors included. To denote an abnormal spelling with an accurate transcription, use directly [sic] after the abnormality.
- If you can't understand a word or phrase is, type [illegible] after it or in its place.
- Letters Received Nov-Dec 1866; Oct 1867-Dec 1868
November 7th, 1866
Circuit letter asking for report of schools condition of some and all information in report to colored people as to their condition.
New Orleans, La., November 7th, 1866
Circular Letter Agents will at once make a special report of the condition of their respective Parishes, noticing especially the following points
- The condition of schools in their Parishes, the number in operation, their relative success; and if not successful, the reasons for their failure. What prospect there is for carrying on the schools by the present system of a 5 per cent tax upon the wages of the labour during the coming year.
- The condition of the freedmen, and the feeling existing between them and the white population
- How far the present regulations of the Bureau affecting labor contracts have been successful.
All matters of general interest will be fully reported upon, so that a good idea of the condition of affairs throughout the state may be obtained.
By Command of B.t Major General J. A. Mower USA Asst Commissioner
November 24th, 1866
Circuit letter Instructing Officers and Agents as to their duty in the Educational Dept of their [illegible].
March 12th 1868
Report in regard to two orphan children held by one J W Cook in this Parish. Wm Stokes
Office Dist Sub Asst Census Bureau [illegible] Parish of Claiborn La Homer March 12th/68
J. M. [illegible] [illegible] Lieutenant. I have the honor to report agreeable to instructions contained in endowment[illegible] on accompanying documents in report to Two (2) minor orphan children Ledi and Valerine who are now living with Margrett Goodson, their Aunt, in the Parish of Claiborne. Said children being claimed by David Goodson as their legal guardian. I visited Margrett Goodson, who together with the children are living at J. W. Cooks of this Parish. The children are well cared for and are perfectly satisfied and have no wish to leave said Margrett Goodson, who is made their guardian, legally, by the last will or letter which is Testament to a will from the father of Ledi and Valerine just before his death. Said Margrett Goodson also informed me that letters of Tutorage or guardianship was issued to her by the Clerk of the Court of Claiborne Parish State of Louisiana who is by law considered Probate Judge. These letters of tutorage wer[sic] given said Margrett Goodson Oct 22nd 1864, and she is by the laws of Louisiana the legitimate and proper guardian of said Ledi and Valerine, and is by all the information I can gather fully compitent. Said Margret[sic] Goodson also informed that David Goodson is a man of very bad charicter[sic]. Also Elizabeth Goodson, his mother, is a woman of very indifferent charicter[sic] and that both wer[sic] compelled to leave the Parish in that account. I called upon the Clerk of the Court in Homer Parish of Claiborne who confirmed these facts by exhibiting the letters of guardianship, all the original letter or will, written by Benjamin Goodson, father of said children, a copy of which I herewith inclose. He also stated that he knew David Goodson and Mother, and that they wer[sic] in no way fit to have the guardianship of children, and further stated that their is now on file in his office Two (2) indictments for Felony against said David Goodson who wishes for the guardianship of these poor children, and that his Mother, granmother[sic] to said children, is a very loose and profligate woman, and intirely[sic] unsuited to have the control of Children. I have inquired of several good Citizens as to the facts and all concur or make about the same statement and say it would be doing the children a great wrong to take them from the present guardian, and give them to a man intirely[sic] distitute[sic] of all the principals necessary for the proper training of children. Respectfully Submitted. I have the honor[illegible] the most Respectfully [illegible] Wm Stokes Asst Sub Asst Commr [illegible]
October 12th, 1867
Affidavits sustaining charges against John C. Blackman and Sons.
State of Louisiaina
Parish of Claiborne
Office Acct. Sub. Asch. Commissioner B. R. F. and A. C.
Parishes Bienville and Claiborne
Personally appeared before me this 12th day of October 1867. Patrick Scott: who being duly sworn deposes and saith,
I contracted to work on the 1st day of January 1867, with John C. Blackman for this year for one half of the crop he (Scott) raised on his farm; that I worked until the crop was laid by, when he told me to leave. I complained to Major Alman who ordered me to return and work out my contract, which I did. On or about the 27th or 28th day of September 1867, that he told me to get off from his place or that his sons would kill me. I then complained to E. W. Dewey, the commissioner of the Parish, who wrote to Mr. Blackman informing him that he could not discharge me until I had gathered and received my portion of the crop. I returned on the Sunday following and about dark that night, I was standing within 200 yards of my house. I saw three men standing in the bushes about 100 yards from where I was standing, I turned to look towards them, when one fired at me, the ball passing very close to my head. On or about the 23rd of September, 1867. I was standing in Blackman's yard, near his house, when Wilbur Blackman pointed a pistol through the window at me, saying I will kill you. I then made my escape from the place. Mr. J. C. Blackman told me to get out of the Parish or his sons would kill me sure within three days. J. C. Blackman told me that his sons was going to run at the election to their advantage, and if they voted for the Yankees the people here would pass them off (meaning kill), that he could step up to a Yankee and give him $5 dollars and he would kill any of us, that whatever they done it was done for money, and I am afraid of my life. J. C. Blackman told me that there was $20.00 up for any man who would kill W. R. Meadows, who has been recently elected a delegate to the convention, and said that I could make it as well as any one else. I told him I did not want to kill him, and if I did, I had nothing to kill him with, when he (Blackman) told me that he would give me the thing to kill him with.
mark of Patrick Scott
Wiley Howell, being duly sworn deposes and saith that on or about the 1st of May 1867, J. C. Blackman sent for me, and asked me if I had seen that damn Yankee nigger passing through, and I answered I had, when he said that he came here to ruin the country, that (Blackman) had taken papers out, and would tell us how to vote to take the tax of the cotton, and taken Yankees out of office and send them (Yankees) home to work and let some good southern man have the office and have civil law. As soon as I engaged in politics he stopped our rations. I also heard him tell Patrick Scott that there was $20.00 up to pass or kill Mr. Meadows and that he (Scott) could make the money as well as any one else. I saw Wilbur Blackman come to the window of his house and tell Patk Scott that he would kill him, I was to[sic] close to the window, but did not see the pistol. J. C. Blackman told me to tell Patk Scott if he did not get out of the Parish in three days, that his (Blackman) sons would kill him (Scott).
Wiley Howell's mark
Tony Rockett: being duly sworn deposes and saith, I was in Blackman's yard close to his house on or about the 25th of September, 1867, when I saw Wilbur Blackman rush to the window with a pistol, and point it towards Patrick Scott and say that he would kill him; J. C. Blackman then told Scott to go away. On or about the 30th of September about dark in the evening heard a pistol shot about 200 yards from Scott's house.
mark of Tony Rockett
Maria Brown: being duly sworn deposes and saith, I saw on or about the 30th of September about dark, saw Oldham Blackman pass by my house towards Scott's house, and a few moments after, heard the report of pistol from the same direction that he had gone. Think it was about 200 yards from Scott's house.
mark of Maria Brown.