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A Letter to Hon. Charles Sumner, with 'Statements'

A LETTER TO HON. CHARLES SUMNER, WITH "STATEMENTS" OF Outrages Upon Freedmen in Georgia, AND AN ACCOUNT OF MY EXPULSION FROM ANDERSONVILLE, GA., BY THE KU-KLUX KLAN.

BY REV. H. W. PIERSON, D.D.,

FORMERLY PRESIDENT OF CUMBERLAND COLLEGE, KENTUCKY; AUTHOR OF JEFFERSON AT MONTICELLO, OR THE PRIVATE LIFE OF THOMAS JEFFERSON; CORRESPONDING MEMBER N. Y. HISTORICAL SOCIETY, ETC.

COMPLIMENTS OF THE AUTHOR.

WASHINGTON: CHRONICLE PRINT., 511 NINTH STREET. 1870.

[Copy.]

NEW YORK, _November, 1861_

To the Rev. H. W. PIERSON, D.D.,

_President of Cumberland College, Kentucky:_

DEAR SIR: The undersigned beg leave respectfully to suggest to you the propriety of repeating your paper read before the Historical Society at a recent meeting, on the Private Life of Thomas Jefferson, and making public a larger portion of your ample materials, in the form of public lectures. The unanimous expression of approbation on the part of the Society, which your paper elicited, is an earnest of the satisfaction with which your consent to lecture will be received by the public at large.

We have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours,

GEORGE BANCROFT, HAMILTON FISH, WM. M. EVARTS, FREDERIC DE PEYSTER, BENJ. H. FIELD, GEORGE FOLSOM, L. BRADISH, ISAAC FERRIS, GORHAM D. ABBOT, SAMUEL OSGOOD, GEORGE POTTS, HENRY W. BELLOWS, JOSEPH G. COGSWELL, HORACE WEBSTER, And many others.

LAWLESSNESS IN GEORGIA.

WASHINGTON, D. C., _March 15, 1870_.

MY DEAR SIR: It would not become me to express an opinion upon any of the legal questions involved in the Georgia bill now before the Senate, but I respectfully call your attention to the following "statements" of facts. I certainly am not surprised that Honorable gentlemen whom I greatly esteem, should express their belief that the outrages committed upon the Freedmen and Union men in Georgia have been greatly exaggerated in the statements that have been presented to Congress and the country. I know that to persons and communities not intimately acquainted with the state of society, and the civilization developed by the institution of slavery, they seem absolutely incredible. Allow me to say, from my personal knowledge, and profoundly conscious of my responsibility to God and to history, that the statements that have been given to the public in regard to outrages in Georgia come far short of the real facts in the case. Permit me to add that I went to Andersonville, Ga., to labor as a pastor and teacher of the Freedmen, _without pay_, as I had labored during the war in the service of the _Christian Commission_; that I had nothing at all to do with the political affairs of the State; that I did not know, and, so far as I am aware, I did not see or speak to any man who held a civil office in the State, except the magistrate at Andersonville; that a few days after my arrival there I performed the first religious services, and participated in the first public honors that were ever rendered to the 13,716 "brave boys" who sleep there, by decorating the cemetery with procession, prayer, and solemn hymns to God, as described in Appendix A.

My time and labors were sacredly given to the Freedmen. In addition to the usual Sabbath services I visited them in their cabins around the stockades, and in the vicinity of the cemetery, reading the Bible to them, and talking and praying with them. It was in the prosecution of these labors that I saw and heard more of sufferings and horrible outrages inflicted upon the Freedmen than I saw and heard of as inflicted upon slaves in any five years of constant horseback travel in the South before the war, when I visited thousands of plantations as agent of the American Tract society, the American Bible Society, and as President of Cumberland College, Princeton, Kentucky. As illustrations of the sufferings of these oppressed, outraged people, and of their utter helplessness and want of protection from the State or Federal courts, I give a few of the "statements" that I wrote down from their own lips. I know these men, and have entire confidence in their "statements."


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