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[319] of Lowells, all was quiet and peace restored. But the peace of Lowells was short-lived and delusive. On the night of the 10th Roberts' store at Enslow's Cross-Roads was burned. The next day men, women and children, armed with clubs, paraded the different plantations on the Combahee and Ashford, and beat or threatened with violence all negroes who were at work or disposed to work. The rioters always asserted that they were acting in obedience to instructions from the Governor. This was doubtless not true; but it was fairly presumable from the conduct of those whose duty it was to keep the peace and preserve order, that their inefficient conduct was not disapproved by those in authority, and therefore the ignorant and deluded rioters might without absurdity have inferred that the Governor approved of that which his subordinates did not seem to condemn.

Again the Governor was informed of the renewal of the violence, and again he had recourse to trial-justices. The blacks, the objects of the rioters' vengeance, themselves implored the aid of the Governor in the following touching telegram:

‘The rioters continue to keep us from our work on the Combahee. For God's sake stop this thing and let us make bread for our families.’

To this dispatch, signed by W. Middleton and others, the Governor the next day dispatched the following answer:

You must first use the ordinary means before calling on me. Go to trial-justices, get warrants and have all persons arrested who molest you. If resistance is made, report to me.

D. H. C.

The ordinary means had been tried and failed for three weeks. The governor could not turn from his high purpose of securing freedom of election to attend to such petty matters as giving tranquility to two counties. This work might be left to a trial-justice. The rifle clubs were then ready to assist to restore peace and tranquility, but the Governor had a motive for ignoring them, which appeared afterwards. The militia had been once or twice called, but they fraternized with the rioters. At last Terry, the sheriff — of Colleton, sent to the Governor that he was utterly helpless and unable to preserve the peace. With this letter he sent the warrants which he had been unable to serve. The Governor sent back the warrants with directions that they were to be kept until the arrival of the

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T. M. Terry (1)
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