Raynors 2020-05 Putnal
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/30/2020
A truly historic Southern planter's slave patrol related letter written to Alabama Governor Andrew B. Moore (1857-1861) by George Gains Lyon, an influential planter and attorney from Margengo County, Alabama. Lyon became concerned as conditions deteriorated between the South and Federal Government; and Governor Moore called into state service local militia men in order to establish a state force to help defend the newly formed Southern Confederacy. Lyon's argued that weakened local militias would promote fears for uninvited slave revolts. Writing from his newly constructed Greek Revival, slave-built Lyon Hall mansion, Demopolis, Alabama, March 28, 1861, he penned this 4pp. 4to., letter, reading, in part: "…Genl. Kerr has published your order…it has produced a great deal of measures among out people. Many persons have called on me…some of them [have]…volunteered to go into service for the war…[and] have families to leave behind…advise you of the great alarm they have for the safety of their families. If you assist upon your order. I have taken the pains, with the assistance of the Captain of our beat, to examine the condition of the Militia of this Beat…before the war there was 142 men on the roll…on "Demopolis Beat" out of which eighty have volunteered and are now in service…leaving only forty two men who are liable to military duty…Demopolis Beat is about six miles square and contains about 3500 to 4000 negroes and 41 different plantation…many of the planters live upon their plantations &7 attend to their own business…Prairieville Beat…contain about 500 negroes upon large plantations and…it has only nine men in it…this community have been seriously troubled…by illegal trafficking with slaves…a few years since it became necessary for our people to take the law into their own hands…to put a stop to it and has…keep up a very strict patrol to keep our negroes at home…today a trial of five negroes is progressing before a committee…for an assault & attempt to murder an overseer…if you insist upon taking any more men from our part of the county you will find that many families will abandon their homes…it may produce such an alarm among our volunteers in the service…our men are all drilling and preparing…in every way…if Mobile is attacked many will go down and…fight…I abandoned trying to raise a company…when I found our people so much [opposed] to any more leaving this part of the county…Spring Hill Beat lying south of Dempolis has about 3000 negroes & but 25 white men subject to duty…it in unsafe to take any more men from the 20th Regt. but the 54th Regt. includes the lower part of the county, which has few negroes & more white men and tis possible some men can be safely taken from them…Geo. G. Lyon." At the end of the letter, Governor Moore mildly scolds Lyon by tersely adding a half page reply, stating: "…Genl. Kerr is expected…to execute his orders as to assess the difficulties of which you complain. He has the discretion & should use it wisely. We want armed men at Mobile & must have them. War troops have no arms…they…cant be held for local defense. Shall I abandon Mobile to the Yankees & open their way to you[?]" Minor toning, else VG
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Early War-Date Alabama Governor's Slave Revolt Letter

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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $400.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $1,750.00
Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Auction closed on Saturday, May 30, 2020.
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