Cases Under the Civil Rights Law

June 1, 1866


White former slaveowners are charged with murder and mistreatment of former slaves as far back as 1861 under the Civil Rights bill.


The Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees and Freedmen in this District is receiving quite a number of affidavits charging murder upon individuals, committed as far back as 1861, in order that measures may be taken to bring them to trial under the provisions of the "Civil Rights bill." A colored man swears that a Mr. Samuel Cox, living about five miles south of Port Tobacco, Md., confessed to him that he had whipped one of his slaves, named Jackson Scroggins, to death, in August, 1861, for running away. Robert Garner, colored, swears that in the fall of 1861 Mr. Jackson Smoot, of Charles county, Md., then his master, had ordered irons to be placed on the wrists and legs of Nacy Dorsey, another of his slaves. When the order was given, Dorsey ran; upon which Mr. Smoot shot him in the head with buckshot, killing him almost instantly.
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Brooke Beam




“Cases Under the Civil Rights Law,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 17, 2022,