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Black Battalion: Speech of Hon. Joseph B. Foraker of Ohio in the Senate of the United States, 1908

  I do not pretend to know what are the facts as to how these
detectives proceeded; but that detectives were employed, that
they did represent the Government, that they were under the
direction of the War Department are facts established by the
affidavits and the reports that have just been read and by the
President's message. In that particular the soldier from whose
letter I read is entirely corroborated.
  I have a very distinct recollection of Boyd Conyers.  I think,
perhaps, every other member of the Military Affairs Committee
who was present when he testified will remember him.  I have
no recollection of ever seeing him except only while he was on
the witness stand.  I have just now turned to the record, and
I see that I presided on that occasion and administered the oath
to him.  But I remember him without being refreshed by the
record.  It is from his letter that I read a moment ago.  I had
prepared that extract before I knew any message was coming.
I know nothing about Conyers except only as he appeared on
the witness stand.  He impressed me as an intelligent and abso-
lutely truthful witness.  I believe he testified to the exact truth,
so far as he knew it, in answer both to the examination and the
cross-examination to which he was subjected.
  He went his way when he was dismissed, and I never saw
him again and never heard of him again until the following let-
ter was received at my office in Cincinnati during my absence on
a summer vacation.  It is dated "Monroe, Ga., July 24, 1908."
Now that this message from the President and this report from
the Secretary of War and these affidavits from these detectives
and this argument based on a review of the testimony by one of
these detectives who was employed to represent the Government
have been read, I want the Senate to indulge me until I can
read this poor, helpless man's correspondence with me. You
were told there--and I wish the Clerk would turn and see at
what point it was in the investigation of this soldier at Monroe,
Ga., that it is stated that my letter which Boyd Conyers re-
ceived had a bad effect upon him in making him stubborn and
obstinate, and that it made it impossible for them to get the
truth. [A pause.] Meantime, while the Clerk is looking that
up, I will read this letter:
  Monroe, Ga., July 24, 1908--
  I had never heard from him from the moment he left the
witness stand until this letter came, as I say, in my absence--
                                       MONROE, GA., July 24, 1908.
  DEAR SIR: As you have been a great friend of the discharged soldiers
of Brownsville, Tex., I thought I would write you and explain a matter
to you concerning a negro detective that has been hanging around for
some time.
  Mr. FORAKER, I have been away with Captain Mobley and the soldiers
for ten days, waiting on them.  They have been camping at Chicka-
maugua Park, and when I returned home I learned the negro was here
to pick me about the Brownsville affair, and as soon as I heard it I
had the high sheriff to arrest him--
  Now that, according to his statement, is what this criminal,
who was engaged in the shooting, did. It does not look to me
like the work of a guilty man--
  I had the high sheriff to arrest him and investigate the matter,
and as I pushed him close and he didn't have time to have a private
conversation with me, he told the sheriff lies, and goes on to say that
I have been drunk with him since he has been here, but I can prove


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Black Battalion: Speech of Hon. Joseph B. Foraker of Ohio in the Senate of the United States, 1908



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