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

this morning, said they had some indication that Collier was
liable as one of the participators, but it was not satisfactorily
and I told Mr. Brown I knew Powell lied if he said he knew me.  Then
Mr. Brown said, "Mr. Arnold, what did Conyers say when he came to
have Lawson arrested?"  Mr. Arnold said, "Boyd said he learned
there was a negro here, claiming he was a detective, hunting him
about the Brownsville affair, and the negro said there would be a white
man here after him in a few days."  Then Mr. Brown asked Mr. Arnold,
"Did Boyd deny what Lawson said he told him?"  Mr. Arnold said,
"Sure he did; he told Lawson he told a dern lie."  Mr. Brown then
said, "What about the excursion trips?"
  You will remember that in one of the affidavits sent us by the
President it is set out that on an excursion, traveling on the
train back and forth, this negro Lawson talked with Conyers.
I want Senators to observe that there seems to be a white man--
the sheriff of that county--present at nearly all these conversa-
tions.  If the writer of this letter is telling an untruth about it,
it will be very easy to disclose that fact; but if the writer of
this letter be telling the truth, as I believe he is, it will be
very easy to establish something else that will give some people
more trouble than they expected to give this man.
  Lawson said: You went on an excursion to Gainesville, Ga., with
him and told him you help do the shooting. I told him I could prove
I hadn't been on an excursion this, neither last year.  He asked me this
when he was here the first time.  I forgot to state it before, and when
he was here on the 11th, Mr. Arnold told him he had found out I
hadn't been on any excursion at all.  Then Mr. Brown said: "Boyd, you
are a pretty hard case; we can't get on your track much."
  He said: "I want to ask you a few more questions.  I want to know,
and I want you to tell the truth. Tell me who talked with you in
Washington before you went on the stand." I told him no one. " Now,"
he said, "isn't it true that Mr. FORAKER told you all how to swear
before you went in the committee room?"  I said: "No, sir.  I saw
him passing, and some one said 'There goes Senator FORAKER.'"  He
said: "Who met you at the train when you went to Washington?"
I told him no one. Then he wanted to know if I had any letters from
Mr. FORAKER.  I said: "Sir, I have only one letter from him."  Then
he asked me if I had it with me.  I said: "No, sir; but I can get it
as quick as you ever saw anybody get anything if you think it will
do you any good."  He said: "I will be glad for you to go and get
it. I would like to see some of the Senator's writing." I came home
and got the letter and showed it to him. He read it and quickly folded
It and handed it back to me and said: "There is nothing there to
hurt anyone." Then he asked me to give him the name of all the ball
players in B Company. He asked me did I have a group of the boys.
I told him I did. He told me he would like to see it; for me to go
and get it, if it wasn't too much trouble. I told him it wouldn't be
any trouble; so I got it and showed it to him. Then he took their
names down, right to left, like they were on the picture. Then he
began to point out some of the men on the picture to Mr. Arnold--
  This sheriff, who was still there--
that he thought was implicated in the matter; then he wanted to
know if I had any of the rest of the soldiers' pictures; if so, he wanted
to see them.  I showed him all I had.  He kept trying to persuade
me to tell him who did the shooting, which was impossible for me to
tell him; he also repeats, "There is a lot of them talking now;"
said "John Brown has acknowledged that he was in the shooting."
I said, "Mr. Brown, if John has been man enough to tell you he was
in the shooting, it looks funny he didn't tell you who else was in it."
He said, "That's all right; it's all coming out." Then he began to ask
me about my family; said it would be bad for me to have to leave
a young family and be turned over to the State of Texas. I told him,
"Before I would be willing to swear a lie on anybody I would be
willing to go to Texas or anywhere else, because the truth stands in
its place."  He said, "You know if you go to Texas nobody knows the
results you will get there.  You may never return here any more." I


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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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