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Black Battalion: Speech of Hon. Joseph B. Foraker of Ohio in the Senate of the United States, 1908
then. that Lawson had to get some one to do his reading and writing.
Is that a fact?" and he said, "Yes; I guess he did," and I said, "It
happened that he found a man that couldn't keep a secret and that the
way it leaked out he had Parker doing his reading and writing, and
he told his business before he was ready for it to be told."  Mr. Brown
said, "That's all right; Lawson is a truthful negro; he has been with
the Baldin Detective Company for seventeen years."  Then I said,
"Mr. Brown, wait just one minute; let me speak one word to you."  I
said. "Do you know Mr. G. W. Baldin?"  He said, "Yes; I know him."
I said, "Is he a truthful man?"  He said, "Yes; sure he is a truthful
man." I said. "He stated before me and Mr. Arnold when he was
   Mr. Arnold is the sheriff, you will remember--
that Lawson hadn't been with him more than two or three weeks, and
he didn't know anything about him more than his brother told him.
He was sent to him by his brother and he had caught him in several
lies."  Mr. Brown said: "We won't go any further with that.  I want
to ask you a few more questions about another party."  He said: "Do
you know an ex-soldier Powell?"--
  I am now commencing to read the extract which I quoted
in my opening remarks--
I said: "No, sir; I don't know him."
  He said:  "Well, he knows you; and said you, John Holloman and
John Brown said you all were going to shoot up that town." I said:
"I haven't seen that negro; haven't told him anything; furthermore, I
was on guard duty that night, and couldn't have gotten off if I wanted
to."  He said: "Remember you are not the only soldier talking; we
have twenty talking, and they are peaching too; as I said, I will protect
you.  Tell us the story; don't be afraid; we have almost got it like we
want it, and remember the Government never gives a thing up until it
is finished."
  He said: "We have been able to prove that B Company men did the
shooting, and what I want you to tell me is just the men that did the
shooting; I know you can if you will; we already know three men that
did it, but we want the whole gang. The three are you, John Holloman,
and John Brown.
  He said, " Now, suppose you dream over it to-night and come in the
morning and tell me and Mr. Arnold about it; we will see that nobody
don't hurt you if you were in it."  And I said, "Mr. Brown, what do you
want me to do--tell a lie?  Pick out this man and that man and
say they were in it? It is impossible for me to do that; furthermore,
Mr. Brown, if you all have proven that the shooting came from B
Company barracks, it is just as impossible for me to know who the
men are as it is for you, because I was on guard and you were at
home."  He said, "Well, we will go in for to-night; come back in the
morning and tell me what you have thought about it."
  Mr. FORAKER, he told me not to tell anybody he was in town; both of
them told me that; we all parted and went home for the night
  The next morning I went to the Walton Hotel to see him; he told
me he was fixing to go off on the morning train and asked would I go to
the depot with him.  I told him I would.
  He asked what had I decided about the matter; had I decided to
explain the story to him?  I told him I had told him all I knew about
it, unless I tell him a lie, and I would die before I would do that.  He
said: " Now is your chance, Boyd, to tell the story.  Well, if you won't
tell me anything, I will tell you good-bye, but I will return in a few
  Now this is all for Mr. Brown's first trip.  I will now tell you about
his return on Sunday, October 11.
  He came on the 11.30 train and sent for me to come up to Mr.
Arnold's office at once, which I did about the first thing.   He said to
me, said he had good news for me, and I asked him what was the news
He said he had been to Atlanta and had had a close talk with this ex-
soldier Powell; said Powell told him faithful that he was mistaken in
my name; said he didn't know Conyers; said the man he had reference
to was named Collier instead of Conyers, a fellow in C Company--
  You will remember that the Secretary of War, or the Presi-
dent, or somebody else, in his comments that were read to us


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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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