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

                                   UNITED STATES SENATE,
                                    Cincinnati, Ohio, August 26, 1908.
Mr. BOYD CONYERS. Monroe, Ga.
  DEAR SIR: On my return here I found awaiting me your letter of
July 24.  I hardly know from what you state just what it is that has
transpired, nor do I know just what it is I should do to get the charac-
ter of information to which you refer.  If you will write me again at
your convenience, giving me a clearer account, I will be glad to avail
myself of it to the extent it may be useful.
  I remember you very well as a witness before the committee, and I
am sure you did not there testify to anything except only the truth.
       Very truly, yours, etc.,
                                                     J. B. FORAKER.
                                        ATLANTA, GA., June 27, 1908.
W. G. BALDWIN, Roanoke, Va.:             
  I located James Powell at 304 Fourth street and was with him sev-
eral times to-day.  He talks very freely, and knows Buddie Conyers,
Holloman, and Brown and several other members of Company B. I
have an engagement with him again to-morrow.
  June 28.--I was with Powell to-day, and he told me that he was at
Brownsville at the time of the shooting and that he met Brown, Hollo-
man, and Conyers at a barroom at 7 o'clock, and that there was some
talk of shooting up the town that night--that the colored soldiers had
been treated badly by the citizens. Powell bragged considerably about
what they did in the way of shooting up the town, but I could not get
out of him any of the names except Brown, Holloman, and Conyers.
He told me that he had been serving in the army, at San Francisco, and
had been discharged, and had only been in Brownsville a few days when
the shooting occurred and that he left there soon afterwards and had
not seen any of the boys since, except Brown, who was living in Atlanta.
                                                        W. LAWSON.

                                 PORTSMOUTH, VA., August 29, 1908.
W. G. BALDWIN, Roanoke, Va.:
  I had conversation with James Powells to-day, in which he stated
that he served in the Tenth U. S. Cavalry, and in August,  1906,
he had received an honorable discharge at San Francisco, and im-
mediately  left that point for Brownsville, Tex., arriving  there two
or three days before the shooting took place.  He stated that on the
afternoon and evening of the shooting he had been in company with
John Brown and a negro named Hallman and Boyd Conyers, all members
of the negro regiment then stationed at Brownsville. He stated that
they were in a saloon together in the afternoon, and there was some talk
of shooting up the town that night.
  He claims he left Conyers between 6 and 8 o'clock that evening and
did not see him again that night.  He claims that he was at a board-
ing house at the time of the shooting, but immediately after the shoot-
ing he rushed over to the barracks, arriving there about the time they
finished the roll call. He saw Holloman and Brown, but could not find
Conyers, and while he stayed at the barracks about an hour, he never
did see Conyers.  This man claims that he had no hand in the shooting
and was not with the party that did it.
                                                    A. H. BALDWIN.

                    STATEMENT OF W. G. BALDWIN.
                                   ATLANTA, GA., September 11, 1908.
  I went to Atlanta and found James Powell, whose home is 305 Fort
street, and who works for Dr. William Crenshaw at a double cottage in
Atlanta. I told this negro that I represented a magazine of New York,
and that we were anxious to get the facts of the Brownsville shooting.
Before calling on Powell I sent George W  Gray, who was in Company
C, and whose parents live in Roanoke, and I believe is one of the most
reliable negroes I know in this country, to see Powell and find out what
he had told Lawson and others.  After a short interview Gray came
back to the hotel and stated that Powell was lying; that he had tripped
him up in a number of his statements; and that he was satisfied that
he had never been in Brownsville or knew anything about the case.
  My calling on Powell a few minutes afterwards evidently excited him,
and when I began to ask him about the Brownsville case he told me that
he knew absolutely nothing about it and that he was not at Brownsville,


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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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