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In Their Own Words

August 22, 1864

Letter Expressed Fear of Slave Insurrection

While Georgians were dying in battle near Atlanta and in Virginia, some civilians had a different fear. Far to the south, in Quitman, Ga., Mrs. Mitchell Jones wrote Georgia Gov. Joseph E. Brown of her concerns about a local slave insurrection:

“The policemen of this county have recently traced out a deeply laid plan of insurrection by the Negroes, not only of this county but of the adjoining counties of Georgia and Florida. They have held their meetings and have organized their company and were soon to begin their horrid work of murdering our men, women and children. But thanks to an all-wise providence it has been found out and checked for the present. The leaders of this band of Negroes belong to my husband, Mr. Mitchell Jones who is now in the service at Atlanta in response to your last call. The police of this county is very small in comparison to the Negroes. The authorities have whipped these Negroes severely, and I have requested them to keep in custody the Negroes that belong to Mr. Jones until I could try and get him a detail for a short time. Such is a true statement of the facts that now exist here. I believe I would rather fall into the hands of the Yankees than the Negroes. Of the two I believe they have more humanity.”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Price, 1995), pp. 176-177.