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An Address to the people of the United States, adopted at a conference of colored citizens, held at Columbia, S.C. July 20 and 21st, 1876.

1876SC-State-Columbia_Address_Senate-Documents (4).pdf

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491

ADDRESS OF A COLORED CONVENTION.

custody of them nor to issue them, John Williams alone being properly authorized and legally required to make the distribution.

We would next call attention to the fact that on Tuesday, the 4th day of the July last, the militia company at Hamburgh assembled for muster and drill, and, while so engaged, paraded through one of the least-frequented streets of said town.

That said street is, by actual measurement, of the width of the 148 feet, and that, while so parading, they were interrupted by a horse and buggy being driven into their rants by one Thomas Butler and one Henry Getzen, white citizens, who resided about two miles from said town.

That at the time of this interference the said company was marching in column of fours, with their "arms at will," in the middle of said street, occupying a space covering a width of less than eight feet, and leaving on each side thereof a width of 70 feet unoccupied.

That upon being thus interrupted Doc Adams, captain of the company, commanded a halt, and, stepping to the head of the column, addressed one of the occupants of the buggy in the following manner: "Mr. Getzen, I did not think that you would treat me in this way; I would not so act toward you." To this an angry reply was made, and, after a few further remarks on each side, Adams ordered the company to divide, suffered the buggy to be driven through their ranks, and, this being done, the company was marched to the drill room and dismissed.

That on Wednesday, the 5th instant, Robert J. Butler, father of Thomas Butler, and father-in-law of Henry Getzen, appeared before P. R. Rivers, one of the trial justices of the State, and made complaint that the militia company had on the previous day obstructed one of the public streets of the town of Hamburgh, and had hindered the prevented his son, Thomas Butler, and his son-in-law, Henry Getzen, from journeying thereon.

That upon such complaint being made, P. R. Rivers issued a summons, (the same being in the nature of a civil process,) directed to Doc Adams as captain, and his officers, to appear and show cause why they should not be dealt with as the law directs, the return-day being fixed for the next day, Thursday, the 6th instant.

That on Thursday, the day named, Adams, together with his lieutenants, appeared to answer, Robert J. Butler, the complainant, being present, accompanied by several other white men, each heavily armed with revolvers. On the calling of the case, it was announced to the court that the defendants were present, and that Henry Sparnick, esq., a member of the circuit bar of the country, had been retained to present them. Robert J. Butler, in an angry and excited manner, protested against such representation, and demanded that the hearing should be postponed until he could procure counsel from the city of Augusta, Ga., to represent his side of the case; whereupon Adams and his lieutenants, after consultation with their attorney, who informed them that there were no legal grounds upon which the case could be decided against them, waived their constitutional right to be represented by counsel and consented to go to trial.

That thereupon the case was opened and proceeded with for some time, but owing to some disturbance its progress was arrested, and the trial-justice adjourned the further hearing to Saturday, the 8th instant, at 4 o'clock in the afternoon.

That on Saturday, the day fixed for the further hearing of the case, between the hours of two and three o'clock p.m., Gen. M. C. Butler, of Edgefield, arrived in the town of Hamburgh; soon after which, mounted

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