Monday, March 31, 2014

Manuscript Monday--A confederate sympathizer in Amador County?

Affidavits against L. P. Hall, MS 922, courtesy, California Historical Society.

 On May 8, 1865, less than a month after the assassination of President Lincoln, the U.S. Army arrested two Jackson newspapermen, L. P. Hall and William Perry, for treason, and marched them in chains to Alcatraz. Ten days later, neighbors gave these affidavits against Hall, testifying that he was the author of the newspaper's anti-government editorial matter, and a self-proclaimed secessionist.

Although the residents of Jackson surely knew the political sympathies of the Dispatch's editor, Mr. Freeman's affidavit, in particular, has an implausible ring:

"George Freeman, Post Master. As personally acquainted with one L. P. Hall. That on or about the 1st day of February 1865 said L. P. Hall came into the P. O. and stated as follows: I am an out and out secessionist and don't care who knows it; I write the editorial matter of the Amador Dispatch."

And the recorder's interpolation of a parenthetical "who?" in Mr. Springer's affidavit is curious, to say the least:

"Hall has said to him while he was under the influence of intoxicating liquors (who?) on one or two occasions that he was the author of the editorial articles that had appeared in the Dispatch...."

Marie Silva
Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian
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