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The Freedmen's Bureau Online

Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Tennessee
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1869
National Archives Microfilm Publication M999 Roll 34
"Reports of Outrages, Riots and Murders"

Franklin, Tenn.
July 9th, 1867
Hill, John
Affidavit before Esquire J. L. Burch, Justice of the Peace, in regard to the riot at Franklin, Tenn. on Sat. July 6, 1867

Personally appeared before me this 9th day of July 1867 John Hill and having been duly sworn deposes and says

My name is John Hill. I live in Franklin, Tenn. I came up to Mr. Colby's store on the evening of Saturday the 6th of July 1867 opposite Franklin's door, the 3rd house from House's corner. I met a negro named Freeman Degrafenried who said to me that I will kill you before day. I have a good mind to do it now. My reply was do you know who you are talking to. He answered I do. I know I am talking to a Damn black son of a bitch. I knew he was put up to it and I did not wish to have any row with him. I then went up to the house of Mr. Colby's. I stood on the block at Mr. Colby's and saw him go down to Mr. Kaughfman's and then came back again opposite side of the street to where I was standing and said Hill, you are a black son of a bitch. He then picked up a rock and started over towards me. Some men took hold of him and brought up the street. Seeing the whites and colored both parties Conservatives and Radicals excited, I went home being afraid of a fuss. He knew I was a Brownlow man and I do not know of any other cause why should so speak to me. I am a white citizen and have lived in Franklin about 6 years. My home is right diagonally across the square from House's corner and I was looking towards that place when I saw the flash of a pistol and about a second afterwards a volley from some place. In a few moments after that I saw two men come out of J. H. Morton's facing my door and come upon the square, and as they came directly in front of my house about 50 feet distant they fired right into the procession. As I passed up the street Sunday morning the 7th inst. I met Mr. Tom Haynes and David Balch, both standing on the pavement. When I spoke to Mr. Balch Mr. Haynes said don't speak to him anymore. I would rather kill you than to look at you you damn son of a bitch. I replied Mr. Haynes I did not speak to you, I was speaking to my friend Mr. Balch. I could see a moving about but could not see any person to know them, it being dark.

John (x) Hill
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 9th day of July 1867
J. L. Burch, J. P.