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September 4: Inciting the Slaves

September 3, 2016

Rail-CandidateAccording to a New York Times report on this date in 1860, “Friederman and Rotenburg, two German Jew peddlers, have been arrested and examined by the Rusk Vigilance Committee” in Montgomery County, Texas. “The former was released, nothing being proven against him. Rotenburg was accused by several negroes [sic] of inciting them to insurrection. His case was finally submitted to a jury of fifty men, from various parts of the County, and the accused was allowed counsel. After a patient examination of the evidence, a vote was taken on the question of hanging him, and it stood eighteen for and thirty-two against -- the latter believing him guilty of very improper conduct towards the negroes, but that the evidence did not warrant a death punishment. The jury were unanimous in ordering the accused to leave the County within forty-eight hours and the State in four days. Rotenburg’s family reside in New-York.”

“Good evening elected members of the Denton County Vigilante Committee. As you well know the recent troubles here in Texas have threatened our homes and lives. For a long time now we have combated the fanatical preachers and Abolitionists who have invaded our good state, preaching the anti-slavery question and stirring up trouble among our slaves. You will all recall the problems we had just four years ago and that trouble was summarily dealt with by rope and hanging tree.” --Meeting of the Denton County (TX) Vigilante Committee, July, 1860