The Riot in Texas (July 25, 1868)


The Riot in Texas (July 25, 1868)




"The Riot in Texas." New York Times. 25 July 1868: 2.


ProQuest Historical Newspapers


New York Times


July 25, 1868


Jordan Jones




Newspaper article



Armed Opposition by Negroes to the Military Authorities in Millican-- Many Negroes Killed-- Particulars of the Affair.

A special dispatch from Houston, 18th inst., to the New Orleans Times, gives the following account of the ruit at Millican, Texas, which commenced on the evening of the 15th, and of which some account was given by telegraph:

"From passengers on the train news is recieved of a riot of serious dimensions, having its origin in a charge made against a white man named Holliday, of assisting to hang a negro. Holliday denied the charge, and instead that the negro was a[]ive [sic] in an adjacent county, and offered to produce him, but the negroes refused to accept his denial or wait for the proof. They immediately armed themselves and marched out to kill Holliday. The Sheriff at once called out a posse, and a conflict ensued. Five negroes were killed, and the Sheriff called for help, as the negroes were assembling in force. The agent of the Freedmen's Bureau at Bryan came down on the train to Millican the same night, with a posse to inquire into the disturbance. He found 300 armed negroes in position, and went to them under a white flag and demanded their surrender to the civil authorities, but was driven off. He then put himself at the head of the whites, declaring he would arrest them by force. An attack was made and 15 negroes killed, but not a single white man. The negroes were in superior force and refused to disperse. United States troops from Brenham were ordered to disperse them on July 18. Late yesterday evening a squad of United States troops, 20 strong, arrived at Millican, and a scouting party was sent out and three hostile negroes were killed. The negroes are fortifying, and the excitement ran high up to 4 o'clock P.M. Yesterday Capt. Randlett, Commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau, went to the hostile camp and demanded that the negroes lay down their arms, but they persistently refused." 


We copy as follows from the Galveston News of the 17th inst.:

"By the afternoon train from Houston we have intelligence of a very serious riot at Millican, on Wednesday afternoon. A mob of negroes led by a negro preacher named Brooks, and a school teacher, a white man, attempted to hang Mr. William Holliday, who formerly kept a hotel at that place. The white people would not permit it to be done. The following statement of the express messenger on the Central Road will give the subsequent events. It was written yesterday:

'Great excitement at Millican. The negroes in mass demanded one Wm. Holliday to hang him. The white people turned out to protect him. A line of battle was formed and skirmishing for about an hour. Five of the negroes were killed. Number of wounded not known. The up train last night was pressed at Bryan to run down with reinforcements. About 200 volunteers went down from Bryan. One negro was killed last night. Dispatches sent everywhere for men. No express freight from Bryan today on account of the train being in charge of the volunteers. I apprehend much trouble. The negroes are led by one preacher Brooks and a white school teacher. The whites are ledby the Freedmen's Bureau Agent and the Sheriff.'

The Bureau agent has sent to Brenham for soldiers. The train from Brenham down yesterday was immediately sent back for troops. The express messenger reports that the freedmen in large number in camp at what is called 'Freedman's town,' in the environs of Millican, and the white men camped in the town proper at the depot. When he left there was no fighting going on. Both parties were sending couriers through the country. The negroes had been considerably reinforced. They refuse to disperse at the order of the agent of the Bureau and the Sheriff, and say, 'Come and take us if you want us?' The negroes threaten the women and children of Millican, and they have left the place."

From the Houston Kuklux Vidette Extra

Houston, Thursday, July 16.

The following dispatch was recieved a few moment since by W. R. Baker, President of the H. and T.C. Railroad:

Bryan, July 16--12 M.

W. R. Baker: Conductor Spencer sent back from Millican to the Station. His train seized by the Sheriff of the county, and ordered to report to this place for reinforcements. Report freedmen in large numbers three or four miles from Millican. Would itnot be well to order Grimes' train to relieve freight train, so that the latter might pass to Houston and not be interfered with?

Thomas McCarthy




“The Riot in Texas (July 25, 1868),” Millican "Riot," 1868, accessed October 16, 2021,