New York Times, November 2, 1860
Correspondence of the Louisville Democrat.
LAMAR Co., Texas, Sept., 1860.
Seeing that the many Rumors and reports which were circulated through our State a few months since, as to Abolition emissaries, insurrections, etc., are being published and accredited by many of the papers in the older States, I desire, through the columns of your paper, to say to my friends in Kentucky, and to the public generally, that all such rumors are altogether unfounded. It is true, that during the exceedingly hot and dry weather of the past Summer, there were many destructive fires in the State of Texas. The town of Henderson was nearly destroyed – that of Dallas greatly damaged, and some houses burned in other towns in different parts of the State. But the origin of these fires, as far as yet ascertained, was either from the ignition of matches or some other accidental cause. I have not been able to learn of a single instance in which there was the slightest evidence that it was the work of an Abolition emissary – in fact, I don’t believe there is one in the State, though there are some characters nearly as bad.
As to the reports that poison had been found in the possession of negroes in various and sundry parts of the country, and in wells, &c., they are all false, as far as I have been able to learn. I have not met with a single man who knows of an authenticated instance. Yet these reports were published by all the papers in the State, and accredited by many, and the people in many parts were excited almost to desperation. Who originated these reports, and for what purpose, are the questions that have perplexed the good citizens of our State for some time past. Such reports are certainly calculated to injure the State, and keep away such emigrants as desire to come. Why, then, should the people of Texas circulate and give credit to them?
It is the opinion of many of our best citizens, after mature deliberation and thorough investigation of the subject, that these reports had their origin in the minds of scheming politicians, and are a part of that great plan concocted and being put in execution to “nerve the Southern arm and excite the Southern mind, preparatory to precipitating the cotton States into a revolution.” R.B.D.