Letter from Unknown Author to Thomas W. Bickett, Undated
Pamlico Co. Exemption Board>
Gov. T. W. Bickett,
My dear Governor:
I think it the duty of every citizen to assist the executive of the State in his onerous duties in supplying information that might be important to him in judging what is right; and this writer does not think it necessary either that from whom that imformation came only to know that the same is true.
Now the imformation that this writer wishes you to know concerns Pamlico County. This writer saw in the New Bern papers and article stating that their had been a big demonstration at Bayboro, N.C. against Local Board of Exemption. Now this writer does not know or care what this Exemption Board has done, except this writer wants every man who should go to the war to be sent speedily without favor or fear, for our lives, our property, our all is in jeopardy this very moment, and every one should do his bit willingly and if not willingly should be forced to do his bit. Now how was this demonstration gotten up? One Sam Ferebee, and one Will Swan, prominent citizens of Pamlico County, sent out a lot of would be candidates for the offices of Pamlico County Sheriff etc. to tell every registrant to report to Bayboro on the next Monday that they were going to have a demonstration against the Exemption Board, unless they were already satisfied with their classification, of course most all came, as it seems most all the registrants of Pamlico County are slackers. What did they do, some of these citizens and registrants at the out-set of the draft in Pamlico County, they dynamited and blew up the store and Post Office at Lowland, N.C. and threatened the life of the life of the merchant and Postmaster of Lowland, Pamlico County and ran him out of the County, and talked of rebelling against the draft; but "Uncle Samuel" sent his Officers down there with those glittering rifles and arrested some of these men, since that time there has been no talk of rebellion in that section. So the next tactics was to intimidate the Exemption Board by threats, bribes, and every conceivable scheme that influence and money can procure, and it is rumored in Pamlico County that "Sam Ferebee" and "Will Swan" says that the Exemption Board is adamant and must go. Who is "Sam Ferebee" any how? This same "Samuel" was on the Election Board way back yonder in 1898 and 1899 when the "Boys" put on their red shirts and swor by the Good Lord that they would redeem Old North Carolina did they do it? I should say they did. This writer feels enthusiasm now even thinking about it. How about "Sam", why he did talk and act in such away that the "True Blues" in Pamlico County lost all confidence in this same "Sam", and had him removed off the Election Board, and some say that this same "Sam" has a grudge against certain "True Blue" democrats in Pamlico County and lets his venon fly whenever he can in Court cases or any thing else. As regards this same "Sams" histrory of nearly twenty years ago you may call as witness that noble and great man Senator F. M. Simmons.
There are other things they tell in Pamlico County against this same "Sam". They say he has a free pass on the Railroad, and that he is might fond of running up to see the Governor whenever there is appointment to be made in Pamlico County, and they say that this same "Sam" wants his way right or wrong, and some times, they say, he does not do the thing that looks good. One time he procured the appointment of a man that the majority of the people did not want, in order to enable his appointee to pay a store debt; and they say this same "Sam" is alittle hump-backed and not likely to be taken for an Angel from Heaven; but with that smile might fool the unspecting once in a while; and they say this same "sam" is a good mixer, and if he cannot carry his point by threats, promises, or other means that he will go down in his pocket and see what virtue there is in cold cash. And this writer has met this same "Sam" a few times and he seems and looks all right.
And who is "Will Swan" any way? He is the son of "Charles Swan", who tried to lead the mob of drunken negroes and "Brindle-tails" against the canvassing board who were counting the votes in the Court House in Bayboro, N.C. during that memorable time of the Constitutional Amendment. This same "Charles Swan" said at the time that he would give Seven Hundred Dollars if this Mob, of whiche he was leader, would destroy the Court House, Canvassing Board and all; but this Mob of over One Hundred failed, and why, because over Fifty men were lying in wait with double barrel guns loaded with buck-shot, and Mr. Swan came very near receiving this inportant information to late; and so the votes were counted, though close, good government won. This same "Will Swan" is decidedly the richest man in Pamlico County, and rich enough that he wants every thing to go his way, President of a Bank with, so said, about half million dollars on deposit with hundreds of debtors, he certainly feels that he can have thing go his way, and he has said that that adamant Exemption Board must certainly go. Although he is the man to distribute the war saving stamps, he has publicly announced that there will be no stamps sold or distributed by him until this adamant Exemption Board has been turned out. They say down in Pamlico that Governor Bickett will have the time of his life in not believing that an Angel of light is standing before him when he sees this well groomed young man with hair parted in the middle. The people say they are expecting this same "Will Swan" to be a million heir yet especially if he can controll the politics and Courts of the County, and they say that that same "Sam" and that same "Will" will come mighty close to if not intirely, therefore, that same "Sam" and that same "Will" are dreaded by some of the people of the County, fearing that that same "Sam and that same "Will" will not always be right as these last said people are observing their conduct in trying to expell that adamant Exemption Board, as they call it, that they cannot dictate to. The greates fear of a number of the people of Pamlico County is that this same "Sam" and this same "Will" by their conduct and actions will place Pamlico County in controll of the Republican partyw which was taken from them eighteen years or more ago, and that this same same "Sam" and this same "Will" by their past history and pedigree will only have to go one step to be in the Republican party and at its head.
Now Mr. Governor is it any wonder that these people are nearly all slackers they are mostly offsprings of Buffaloes of our Civil war, and blood will certainly tell, and, although, there are some "True Blues" in Pamlico County that County according to known facts is decidedly a County of slackers and with half a chance, as has been demonstrated at Lowland, would be rebellious.
This writer wishes that you could verify every word of the information submitted in the above, remembering that one forewarned is forearmed. This writer knows much about Pamlico County, although a stranger to most of the people, and have always voted a democratic ticket.
With kind personal regards, I am