William E. Bond Petitions Andrew Johnson
August 7, 1865

In August 1865, William E. Bond petitioned President Andrew Johnson to remove federal soldiers from North Carolina.

From the Citizens of Chowan County

Edenton N.C. August 7th 1865

To His Excellency
Andrew Johnson
President of the United States.
Dear Sir.

              We the undersigned Citizens of the Town of Edenton and County of Chowan & State of North Carolina would respectfully represent to your Excellency, and to the Honble Secretary of War; that we have been allowed to remain at home a peaceable & quiet people during the unfortunate struggle through which we have had to pass; and having been respected by the Army and Navy of the United States, for our peaceable disposition; And now that the War is over, and Civil law once more is being restored and established among us, and every effort is being made to bring about good feeling among the people of our State, and in accordance with instructions of Govr. Holden the Justices of the Peace as appointed by him, have appointed and organized a Police guard of fifty good men to aid them [in] restoring order and punishing offenders against the law; and in the face of all this, we have had and now have a company of Soldiers stationed among us and for what purpose we are unable to ascertain, they insult our Citizens, and disturb the peace and quiet of our Community; And we do most earnestly request you to have removed from among us the aforesaid Troops. We also state that we see no disposition on the part of our people to violate the law, or any orders as issued from any department that we are aware of to bring such a calamity upon us and if the situation of the Freedmen requires looking after beyond the jurisdiction of the Justices of the Peace and the County police. Any officer or Citizen appointed by the Commanding Genl of these people can and will be aided by the police and magistrates who are sworn citizens of the Government of the U.S. to discharge their duties faithfully, and as we believe are ready to do so when called on.

[Signed, W. E. Bond]


Elizabeth Gregory McPherson, "Letters from North Carolina to Andrew Johnson (Continued)," The North Carolina Historical Review 27, no. 4 (October 1950). Republished with permission from the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.