March 21, 1871 — Testimony before Joint Committee, Mississippi legislature, Meridien MI
I reside in Meridian; have resided here nine years; occupation, washing and ironing and scouring; Wednesday night was the last night they came to my house; by “they” I mean bodies or companies of men; they came on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; on Monday night they said that they came to do us no harm on Tuesday night they said they came for the arms; I told them there was none, and they said they would take my word for it; on Wednesday night they came and broke open the wardrobe and trunks, and committed rape upon me; there were eight of them in the house; I do not know how many there were outside; they were white men; there was a light in the house I was living in Marshal Ware’s house; there were three lights burning; Mr. Ware has been one of the policemen of this town; he was concealed at the time they came; they took the claw hammer and broke open the pantry where he was lying; he was concealed in the pantry under some plunder, covered up well; I guess he covered himself up; a man said “here is Marshal’s hat, where is Marshal?” I told him “I did not know;” they went then into everything in the house, and broke open the wardrobe; I called upon Mr. Mike Slamon, who was one of the crowd, for protection; I said to him “please protect me to-night, you have known me a long time;” this man covered up his head then; he had a hold of me at this time; Mr. Slamon had an oil-cloth and put it before his face, trying to conceal himself, and the man that had hold of me told me not to call Mr. Slamon’s name any more; he then took me in the dining room, ad told me that I had to do just what he said: I told him I could do nothing of that sort; that was not my way and he replied “by God, you have got to,” and then threw me down; this man had a black eye, where some one had beaten him; he had a black velvet cap on; after he got through with me he came through the house, and said that he was after the Union Leagues; I yielded to him because he had a pistol drawn; when he took me down he hurt me of course; I yielded to him on that account; he never injured me any ways, but hurt me with his pistol; from there they went off; looked like a heap around the house; there were eight in the house; I knew no one but Slamon; he is employed by the Mobile and Ohio Railroad Company to grease cars; I do not now of any other woman who was treated as I was, but have heard of them; I did not notice the faces of any of the rest; they turned their faces around from me; these were different men from those that were there on Monday and Tuesday nights; those were all strangers that were to my house on the last night but Slamon; I am generally acquainted in Meridian; those with Slamon I did not take to be citizens of this town; those were citizens who called on the two nights preceding, and did no damage; those who called on the first two nights treated me kindly; I complained to Capt. Early, who was acting constable, and he said he was going to stop all of that, and that they were men who came in here, and he was very mad about it; the reason why I did not make an affidavit against this man was because it was in the night, and I told Capt. Early next morning; I told a great many of the citizens about it, and they had known me for a long time, and said it was scandalous; I told Dr. Phillips and Mr. Rainey how they done me, and I told some white ladies about it, too; I did not stay at home any more for a week afterward; I am a married woman; have been parted from my husband since the surrender; I am not living with him; there is one other woman living with me named Alice Batt; this many had her in there first, and Alice Batt told me that he said to her to go away, that “she was rotten, and to call that other woman; ad when I went to him he asked me “what is the matter with that other woman?” Alice Batt moved in on Monday; I know nothing in reference to her, only she lived in the read; don’t know what she does for a living; the one that committed the rape upon me was called by one of the party “Capt. Jinks;” he had a black eye; there was a fight in the room: I saw him in the room with Alice; but do not know what he did with her; I was in the same room at the other end when Alice told me that he wanted me.
There was nobody in the room at the time he had me; he drove Alice out of there there was an old bed in the room, broken down and piled up; did not straighten out the bed; he just pressed me down; I never was treated that way before; I never was forced before; Marshal Ware’s wife is dead; he is not married.
Ellen [X] Parton
Source: Testimony Before the Joint Committee of Mississippi Legislature to Investigate the Meridian Riot Appointed Under Resolution Approved March 21, 1871 (Washington DC: Government Printing Office), 1871, pp. 38-39.