I have spent countless of hours conducting peonage research at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., This is one of the letters I found in the peonage files was from Mississipi Governor Earl Brewer dates April 8th, 1915. April 8th, 1915 Hon. C.E. Lee, U.S. District Attorney, Jackson, Mississippi Dear Mr. Lee:
I am handing you a letter from a darkey, which is rather difficult to read, but which refers to the forced detention of a family on the plantation of Mr. Sell Jones, at or near Sharkey, Miss. I will state that within the past month at least five negroes have been to me with pitiful tales as to the way they have been beaten up and the statement that they had to flee for their lives leaving their families on this place, One of them was caught aft3er having gotten some miles away and carried back there forcibly. It looks as if peonage was practiced on this place to quite an extent and if your department could make an investigation I believe you would unearth a bad condition there. I know it is a difficult matter to get evidence is such cases but that you will do all in the power I am confident.