The full content of this document is only available to subscribing institutions. More information can be found via

Collection Reference Number GLC02656
From Archive Folder Documents Relating to the 1870s 
Title Authorization for payment of a Posse Comitatus
Date 18 December 1874
Author Fagan, James Fleming (1828-1893)  
Additional authors McDavid, Andy (fl. 1874) Churchill, James (fl. 1874) Harrul, J.W. (fl. 1874) Lauderback, J.H. (fl. 1874) Speaker, John (fl. 1874)
Document Type Government document
Content Description Also signed by Andy McDavid and J.H. Lauderback. James Churchill and J.W. Harrul signed as clerks. John Speaker signed as a witness. Fagan, as the U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Arkansas, authorizes J.H. Lauderback to hire Andy McDavid to enact several arrests as a member of his Posse Comitatus. McDavid hired to arrest persons in the Indian Nation for murder, assault with intent to kill, open liquor, selling liquor, and larceny. McDavid details his travels through parts of Texas and Arkansas to perform arrests. Successful arrests include Polly Blackcoat and Andrew Jackson, known as "Our Andy." Lauderback states that employment of a Posse Comitatus is necessary; Fagan verifies Lauderback's claim.
Subjects American Indian History  Frontiers and Exploration  Westward Expansion  Law  Crime  Criminals and Outlaws  Alcohol  Texas  American West  Women's History  Finance  Government and Civics  Prisoner    
People Fagan, James Fleming (1828-1893)  Lauderback, J.H. (fl. 1874)  McDavid, Andy (fl. 1874)  Churchill, James (fl. 1874)  Harrul, J.W. (fl. 1874)  Speaker, John (fl. 1874)  Jackson, Andrew (1767-1845)  
Place written Fort Smith, Arkansas
Theme Reconstruction; Law; Government & Politics; Women in American History; Native Americans
Sub-collection The Gilder Lehrman Collection, 1860-1945
Additional Information Lauderback and Speaker serve as witnesses for Fagan's statement. Posse Comitatus enabled Lauderback to summon able-bodied citizens to maintain public order.
Copyright The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Module Civil War, Reconstruction and the Modern Era: 1860-1945
Transcript Show/hide