DISENFRANCHISMENT Communities, particularly in Collins Settlement, where southern sentiment ran high were still divided. There was some bitterness between the factions. Although the general population seemed to believe that it was best to forget the war & get down to the business at hand, there were some who would not. On October 4, 1869, the Lewis County Registration Board gave notice that open sessions would be held concerning charges that certain residents were or had been symapthetic to the Confederate States. All that was required for an individual to be charged was for someone to "think" that the person was a southern symapthesizer. It was up to the person charged with the crime to prove his innocence, but the Registration Board could disallow any or all testimony that it wanted. An individual found guilty lost all civil rights & was not considered a citizen of the state. There was no appeal to any court over the decision of the appointed board. Three members of this board were James McCorley, his son-in-law James Coonrod, & Dr. W. H. Hall. Shortly after the hearings started, Dr. Hall resigned. He declared that his conscience & the oath he had taken would not allow him to be a part of this travesty of justice. When the notices were sent to the individual charged, they were told that they would need two witnesses to testify on their behalf. Once the hearings began, however, they were informed that they had to have four witnesses and no time would be allowed to obtain additional witnesses. The persons charged by this board were: John G Arnold Z Curtis Benoni Mitchell Philip E Barb * Minter B Dennison Joseph Mitchell * Joseph Bennet * Martin Fox Samuel Posey Joseph D Bennet Walter Fox T S Posey * Marcelles Bennet Nimrod B Foster E Riffle Anthony R Blake Joseph Hall J S Riffle * B S Blake * William F Heetor * H H Rittenhouse * Stewart Blake * James M Heflin * Thomas Scott * W A Blake George A Hoover John Sims * Evan Cooper * Jonathan Lewis * Alexander Skinner * J A Craig * P A Larentz D J Skinner Salathiel Craig * J C Jenkins G B Skinner * W W Craig * Henry McCally Joseph B Wallace * Robert Crawford * R B McCutchin * C D Curtis J W D McCutchin * indicates those found guilty Twenty nine were found guilty and were disenfranchised; all were from Collins Settlement District. Each case and individual is a story of its own. One such story appeared in the Weston Democrat on Nov 1, 1869. "The hardest case of disenfranchisment, under Corley's administration, we believe, is that of Henry McCally, Esq. Long before the formation of Lewis County, this gentleman moved to what is now Battelle Township, where he has resided for 68 years. He is now 80 years of age and is of course very feeble and is in bad health. His character is unblemished, and in the community he stands as high as a man can, yet the infamous rascals knowing that it was physically impossible for him to travel notified him with the rest of his neighbors and by not appearing his name was sticken off. "In a recent conversation, the old man said that he now intends to go to Kentucky, where two of my sons reside and seek a grave among strangers. And so the poor old decrecit man whose once sprightly form is bound beneath the weight of years -- whose hair has been whitened by the frost of 80 winters, is driven by the devilish malignity of one man to leave the cherished scenes of his childhood -- the well loved home of his manhood and the old heartstone around which cling the memories of a long and well spent life, the graves of his kindred, and the land of his nativity and seek among strangers that freedom which is here denied. This is but one case of how the hands of Stevenson make emigrants." Courtesy of Richard E McCauley Joseph Bennett (1805-1880) son of William and Rebecca (McCally) Bennet, was tried for treason and disenfranchised in 1869. He left the state and moved to Illinois where he died.