SOURCE: Governor's Papers

Governor William Brimage Bate
Microfilm GP-27
Available at Tennessee State Library & Archives or Tennessee Tech Library

The following is transcribed as it appears on microfilm. Misspellings on the film are kept in this transcription. Some writing is difficult to read. A "best guess" is made in these circumstances .

<Page 1>

Application for Pardon
W. B. alias Dol Bates
DeKalb Co
Abetting Murder

Pentny 10 years
Rec'd & Filed Jany 2/85
Pardoned in interest of Prison Discipline Dec 25/86
Wm B. Bate

<Pages 2 - 3 >

Washington City, DC
June 29, 1883
His Excellency

W. B. Bate Governor

Dear Sir

During the two years that I was Warden of the Penitentiary I especiallynoticed the conduct of W. B. alias Dol Bates a convict from DeKalb County from the fact that I had known him for years. I can say that there was not a better convict within the walls. He could have easily made his escape the day of the fire in Dec 81 - but upon the contrary he came and tendered his services to me and the other official and rendered efficient service. Furthermore I believe if Dol Bates was released from prison that he would strive to lead on honest life in the future. I think that when a convict gives evidence of reformation and the "Powers that be" believe that he will lead an honest life that he should be liberated forthwith. I have known him to furnish his old father with means that he made by extra work.

I have the honor to be
Very Respectfully ??
Thomas Waters

<Pages 4 - 7 >

We the undersigned Citizens of DeKalb County Tennessee being Satisfied that W. B. Bates Should be turned out of the Peniteniary Do most sincerely petition your excellency ??? him to freedom

E. W. Bass J. P. for DeKalb County
James Corley
James A. Yenelis (???)
B. Malone
W. C. Malone
J. G. Malone
William Parker
W. Dedmond
J. M. Malone
Wm Payne
Russel Payne
John Reynolds
David Johnson
Nob Cakey (???)
James W. ???
William ???
William ???
Bazz M. Kays
William Oakley
T. O. Coner
J. R. Willoby
W. C. Priston
G. Chadwick
James Johnson
J. M. Foutch
John Blew
Isaac Johnson
Henry Heard
Samuel Wauford
Pink (?) Wauford
Levi Houk
Howell Little
??? Crook
Zane Hutton
H. C. Walbum (???)
Rob Brente
Aroirlle (???) Allan
Henry Allan
Lane Parker
Joab Pence
William Portal
T. I. Hall
W. M. Basogen (???)
H. C. Ford
J. H. Blackburn
J. C. Henderson
J. R. Sneed
Preston Bradley
W. Krowtan
Jo Chartis
James L. Garrisen
James W. Brown
A. King
H. C. Flippen
R. P. Flippen
E. W. Brown
Dop Oakley
W. B. Hickey
Wm Hage
E. J. Lawrence
H. A. White
L. M. Williams
T. D. Oakley
Andy Williams
L. H. Williams
H. B. Williams
James Berty
H. S. Owins
Sperling Malone
L. W. Lukenell
Josiah Hickey
R. S. Ortnerr
Eli Sullins
W. H. Jones
Thomas M. Bennett
John Neel
Y. Y. Miyett
J. D. Granstaff
John Corley
John W. Hickey
John Oakley
W. Web Ste??
W. C. Williams (??)
W. C. Eaton
R. E. Simpson
L. C. Williams (??)
C. H. Williams
Harvey Mo??
W. A. Wil??
J. C. Foutch
Thomas Wodd
Samuel H. ???
W. M. Malone
h. t. haskins
L. C. Martin
?nith Mat??
John M. ???
Thomas D. ???
James H???
B. Dewitt
D. D. Driver
??? Robinson
??? Allan
??? Terry
James Parker
J. E. Cheek
C. H. Yeatyar (??)
Isaac Ray
Jim Blackburn
John Crook
Martin Trout
M. W. Wilson
J. H. Henson
Dallas Smith

Petitioners for Pardon of Doll Bates to Gov. A. Hawkins

<Pages 8 - 11 >

To his Excellency Govner William B. Bate Nashville Tennessee we the undersigned of DeKalb county. Respectfully State to your Excellency that they are personly acquainted with W. B. alias Doll Bates have known him for years he having been raised in this county they state that they never knew any acquisition against him affecting his reputation and character until he was indicted in Putnam County Tennessee for being connected with the Braswell Boys in the murder of Allison. He has been Sentenced to the Penitentiary for 10 years & has served out about six of his time & we think his punishment sufficient for him his father is old & afflicted & need the assistance of his son very much his family are of unexceptional character. In view of the promises we petition your Excellency for to Extend Executive Clemency toward said Bates & that he be pardoned or Released from serving the Balance of his 10 years Signed Petitions Respectfully Submitted to your Excellency.

Jackson Malone
J. F. Palmer
S. S. Matlock
F. L. Foutch
Isaac Bates
?? Yearin
Wm Gall
H. P. Jones
William Jackson
T. A. Gold
Henry Harmon
I. Beckwith
O. C. Winfrey
J. E. Mullinax
J. T. Turney
John Hand
James Morrow
Gorge Foutch
J. N. Blair
D. W. Parkesson
Beston Jackson
J. T. Clibern
A. C. Willson
John Parker
M. C. Vick
W. T. Smith
George A. Smith
J. D. Smith
W. L. Hale
H. C. Giran
S. C. Stark
D. V. Overrell
W. S. Renick
Will T. Hale
Wm Vick
L. N. Woodville
T. E. Arek
A. J. Kersy
H. L. Hale
P. M. Williams
E. L. Bradley
Daniel Panetts
C. H. Vik
B. F. Edmonds
C. W. L. Hale
E. H. Self
R. C. Yeargin
W. B. Davis
G. S. Blackburn
T. A. Robinson
John Turner
Allen Wright
H. S. Yeargin
Sampson Yeargin
J. H. McClellan
Wm. McDowell
C. C. Robinson M. D.
T. S. McClellan
H. Carick
N. E. Northcutt
N. N. Neel
H. M. Yeargin
T. T. Williams
P. Smith
W. H. Clayborn
D. B. Bennett
W. J. Tonder
L. R. Snellin
John Snellin
Wm B. Robinson
J. J. Hardcastle
J. T. Hardcastle
Main Scote Preach
M. P. Starnes
Robert Hinsley
Bransford Scote
I. K. Marshall
G. W. Lamberson

<Pages 12 - 15 >

W. S. Williams
To His Excellency Governor William B. Bates Nashville Tennessee

The undersigned citizens of DeKalb County respectfully state to your Excellency that they are personal acquainted with W. B. alias Doll Bates have known him for years be having been raised in this county. They state that they never knew any acquisations against him affecting his reputation and character until he was indicted in Putnam County Tennessee for being connected with the Braswell boys in the murder of Allison. He was sentenced to the Penitentiary for 10 years and has served out about 6 years of his time.

We think this punishment sufficient for him. His father is old and afflicted and needs the assistance of his son very much. His family of unexceptional character in view of the ??? We petition your Excellency for to extend executive clemency towards said Bates and that he be pardoned or relieved from serving the balance of his 10 year since ???

Jno B. Robinson
J. N. Lowe
T. Foutch
J. R. Spencer
P. Robinson
E. Lane
J. W. Hall
A. Lockte
J. T. Allen
J. A. Walard
J. C. Teerry
L. F. Spurlock
John Harrison
W. A. Tromel
David Forde
W. C. Redman
C. Partain
A. N. Tramel
K. S. Dale
G. R. Dale
T. S. Capley
G. M. Quin
E. Parsley
J. C. Gilbert
J. A. Rass
Silesam Ranth
U. S. Cons???
John R. Dunk
James Morton
W. W. Colwell
W. N. Johnson
Martin Foutch
L. W. Gilbert
J. A. Fuson
S. T. Hollis
T. B. Terry
W. Hopehart
W. B. Carnes
A. P. Colvert
W. A. Mullen
Wm Ettner
John Banks
K. D. Evan
D. W. ????
F. N. Close
J. N. Anderson
J. H. Willimy
N. L. Parkerd
Solomon Parkerd
Wm. M. Bradford
Isaac Maye
W. T. Brien
J. J. Cantrell
T. B. Prichard
M. A. Lynam
C. C. Eddsan
A. T. Cantrell
H. E. Staling
W. M. Hill
D. G. Eahn
E. S. Barry
T. L. B. Evans
J. H. Lawson
J. B. Stark
D. D. Blankenship
W. L. Driver
J. B. Stewell
W. J. Price
G. J. Fisher
N. Z. Judkins J. D.
A. C. Goff
B. H. Goff
S. M. Conner
J. B. Truste
G. E. Robinson
J. M. Robinson
?? Martin
S S. Robinson
M. D. Markwith
D. D. Driver
Thomas Yeargan
A. L. Reynolds
J. L. Lawrence
W. F. Malone
K. K. Connor
Andrew Pastey
E. K. Lawrence
J. D. Lawrence
E. J. Lawrence
J. B. ???
W. F. Chrisham
W. N. Witson
U. Q. Halls
J. N. Fitts
? R. Rodgers
H. S. Matheny
Joseph Jane
John Tilley
W. D. Petty
J. D. Colvert
G. S. Davis
Jonathan Johnson
E. W. Dire
W. Cantrell
H. P. J. Bisel
L. Dunn
???? Dunn
T. H. Kne
W. M. Moore
J. N. Lack
T. T. ????
??? Host
Thomas Bohannon
John Oakey
Henry ???
E. W. Bass
Thomas D. Bass
W. D. Bass
J. C. Bass
M. Payn
Shade Tranel
W. ???

<Pages 16 - 18 >

We petition your Excellency to extend Executive Clemency towards sead Bates and that he be pardoned or relieved from serving the balance of his sentence

W. N. Hobson
L. Wauford
Wm Colough
F ????
J. Johnson
M. Robert
K. T. Fortner
F. M. Foutch
Samuel Foutch
M. T. Aner
Thomas T. ???
W. R. Cooper
Eli Sullins
Sam Sullins
T. N. Smallins
W. T. ???
S. W. McClellan
T. W. Goodner
J. W. Botts
W. W. Patterson
James Jones
R. B. Flord
R. A. Lawrence
J. N. Phillips
J. M. Durrett
Hal Tubb
L. Tubb
Thomas M. Tubb
J. L. Garrison
R. J. Pledger
J. C. Garrison
T. W. Eason
J. D. Fisher
John Jass PM
Eli Morton Bradley
D. R. W. ???
Sendred Hathaway
N. M. Brown
J. A. Dowell
W. P. Griffith
T. J. Sneed
T. H. E. Bolton
T. P. Hall
J. L. Landrum
C. M. Williams
T. J. Swift
J. J. Schuser
C. H. Baliff
F. L. Baliff
John Richird
W. C. Preston
J. B. Aulrib
P. M. ???
Dan Smith
Danil Suggs
Ranul Hill
L. C. Martin
G. Caty
Jack Ross
Park Hunt
Jas P. ???
D. M. S. Eckhar
W. M. Bates
Anderson Youg
John Haney
J. S. Snow
J. M. Judkins
John Williams
Jonathan Hall
J. T. Smith
Elam Edge
H. Hildrith
J. P. D. H. Goins
W. H. Lorry
Wm Robinson
Carl Malone
Hanson Payne
W. J. ???
George W. Cloage
J. S. Rowland
John Vance
Adrin Williams
Andy Robinson
L. C. Williams
E. L. Williams
Hard Hansey
W. J. Grinstaf
Thonis Oakley
J. B. Williams
T. J. Jackson
J. P. Williams
C. D. Williams
T. ??nut
James ???
??? Tubb
Andy ???
W. B. Williams
B. W. Robinson
Colman Corley
Wm. Ashley
E. T. Rose
Jef Brassell
E. T. Grinstaff
W. J. Grinstaff
S. T. Rogers
Bud Bedford
C. E. Robinson
D. G. Lee D. Clk
Z. P. Lee Clerk Co Court
D. T. Harrison
J. H. Cantrell
J. H. Dunn
Wm. B. Farmer
L. D. Crowder
J. D. Phillips
J. B. Banks
B. H. Farley
W. S. Evans
J. W. Parker
Vender Gross
John ??
May Tan
W. M. Ada
J. H. White

<Page 19>

To his Excellency Wm Bates Govenor of Tennessee

We undersigned citizens of DeKalb county respectfully state to your Excellency that they are personally acquainted with W. B. (alias) Doll Bates - have known him for years he having been raised in the county - they state they never knew any acusation against him affecting his reputation and character until he was indicted in Putnam co Tenn for being connected the Brazel Boys in the murder of Allisons. He was sentence to the penitentiary for 10 years and served out about 6 years of his time. We think that punishment sufficient for him. We think this punishment sufficient for him. His Father is old and affected and needs the assistance of his son very much. His family is one of unexceptional character. In consideration of these facts

<rest is missing>

<Pages 20 - 21>

To his Excellency Gov. W. B. Bates
Nashville Tenn

We the undersigned wre members of the Jury that convicted W. B. alias Doll Bates of the crime for which he is now serving out a Sentence of Ten years in the State Penitentiary.

As Bates was but a mere boy at the time and had an unexceptionable good character before this trouble and was doubtlessly led into it by others and as his poor old Father is worn out with the cares of life and needs his assistance.

We do most Sincerely petition your Excellency to Extend to the yourn man Executive clemency and send him home to take care of his aged father - June 17, 1884

1. J[ackson] G. Bice
2. Levi Mason
3. J[oseph] Magnum
4. Bartemas Pack
5. Jess Petty
6. M. B. Thompson
7. John Gracy
8. E[manuel] M. Ashburn
9. L[ouis] D[ias] Lafever
10. Isaac Borum
11. F. Turner
12. Chesley Turner

<Page 22>

Petition to Gov of State Tennessee

<Page 23>

Smithville, Tennessee
July 7, 1884

Hon Emett Thompson

Dear Sir:

Enclosed I send you Petition in the interest of my son signed by all the men who composed the Jury that tried him - I also sent one other Petition to Gov. Bate signed by a number of citizens. Would like for your to make an effort at once to get him out. I will be at Alexandria Tenn and your can telephone me what about it. I trust you will succeed in your effort. Be sure and telephone me.

Your friend,
Wm. B. Bates

<Page 24>

H. F. Askew, JP
Gov Hawkins

<Pages 25 - 27>

To his Excellency Governor William B. Bate

Nashville Tennessee We the undersigned citizens of DeKalb County Respectifully sato your Excellency that they air persinly acquainted with W. B. Bates alias Dol Bates have known him for years he having been Raised in this county they state that they never knew any acquisitions against him affecting his Reputation and Character untill he was inditive in Putnam County Tennessee for being connected with the Braswell Boys in the murder of Allison he has been sentence to the Penitentiary for 10 years has served about six years of his time we think his punishment sufficient for him his Father is old and aflicted and needs the assistance of his son very mutch his famly is of unexceptional character in view of the promises our Petition your Excellency for to extend Executive Clemency towards said Bates and that he be pardoned or released from serving the balance of his 10 years ??? Respectfuly to your Excellency

L. M. Fitts
Nems H. Tomasson
Willam Etharany
Willam Thomasson
John Thomasson
J. M. Fitts
James Bigsby
S. T. Walker
J. J. Johnson
J. W. Williams
Ely Ingram
A. Revine Page
J. B. Tolar
John B. Tolar
J. W. Tolar
S. A. Neal
I. H. Taylor
D. W. Taylor
T. A. Henbrickson
Wm. Fisher
W. M. King
W. D. Beckwith
John M. Taylor
H. C. Hendrickson
E. W. Monroe
B. S. Tayler
Lucien Colwell
B. T. Estes
T. Z. Cantrell
Wiley Hendricson
L. D. Braswell
T. R. Ayles
B. Cantrell
Levi Hanry
Joseph Williams
John W. James
Jeff Dyer
W. S. Johnson
J. A. McGee
W. A. Ashburn
W. C. Johnson
George E. Hill
Tomas Maynard
James Dunn
John Marris
Allen Elmore
C. M. Crawford
P. K. Maxwell
James Robertson
William Robertson
Hiram Robertson
Harmon Robertson
George Dildine
Wm. Childress
John Waddle
B. A. Rice
H. N. Auston
John Auston
Albert Auston
Amon Auston
Allen Steel
Tilford Steel
Wm. Steel
Jessee Steel
R. B. Anderson
N. Anderson
Herr Gracy
Jackson Gracy
Robert Gambrell
Henry Gambrell
Andrew Lafever
Killgre Deweese
Daniel Deweese
Samuel Deweese
T. Deweese
A. Medlin
John Medlin
Carter Allison
Wm. Goodman
E. S. Stanley
Georg Warren
James Redmon
Thomas Youg
James Camron
John Cantrell

<Page 28>

Robinson & Wade
Attorneys at Law
Smithville, Tenn
Special Attention Given to Collections
Dec 2 1886
Col. Thomas Waters

Dear Sir & Friend I write you in favor of Wm Bates for the release of Doll Bates from prison Col Please assist Mr. Bates all you can.

Go to the Govn with Bates & o
Wm Robinson

<Pages 29 - 30>

Alexandria, Tenn
28 Feb 1885
To His Excellency
W. B. Bate
Gov. of Tennessee

Honored Sir,

Feeling confidant that you are a great, good, and merciful man or you would not have been placed in so high a position, I make bold to write to you in Behalf of my husband, W. B. or Doll Bates as he is sometimes called. He has been in the State Prison at Nashville for about six years. his sentence was for ten years, for a crime of which he solemnly affirmed to his mother on her death bed that he was innocent. His Father spent all his property which was considerable, in feeing lawyers to defend his son, and now he is a poor lonely, desolate, old man. I have been a hireling ever since my husband was sentenced, and in my loneliness and poverty it seemed to me that even were he guilty six of the best years of his manhood and the wrecking of his health is sufficIent atonement. I have no one to help me none and my husband was always kind and good to me. I implore you in the name of that mercy which "Droppeth as the gentle dew from Heaven" that you pardon him now and reunite our little family. I believe that Dol will make a good citizen if released. God pardoned. Should man be more exacting?

I beseech your Excellence that for the sake of Him who came and suffered and died on earth that the vilest wretch might be pardoned, do pardon and release my husband. In the thoughtlessness of youth he may have done wrong but I do not believe that he was guilty of the charge against him. He write that his health is failing by the confinement of so many years. Pardon him, the the prayers of myself and all his friends shall arise to Heaven for blessings on your heaD. Enclose I send a postal. Please write me a few words in answer.

Very Respectfully,
Sarah Bates

<Page 31>

To His Excellency Governor William B. Bate, Nashville, Tennessee

The undersigned are members of the Bar of DeKalb County. They are personally acquainted with W. B. Bates now confined in the Penitentiary. In view of the fact that said Bate has served a considerable portion of his time already in the State Prison which is about 6 years and his previous good character before the affair for which he was sentenced and the necessity of his help and aid towards his aged father we join in the petition to your Excellency to extend to him Executive Clemency

Jno B. Robinson Atty
J. J. Ford Atty
W. B. Corley Atty
Joseph Clark Atty
J. W. Clark Atty
Alvin Avant Atty
Thos. F. Bowman Atty
J. W. Botts
J. H. Blackburn Atty
R. E. Robinson Atty
B. M. Webb Atty
R. C. Nesmith Atty
James A. Nesmith Atty
A. P. Smith Atty
W. B. Stokes Atty
D. O. Williams Atty

<Page 32>

(These names are probably the bottom of the unfinished earlier petition)

J. R. Hearn M. G.
G. W. Tayear
W. G. Rowland
J. ?. Cradedrick
W. A. Wills
C. C. Garrison
William Talley
H. C. Flippin
J. C. Wheeler
Gate Garrison
G. D. Bowers
Cis Preston
G. W. Snodgrass
Grant Ford
Shely Doss
W. N. Keys
F. K. West
E. D. Foutch
S. D. Morly
J. T. Turner
W. B. Denny
??y has Relliny
C. T. Griffith
Garge Simpson
Cato Bates
D. Bethel
R. M. Bone
R. P. Davis
Sherril McMiller
G. M. Turner
Dock Bates
Wm. D. Irwin
C. M. Allen
Evate Garrson
T. T. Preston
Wm. Christian
Thomas Driver
P. T. Stowell
William Oakley
Rev. M. B. Scott
W. P. Starnes
Robert Hensley
J. B. Scott
Elijah Scott
J. K. Marshall
Jackson Malone
H. Ross
Joseph Driver
J. H. Putter

<Page 33>

Robinson & Wade
Attorneys at Law
Smithville, Tenn
Special Attention Given to Collections

Col. Waters

Dear Sir

I would be glad if you could assist Dol Bates in getting out of prison, he is a good boy, but has been under bad influences, but will be so no man, he has promised to consult me in the future in reference to his conduct, you know I will not advise him to do any thing wrong, I ask you to help him, the thing is to get out, I am willing to say if he can get I have no fears as to his future conduct & I don't believe he was guilty of the crime charged to him, he was only in bad company, help & i shall be appreciated.

Jno B. Robinson

<Page 34>

John B. Robinson
To Col. Thos. Waters

<Pages 35 - 36>

Nashville Penitentiary
October 11th, 1886

To His Excellency
Wm. B. Bate
Governor of Tennessee

Hon. Sir,

The undersigned took the liberty to address your Excellency some time ago begging that you may be pleased to make some disposition of my case new pending before you. I have patiently waited for weeks hoping that some favorable news may be imparted to me, but to date I have received no indication that your excellency has come to any decision.

In my former letter, I have brought all arguments to bear, which I thought might be regarded as good and sufficient reason by your Excellency for Executive clemency, and I only can add that the worry on my mind, and the confinement in itself are daily making inroads on my physical condition which if not soon relieved will have me a permanent wreck.

I do not know if I have any right to claim special favors for my conduct while in this prison, but I may say to your Excellency that no prisoner ever held the positions of trust and same responsibility which I hold who has not derived some benefits through the Chief Magistrate therefore and I sincerely hope that Your Excellency will give me the same benefits and by rewarding merit encourage my fellow prisoners in doing the right.

I know I have the good will of those in authority here, and I am certain all prisoners would appeal to your Excellency in my behalf were it advisable to do so, but I h ope and trust that your excellency's well known sense of Justice and acknowledged feeling of charity and mercy will cause you to grant me the pardon for which not ony myself but a true wife and an aged father so earnestly beg.

Trusting your Excellency will come to a favorable decision in my case.

I remain Your Excellency's honorable Servant,
Dol. Bates

<Pages 37 - 39>

Gribble, Webb & Ayant
Attorneys at Law
Smithville, Tenn
May 29, 1884

Dear Sir:

I write you in the interest of Wm. B. Bates alias Doll Bates, who is now in the penitentiary of this state, where he has been for about six years. Hw was convicted for murder in DeKalb Circuit Court & sentenced for ten years ???? will in upon an application of the record in the case that he was jointly indicted with the Braswells who were hung for the murder of the Allisons.

I was the first lawyer employed by the prosecution. I had the parties(?) arrested & convicted & think I know the real insides of the case. After the case had been found in the Circuit Court for some time I abandoned the prosecution because I was sure that the prosecution insisted of on ??? disadvantage that I was unjust & was an excess of this ??? punishment.

The trouble with Bates was he was like poor ??? he was caught in bad company if greatly(?) at ??? & it was exceedingly doubtful & very mind whether he was present or had any connection with the murder at all.

You will see that the main evidence against him was the evidence of an accomplice who was & is worthless unreliable scoundrel & besides some of the other testimony & witnesses are ??? rickety & unsatisfactory at least so to my mind.

If Bates was present or took any part in the murder his punishment has already exceeded what he entitled.

He went to school to ?? about 18 years ago when he was but a boy & family ??? something of ???. He is an innocent ??? fellow easily duped or fooled(?). He lived near the ??? High Curtis or was ???? astry by Curtis when ?? with the Braswells. He ??? connection with the Braswells who <last line totally unreadable>.

??? Bates evidently was duped into this murder if at all connected. He was only along with the ??? if any thing. I think his predicament has been excessive already & he ought to be pardoned.

He is no acknowledgement will make against citizens. I am sure. Besides his father is quite old & almost helpless & need his help. The cinsolation(?) of the interest(?) of the ??? forodiged(?) son. I help ??? practiced & sound sentiment demands his release. I ??? an application has or will in order to ???. Excellency for his pardon hoping you will forcibly consider his application & pardon him. I am ???.

Your Obedient Servant
B. M. Webb

-- rest is unreadable --

<Page 40>

Dowelltown, Tennessee Nov the 28, 1882
Your Exeleny Govner Alvin Hackins Sir

I most cincerly ask of you as a good cittisen of Dekalb Conty to parden Dol Bates out of the prison for wich he is confined as I think he will make a good sittison. I alwais hav noad him ever sense he was bornd Raised with me 2 1/2 miels and allwais a good Boy as far as I did now up the time he was taken up for the crime for wich he was convicted Govner if I thought Bats was gilty of the charge I never wold asign any obligation to Release him and as I dont beleave the charge against tim from the proof in the case I dont beleave that Bats was with the Brasels on the night the killling of the Elisons Boys sir Govner if you can Reconsile this matter from Suvious asigned and his neighbors I wold most sincerly desire your Exilency

Repreave said Dol Bates this is my humble desire

Your truly Friend,
E. W. Bass
late Capt US army
I am now 60 years old

<Pages 41 - 42>

To his Excellency Govenor William B. Bate
Nashville Tennessee

We the undersigned citizens of DeKalb County Respectfully State to your Excellency that they air Personaly acquainted with W. B. alias Doll Bates have known him for years him having bin Raised in the County they state they never knew anny acquisition against hin affecting his Reputation and Character untill he was indited in Putnam County Tennessee for being connected with the Braswell Boyes in the murder of the Allison. He has been sentence to the Penitentiary for 10 years and has served out about six years of his time and we think his punishment sufficient for him his father is old and aflicted and neades the assistance of is son very mutch his famly air of unexceptional Charactar in view of the Premises we Petition your Excellency for to extend Executive Clemency towards said Bates and that he be Pardoned or Released from surving the balance of his 10 years sined Petition Respectfully submitted to your Excellency

William Davis
J. M. Phillips
Tantly Ford
Ness Mellen
James D. Robinson
I. T. Hall
Frankeli Williams
H. Turner
Isaac Williams
H Malone
Lou Dowd
T. H. Hendrixson
T. W. Minten
Charley Winton
Why Garrison
Frank Williams
E. R. Wauford
H. L. Williams
Jacob Tubb
Wels Warn
Simon Templer

<Pages 43 - 44>

Smithville, Tenn
Nov 30th 1882
Hon Alvin Hawkins Gov &c

Dear Governor

You will remember when I was at your office last February. We had a conversation in regard to the releasing of W. B. Bates (alias Doll) Bates from the Penitentiary; who was tried in the Circuit Court in this Dekalb Co and was convicted and sentenced for ten years for aiding and abetting in killing of Alison of Putnam Co. He has served about three years, and I think I know the public sentiment of the people, they are almost unanimously in favor of his pardon. He has an aged and decrepid father who spent all of his means which amounted to thousand in defense of his son, and is now dependant upon the charity of his neighbors for support. If Doll was turned out I think he would make a support for himself and father and the public would be greatly benefited.

Respectfully Yours,
W. T. Robinson
County Judge

<Pages 45 - 47>

Alexandria, Dec. 4th 1882
Hon. Alvin Hawkins,
Governor & c

My dear Governor,

I write in the interest of W. B. Bates (alias Doll Bates) & his old decrIped Father & Wife. You no doubt remember the case; he was tried & convicted of murder in the second degree in the Dekalb Circuit Court for aiding & abetting in the murder of young Allison in Putnam County & was sentenced to 10 years confinement in the penitentiary. He has served out 3 years of the time & 2 of the Braswells was hung for the same offence & the accomplice, one Dobson Johnson, who was along when the killing took place was permitted to turn states evidence & thereby came clear, but in order to save his own neck, he implicated Doll Bates. I have taken some pains since the trial of Bates to ascertain whether or not Doll was with them, the night of the killing. I am satisfied that he was not along but on the contrary, he was at James Braswells the night of the murder. Jim Braswell was not at the trial although summoned for the reason that he had been informed that if he appeared & testified in Bates behalf he would be arrested or assassinated. hence he jailed & refused to be at the trial of Bates, at Smithville, DeKalb County. I will state to your Excellency, that I herewith present you, the petition, signed by 126 Citizens of DeKalb County, good men asking your Excellency to pardon him, also in additional, I hand you the letters of the Hon Judge W. T. Robinson of our county court whom you will remembered escorted you from Woodbury to Alexandria, Two years ago & one of our best citizens & also, the letters of old Dr. John A. Fuson & John B. Robinson, Chairman of the county Republican Committee, for Dekalb Co. Now in conclusion, will say that a petition of Two thousand names could have been procured but supposed the number sent would be all sufficient. I will state in all candor & frankness, that when this matter was first submitted to me it did not meet my approval but after a careful survey of the premises & consultation with the citizens generally of that section of that country, I am pleased to say that I have changed my opinion & am satisfied that it would meet the approval of nine tenths of the community to have you pardon & send him home. Believing as I do that he was not present when the killing took place. I do think he has suffered enough & I therefore join in most heartedly in asking your Excellency to pardon him. I wish to state that Dobson Johnson the witness, whose evidence convicted Bates, is known to me personally from his infancy & he is a low down worthless creature which I have found out since the trial of Bates. Now, Governor, taking all the facts & circumstances together, I would say pardon him & let him go to his home.

Very truly your friend,
W. B. Stokes

I have no interest in the matter outside of one of his neighbors & c.

<Page 48>

W. B. Stokes
To Gov Alvin Hawkins
Gov of Tennessee

<Pages 49 - 51>

To His Excellency Govenor Wm. B. Bate, Nashville Tennessee

The undersigned citizens of Putnam County Tenn respectfully state to your Excellency that they are personally acquainted with W. B. alias Doll Bates. They state they never knew any accusation against him affecting his reputation until he was indicted in this county for being connected with the Braswell boys in the murder of Allisons. He was sentenced to the Penitentiary for 10 years and has served about 6 years of his time. We think the punishment sufficient for him. His father is old and afflicted and needs the assistance of his son very much. His family are of unexceptionable character in view of the premises we petition your Excellency to extend Executive Clemency towards said Bates and relieve him from serving the balance of his unexpired term. Respectfully

Woodfork Maxwell, Prosecutor
P. C. Glen
A. B. Allison
M. R. Williams
Joseph Massa
Isaac Brown
Newton Dunn
Manfield Dunn
Asher Hitchcock
J. M. Tallent
Jude Barr
Wm. Allison
George Martin
W. M. Martin
Anthony Elrod
McKazel Elrod
James Elrod
William Hitchcock
Henry Steel
John Herren
N. Anderson
John Phillips
James Lafever
H. Spears
Cantrell Spears
Hick Maynard
Wiseman Herren
Henderson Thomas
Asbery Thomas
Wm Thomas
W. P. Crowder
Marian Clows, Esq
H. C. Cole
Harrison Martin
S. E. Barr
J. M. Barr
Joseph Sherrel
John Sherrel
George Myatt
John Lafever
A. Tilley
Robert Herren
Alexander Jaco
Wm. Crowder
Jasper Dunn
Newton Nash
William Nash
Marion Rice
John Rice
C. R. Camley
T. G. Hunt
Wm Moare
John Killgro
John Waddle
Stephen Farley

<Page 52>

Executive Office
Nashville, Tenn
Jan 6 1886

Capt. H. T. Harris
Warden & Co

Dear Capt.

The Governor is today in receipt of letter from Col. R. Thompson in which it is claimed Dol Bates time would be out if he were allowed the "Good time" to which he is entitled. How is this?

Your ???
H. W. Cantrell
Private Secy

<Pages 53 - 54>

Be it remembered. That at a Supreme Court of Errors & Appeals began and held at the Capital at Nashville on the 1st Monday in December AD 1879 it being the 1st day of December 1879 for the 5" 6" 7" 8" 9" 10" 11" and part of the 16" Judicial Circuits.

Present the Hon Chief Justices Jas W. Deadrick and Associate Justices W. F. Cooper, R. M. McFarland, P Turney, and Thos J. Freeman - When the following proceedings were held to wit

W B alias D Bates
State of Tennessee
Murder 2nd degree DeKalb Co. Crim Docket
Saturday, January 17, 1880

Came the Attorney Gen for the State and the prisoner appeared at this Barr in custody of the Sheriff. Thereupon this cause was heard upon a transcript of the record from the Circuit Court of DeKalb Co. Upon consideration whereof it appears to the Court that in this Judgment of the Court Below there is no error and the same is in all things affirmed. It is therefore considered by this court that the said W. B. Alias Dol Bates for his offense do undergo confinement at hard labor in the Penitentiary of this State for a period of 10 years commencing on the day of his delivery to the Lessors Thereof That he be sentenced incapable of ???? of holding office and that he pay the cost of this prosecution for which executives will issue. It is further ordered by the court that the said W. B. alias Dol Bates on this day be delivered to the Lessors of the Penitentiary who shall receive and confine him at hard labor for the period aforesaid and in the manner and upon the terms proscribed by law

Office of the Clerk of Supreme Court for the Middle Division of the State of Tenn

Nashville January 19 18

I N Baxter Jr. Clerk of said court certify that the foregoing is a true and complete copy of the judgment of said Court pronounced in December term 1879 in the case of W. B. alias Dol Bates against the State of Tennessee as appears as ???on file in my office

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of the Court at office in The Capitol at Nashville on this the 19th day of January 1880 and the Independence of the US in the 104 year

N Baxter Jr

<Pages 55 - 56>

Office of Warden Tennessee Penitentiary
Nashville, January 18, 1886
To His Excellency Gov W. B. Bate.

Dear Sir

W. B. Bates (Dol) was sentenced by the Supreme Court at Nashville (from DeKalb Co) January 19th/80 and received here the 20th (next day). He was sentenced for murder for 10 years. His good time in that sentence is 2 years and 3 months which would have him free prison Oct 19th/87. The last ??? passed a new good time law which as you know is yet inoperative. If he were entitled to the benefits of that law his turn of service would expire Oct 19th/86. His record is excellent and I regret very much that his term is still so long.

To his time he is entitled to all the good time allowed by law.

Very respectfully
F. S. Harris

Office of Warden Tennessee Penitentiary
Nashville, 1-10-1886


You will see that the time of Dol Bates as for copy of transcript enclosed is not but by some time Jas Kite; Green co for housebreaking is in Tracy City

F. S. Harris

<Page 57>

Lebanon Jan the 19th 1886

Gove Bate
Dear Sir

I received a letter from Dol Bates a few days ago in which he claims that his time is out if he is allotted all of the "good time" to which he is entitled. I enclose you a letter from Waters a former Warden in which speaks in the very highest terms of Bates. I will take it as a favor if you will call Warden Harris attention to the matter.

Very truly yours
R. E. Thompson

<Pages 58 - 60>

Nashville Penitentiary
September 1st 1886

His Excellency
Wm B. Bate
Governor of Tennessee

Honorable Sir:

My apology for the trespass upon your valuable time is the urgency of the case, and if I seem to indulge in too lengthy an epistle, I beg your Excellency to consider that a question of almost Life and Death a question outweighing any other earthly affair is herein laid before you, with the earnest and sincere preayer that your Excellency as such consider my appeal.

Over nine years of confinement in Prison, of which seven years were served in this Institution have brought me to a state of mind which only those can understand who had a similar experience and not deserving to burden your Excellency with the merits of my case if any -- I beg to appeal personally to the Chief Magistrate, as the only being to in which the power is visited to give me relief, and begging such points to bear which I trust your Excellency will consider good and valid reasons on which to grant my request for freedom:

Fully cognizant of the fact, that mentions conduct, and trust never betrayed under circumstance when trust is often a great temptation, are matters that come unto serious and weighty consideration with the Executive in applications for clemency - these I claim, not with the view of merit to myself, but as an inducement for investigation by your Excellency.

In the seven years confined here, no harsh word has ever been necessary to me, I have held every office of trust which is tenable by a prisoner, I have worked faithfully and laboriously for the interest of the Lessees and without a single exception have, I believe the good will of everyone connected with the Institution.

After the fire in the prison when a long term of servitude was yet before me, I attended the sick outside the walls with every opportunity to betray the trust, I helped building the shops. while hundred of men where idele in the wings and I have never by word or action shown any disposition to complain or grow weary!

Does your Excellency not think that some compensation is due me for all this and that the example I set for others to wait patiently, work faithfully and endure silently is worthy of the Executive's consideration?

By continued work in wind and rain when no shelter was offered, my health gave way; I am but the wreck of my former self; having given my best years, my health, my energies, my all to the Sate and new when but a short time to serve, I ask you Excellency to temper Justice and Mercy and grant me liberty for the sake of an aged Father who is on the verge of insanity because of the misfortune of his son!

Words are but poor substitution for feelings, but your Excellency may well imagine how a soul separated from all earthly ties, deprived for nine long and weary years of liberty, and waiting from day to day for a reward consciensiouly labored for all these years __ longs to see the day when this yoke will be unchained and with a heart full of gratitude and a determination to amend for the past and do good in this work, enters once more into life __ born again and made new by sad experience!

My appeal to your Excellency is made on the strength of these points cooperated by all who know and observe me, and I trust that pity and justice, the charity and benevolence which entered do largely in the administration of your Excellency, will cause you to grant my prayer and restore me to society, wife and father a better citizen, a more devoted husband and a dutiful son.

Permit me to sign
Your Excellency's obedient Servant
W. B. Bates

<Page 61>

Office of Warden Tennessee Penitentiary
Nashville, Sept 2nd, 1886

To his Excellency W. B. Bate Gov of Tenn:

Dear Sir:

Dol Bates alias W. B. from De Kalb County was convicted at the session of the Dec. term 1880 Supreme Court of Murder in the 2nd degree for a term of ten years. We recommend him to your Excellency for executive clemency on account of his very excellent conduct during his confinement at the Prison. He has been at all times obedient to the laws and rules of this institution.

A. J. Hooper Warden
F. H. Cass Depty Warden

<Pages 62 - 64>

Nashville Penitentiary
Novbr 23 186 (sic)

His Excellency,
Wm. B. Bate
Governor of Tennessee

Hon Sir:

After receiving a letter from Hon. Col. R. E. Thompson of Lebanon in which he answers me that he appealed to your Excellency in my behalf and asked as a special favor that your Excellency may be pleased to grant my release on Thanksgiving day, I cannot but feel that your Excellency has the case under due consideration, and I am impressed with the gravity and to me important consequences of your Excellency's decision.

I am well aware that nothing I could say, would in anyway influence your Excellency, however my mind is so occupied with the thought, and my spirit so restless, that I consider it a duty I owe to myself and family to address your Excellency in a few words, at this stage of the case.

It would be useless to picture the sufferings and agony, the heartache and almost despair of the past ten years, endured in confinement, here and in jail. Your Excellency's Knowledge of human nature is sufficient garantee (sic) for the acquaintance of such cases; but broken in health, with an indiscribable thirst after that home life to which I have been accustomed, and a longing for liberty that words cannot convey, I must beg Your Excellency with that sincerity and truth, begotten by cases of Life and Death, to grant the request and restore me to freedom, but a few months previous to the expiration of my sentence. Neither my training nor disposition are of criminal tendencies and that my future will be one of usefulness and hone, I can but assure Your Excellency, as deeds must speak for themselves.

Permit me to join Col. Thompson in the prayer for a Thanksgiving pardon & when on the land will rise in prayers to God Almighty for the blessing bestowed upon us. I will have occasion to thank, next to my maker, the chief Magistrate of my State, for the next greatest blessing of Life, for Liberty!

In which hope

I remain
Your Excellency's humble Servant!
Dol Bates

<Pages 65 - 67 >

His Excellency
W. B. Bate
Govr of Tennessee

Being as I am aware of the fact that your Excellency is familiar with all the details an circumstances connected with my case, I will not further than is absolutely necessary consume your valuable time, but will make my personal appeal at once and is briefly as possible.

In addition Sir, to having borne an incarceration of over two years in jail I have served within these cold comfortless walls at hard labor, nearly six years. During all these long years of punishment fraught with the most severe trials both mentally and physically, I have borne my punishment cheerfully, patiently, and faithfully never flinching from my duty and ever vigilant and alert in my respect and obedience to my Officers, who I am sure will corroborate this statement most cheerfully.

My prison record Sir is unquestionably and unexceptionally good and will bear the closest scrutiny. Sir, I most cheerfully invite you to inspect and inquire into my conduct since my sentence began, and I feel fully assured that you will not find one black spot to mar its surface.

Now Sir, in consideration of the facts above set forth and those which I shall hereafter mention. I most humbly appeal to your Excellency to allow, after all due investigation in my case, me such commutation of my sentence as shall insure my speedy release that I may return to my home and care for and protect an aged and heart broken Father, whos (sic) gray hairs and almost bowed down in sorrow to the grave and to a living Father who has sacrificed his all in his vain endeavor to secure his Son's release. For his sake I plead Sir for Executive clemency and for the sake of my fast failing health, I implore your earnest consideration and final mercy.

Having at my few leisure hours by diligent study made some valuable inventions with the intention of obtaining patents upon them. I am thereby enabled, should my release be obtained, to take care of my aged Father, and comfort his declining years, with the necessaries of life.

I am aware Your Excellency, that a good petition in my behalf is on file in your office, but Sir I entirely disregard the petition and ask for mercy entirely on the merits of my good conduct since my imprisonment.

Ever praying for your earnest consideration and mercy I beg leave to sign myself
With Every Respect
W. B. Bates