This carefully edited selection of testimony from the Ku Klux Klan hearings reveals what is often left out of the discussion of Reconstruction—the central role of violence in shaping its course. The Introduction places the hearings in historical context and draws connections between slavery and post-Emancipation violence. The documents evidence the varieties of violence leveled at freedmen and Republicans, from attacks hinging on land and the franchise to sexual violence and the targeting of black institutions. Document headnotes, a chronology, questions to consider, and a bibliography enrich students’ understanding of the role of violence in the history of Reconstruction.
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Table of Contents
PART ONEIntroduction: Investigating Violence — White Supremacy and the Rise and Fall of Reconstruction Presidential Reconstruction and the Roots of White Violence Radical Reconstruction, Organized Lawlessness, and Congressional Investigation Testimony of White Violence and Black Resistance The Outcome of the Hearings and the Legacy of Reconstruction PART TWOThe Documents 1. Background and Beginnings 1. Laws of the State of Mississippi, 1865 2. First Enforcement Act, May 31, 1870 3. Third Enforcement (Ku Klux Klan) Act, April 20, 1871 4. Rome (Ga.) Courier, October 24, 1871 2. Ku Klux Klan Violence and the Hearings Gender and Sexual Violence5. Caroline Smith, Atlanta, Georgia, October 21, 1871 6. Sarah Ann Sturtevant, Atlanta, Georgia, October 23, 1871 7. Hannah Tutson, Jacksonville, Florida, November 10, 1871 8. Harriet Simril, Columbia, South Carolina, December 19, 1871 Political Violence: The Franchise9. Abram Colby, Atlanta, Georgia, October 27 and 28, 1871 10. John Childers, Livingston, Alabama, November 1, 1871 11. Betsey Westbrook, Demopolis, Alabama, October 24, 1871 12. James H. Alston, Montgomery, Alabama, October 17, 1871 Landownership, Economic Success, and Displacement13. Eliza Lyon, Demopolis, Alabama, October 24, 1871 14. Warren Jones, Atlanta, Georgia, October 27, 1871 15. Samuel Tutson, Jacksonville, Florida, November 10, 1871 16. Augustus Blair, Huntsville, Alabama, October 9, 1871 Black Autonomous Institutions: Schools and Churches17. Henry Giles, Montgomery, Alabama, October 17, 1871 18. Cornelius McBride, Washington, D.C., July 21, 1871 19. Elias Hill, Yorkville, South Carolina, July 25, 1871 Self-Defense20. Willis Johnson, Columbia, South Carolina, July 3, 1871 21. Benjamin F. Herr, Livingston, Alabama, October 31 and November 1, 1871 22. Edmund W. Pettus, Washington, D.C., July 6, 1871 Ku Klux Klan: Members, Apologists, Makeup, and Character23. Nathan Bedford Forrest, Washington, D.C., June 27, 1871 24. A. S. Lakin, Washington, D.C., June 13, 1871 25. William M. Lowe, Huntsville, Alabama, October 13, 1871 Committee Conclusions26. Minority Report, February 19, 1872 27. Majority Report, February 19, 1872 APPENDIXESA Brief Chronology of Reconstruction and the Ku Klux Klan Hearings (1863–1877) Questions for Consideration Selected Bibliography Index