Coroners and Freedmen
To help commemorate a more inclusive bicentennial in 1976, Ebony magazine commissioned a series of articles by Lerone Bennett devoted to the greatest moments in African American history. The subjects Bennett chose were mostly conventional -- Nat Turner and Harriet Tubman. But one topic must have been comparatively unfamiliar to readers -- the 1868 South Carolina Constitutional Convention. Gaveled in at the sumptuous Charleston Clubhouse, the majority black delegates -- elected in a majority black state -- had gone to work redrafting the laws that all South Carolinians would live under. "Nothing quite like this had ever been tried before," Bennett rightly noted, "and nothing remotely approaching it has happened in America in all the years since." Doomsayers predicted bedlam and got boredom; the proceedings were a model of deliberation and due process. To put their white colleagues at ease, the African American majority unanimously elected a white man, Albert Gallatin Mackey, as chair. Mackey was gracious in turn: The Convention, he said, demands "the commendation of every lover of liberty and respecter of human rights.... It is the first Constitutional convention in this State, in the selection of whose members, the ballot box, the true palladium of rational liberty, has been made accessible to every man.... This is, then, truly and emphatically a people's Convention -- a Convention by the representatives of all who have minds to think -- and to think for themselves, or muscle to work -- and to work for themselves."
Why was so much Klan violence necessary to turn back the tide of Reconstruction? Because an interracial democracy was working. As the civil authority charged with investigating the deadliest of that violence, the coroner's office was often on the front line in the skirmish wars of Reconstruction. In districts with African American or white Republican coroners, assassinations and racially-motivated murders were met with inquests. In other districts, county coroners and local magistrates could quash investigations even in defiance of the occupying Union Army.
The Freedmen's Bureau Papers, and especially the documents filed under "Murders and Outrages," paint a vivid portrait of federal frustration at having to work through local southern courts to get anything done. "The civil authorities are reported as not having taken any action in the matter," reported a bureau worker on the murder of freedman Ephraim McCallum by a white mob in Darlington. Such language was echoed in reports from across the state: "This case was laid before the civil authorities without effect" ... "report of action not received" ... "referred to civil authorities & not as yet heard from." In resisting occupation, guerrilla movements often exploit the bureaucratic bottle-necks in an enemy's process, and the county coroner's office had always been a place where state and federal law was adapted and interpreted to suit local circumstances.
The case of Solomon George Washington Dill provides an excellent example of the delicacy of the Bureau's position. A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Dill had served as a private in the Confederate Army before relocating to Kershaw County. There he proved a popular and rising politician ... until he turned Republican. Representing Kershaw County at the 1868 South Carolina Constitutional Convention in January, Dill said that he hoped to build a new politics for the state, one that better represented the interests of South Carolina's long-suffering underclass, whether black or white. "[I am often asked] 'Mr. Dill, what are you doing in that damn nigger convention?'" Dill noted. "My reply was, 'I have always been a poor man, and always known to be on the side of the poor.'"
The Convention drew up a new constitution that conferred full suffrage and civil rights for African Americans; that constitution was ratified by popular vote on April 6, 1868. This, then, was the foundation for Dill's new politics, and his home quickly became a hub to Kershaw County's "Loyal Union League," a place where Kershaw's African American and white population mingled freely. This social interaction, as much as the political action itself, galled Kershaw's white minority, and in his campaign for county commissioner Dill became the target of almost daily death threats. "Our men put old Lincoln up Shit creek," Emanuel Parker was heard to say on May 15, "and we'll put old Dill up." On May 22, a local white, Abraham Rabon met a Dill supporter in the street who told him he was "going down to Mr. Dill's to hear a speech." "Yes, you are all going to hell as fast as you can," Rabon retorted. And "that damned [Dill] will be knocked into a cocked hat before many days." William Kelly was overheard on multiple occasions threatening Dill's life. Quarrelsome and (likely) intoxicated, he got into a shouting match with a Dill supporter on the public square in Camden. "Yes, by God! you all take old Dill for your god," Kelly yelled, "and God damn him! I'll kill him." When he heard that Dill was elected, Kelly said simply: "If it is the last thing I do, I'll kill Dill."
While promising violence themselves, such men appalled themselves and their listeners with stories that Dill was preaching violence among the African Americans, telling crowds that if he were killed "the freed people must rise and avenge him, and kill from the cradle up, for 20 miles square." This specific language, "from the cradle up" -- a clear allusion to Nat Turner and a war of racial extinction -- became so stuck in the minority white mind that it was still being reported as fact in local histories well into the twentieth century. Witnesses who actually heard him speak, however, say that Dill preached a political gospel of self-help, patience, forbearance, and peace.
At sunset on June 4, William Kelly and his brother met at the home of Emanuel Parker where they purchased two bottles of whiskey and probably rendezvoused with other conspirators. They then proceeded to Dill's house under cover of darkness. The election over, Dill appears to have let his guard down. Though his life had been threatened many times, he may not have expected that they would go through with it. Perhaps, as some of his supporters would later say, he "expected to be killed, but that so long as he lived he would stand firmly to his avowed political principles because he believed them to be just to all men." Regardless, the house was poorly defended. Nestor Ellison, an older African American and by some accounts infirm, nevertheless insisted on serving as Dill's bodyguard and was the only one on watch. At the sound of whispers outside the house, Ellison rose from his chair and opened the door to investigate. He was shot in the head. Simultaneously Dill was fired upon through a window, the bullet crashing into "the cervical portion of the spine." The mob now opened fire on the house generally, perhaps ten rounds in all. Rebecca Dill was shot in the leg. Her guest, Nancy Burnett, ran out of the house to beg not for her own life but for the lives of her three children who were still inside. From the darkness an exultant voice answered, "By God, I've got all I want," and the mob withdrew.
Dill's was the first major political assassination in Reconstruction-era South Carolina. The question for the Loyal Union Leagues, the Bureau, and the Union Army, was what to do about it; eyes were watching, and precedents would be set. Assigned to investigate Dill's case, and to ensure that something happened, was George Frederick Price, First Lieutenant, Fifth United States Cavalry and Assistant to the Judge Advocate for the Second Military District (North and South Carolina).
Price had been born in 1835 in Newburgh, New York, a town situated seventy miles up the Hudson River from Manhattan and made somewhat famous as the site of the "Newburgh Conspiracy," the almost-mutiny of the Continental Army that George Washington had stared down in 1783. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Price had been in California, and he joined the Second California Cavalry Regiment, remaining a career cavalry officer after the war until he was "severely wounded in a fight with the Sioux" in 1876.
In his regimental history, Across the Continent with the Fifth Cavalry, Price gave spare attention to his South Carolina years, partly because they were so unlike everything else he had done in his career. In an operational sense, fighting rebels and fighting Sioux had been what he was trained to do. By contrast "the duties devolved upon [us]" in Reconstruction, Price noted, were "in many respects foreign to the profession of arms." The occupying U.S. troops were in a delicate position, needing to "win the hearty commendations of the citizens" even as they compelled them to obey the law.
To Price it was perfectly clear that "the killing of Mr. Dill was a political assassination. This fact stands out in bold relief and is beyond dispute." The question was how to compel the civil authority to act. "I am assured by a member of the coroner's jury that the whites on it scarcely looked at the dead bodies," Price reported to his superiors, and "did not appear to have any desire to ascertain the locality of the wounds thereon, and that a general indifference was manifested. The inquest appears to have been hurried through as speedily as possible."
In the absence of a civil investigation, Price determined to conduct one of his own. Aided by the bureau agent stationed at Camden and two detectives assigned by the provost marshal's office, Price and his team gathered a mountain of circumstantial evidence, especially from local African Americans. "The blacks have given me all the assistance in their power," Price noted, "and have uniformly exhibited good conduct under circumstances well calculated to arouse their worst passions, for Dill was their trusted and proved friend."
The local whites were another matter. Most of them "professed to denounce the assassination," Price said, but "no white citizen ... (excepting Judge W. G. Leitner) has approached me with any information." Price was somewhat confounded by this. He knew that many of the whites living in Camden's Kirkwood suburbs "view with disfavor the measures devised by Congress for the reorganization of the governments of the States lately in rebellion." But surely it crossed the line of Christian decency to gun down a neighbor in his own home in front of his wife and child over a political disagreement. "My associations with the citizens of Kershaw district have been heretofore pleasant," Price confided to his superiors. "They are now pleasant; and I regret that the circumstances surrounding the assassination of Dill compel me to say that I am convinced that the neighbors of Dill can, if they choose to do so, give information which would lead to the arrest and conviction of every person engaged in his assassination."
Ultimately Price and his team went around the civil authorities one last time to make their own arrests, sending twenty alleged conspirators to the Citadel in Charleston. These men were questioned, but Price probably wasn't expecting them to implicate themselves. Rather, he hoped that by sending them away he could convince some of the local whites with first-hand knowledge of the crime to come forward without fear of reprisal. When they failed to do so, Price's case fell apart, and with it his hopes for Reconstruction. In the end, he decided, the problem wasn't the assassins. It was the "pleasant" people. "It is my belief," he wrote in his final report, "that when all the truth becomes known in regard to this assassination, the parties committing the crime, together with the accessories before and after the fact, will be counted by scores." A minority of whites were willing to kill their own neighbor. A majority were willing to look the other way. Price was neither the first nor the last to find such a situation hopeless. In the fall, he learned that the fifth cavalry was moving out. "The rank and file of the regiment," he wrote in his memoir, "were well pleased when [reassigned] to the western frontier of Kansas for service against the hostile Indians of the Plains."
CSI:D captures only a fraction of the violence that followed upon the unsuccessful prosecution of Dill's assassins. But as with the cases of slaves who were murdered, the project is devoted to following up what traces do remain. Coupled with records from the Bureau and the army, we at least have somewhere to begin.
"Murders and Outrages" in South Carolina, 1866-1868
|Ephraim McCallum (freedman)||James McCall, Thomas Cottingham, Dr. Patterson, Thomas M. Kal, Thomas Welsh, and other white citizens||murder||December 2, 1866||Bennettsville, Marlsborough District, SC||The civil authorities are reported as not having taken any action in the matter|
|Jerry Rimes (colored)||Elbert Franklin (white)||assault with a knife||December 13, 1866||Edgefield District, SC||Trial pending before the civil courts|
|Thomas Pyatt (colored)||J.C. Dennis (white) and Durand R. Ellis (colored)||assault and battery||December 1, 1866||Georgetown, SC||the defendants have been arrested by the civil authorities and bound over for their appearance at the District Court for trial on the 1st Monday in January 1867|
|William Wright (colored)||William Larrimore, William Larrimore Jr., John Larrimore (all white)||shooting with a gun||December 11, 1866||Georgetown District, about 20 miles from Georgetown, SC||a warrant issued by a magistrate is in the hands of the Sheriff of the District for the arrest of the Defendant|
|Mandy Glover (colored)||William Sizemore, Rober Sizemore, Madison Ramsey, Jefferson Hearn, Manford Hearn, Norril Hearn, William Williamson (all white)||assault and battery||December 3, 1866||Barnwell District, SC||this case was laid before the civil authorities without effect|
|Morris Jackson (freedman)||Williamson||cut in the face with knife||December 15, 1866||Brantsville, SC||Williamson was arrested by Bvt. Lt. Col. O. H. Moore, Capt. 6th U. S. Inftry|
|Mary Davis (freedwoman)||Gabriel Bryan (white)||shooting||December 17, 1866||Georgetown, SC||the defendant immediately upon committing the deed left the District but the Sheriff hearing he was in Williamsburg District sent the warrant there for his arrest, not been heard of since|
|J.W. Doan (white)||Billy (freedman)||assault and battery||December 21, 1866||Georgetown, SC||The defendant [has been] been bound over for their appearance at court on the 1st Monday in January 1867 for trial|
|Rinah May (freedman)||E. C. Easterling (white)||assault and battery||December 24, 1866||Georgetown, SC||The defendant [has been] been bound over for their appearance at court on the 1st Monday in January 1867 for trial|
|Paul McRae (f’man)||F. W. McCasker (white)||assault and battery||December 24, 1866||Georgetown, SC||The defendant [has been] been bound over for their appearance at court on the 1st Monday in January 1867 for trial|
|Sally Charles||David Alison||tying, beating 30 blows with a hickory with & driving from the neighborhood||December 13, 1866||Rover Scott’s on the road from Greenville C.H. to Laruens, near the border line of Greenville & Laurens districts||case just reported to this office. Referred Dec. 29th for investigation to Doct. Dunhlin Moore, Magistrate Greenville Dist. No report received|
|Harriet Frampton (colored)||Andrew Browning, Malcomb Browning, Tom Browning (all white)||[unknown]||December 1866||Colleron District, SC||Andrew, Malcomb and Tom Browning all bound over by Magistrate to appear at next court|
|Peter Marang (colored)||Ely Faulk (white)||assault with intent to kill and carrying concealed weapons||Mount Holly, SC||April 30, 1867||Ely Faulk and Peter Marang were quarreling at Mt. Holly about the theft of 2 barrels of Turpentine belonging to Faulk's employer, B. F. Barden, which had been ascertained to have been stolen by 2 white men, and Ely Faulk, pulling out a pistol, fired two shots at Marang, when Marang was running away from him. I required M. Browning, Magistrate, to proceed with this case according to law, forbidding any settlement short of a trial by the proper court. May 10, 1867 Mr. Browning reported to me that Ely Faulk had furnished bail in the sum of $500.00 for his appearance in court, and had been set at liberty until day of trial. Not believing the whole of Mr. Browning's report, I called for another and more detailed report, asking name of bailee, etc., whereupon Mr. Browning on the 29th inst. reported that he had understood that M. B. F. Barden, Faulk's employer was to become the bailee and that he had released Faulk, before the bail bond had been signed, that subsequently Faulk had run away and Barden now refused to sign the bond|
|Clara Anderson (colored)||Calhoun Nichols (white)||verbal quarrel||May 25, 1867||Greenville, SC||Calhoun Nichols, a mere boy, was, May 25.67, quarreling with Clara Anderson, a colored girl, because she would not call him "Mr. Nichols," he, however, calling her "Clara." Both were engaged in cleaning a church in Greenville. Clara Anderson persisted in calling him "Calhoun," whereupon he struck her. I had him arrested and bought before a Magistrate, but in consideration of his youth and the fact that he begged Clara Anderson's pardon, paid her ten dollars damages and the Magistrate's costs, I allowed the case to be dropped, warning him however that he had no right to call other people, not in his employ, by their Christian names and require them to address him as a Master|
|Reuben Thompson (colored)||Leslie Slawson (white)||threatening to kill||June 22, 1867||[unclear]||Reuben Thompson is employed by J. A. Shirer, father-in-law of Leslie Slawson. June 22.67 when Mr. Shirer was absent, Leslie Slawson gave orders to Reuben Thompson to go into the woods for certain timber. It was raining and Reuben, whose contract does not require him to work on rainy days, refused. Both quarreled. Slawson ran to his house, took a gun and pointed the same at Reuben. The gun was taken from him by members of his family, when he ran into the house and seized a pistol. Slawson was arrested and tried in Provost Court, held by me June 25,1867, and the following sentence was passed -- approved by Comr. officer, Post of Charleston -- that Leslie Slawson pay a fine of fifty dollars or be confined at hard labor for fifty days and confiscation of gun and pistol|
|Niziah Adams||Mrs. B. Beayeum, R. Kay, John Kay, W. Prewet, E. Prewet, Joseph Ashley, Jessy Ashley, and Oliver Brampon||assault and battery||July 14, 1867||Anderson District, SC||Accused were arrested & bought before the Post Committee charged with being concerned with this outrage. After an examination they were released|
|Polly Woodson||Emery Conly (white)||assault with intent to kill||July 16, 1867||Anderson District, SC||arrested by the civil authority and held to bail|
|Hickory Foster (colored)||John W. Hamlin (white)||assault and battery||June 1867||Mount Holly, Charleston, SC||in the latter part of June, Hickory Foster came from Charleston to Mount Holly in the cars. When he got out of the cars he laid on the ground a bundle and 2 plains (planes?). John W. Hamlin picked up one of the plains and threw it against the Rail Road Car. When remonstrated with by Foster, he used abusive language and kicked him with his foot|
|Taby Comell (colored)||T. J. Harvey (white)||assault and battery||August 23, 1867||Simpson Plantation, SC||Taby Comell works on T. J. Harvey's plantn. On or about Aug. 23rd both had a dispute and Harvey assaulted and struck Comell. Referred to Magistrate, René Davenel, Aug. 24, 1867|
|John Wesley (colored)||P. M. C. Earnest (white, magistrate)||false imprisonment||August 1867||Wassamasaw Swamp, SC||John Wesley had in the latter part of May a dispute with a white woman, Ann Fielder, sister of P. M. C. Earnest, in regard to who was to turn out, both meeting on a narrow road, Wesley driving a heavy timbercart and Ann Fielder a buggy. Wesley was arrested by Earnest, not allowed to bring his witnesses, was sent to Charleston jail and there confined for 2 ½ months, when he was released without trial|
|Thomas Turner (white)||Wallace Williams (freedman)||knife stab in back||August 20, 1867||Greenville, SC||in jail, awaiting trial [sentenced by District Court of Greenville to six months labor on the roads]|
|Terry Benson||Taylor Clark||flesh wound in arm from revolver||August 15, 1867||Greenville District, SC||report of action not received|
|Berry Blasingame||Henry Stigall and Patrick Stigall||beating and scratching||August 25, 1867||Greenville District, SC||referred to J. R. Gossett, magistrate. Offenders have taken refuge in the swamps|
|Miles M. N. Hunnicutt||December Gadsen, Nat Frazier, John Keith, Jack Walker, Green Cleveland, Jr., Jackson Henderson (freedmen)||murder||October 12, 1867||Pendleton, Pickens District, SC||The six freedmen named in column of offenders were tried by Superior court in Pickens Dist. & found guilty of murder & sentenced to be hung Dec. 6, 1867. Eighteen other freedmen were convicted of riot & sentenced to various terms, from eleven to fourteen months of penitentiary. See report of Refugees & Freedmen for particulars|
|Yancy Carter||John Harrison||knife wound in the right buttock, 2 inches wide and 2 1/2 inches deep, no dangerous||March 5, 1868||Greenville Courthouse, Greenville, SC||no arrest. Affair compromised, with cognizance of Mr. Wm. E. Earle, Magistrate. See Special Report of date 8th March|
|Andrew Walker||Paddy McDavid, Newton McDavid, Andrew McDavid, and others||severe beating||April 12, 1868||Greenville District, SC||warrant issued. No arrest. Offenders said to have fled|
|Allen Pickens and Samuel Duck||Solomon Walls and David Baily||beating. Pickens wounded in forehead with cock of pistol & Duck shot at||April 21, 1868||Greenville District||civil authorities failing, Mil. called in & walls arrested by Salter on the 28th for using pistol, just as he & Baily had been arrested by the civil authorities|
|Louis Hunter||Jerry Hunt, Marion Miller, Andrew Cooper, William Algood, Ed Algood, George Thomas, Joshua Thomas, &c.||while in custody of 1st party named (a constable) was laid across a barrel, whipped & pistol snapped against his head & breast &c.||April 14, 1868||Pickens District, SC||referred to civil authorities & Mil. called on to arrest at least those who had pistols|
|William Blye and Mary Blye||Frank Hunt||severely beaten on their own place wholly without cause||April 18, 1868||Pickens District, SC||referred to civil authorities & not as yet heard from|
|Samuel Thompson||Henderson Jenkins||shot in arm & bowels||May 5, 1968||Greenville, SC||warrant issued|
|James Thomas, Henry Thomas, Levi Thomas||Benjamin Garrett, Irvine Garrett, William James, Edgar Cox and three others unknown||James beaten, Henry’s house assaulted, Levi’s broken into, and all three threatened with hanging if they voted the Republican ticket||May 25, 1868||Greenville District, SC||warrant issued but not served|
|Rachel Foster, Randal Foster (her son, a minor)||T. E. Bowie (acting constable), Samuel Mundy, John H. Mundy, George Lomax, and Andrew Stevenson||under an unlawful warrant issued by James McCaslan J. P. by direction of Mr. Hartar, broke into her house and by force of arms took her son back to Mr. Stevenson who claimed to be his employer||May 30, 1868||Abbeville District, SC||released the boy from contract with Mr. Stevenson, unwittingly signed by him without the cognizance of his mother. Outrage referred to the civil authorities and not heard since heard from|
|Moses Scott, William Scott (his minor son), Pleasant Scott (his minor son)||Jasckson Dooley||turned him off, whipped his two sons without his consent||June 23, 1868||Abbeville District, SC||wrote to him about Father. Outrage referred to C. A. and not yet heard from|
|Richard Lee||D. Dowden||assaulted & turned him off||June 10, 1868||Abbeville District||wrote. Assault referred to C. A. & not heard from|
|Maria Palate||Turner Ellis||struck her and on her leaving withheld her effects||June 10, 1868||Abbeville, SC||ordered to give up things. Assault referred to C. A. and not yet heard from|
|Imson Logan||Keith Ingraham||threatening his life. Beat him & his wife and shot at him in 1866 & ran off. Just returned.||June 11, 1868||Abbeville, SC||referred to C. A. Warrant issued but not executed|
|Annie Rucker, Issac Rucker (son, aged 12)||Thomas Kofer||kidnapped and taken into Georgia||April 1868||Abbeville, SC||Lieut. request through Asst. Commis. To have case attended to|
|Nelson Joiner||Ku Klux Klan||house burnt||June 6, 1868||Abbeville, SC||parties unknown. No action possible|
|Caesar Speed||David Miller||drove off and struck him||June 2, 1868||Abbeville, SC||wrote. Assault referred to C. A., not heard from|
|William Howard||B. L. Norris||assaulted him with a pistol||June 4, 1868||Abbeville, SC||brought to the attention of C. A. & nothing done|
|Agnes Berry, Harriet Berry||James Ritchie||June 1, 1868||beat them||Abbeville, SC||referred to C. A. & not heard from|
|Benjamin Baskin||James Reese||shot at him||June 6, 1868||Abbeville District, SC||referred to C. A. and not yet heard from|
|Andrew Dunn||I. J. Razor||turned him off and struck him||June 20, 1868||Abbeville, SC||settlement pending. Referred otherwise to C. A. & not heard from|
|M. A. Dunwood||Joe Wilson||bear her||June 25, 1868||Abbeville, SC||referred to civil authorities & not heard from|
|Mary Williams||Thomas Arnold||bear her with a hoe||July 3, 1868||Abbeville District, SC||warrant issued by J. P. but not yet executed|
|Caroline Carr||James Belcher||beat & kicked her||June 30, 1868||Abbeville District, SC||referred to Squire Giles & not yet heard from|
|Charles Moore & wife||Mrs. Burnett & her son||Mrs. B. struck the wife & the son assaulted both with pistol||June 30, 1868||Abbeville District, SC||Squire Merriweather forced to issue warrant against son; not yet executed|
|Lizzie Blackwell||Alfred Blackwell||choked and otherwise abused her||July 22, 1868||Abbeville District, SC||referred to Squire Giles & not yet heard from|
|Junior McIntosh||C. L. Cason||beat him severely & sent him to jail on charge of attempt at rape on sister||July 19, 1868||Abbeville District, SC||Warrant issued against Cason by Squire McCord on failure of Squire Sharp because Plaintiff had no land & could not give white security to prosecute|
|Anderson Johnson||Samuel Carter||struck & drove him off||July 24, 1868||Abbeville District||warrant issued by Squire McCord but not executed|
|Peter Harrison||John Dawkins||beat him||July 4, 1868||Abbeville District||warrant issued by Squire McCord but not executed|
|Elsie Richie||John Godman||beat her severely||July 20, 1868||Abbeville District||warrant issued by Squire McCord but not executed|
|Winnie Anderson||Albert Hamlin||took her son off into Alabama||January 1868||Abbeville District||reported on July 8th|
|Wade Hampton?||Pinceton Howard?||Beat & abused her||July 15, 1868||Abbeville District, SC||referred to Squire Tarrant & not yet heard from|
|Foley Huckerby||George Marvin||beat her||July 15, 1868||Abbeville District, SC||returned to Squire Giles who had refused to act|
|Charlotte Lines, Amanda Lines (her daughter)||William McDaniel||beat them both||July 17, 1868||Abbeville District, SC||referred to Squire Maddison & not yet heard from|
|Charles Plumber||John Ridge||beat him about 1/2 hour||July 12, 1868||Abbeville District, SC||referred to Squire Jas. McCaslan & not heard from|
|Maria Mickerson||John Ramsey||beat and drove her off||July 20, 1868||Abbeville District||referred to Squire Chifley & not heard from|
|Joe Smith||Louis Russell||locked him in store & beat hi badly||July 25, 1868||Abbeville District, SC||[none]|
|Levi James||Wright||beat his son, 10 years old||July 17, 1868||Abbeville District, SC||referred to Squire Giles and not yet heard from|
|Nelson Freman||Samuel Cage & others unknown||took him out his bed at night & whipped him because he was a Republican||[illegible]||Abbeville County, SC||advised him to try & discover the others before taking any action|
|George Alexander||Nat Haynes||assaulted him for being a Republican||July 13, 1868||Abbeville County, SC||Dropped by Plaintiff|
|Josh Wardlaw||William Hammond, P. Blackwell, Coon & others||took him out his bed at night, stripped, whipped & on his running off, shot 3 times at him because he was a Republican||May 17, 1868||Abbeville County, SC||referred to Squire McCord, who says Plaintiff could not swear to the parties, although he declared to me he could|
|George Williams||Benjamin Hunter||beat & threatened to kill him||August 22, 1868||Abbeville County, SC||referred to Squire Sharp and not heard from|
|Seabrow Alston||John Ivie, Little & one other unknown||claiming to be the K. K. K. called him out of his house at night & shot at him.||August 1, 1868||Abbeville County, SC||referred to Squire J. McCaslan & not heard from|
|Tom Clinkscales||Samuel Knox||beat him||August 1868||Abbeville Courthouse, Abbeville, SC||complained to Squire McCord who while promising did nothing|
|Jane Lines||John Lines||assault & battery||August 8, 1868||Abbeville County, SC||referred to Squire McCaslan & not heard from|
|Ibbey Maddox||Kirpatric||threw her & things out house she occupied for year on contract||August 1868||Abbeville County, SC||warrant wrung from Squire McCord for a trespass, but not & probably never will be served|
|Andy Hall||“Rep.” Morrow||beat him on charge of stealing a Turkey||July 29, 1868||Abbeville County||reported compromised by plaintiff for $10.00|
|Fannie Parker||James Moore||assault & battery||August 8, 1868||Abbeville Courthouse, Abbeville, SC||referred to Squire McCord by whom suppressed|
|Sallie Moore||Caroline Mays||assaultt & battery||August 17, 1868||Abbeville Courthouse, Abbeville, SC||Plaintiff placed under recognizance by Squire McCord, but warrant not served on Defendant|
|George Webb||George Miller||in his absence tore down the house occupied under contract for the year||August 22, 1868||Abbeville County||referred to Squire Sharp & not heard from|
|Hannah Ritchie||John Robert||having taken her son John, 13 years old, out to Mississippi, on returning in early part of '68 said he had left him in Big Swamp.||Fall 1866||Abbeville County, SC||having moved into Anderson, told her to find out where and if possible, also in what Co. in Miss. her son was left & let me know|
|Alfred Elliss||Lee Russell (“Town Marshall”)||shot at, with an expressed intent to kill him, without any justification||August 25, 1868||Abbeville County, SC||referred to Squire McCord, where it is presumed it will rest----Later: the "difficulty" made up, before McC|
|Henry Shird||Davis Stacy||shot him in right shoulder where the ball still rests with intent to kill||August 22, 1868||Abbeville County, SC||warrant issued by Squire Sharp, but not executed|
|Chey Maddison||James Taylor||beat her||July 29, 1868||Abbeville County, SC||applied to Squire Maddison who did nothing. Warrant issued by Squire McCord, but not served|
|Wylie James||Davis Stacy||shot him dead, at night, in door of house of his son-in-law for whom he was mistaken||August 28, 1868||near Cokesburg||on Squire Sharp refusing to issue warrant on circumstantial proof, issued at C. H., but Stacy reported to have left warrant with Sheriff|
|Joe Halsenback||J. Crackonhorn, Bill, Josh, and Howard||broke in his door at night, and assaulting, cut his head, when he drove them off with an axed, cutting Howard||August 27, 1868||Abbeville County, SC||referred to Squire J. McCaslan on the 31st|
|Henry Moore, Nelson Martin, Moses Martin, Josh Wardlaw||Blackwell, William Harman & 10 others unknown||broke into their houses at night, smashed their guns, stripped, whipped & shot at them &c. because they were Radicals.||April 19, 1868||Abbeville County, SC||Case of Wardlaw ref'd to Squire McCord some time ago & nothing done. Others sent to Squire J. McCaslan who has not as yet done anything. Offenders said to live in Edgefield|
|George W. Hunter, James Martin||George Brown, Joe Brown||assault & battery||September 3, 1868||Abbeville County, SC||referred to Squire McCord|
|Daniel Jones||Willis Craft, John Morgan||broke into his house at night & Craft shot him in bed in the arm||September 8, 1868||Abbeville County, SC||no complaint. Reported only|
|Mary Arnold & son||Henry Cobb||beat them both||September 23, 1868||Abbeville County, SC||referred to Squire Tarrant & not heard from|
|Nancy Scott||Jack Dooley||beat & threw her outdoors||September 2, 1868||Abbeville County, SC||referred to Squire McCord|
|Lavinia White||Robin Gilmore||beat her & she being with child tried to strike her on the abdomen with a hoe||September 16, 1868||Abbeville County, SC||referred to Squire J. McCaslan and not hear from|
|Isaac Black or Brown Isaac Lee||Stephen McKee||shot at night at corn crib in shoulder & bowels supposed to be by McKee. Died 18th||September 10, 1868||[not listed]||no action taken|
|Amelia Roberts||Quitman Marshall, Foster Marshall||beaten, kicked &c. by first, & threatened with pistol by the other||September 21, 1868||Abbeville County, SC||warrant against first exhorted from Squire McC|
|Adam Gordon||Lee Russell (“Town Marshall”)||assault & battery||September 7, 1868||Abbeville Courthouse, Abbeville, SC||no warrant issued by Squire McCord to whom referred|
|Edie Mansarinse||Edward Swenagan||beat her||August 14, 1868||Abbeville County||referred to Squire McCord|
|Jeff Buchanan||William Talbert||shot him dead in field||September 4, 1868||Abbeville County, SC||no complaint from relatives & no action taken that is known of|
|Mans Calhoun||John Thompson, Thomas Quarles||locked him in store and gave him over 100 lashes||September 9, 1868||Abbeville Courthouse, Abbeville, SC||no complaint|
|Ben Wraith and several others||12 unknown||attacked and drove all the inmates out of 5 houses firth several shots — at night — saying they were after Radicals||September 10, 1868||Abbeville County, SC||referred to Squire Tarrant|
|Andrew Wilson||Unknown||shot at night in hand & back||September 1868||Abbeville County, SC||no action. No complaint reported|
|Jacob Halloway||Dr. William Wright, George Wright||assault & battery with knife & pistol with threats to kill||September 15, 1868||Abbeville County, SC||referred to nearest Magistrate|
|name not known||Boozer, Tom Arnold, Gus Aiken, Bill Monday||broke into his house at night & violently destroyed Republican Tickets which he had for distribution next day||November 2, 1868||near Cokesburg||case in the hands of the Dept. State Constable|
|Frank Talbert||K.K.K.||was stopped on the road at night & made to swear that he would vote the Democratic ticket||October 28, 1868||neighborhood of “Childs Box”||reported to Dep. State Constable for the county|
|Frank Talbert, Henry Cake, Spencer Cothran||K.K.K.||came to their houses after them at night & as they were lying out took off a pistol of 2nd party named||November 5, 1868||neighborhood of “Childs Box”||reported to Dep. State Constable for the county|
|Mason Parker||K.K.K.||came to his house at night and searched for him to kill him. Has been lying in woods for month & has had to leave place||November 22, 1868||Long Cane, SC||reported to Dep. State Constable for the county|
|innumerable||K.K.K.||have been lying out in the woods since some time before the election to save being murdered in their beds, their houses having in the mean time been frequently visited at night for that purpose||[blank]||Long Cane, SC; Gold Mine, SC & outer regions||reported to Dep. State Constable for the county|
|Anthony Marshall, Washington Green, Dick Brady, Wade Hamilton, Jackson Griffin, Reuben Watson, Allen Goode||Dr. Moses Taggart, Joe Cannaday, John Butler, George Hughes, Harvey Ragan, Jim Briscoe, Collison & many others names unknown||nthony Marshall killed, Green, Brady, Hamilton, Griffin & Watson wounded, Goode beaten, at a riot instigated by Taggart & participated in by the others, whereby the Freedmen were prevented from voting on that place||November 3, 1868||White Hall, SC||reported to Dep. State. Constable for the County. Reported also to Hd. Qts. with the exception of the names of Griffin & Watson, not previously reported|
|name not known||unknown||wounded by pistol shot at a a general shooting by a party who thereby kept the Freedmen from voting||November 3, 1868||Calhoun’s Mill||
reported to Dep. St. Constable
|Jake Jones||unknown two or more||killed in his house at night while attention to make his escape from his assailants, was upward of 75 years old||November 3, 1868||near Moseley’s||reported to Dept. St. Constable & to Hd. Qts|
|innumerable||various parties||were prevented from voting by violence & threats of violence -- it being in most instances publicly declared that death would be visited on any one who attempted to vote the Republican ticket||October & November, 1868||[blank]||the names of all parties as far as known handed in to the Dep. St. Constable|
Credit: Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of South Carolina, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1870, National Archives Microfilm Publication M869 Roll 34, "Reports of Murders and Outrages"