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South Carolina Ku Klux Klan Trials: 1871-72 - The South Carolina Klan, The Ku Klux Klan Act, The Trials Begin, Suggestions For Further Reading

imprisonment fine mitchell blacks

Defendants: Robert Hayes Mitchell, John W. Mitchell, Thomas B. Whitesides, John S. Millar (Miller), Edward T. Avery
Crimes Charged: Conspiracy to prevent blacks from voting; conspiracy to oppress, threaten, and intimidate blacks who had exercised their right to vote in 1870
Chief Defense Lawyers: Reverdy Johnson, Henry Stanbery, James F. Hart, C. D. Melton, W. B. Wilson and F. W. McMaster
Chief Prosecutors: Daniel H. Chamberlain, David T. Corbin
Judges: Hugh L. Bond, George S. Bryan
Place: Columbia, South Carolina
Date of Trial: December 1871-January 1872
Verdicts: Guilty
Sentences: Robert Hayes Mitchell: 18 months imprisonment and a $100 fine; John W. Mitchell: 5 years imprisonment and a$1,000 fine; Whitesides: 12 months imprisonment and a $100 fine; Millar: 3 months imprisonment and a $20 fine; Avery: fled before sentencing and later pardoned by President Ulysses S. Grant

SIGNIFICANCE: With the arrest and later trials of several Ku Klux Klan members in the South, particularly South Carolina, the federal government attempted to demonstrate the lengths it would go to in order to preserve the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution.

Six bored Confederate veterans founded the original Ku Klux Klan (KKK) as a social club on December 24, 1865, in Pulaski, Tennessee. The organization existed less than 10 years, but for decades it was glorified as the instrument by which northern carpetbaggers and Radical Republicans were driven out of the South, illiterate and "savage" blacks were put down, and whites were restored to their "rightful place" in southern society. This myth reached its height in the early twentieth century with the 1905 publication of Thomas Dixon's novel The Clansmen, and the release 10 years later of D. W. Griffith's movie The Birth of a Nation; its truth is a fundamental tenet to every modern Klansman.

In reality, the original KKK was a brutal terrorist movement that lynched and shot hundreds and beat, whipped, raped, and mutilated thousands more. While most of its victims were black, other targets included northern whites who moved south after the Civil War, southern whites who supported the federal government's Reconstruction policy, and anyone who violated what the Klan considered the proper social order. A reign of terror existed throughout much of the former Confederacy, and in many places the state and local authorities could do nothing to stop it.

Ku Klux Klan attacking black family inside their home. (drawing by Frank Bellew, Harper's Weekly) Ku Klux Klan attacking black family inside their home. (drawing by Frank Bellew, Harper's Weekly)

a Slave State of Missouri v. Celia: 1855 - Celia Speaks, The Trial Begins, On To The Missouri Supreme Court, Suggestions For Further Reading [next] [back] Slaughterhouse Cases - The Slaughterhouse Monopoly, Monopoly As "servitude", Equal Protection, Further Readings

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over 5 years ago

I am not afraid to tell everybody of who I am and why I am the way I am towards the colored race! To hear a black man stand to my face and call me a white honky or a white Cracker or call us white women whores or dogs or sluts that came out of our Mothers bellies and everything else. You people who want votes on such as this are crazy, They should be bringing back the Klan and giving trhem the freedom to do what ever it took to put the black race right back where it belonged.

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over 4 years ago

i like big butts and i cannot lie

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over 5 years ago

I had a father who was in the Klan and my own Grandfather who was in the Klan as a Grand Dragon, and my husbands Daddy and his Grandpa and his brother had joined. But there were reasons that this went on, and I for one had to agree. White girls getting out here and givi ng themselves to the Black man, having babies by them, and for what drugs, that is for what. Young women now being threatened by Black men who just up and move into their neighborhoods , right next door to them, they are forced to allow a Black man to be allowed to build a garage on their properties to park their cars and trucks in, and the white people have no more say so over this, then the man in the moon! Our children having to have to go to school side by side with these kids, I'll tell you this was a mistake. They say the South will

rise again, well, I say When, when the Black man begins to run into your homes and start placing leg irons on the whites and selling them for slaves, and making them have to work from sun up to sun down.

And then maybe the South will rise up and start doing what is right to get rid of these blacks and theirt drugs and these mexicans too! They

don't belong here either. Time was a black man knew his place and knew better than to speak to a white woman like I have been spoken too!

And to have a blqack man to just stand and pull out his well you know and piss upside of your house, and stand drunkenly and laugh at youi the whole time, and say, Honey you just come on over here to my house and shake hisself at you and say , you get up on this here thing and I can promise you - you will never want another white man long as you live. But you have got top know here that a Black man carries a Black mans disease. Sickle cell anemia. And you might as well as call yourself dead if he ever comes bool on blood of you and you get it from him.

Thats all I can say, the Klan is so scared to even move now. We cannot even put up the flag our men and women fought under here, for fear of what the black people will say. They are oover populating our country for welfare checks and foodstamps they don't deserve. And us white people are sitting back and are doing without. Yes I am angry about this and am destroyed by this. My Daddy and my Grandpa said if I ever needed the Klan to turn back to my roots of which I was born. Well I have tried and all I have gotten for it is seeing how our klansmen are turned to cowards because they are made afraid of the same laws which was klansmen themselves. And thats a poor way to become the law, to kiss the Black bottoms of A BLACKMAN.

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over 5 years ago

I had a father who was in the Klan and my own Grandfather who was in the Klan as a Grand Dragon, and my husbands Daddy and his Grandpa and his brother had joined. But there were reasons that this went on, and I for one had to agree. White girls getting out here and givi ng themselves to the Black man, having babies by them, and for what drugs, that is for what. Young women now being threatened by Black men who just up and move into their neighborhoods , right next door to them, they are forced to allow a Black man to be allowed to build a garage on their properties to park their cars and trucks in, and the white people have no more say so over this, then the man in the moon! Our children having to have to go to school side by side with these kids, I'll tell you this was a mistake. They say the South will

rise again, well, I say When, when the Black man begins to run into your homes and start placing leg irons on the whites and selling them for slaves, and making them have to work from sun up to sun down.

And then maybe the South will rise up and start doing what is right to get rid of these blacks and theirt drugs and these mexicans too! They

don't belong here either. Time was a black man knew his place and knew better than to speak to a white woman like I have been spoken too!

And to have a blqack man to just stand and pull out his well you know and piss upside of your house, and stand drunkenly and laugh at youi the whole time, and say, Honey you just come on over here to my house and shake hisself at you and say , you get up on this here thing and I can promise you - you will never want another white man long as you live. But you have got top know here that a Black man carries a Black mans disease. Sickle cell anemia. And you might as well as call yourself dead if he ever comes bool on blood of you and you get it from him.

Thats all I can say, the Klan is so scared to even move now. We cannot even put up the flag our men and women fought under here, for fear of what the black people will say. They are oover populating our country for welfare checks and foodstamps they don't deserve. And us white people are sitting back and are doing without. Yes I am angry about this and am destroyed by this. My Daddy and my Grandpa said if I ever needed the Klan to turn back to my roots of which I was born. Well I have tried and all I have gotten for it is seeing how our klansmen are turned to cowards because they are made afraid of the same laws which was klansmen themselves. And thats a poor way to become the law, to kiss the Black bottoms of A BLACKMAN.

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over 9 years ago

i think that racism is not the answer or solvent to anyone asnwer.. The KKK is nothing but a group thats only job is to spread hatred and racism.. the treated blacks as trash like an animal and if they didnt want blacks to be able to have freedom then why did u bring them here to the united states. im not racist and i have many black friends but the south made the decision to bring them here and for them to think that slavery was gonna last forever there wrong. The KKK is a horrible group and they should not be allowed to bring down people and spread racism and thats the only reason they are doing it!

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over 9 years ago

I don't like the way the Ku Klux Klan treated Blacks. In the inside we all look the same. I am doing a reasearch paper and this website is helping me alot.

Thank You.

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almost 10 years ago

i think that the ku klux klan is not right by attacking black families because its not right. i feel that they won't like it if we came after the like that. iwant to know what did we ever do to them to make them come aftre us we are not niggers either we are African Amaericans and i don't care what they say about our race we all have problems we are no different than white people. so why they treat us like that we want our freedom oh i forgot we got freedom. our ancestors fought to hard for thjis to be still going on in this world. The ku klan talking about "White Power" I'm here to say "Black Power" we stand to our race and we should not be treated like this they call us niggers m but how you like thje word crackers

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almost 7 years ago

Unbelieveable, It is astonishing the way simple-minded people are still guided by hate in the 21st century. In fact, hate groups have progressed as well. Most of their children have been highly-educated and conduct their hate crimes on an entirely different level. Most keep their identity secret, which is much more dangerous then the hillbillies commenting and acting like idiots on a regular basis.



The sleeper cells are much more advanced. They befriend minorities, particularly African-Americans, and secretively attempt to ruin their lives by invading and intruding on all personal levels, attaching them in secrecy. This includes those holding high positions in major corporations and political positions as well. They have become doctors, lawyers and government officials, using their authority and influence to prosper caucasians and their other loyal allies, who may be members of other races, such as the American indians, some hispanics, who adopt the frame of thought: "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!" Yes, this is extremely troubling.

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over 7 years ago

I think that people have more to worry about than trying to get rid of or scare a race now. Everyone is trying to live and make something of their life. And there is no time to worry about the next man if you're focused on you. And no matter how hard you try there will still be blacks in the world, and only god can change that. So Bria Mcteer, get a life.

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over 7 years ago

I personally think that the kkk we're nothing but a whole bunch of cowards hiding behind their white sheets how sad is that. Life has a funny way of taking back what was once taken from it. So to all those people out there that think that hatred and racism is not punishable i suggest you wake-up and smell the coffee. Because if the justice of mankind don't reach you then the justice of god all mighty will and then you would've wish that the justice of mankind you've got you first. And for this fool bria mcteer you in for a rude awaking.

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over 9 years ago

hello.

i believe that these white people weremean to tha black people

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over 7 years ago

i love the idea of the ku klux klan. how can i become a member? whens the next meeting?

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about 9 years ago

It never occurred to me that any member of my family (MAHAFFEY) would ever have been a member of the KKK (Ku Klux Klan); however, my father told me years ago that my great-grandfather was arrested and convicted of lynching. It is not something that I am proud of by any means. Yet, I want to find out if indeed he was part of this. Part of me hoping that it did not happen, and part wanting to fill in the genealogy of the family including such "black sheep." Any ideas or direction would be welcomed in my intellectual search into this dark portion of oir history.

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almost 2 years ago

there is some personal information of mine on this page that I would like to be removed. I couldn't find anyway to contact the owner, so I'm leaving a comment. Please respond or I will have to take matters to a higher authority.