The Reconstruction Ku Klux Klan in York County, South Carolina, 1865–1877


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About the Book

The Reconstruction was to be a time of rebuilding and healing for the South following the Civil War, but was marked by the continued strong hatred and hostility between liberated African Americans and angry Ku Klux Klan members. This work deals with the Reconstruction-era Klan, a paramilitary group with political aims using violence and intimidation to achieve its goals. It addresses exclusively the Klan’s activities in York County, South Carolina, during the years 1865–1877, and clarifies some misconceptions about the Reconstruction Klan and disentangles it from later organizations that used the same name.

About the Author(s)

Retired minister Jerry L. West is a local historian of York County, South Carolina. He has written three books on York County and numerous articles.

Bibliographic Details

Jerry L. West

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 222
Bibliographic Info: 12 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010 [2002]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4343-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii
Preface      xi
Introduction     1

1 Opening Scenes to Fury     15
2 Advent of the Ku Klux Klan     34
3 A Threat of Violence     45
4 The Klan Wars      64
5 Federal Intervention     77
6 Colonel Merrill Begins Arrests     89
7 The Klan Trials      97
8 Peace Returns to York County    109

1 Oath, Constitution and Bylaws of the Ku Klux Klan    119
2 Captain James Williams     123
3 James Rufus Bratton, M.D.     126
4 John Hannibal White     131
5 Elijah Ross Sepaugh     134
6 York County Men Imprisoned at the Albany Penitentiary    137
7 Prison Life at the Albany Penitentiary     139
8 Presidential Pardons     143
9 Samuel Gordon Brown     145
10 An Act to Provide for the Protection of Persons, Property and Public Peace    155
11 Union League Oath     159

Notes     161
Bibliography     197
Index     201