Activities of the Klan in Stokes County, North Carolina

Letters Received by the Office of the Adjutant General (Main Series), 1871 – 1880

National Archives Microfilm Publication M666 Roll 1

“Statements, depositions, and other records submitted by Gov. William W. Holden relating to crimes of the Ku Klux Klan against citizens of North Carolina, 1869 – 1871″

Stokes Co., N. C.
Oct. 23, 1870

I believe the infamous order of Thugs existed here in the fall of 1867. Tobacco traders and distillers who were in the habit of evading the revenue laws and more especially the tobacco peddlers to South Carolina and Georgia were the first persons to become acquainted with the concern and to initiate others in this region and to practice the diabolical edict of the order.

Just before the Presidential election I had information that three councils of Ku Klux existed in the County. One act of theirs was to attack and beat Stephen Bynum, a colored man, near Germantown. A number of masked men took him out of his house late at night and whipped him on account of his being a Republican.

About the same time a number of masked men rode through the town of Germantown and while a party of colored people of both sexes were dancing, fired into the house and badly wounded a colored man in the knee.

Various other acts have been committed at different periods (of whipping).

Parties of masked men have been seen in many localities and men of prominence have received letters containing threats of violence to them on account of their political opinions.

Threats of violence have frequently been made to colored men who lived on the land of rebels that they would be dispossessed if they voted for Republicans. The proper authorities who have been informed of these facts were either afraid to move in the matter, or did not care about it. Nothing has been done more than to make some little pretense.

Please do not use my name.

I certify on honor that the above is a true copy of a letter from Stokes County on file in the Executive Department.
J. B. Neathey,
Private Secretary