Affidavit of J. H. Hopkins

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″

State of North Carolina
Alamance County
August 1st, 1870

This day personally appeared before me, P. R. Harden, an acting Justice of the Peace for said County, J. F. Hopkins who being duly sworn deposeth and says:

I joined an organization called the White Brotherhood about two years ago at a place between John and William Newlins. I was taken there by William Stockard. I was persuaded into it by William Stockard, he asked me if I did not want to hunt the Ku Klux, I told him I would as soon go as not. I thought he knew they were to pass some place and I would go with him and see them, when we got to the place we met a man who took me to where there were several more men. I told them I did not want to join, they said if I did not join now I would be killed, one of them who they called Chief administered the Oath to me. I have attended two meetings, there was present at the first meeting William Stockard, Alfred Newlin, John Newlin, Cave Cates, Thomas R. Moore, Seymour Coble, Jasper N. Wood – Jasper N. Wood and Seymour Coble kept a list of new members as they were initiated; in those meetings sentence was passed on the Republican Party and it was determined to hang them or stop them from voting; the object of the meetings was to take the law in our own hands and to whip or hang anyone we saw proper to. At the first meeting we elected the following officers: William Stockard, Chief; John Newlin Esq., Lieutenant; and _____________ Captain.

We appointed another meeting to be held at Spring Meeting House; there was at this meeting Mathew Hopkins, William Stockard, Thomas Robison Jr., Alfred Newlin, Cave Cates, we expected several more but they did not come. Nothing of importance was done at the meeting. We appointed another meeting to be held at Mallet’s old Still House; the object of the third meeting was to make arrangements to go and whip William Maynor. It was suggested by William Stockard and Thomas Robison that Maynor should be whipped for reporting persons for illegal distilling. John Duke and John Stockard told me that there was to be a meeting to make arrangements to drown or hang Thomas Norwood. Duke said that the “Damned old son of a bitch ought to be hung.” I was on one raid but not disguised; there was with me Mathew Hopkins, John Duke, Newton Robison, Chesley Robison, Ed. Freeman, George Stockard; they were all disguised. We went to Dan Worth’s (colored), the others left me at the fence to hold the horses and went to the house and took out Dan Worth and Arch Dark, colored, and whipped them and took a pistol away from them. We next went to Alfred White’s, they left me at the fence with the horses and went to the house and called him up and took him out and whipped him (they all took part in the whipping); they said they whipped him for running after Thomas Norwood’s girls. They said that they intended to carry the next election if they had to kill or run off all the Negroes.

We next went to Johathan Zachreys. I was again left with the horses; the rest went to the house; he opened the door and they went in and told him he must keep his crazy daughter at home if he did not they would call upon him again (his daughter was in the habit of going where she pleased in the neighborhood). William Stockard has been turned out of office as Chief of our Camp and John Duke elected in his place. I told John Duke the Chief I did not want to go on this raid, that I had no gown; he told me I must go, that I could mind the horses. Mathew Hopkins told me that he heard there was to be a meeting at Gilbreaths Bridge to go and hang S. M. Shoffner and he told them he would not go himself. The following are members of the organization: William C. Moore, David Moore, Thomas Guthrie, Henry Duke. I would have given anything to have got out of the organization, but could not get out without telling it and if I told, I would have been killed; they told me if I told anything that I should hang to a limb.

James F. (X) Hopkins

Witness
S. J. Turner

Sworn and subscribed before me this day August 1st, 1870.
P. R. Harden, J. P.