Affidavit of W. S. Bradshaw

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

On this the 30th day of July 1870 personally appeared before me W. A. Albright, Superior Court Clerk for Alamance County, W. S. Bradshaw and after being duly sworn deposeth and says that on or about the first part of the year 1869 I was initiated into the Order of __________ known and commonly called Ku Klux. I was installed by Jacob A. Long in his room. I was sworn that if ever I revealed any of the secrets of the Order I was to suffer death and should be the first victim. I understood Jacob A. Long to be the Chief of the County. Previous to this I met with Dr. Jno. A. Walker who asked me if I did not want to join a secret political organization. I answered him that I had been a member of one such and did not want to connect myself with any other, he then said there was such in the County and told me that Jacob A. Long could give me further information and in addition to this give me some of the signs. After this I was in Graham on business and in the evening I was approached by Cleve C. Curtis who carried me out behind Dr. J. K. Ruffin’s Drug Store and asked me if I did not want to know more about a certain thing than I did. I answered as I did to Dr. Walker, he then said that he would be damned if I did not know too much unless I knew more. After talking over the matter he told me that he would conduct me to a place where I could become a full member. Upon this information I was initiated as above stated.

There was present J. C. Boyd and others I do not remember who. The first meeting I attended was at the house where Jack Thompson formerly resided. I think there was nothing done worthy of notice except the initiation of some new members. There was present J. N. Wood, James Foust, James Bradshaw, Joseph B. Thompson (these were officers) and John Fur, Polk Bradshaw, Fisher Bradshaw, Mike Fur and others I do not remember. The new members were Haywood Crutchfield, Patterson Thompson Esqr., and George Crutchfield.

I attended second meeting at William Fur’s house on the night of Dr. Walker’s sale, there were present J. N. Wood, James Foust and James Bradshaw (officers), J. R. Stockard, J. N. H. Clendennin, George Long, Mike Thompson, John Woods (as an officer), Dick Thompson and Joe B., Alex Thompson, and James & John Albright, and others I do not remember. Either at this meeting or the one previous there was a move made to make a raid near Hillsboro. I opposed the move and told them if that was the object I was out. I was aided in this by J. N. Wood who said if they persisted in this course they need not expect the protection of the organization.

About the time we were being dismissed James Bradshaw said all that wished to join in this raid to meet at Chestnut Ridge Meeting House at same hour of a certain night. I heard nothing from this raid except that Maj. Lynch commanded the squad from ?Metansville. This was the last meeting that I attended. All my influence since this meeting has been used to suppress outrages. I went to Dr. A. Wilson and urged him to have this thing suppressed as I thought he had more influence than I had. I went to Capt. W. C. Johnston and urged the same, he said that some of the young men had persuaded him to join for the purposes of giving advice but then he had no influence with them and greatly hurt at their course.

I had information from John A. Stockard who came to my house and told me that there was a plot to assassinate W. A. Albright and told me to do all I could to stop it. We talk the matter over and he informed me that James Bradshaw was one of the leaders in connection with which one was Joseph B. Thompson, Milton Thompson, Dick Thompson, Mike Thompson, Alex Thompson & John Thompson of Patterson.

I went to see James Bradshaw who was not at home. I talked with John Bradshaw who said he would use all his influence to put a stop to it. I had several conversations with James E. Boyd on this subject – he always expressed himself greatly opposed to such and urged me to do all I could to stop it. My impression is that there is in Alamance County seventy-five or more desperate men belonging to the organization who would commit any crime to carry out their purposes and designs. From what I have been told by members of the organization and by those who ought to know Peter Foust’s boy, A. G. Moore, J. W. Steel, David A. Mebane, Anderson Thompson, T. T. Turner are such characters. James T. Hunter is a member of the organization. J. L. Scott is a member as rumored. I never wore a gown and never saw a band in disguise and never encouraged any person to join the order.

Sworn to & subscribed before me this 30th July, 1870.
(signed) W. A. Albright, Clk., S. C.