Affidavit of Mary Campbell – Papers relating to crimes committed by the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama

National Archives Microfilm Publications Microcopy No. 666
Letters received by the office of the Adjutant General (Record Group 94) (MAIN SERIES) 1871 -1880 Roll 67, 1872
Papers relating to crimes committed by the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama, 1869 – 1879

Affidavit Mary Campbell

August 4, 1869 “Makes affidavit in regard to the murder of her husband William Campbell by Ku Klux” July 24, 1869 State of Alabama County of Madison On this 4″ day of August 1869, personally appeared before me a clerk of the Circuit Court in and for the County and State aforesaid, Mary Campbell of the County of Madison State of Alabama who being duly sworn deposes and says that on Saturday night the 24″”day of July 1869, while she and her husband William Campbell were asleep in their bed in a house on the Plantation of James Sanford we were aroused from sleep by the report of a pistol shot and I saw that my husband had been shot in the left side. I saw the blood runnin’ out of his side, it ran on my clothes, he cried out “Oh Lord” and I saw six or seven men in the room around our bed which was on the floor, they had their faces covered over with black masks and their bodies were covered with black gownds, these men said “you are the damn rascal who has been keeping up all the fuss in the Cove” and one of them reached around me and shot my husband in the side of the head with a pistol ball.

They told my husband to go out of the room saying “go out of this room God damn you, you are the one who has been keeping up all the fuss in the Cove,” he went out with them and leaned up against the fence and I saw and heard some three or four of them shoot at him, he was hit in the small of his back by one of the shots, he fell on the ground and the men shot at him again while he was layin on the ground, I saw some others outside of the yard about three or four that I could see, after they fired the last shot, one of them said “come let’s go” and they left. I helped to carry my husband in to the house and found that he had been shot some six times, he died in about an hour after he was shot. I am about seven months with child, I could tall any of the men. I further swear that about three weeks before that on Sunday morning, Mr. James Sandford came down to our house. I was not there when he first came in, was at my brothers below it and I saw he had a pistol in his hand, then I went to my house, my husband was sitting in a chair but set leaning against the house near the door.

Mr. James Sanford was leaning against the fence around the grounds on which our house is situated, he had in his hands a pistol resting on the top of the fence pointed towards my husband, he accused my husband of stealing chickens which my husband denied doing. Mr. James Sanford wanted him to pay for the chickens, my husband refused to do so then Mr. James Sanford said if he did not he would shoot his black infernal heart out of him, he continued to curse and abuse my husband, when I got to my house I sat down in the doorway and my child was by my side, Mr. James Sanford told me to take my child away from there, that he did not want to shoot the child, I took my child in the house, then my husband told him he would come to town and report him saying he would take his life and drawing his pistol over him. Mr. James Sanford said if he did come here and report it he would have to leave the County. Mr. Sanford left for his house, my husband left our house Sunday evening for town to report what Mr. Sanford said.

(signed) Mary (X) Campbell

Witnesses – John Lee Rogers John H. Wager

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 4″ day of August A. D. 1869.

(signed) Jas. H. Bone Clerk Circuit Court