Although the Civil War had ended the struggle for political power raged during
Reconstruction. The emergence of the Klan and its policy of violence and intimidation
was so widespread and out of control that it brought about a Congressional investigation
in the early 1870s that produced 13 volumes of reports and testimony. The information
contained therein consists primarily of testimony taken in 6 states: North Carolina,
South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida, along with data on the
makeup of juries containing blacks for District Court trials carried out in both North and
South Carolina. These pages paint a vivid picture of life in the South for African
Americans, but also provide an amazing array of details as often the individuals were
queried for their age, place of birth, martial status and family members, occupation,
current and prior residences, and about their status prior to the war (slave or free).
The links below will take you to the indexes of the volumes, which contain the names
(and race) of those who testified. At a future date, sample testimony will also be added.
Ku Klux Conspiracy
The testimony contained in these 13 volumes can also be found in the
United States Serial Set, titled "Affairs in Insurrectionary States"