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Sale 38 Lot 449

DEFENDING A FORMER SLAVE FROM THE KU KLUX CLAN IN 1868 A fantastic Reconstruction era KKK terror letter, 2pp. folio, written by sheriff John C. [Chap] Norris, Warrenton, (Ga.), Nov. 13, 1868, to Georgia Governor Rufus Bullock pleading for military help in squelching the Ku Klux Klan's pursuit of former slave Perry Jeffers of Warren County, Georgia. Jeffers had seven sons, all of whom lived and prospered in postwar Georgia. They sold more cotton and goods than most, including the whites, had good credit with the local merchants, and had learned to read and keep accounts. This enraged the KKK, who vowed to make the Jeffers' men "know their place". After a series of bloody clashes, in mid-November 1868, the Klan eventually captured and killed the old patriarch, including three of his sons near Dearing, Ga., but not after murdering their protector, Senator Adkins of Georgia. Later Sheriff Norris and Jeffers former master testified in Jeffers' behalf before a Congressional Committee that the murder man was "as good a man as he had ever seen in his life". In very small part: "...I have the honor to request...your assistance of a military act in keeping order in this county...we are having outrages upon freedmen almost nightly. On the night of the 5th of November about 100 men went to the house of Perry Jeffers...they killed his son Wm. a sick and feeble boy, then rifling open a feather bed, put the body into it...and [also the] clothing of the house and burned the whole. Perry is now to make oath to three of the parties. I am ready to perform my soon as I can get the assistance to exercise the laws...for this Ku Klux party...has got to be a strong affair. Perry was sent to Augusta for safe keeping by the Agt. [R. C. Anthony] of the [Freedman's] the first assault upon him...he shot one who has since died. They are after him and swear to follow him to the end of the earth...the freedmen are so terror stricken that when beaten and whipped they do not dare to make complaint to the the lower part of the country their treatment is ten times worse than before the war. Minute men patrol the country almost every night. I pray your Excellency will take this into serious consideration and assist us with military force as soon as possible...". A poignant view of the South during the volatile Reconstruction period. Minor toning, else very good.
Estimate $ 1,500-2,000

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