"Before the election Governor Scott had organized and armed the colored militia, alleging that it was necessary to protect them against violence. This action was very objectionable to the democratic party...."
"Some of the arms belonging to the State militia were stored at the town of Laurens, in charge of Joseph Crews, who is represented as having made incendiary speeches to the negroes during the campaign. A state of feverish excitement evidently prevailed throughout that region, and apprehensions were felt of collision between the whites and blacks. Upon several occasions they were upon the eve of conflict with each other, both before and upon the day of election, at various points in the county. It is asserted upon one side, and denied upon the other, that there was a preconcerted arrangement on the part of the whites to interfere with the election. It passed off without serious disturbance ; but, upon the next day, an altercation occurred in Laurens between two men of opposite parties, and during that altercation a pistol, not in the hands of either, went off". One of them ran to the armory, where the State arms were stored, and a number of negroes went with him. Almost immediately a company of white citizens was formed, armed with pistols, and firing commenced on both sides. From this beginning a riot ensued.---page 1199:
"...The impression had evidently prevailed throughout the surrounding counties that trouble would ensue at Laurens, for, soon after this tiring commenced, large bodies of armed men made their appearance, coming from the direction of Union, Newberry, and Spartanburgh. Not only in the town were there riot and bloodshed, but it extended for many miles through the country. At least seven persons, and it is alleged thirteen, were killed; among them was the republican candidate for probate judge, Volney Powell, and a republican candidate for the legislature, Wade Perrin, whose bodies were found some miles away from the town. So great was the excitement that Mr, Simpson, a lawyer of Laurens, testifies that by midnight of that day 2,500 men had come in, more than the whole white voting population of the county.
"The disturbance had commenced about noon, and in a short time all the white republicans and the negroes had left the town, leaving it and the arms in possession of the democrats. All the persons killed were republicans. Some thousand or eleven hundred rifles, State arms, were taken possession of by whites there assembled, and of these not more than two hundred have ever been returned, (pp. 1305-1319.)
This riot commenced in Laurens on Wednesday, the 20th of October, at noon, and the violence continued through the county until Thursday evening, men being arrested and threatened upon all the leading high-ways. (See the testimony of Major E. W. Everson and J. A. Crews.) None of the parties were disguised, and, however strongly the circumstances indicate that they were assembled by virtue of and as members of a thoroughly disciplined organization, the manner of proceeding was different from what are popularly called Ku-Klux demonstrations. It has occupied considerable attention in the testimony, and, whatever its real origin, we have related its results.
"Immediately after this election, outrages commenced against the colored people by the Ku-Klux, and were committed in great numbers, through the winter and spring, in the counties of Spartanburgh, Union, York, Newberry, Chester, and Fairfield...."
"...The; actual existence of the Klan in South Carolina in 1870 is shown by the testimony of W. K. Owens, already referred to, who was initiated before Christmas, 1870. He gives the oath, the signs, the pass-words; the fact that they are bound to obey all the orders of their chief; that if ordered to commit murder, the penalty for refusal is death; that they are bound to deny their membership, even as witnesses in court, and to clear each other by their testimony or as jurors; that it is organized all over the State; that he had recognized members in Columbia, Winnsborough, and Spartanburgh; also, members from North Carolina, thus showing the organization to be the same in both States, He speaks of murders committed in York County as communicated to him by his chief; of a raid upon which he went to arrest and murder the county treasurer of York, who escaped from them ; gives the names of chiefs and members in the town of York; describes their disguise; states that it was part of their business to disarm negroes, and that their object was political—" to carry the negro for the democratic party," (pp.1303-1370.)
"...The, organization of what were called "democratic clubs"—secret societies, designed to seize the Government by violence in the event of the assurance of the election of Seymour and Blair--which clubs became afterwards the Ku-Klux of infamous notoriety for blood and cruelty, compelled the purchase, in 1868, of 2,000 stands of arms, with equipments and ammunition, at a cost of $28,000 in bonds...."
"...Alabama, (p. 65.)
"It seems, in certain neighborhoods a company of men, on the night before Christmas, under alleged orders from the colonel of the county militia, went from place to place, broke open negro houses, and searched their trunks, boxes, &c., under pretense of taking away fire-arms, fearing, as they said, an insurrection. Strange to say, that these so-called militiamen took the darkest nights for their purpose; often demanded money of the negroes, and took not only fire-arms, but whatever their fancy or avarice desired. In two instances negroes were taken as guides from one plantation to another, and when the party reached the woods the guides were most cruelly beaten...."
--REPORT OF THE CONDITION OF AFFAIRS IN THE LATE INSURRECTIONARY STATES. MADE TO THE TWO HOUSES OF CONGRESS FEBRUARY 19, 1872.
Hmmmmmm, and president obama is crying for more 'gun control'? Very interesting indeed....