|APPENDIX B: POLITICAL OFFICE HOLDERS||APPENDIX C: POPULATION AND OTHER FIGURES|
|APPENDIX D: "AMERICA IN THE YEAR 2000"||END NOTES|
Return to Gene Brooks' Home Page
I thank the following people who helped in various
They are Miss June Adair, Alvenes Barksdale, Frankie "Pork Chop" Ginn,
Wanda Hall, Elaine Martin, Dean William Moncrief, Janice Noffz, Mrs.
Penland, Jane Presseau, and Lawrence Young. Special thanks to Dr.
Jefferson Davis Road, Clinton, South Carolina
April 19, 1992
The history of Laurens County, South Carolina, is in some ways less stereotypical of the Reconstruction era than other upstate counties. At the end of the War Between the States, with exception, there was no Tara for Ashley to trudge home to, nor a blackened chimney to mark Sherman's signature on the land. The treacherous evil race-hate was present, but violent acts, again with an exception, did not occur in similar proportion to surrounding counties. These agrarian people had their minds on getting the crops in, the school built, the church started, the railroad rebuilt; and their two races lived more closely and mutually dependent than they wished to admit--the white more than the black. The overruling emotion of the period was fear. Nearly every attitude and occurrence was motivated by fear. The events and life of these years were formative and transitional, and they were to influence the inhabitants for over a century.
AND GENERALITIES AT WAR'S END
The poverty which the old Confederate was to know was something he had brought upon himself. Before the war men would live not much better than their slaves in order to keep the negroes up so that the value of their investment in them would be better. Then when they were freed, the farmer was left with nothing. The high price of cotton just after the war was another trap. Each year as the farmers planted more, cotton prices fell from $1.00 to 6-8 cents. Holders of Confederate money found themselves broke, and the great expense of farming drove many "to the wall."1 To add to the difficulties, "the war had ended late in the spring of 1865, so that the crops of that year were short, and there were crop failures for the next two years."2
Laurens County had sent 2,535 soldiers into the Uncivil War, and half were either killed or disabled.3 The fortunate ones came back to places like Clinton which looked poverty stricken, "the general opinion being that Clinton had seen her best days; and very few were there to prophesy otherwise." No United States troops entered the county during the war, but the smoke of Columbia could be seen from there, and "a mighty multitude of Refugees from Fairfield, Richland, and Lexington counties poured through our streets, leaving the citizens in an uproar of confusion and anxiety, but the scare was all and nothing followed."4
Lest we become drunk on the aroma of magnolias, let us remember that there were those who were not swearing they would never be hungry again. A 1916 interview of Eliza Watts Ball is quite revealing:
Q: Were you greatly distressed or was there gloom in Laurens when the Confederacy collapsed?DuBois agrees that civilization was not over after Lincoln's war.
A: Why no, we were not distressed, we were all too glad that the war was over to think about that. The terrible suspense was at an end, and we young people had a good time that spring and summer. I suppose it was quite different in parts of the state that had been invaded, but our homes had not been burned and our property had not been stolen. The soldiers were coming home, there was nothing for them to do, it was months before they could settle down to work. I am sure they were enjoying the relief, we still had what we needed to eat, and we danced, we had picnics and frolicked, we had what would be called 'house parties' now, and there was college commencement. We were poor, but we were never in need, and we had a gay time that spring and summer. I never had a better time."5
Daddy was an outstanding farmer who often hummed while he worked and knew how to get the best out of us. Mother, with her tremendous responsibility, managed well and worked hard, too. . . . There was always plenty of food from the big garden. They raised flocks of fowl, dairy products, and hogs. Fruits, berries, and other commodities were plentiful, also.8The Laurensville Herald regularly published new recipes, which reveal a culinary wealth. In the March 22, 1872, issue, the ladies of the community were educated in mincing mutton for use as rissoles of mutton, kromeskys, pultices, mutton casseroles, mutton croquettes, and mutton scallops, always frying to "a golden color in hot lard."9
RAILROAD AND ITS EFFECT
The link with the outside world, the Laurens Railroad, was not in operation. Many of the thirty-two miles of iron rails from Laurens to Newberry had been carried off during the war.10 The Laurens boys had ridden this very track off to fight the Yankees in '61. That train ride was a death certificate on a battlefield for many of them,11 and the railroad's extinction was feared to be the death blow to the county. The railroad had reached Five Points12 in 1850, and passengers used gangplanks to board because of the flat, marshy ground.13 In 1852 Clinton's first building was
erected in the middle of a mud hole or stagnant pool of water, at the corner of Broad and Pitts Streets. The words 'barroom' painted on its side. A log from the doorway to terra-firma was the way of approach and many an unlucky fellow who walked straight in, walked out so crooked, that he would topple over to the pool below.14Other little wooden shanties and homes were put up, but by 1864 "there were only a half dozen good dwellings and one brick store building in the place."15 For ten years after the war Clinton had almost no mail service, and train service was intermittent. The nearest bank was in Newberry, so "everybody bought on credit and paid high prices." For example, a barrel of flour was $6 cash and $10 credit.16
COMMUNITIES OF THE PERIOD
Laurens was the county seat and the largest town. She was divided into Jersey City (from the branch at Hudgens Spring to the end of the incorporation), Brooklyn (East Main on the other side of the Little River17), Rich Hill (in the vicinity of Silver Street named by slaves for the antebellum area in which free blacks lived), and Laurens Proper (all the rest). The town extended in a one mile circle around the court house. She was declared in 1888 to be the "livliest and progresive town in upper South Carolina."18
Cross Hill Township was nine miles of the "most fertile farming land in the county" with springs and Mudlick and Cane Creeks making dairy farming profitable. Cross Hill did not bloom until the railroad came, but cotton was king early at this historic crossroads.19 Mountville also came alive only during
its rail years around 1892, but she had a post office established at the home of Dr. Dave Richardson. "When a star mail route was authorized to connect Laurens with Chappells, it was routed through the Beaverdam section." Some of the residents complained of having mail addressed as Beaverdam and suggested Mountville since the new settlement was on a slight mount rising from Ginger Creek joining nearby Beaverdam.20
Sullivan Township was "deep-rooted in stock raising and plantation style living." Princeton boomed during the rail years. The favorite drink at the Inn at Hickory Tavern during the period was one of peaches and brandy. There was a cotton gin at Owings-Rapley-Powers Shop which had a population of sixty in 1888, and Renno had a post office and Sardis Methodist Church.21 At Dorrohville or Highland Home (later Gray Court) there were four homes, the Dorroh Inn, and a young girl named Mary Yeargin who was firing the boiler of her father's cotton gins at Barksdale to pay her way through Columbia College. Afterwards she would become a "pioneer in higher education for women and in her views concerning the political status of women."22 Greenpond had only Beulah Baptist Church, established 1838, because it lost its twenty-five year old post office in 1866.23 In 1853 the post office at Huntsville was moved to Martin's Depot, but in August 1869 it "closed because of the general business conditions in the country. It was, however, re-established on September 23, 1870."24
Clinton's leading citizens were Mr. and Mrs. Phinney who owned a general store and gave out general advice, Captain Robert S. Owens, Dr. William Plumer Jacobs25, pastor of the Presbyterian Church and founder of Thornwell Orphanage and Clinton College, and Captain Barney Smith Jones who lived just east of the Presbyterian Church. He was a former member of the Legislature and was killed by a run-away horse while he was sheriff. Mail was sporadic and usually laid out at Mr. Phinney's store for people to pick up. The first postmaster was H.M. Martin who was paid $50 a year. The Presbyterians in 1866 were raising money to help the blacks build their own church. Rumors were afoot of a rebirth to the railroad. There was a loom for weaving cloth in every home. "Cloth could not be bought for love or money, and cotton was a drug on the market." Little girls and colored girls would help in the sewing of jeans and cotton goods.26
Clinton was, in the early years, "like many western railroad camps, . . . and did a big business in cotton;" and until the Charleston to Spartanburg railroad was built, Clinton was the embarking point.
Clinton had at the very outset and for a long time afterward a very unsavory reputation. Horse-racing, chicken-fighting, gander-pulling, gambling and drinking, rowdyism, brawling and other little disorders like the above, were the distinguishing features of the place. It was said in the days when I first knew the place, that ladies did not like to pass through the town in coming from the lower part of the county to the county seat, and took care to leave the town off their line of travel.27The first settler of the county, John Duncan, was also its first distiller, and by the War, "most every merchant kept whiskey on tap for his customer's enjoyment."28 In the 1850's Laurens County citizens in presentment to the Grand Jury complained about "a late Act of Congress imposing a duty on private distilleries as a grievance of the first magnitude" and asked Laurens County legislators to "remonstrate with Congress as to the expediency of forthwith repealing said law."29 In the early years, the words Clinton and Prohibition were not thought of together, rather Clinton was the center of the anti-prohibition sentiment. A local preacher explains:
Just after I came to Clinton a Spartanburg citizen told me that he went from store to store and he could find nobody in condition to wait on him. Merchants and clerks were stretched on their counters all asleep, while fumes of liquor told the tale. Whether he told the truth or not, it indicates the fact that an idea was abroad that Clinton was not for temperance.The first fourteen year town charter ran out in 1866, and the first question was a wet or dry council, and wet was unanimous. Liquor resulted in several murders which shocked the community which was now getting regular preaching. Mostly the ladies of the town spoke of "what a bad name this will give to Clinton."30
At one time the town was spoken of as the 'worst hole in South Carolina,' [but] it was the proposal at the very outset to make Clinton a clean place, the sort of place men and women could afford to raise their children in. The town up to 1880 was almost without exception, a town of Presbyterian people.31The old barroom was torn down and the bricks were used in the chimney of W.P. Jacob's new home on South Broad Street, as an ironic twist for the man who brought prohibition to Clinton.32
THE QUESTIONS OF LABOR AND THE FREE NEGRO
The negroes stayed on the plantation that year, 1865. We furnished them homes, land and livestock for making the crops and food for themselves and their animals. [But] there was no way to make the negroes work after they were set free. There was no overseer to watch them and prevent their going out at night. They would stay up late and frolic, and next day they would be drowsy and would go to sleep at the plow in the field. It came to be a question whether they would make enough to feed themselves through the winter and at last the commander of the garrison gave orders that when negroes neglected or refused to work they could be reported to him. When they were slaves the overseer could flog them, and that was not common on our plantation, but there could be no flogging now. One day Larry caught two of them asleep in the bushes by the side of the field, and he reported them to the captain of the Yankee company. He sent two soldiers, a sergeant and a corporal, to punish them, and to Larry's horror, they hung up the two negroes by their thumbs. The negroes begged to be flogged instead.33Such is a good example of the dilemma from the white perspective. This brave new world was quite a confusing thing to everyone. Two miles from the Belfast House in Newberry County, Colonel Bluford Griffin told his slaves they were free and could "live where they chose, visit as they wished, and work for themselves. Two of the six brothers kept the name Griffin."34
The black man who could write was a rarity indeed. Very often one illiterate school master who could spell probably halfway through the blue-black spelling book would have under him a hundred unlettered negro children all of whom looked up to him, amazed at his sublime importance and his unparalleled learning. It is easy to see, therefore, that the negro readily became the dupe of the white man.Many blacks were rented land and had nothing at harvest because of the country store's high interest rates. With nearly total illiteracy among ex-slaves, the store could charge any amount, and the only defense a black man had was to skip out. One black man refused to work for a white for a fourth of the crop and readily agreed to a fifth. He unwittingly got even with the white man, though, by saying "he had only the fifth on his place and the white man was to get nothing."36
did not greatly blame the negroes, the leaders excepted, even in Radical times. Not all the leaders were bad. Pratt Suber, coal black, was school commissioner and a good man according to his lights. He could read, a little, and write, a little less, but he might have been worse, as many of them were. Some, not many (the number has been grossly exaggerated) got hurt or were killed, but most of the negroes worked for the white people and, barring a year or two when the 'hep men,' or militia were parading, behaved pretty well. In Laurens they were permanently sobered by 'the riot' of October 1870.44The whites did not hate the negroes; they just wanted them to stay in the condition that they had been in. However, some few blacks did not fit the prescribed mold. Pratt S. Suber (1843-1929) was presumably a former slave and the County's first commissioner of education at the office's inception in 1871.45
He held this office and that of County Superintendent of Education until 1876. He kept a pistol on his desk, but so did everyone else in those days. Pictures were drawn on his house in contempt, and he was harassed. Suber was one day walking along a road at the outskirts of Laurens when several armed men (white) rode up on horses and threatened him. Suber replied, "Gentlemen, you are more than me, you have guns, and you are on horses. Do what you wish."46His cool reserve nixed their pugilant ideas. Columbus White's (1857-1945) accomplishments as a contractor and architect are the Bethel AME Church and the Brown-Franklin Buildings in Laurens which are now on the National Register of Historic Places. Henry or Harry McDaniel served in the South Carolina Legislature (1868-1872) and pushed for the establishment of more roads in the county and the incorporation of churches.47 He was the son of Sink and Alice McDaniel of Laurens and the grandson of Matthew McDaniel, a Scot who came to America before the War and established a plantation in the Rabun community on which Sink lived and worked. Harry was reared by a white family at Ekom and grew up at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church (white) "where a small back room was provided for Negroes who were born into white families."48
CREWS, THE CLINTON RIOT, AND THE 1870 ELECTION
During the election of 1868, the Ku Klux Klan first organized in the upstate in Abbeville County and was thought to be connected to similar organizations in Edgefield and Laurens dedicated to the destruction of the Radical party and the killing or banishment of its leaders. In Laurens, Union, York, and lower Greenville counties, disguised men visited voters to warn against voting Republican.49 The Democrats won in Laurens in 1868, but the Republicans claimed they had not been ready and that there were more negro votes in the county than white.50
Joseph Crews was the most colorful character of the period. The brother of the editor of the Laurensville Herald, state legislator, and a steam-saw-grist mill owner in Clinton, Crews "was the moving spirit behind the organization of a Negro militia troop in Laurens. . . . After organizing the unit, he assumed active command and in so doing became a target for the bitter hatred of the local Conservatives."51 But Crews was no liberal-minded man desiring equality, he "had been a Negro trader, and had been accused of grave crimes," and was involved in the infamous Greenville, Columbia, and Laurens Railroad fraud. "He was a man of mediocre ability but of considerable influence in the legislature. He had failed in business before the war, . . . was a good-hearted fellow," but his integrity was not respected.52 During the war Crews stayed at home and cheated on a private scale, which lent him no great amount of respect from Laurens County veterans. Leland contends he made more money on the black citizens than he did on the black slaves, but "'to give the devil his due,' Joe has been known to perform some acts of real kindness, and even of charity."53 George Patterson grew up on the Enoree River as a slave of Joe Patterson. He said his father, a full blooded Indian, was sold to his master by Joe Crews, "the biggest slave trader in the country." Crews had stolen him "when he was a young buck" somewhere in Mississippi along with some other Indians and sold him into slavery with the "niggers." He "drove them just like cattle and would stop at various plantations and sell the Indians and niggers into slavery."54 Dr. Jacobs, in lamenting loudly the death of the railroad, received a letter from Joe Crews in early '71 that as Jacobs was a young man he might live to see the road built back.55
Black militia units were organized to uphold the Republican government and in response to Negro demands for protection against the white harassment of the late 1860's in the upstate.56 The carpetbagger governor Robert K . Scott of Pennsylvania57 had armed the Negro troops as the 1870 election came around. Five or six companies of negro militia were stationed in Laurens County.58 They "made the night hideous by the discharge of firearms and their savage yells."59 "Brawls were not infrequent," and a militiamen always got help from his comrades. A fight in February, 1870, almost led to riot in Yorkville which only a brigadier general of state militia averted.60 Another purpose of the militia was to keep the blacks in line for the election. They drilled frequently and were given ribbons, plumes, and drums. They were organized in the spring and summer of 1870. Colonel Joe Crews got 620 Springfield rifle muskets, fifty Winchesters, and 11,000 rounds of ammunition.61 The Reform Party, Democrats and dissident Republicans, challenged the Radical Republicans with Richard B. Carpenter (R), a Kentuckian, and M.C. Butler (D), a former gray cavalry brigadier of the state.62
The militia "annoyances were only spasmodic, and there were intervals of relief. But the other nuisance of the 'constabulary,' was a constant running sore. Representing many nationalities," these officers kept up a "constant espionage" which included house servants.63 The following letter from the Fraud Report is insightful.
Laurens, S.C. July 8, 1870Crews put on armed barbecues all summer in 1870 for the black militia units with speeches like "they now had the power, and the white man must be taught to know his place."65 The Columbia Daily Phoenix reported:
CAPT. HUBBARD, Chief Constable
Dear Sir: Your letter of the 2nd was received to-day
enclosing $128 due me. It came in good time. We are
going to have a hard campaign up here, and we must have
more Constables. I will carry the election here with
the militia if the Constables will work with me. I am
giving out ammunition all the time. Tell Scott he is
all right here now. Let me know how times are below.
The teachings of Joe Crews have at last been brought to bear on a portion of our community. His advice, in his speech at Waterloo, as reported by those who heard it, was, "that the blacks should never unite with the whites in any movement--that if they (the colored people) wanted provisions, and could not buy them, to go into the fields and get what they wanted. If the whites did not settle with them the way they thought was right, to burn them out of house and home--not to leave one stone upon another--that matches were cheap; and any one could buy a box for five cents."66On his way from Cross Hill on a dark night after marrying a couple, Dr. Jacobs was ambushed at Mudlick Creek just on the other side of the Little River. His horse sprung forward up the hill, and he heard a rifle fire through the woods. "Naturally I was a little excited as I did not know that I had an enemy in the world, white or black." The next morning, August 20th, about nine o'clock, three young men coming into Clinton reported being "fired at by unknown parties, but fortunately escaped without injury." It was heard that groups of white and black men had collided the night before when a party of blacks fired on some whites, and four negroes were wounded. Rumors were about that two hundred negroes had gathered at the mill with four days' rations, "entered Joe Crews' armoury and armed themselves."
That night or the next day the negroes began to assemble in force on top of the hill, opposite the old steam mill, where there was an armory, with some fifty or sixty rifles, belonging either to the state or National Government. All of the ladies and children in the town were collected at Mr. Phinney's and guards were stationed about the house. The [seventy-five] men assembled in the town, arranged along Mr. Foster's hotel front. A colored democrat was sent up on horseback to the armory, to notify the negroes to disperse, but owing to the sharp volley of musketry, he decided to disperse himself, and came rushing back. As he was between us and the enemy, the musketballs peppered the side of Mr. Foster's hotel, considerably above our heads, and nobody was injured. Rumors were sent out, however, throughout the country and up into Spartanburg. By ten o'clock about a thousand armed men were here in force. The blacks concluded it was better to leave a town like that, and it was not long before the whites had the town all to themselves. This was the closest we ever came to a battle in Clinton. The races are in a highly excited state, and I fear that evil will yet result from it.67On September 1, 1870, William Hunter had two colored men arrested for stealing wheat and Trial Justice Freeman living at Crews' was persuaded by several black men and Joe's son, Adam, to let them go. "As Hunter returned home, he was cursed and abused and told to 'try it again.'" Two days later, between twelve and one in the morning, W.F. Beard's store on the northwest corner of the Square burned. "The colored people, who were present, worked faithfully and deserve great credit for their conduct. It started between the weather-boarding and corner casting. "Matches and lightwood kindling were found; hence there can be no doubt as to the origin of the fire, as it was doubtless the work of an incendiary.68
The courthouse square was literally covered with a perfect black sea of colored voters, [and] all access to any of [the boxes] was physically impossible to any but the party. . . . In the afternoon, a runner brought the news, that the negroes were arming in Crews' premises.Colonel Smith of the U.S. garrison went alone and accosted twenty to thirty who were in line with arms in hand. "We only funnin," they protested, "We got through votin, and thought we would have a little fun in drillin for a little while." The colonel then ordered them to go home if they were finished voting.73 Statewide election returns were 85,071 for Scott, and 51,537 for Carpenter, and news of victory made the militia more threatening.74 Out of the violent counties of Spartanburg, Union, York, and Laurens, only in Laurens did Carpenter receive more votes than the Democrats did in 1868.75
October 20, 1870, the morning after the election, was quiet in Laurens. Some number of blacks had come to "receive their rewards." About eleven that morning a fist fight occurred near Tin Pot when a constable called a citizen "a tallow-faced son-of-a-bitch,"76 and a large crowd of negroes gathered round. "A friend of the citizen, pistol in hand, went up to the scene of the fight, to see fair play, as he said. Seeing that his friend had got the best of the fight," he was putting his gun back in its pocket when it accidentally went off. Immediately the negroes screamed, "They are firing on us!" and they all disappeared into Tin Pot's armory. Soon there were guns pointing out of the upstairs windows into the square, and a volley of twenty rifles was discharged. A cry "ran like lightning that the negroes had begun the war."77
There was quite a sprinkling of men on the square, and yet 'nobody was hurt.' This is easily accounted for. These bold militiamen thought their only agency was in 'cocking the gun and pulling the trigger,' and that the blood-thirsty bullet would itself seek its victim independently of all aim. The effect of the volley on the scattered crowd was startling enough. A hornet's nest suddenly turned over, and could not have produced more flying to and fro, or more rage.78Then a black man showed his head on a balcony, and a bullet from the square dropped him dead to the ground below. The whites then rushed Tin Pot, broke down the door, and the combination was a one-two punch upon the negroes.79 The blacks fired through the weather-boarding as they retreated. Two white men and a little boy were wounded. Two black men were wounded on the retreat--one mortally.80 The gunfire cleared the court which was in session, except for Judge Vernon and his clerk. The Judge ordered Sheriff Jones to take possession of the arms at the Tin Pot and Crews' home and put them in the sheriff's office under guard. Joseph Crews had been on the square, and ran the other way. If there had been a conspiracy, he would not have lived.81 "It will be observed that the name of Crews is not mentioned as being connected with the fight. He made good his escape, and we have no doubt is safe and sound to-day."82
as to the number of these armed men thus assembled, there has been much exaggeration. It can be safely asserted that no time after the row, were there more than three hundred nonresidents in the town, at one and the same time. Most of these, as soon as they saw that their services were not needed, quietly turned their horses' heads the way they had come.84Nevertheless, a Laurens resident asserts that by eleven o'clock there were 4000-5000 mounted men all around town from the surrounding area.85 "By every highway approaching the village they could be heard riding and yelling all night long. . . It was two or three days before they [the negroes] began to steal out of the woods and swamps."86 The whites tore Joe Crews' office to pieces. "Volney Powell, a handsome young carpetbagger from Ohio, who had been elected Probate Judge the day before, and Bill Riley, a negro politician, set out for Newberry in the direction taken by a company of United States regulars" who had left Laurens at four that morning. They were going to bring them back to Laurens to enforce the peace. Armed men caught them three miles from Laurens at Milam's or Milton's trestle and buckshot them to death. Wade Perrin, elected the day before, was assassinated below Martin's Depot near the railroad and county line. Two Negroes were found shot to death in the Rocky Spring community. Meanwhile in Laurens the two thousand or more mounted men, in search of a good time since they had ridden so far, turned the riot "into a negro chase." Four miles west of Laurens an obnoxious negro was taken from a cabin where he had sought refuge and was "so maltreated that he died a few days later. The body of another negro was found, stark nd stiff, on the side of the public road [near Clinton], with no indication to show the manner of his death."87 The Laurens citizens were outraged at the armed men from the other counties intent on punishing the blacks. Leland calls them a "handful of ruffians," and insists "there is no evidence that they even belonged to the county." 88
shut up in an adjoining chamber, with the door ajar, that he might hear every syllable uttered! The truth of this is found on Joe's own statement, confirmed--for all his statements required confirmation--by the fact that Captain Estes left him closeted with Scott when he returned to conduct the committee to the Governor's mansion. He certainly could testify to the time-honored adage, that eaves-droppers never hear any good of themselves.91THE CONSPIRACY TRIALS
WILD CATThere were many men in Laurens and Clinton who got to spend their days as the ones being chased, but there is considerable doubt that they were as a result, chase-loving individuals.
A party of the chase-loving gentlemen in the lower part
of this District, a few days since, captured a well-
grown specimen of this primitive animal, on the
plantation of Captain William Young, south fork of
Duncan's Creek. More are supposed to be in the vicinity.
One night in the spring of 1872 Lige McMorris, a blacksmith, active Radical and very black man, came to the Colonel's house on the plantation and told him that United States cavalry were in the village to make arrests and that he was on the list. The Colonel rode away and hunted foxes with his friends in upper Laurens County and in the Greenville mountains the next six weeks, and Lige McMorris would have been beaten with stripes by his own party if it had learned how the Colonel had notice.99Joe Crews had forty to fifty citizens of Laurens County arrested by the deputy U.S. Marshall John B. Hubbard. In Clinton, a captain with infantry marching from Newberry interrupted a meeting forming a High School Association in Clinton, and the Laurens people were surprised on the quiet Sunday morning, March 31, 1872, when a lieutenant with cavalry closed off the town and "made short work of it." Most of the male citizens were arrested and put in the courthouse jail until the Clinton prisoners arrived. Their charge was cloudy. Anything from "conspiracy against the rights of persons of color" to "conspirators against the peace, prosperity and unity of this great government" were used.100 "Men were indicted who were in their graves at the riot." Warrants with charges were made out with a blank for the name. The Laurens Male Academy and all the businesses were closed, mainly because all the proprietors were in jail. "The town had the appearance of having been overcome by some great calamity." Wright and Colonel Ferguson would not be seen on the street, but would walk down as far as Colonel Simpson's home and ask about news in town. "We got very little information from anyone passing for they would not tarry enough, for they had the appearance of men going somewhere and a short notice to make it in." Aftertwo or three days they went down as far "where the stand pipe of the City water plant now is," when U.S. Marshall Leway and four soldiers caught them.
I had quite an ovation on my way to the jail. Was hailed from every house along the way with words of cheer and comfort. All this was from the ladies as the men that were not in jail, were in the woods or fleeing from the wrath to come, with the exception of the very old men. I had a very warm reception at the jail by the prisoners. They told me from the windows that they were looking for me and had saved a place for me. There wasn't much sleeping done that night. Between the snoring of the Clinton men, and the rats--the biggest I ever saw--and the hard pallets, there was very little chance to sleep. The Laurens Bible Society through Rev. J.R. Riley, pastor of the Presbyterian Church, presented the Laurens prisoners with a bible to be used while in prison.101Next they were marched to Joe Crews'. He was very sensitive to his social position because he found he was looked at as the lowest of criminals. "For it is a notorious fact, that he offered exemption from arrest to any who would sign a document certifying to his respectability and social position."102 Everyone refused it. They got three lawyers: W.D. Simpson, Carl Yeager, and W.C. Harris. Meals were sent from the prisoners' homes until they left early on a cold, bleak, drizzling morning, the Laurens group going through Union and the Clinton men through Newberry. There were not many to wave farewell because "there were not many left to bid farewell. Major Watts, with the old Civil War Veterans' instinct for taking care of himself, viewed the procession from the top of a pine tree standing near the house built by the late Dr. J.T. Poole."103 There had been rumors that they would have to walk to Columbia, so citizens provided wagons. The weather was cold, rainy, and the roads were bad. They ate lunch without stopping, and reached Union about dark, receiving no supper. The Union people had left a big breakfast, but the prisoners were allowed to eat only what they could carry with them. "I took three or four big links of sausage and my partner, B.F. Ballew, got the bread and we made our breakfast." They arrived in a howling mob in Columbia with the prisoners, and the 40-50 were put in a cell for twenty until some moved upstairs to tend to Enoch West who was very ill.104
a gentleman of high standing, who, before his imprisonment, seldom attended church, and was rather sceptical in his views," [was finally broken down.] A few weeks after his liberation, he appeared before the session of the Presbyterian Church of Laurens on a profession of faith, and has since become a Ruling Elder and one of the pillars of the church.107The prisoners' jailor once lived in Laurens and worked for R.P. Todd. "He knew most of us personally," and he offered to take a few of them out at night "for an airing." "We slipped out when the jail had become quiet--ten or eleven o'clock P.M.--and under the jailor's escort, we took in the city. He proposed to take us to the theater, hotel, or anywhere else we wanted to go." They steered clear of the College campus since Wright had been there in 1868, and the State Penitentiary since it was so ominous to their situation.108
a mere tool of Joe Crews, without whose instructions he says nothing in these cases. Joe was sitting by his side and looking more like a culprit than any of those before him. Asked when they were ready for a trial, Leland the spokesman said, "just now, and just here as we are anxious to learn what has brought us from our homes at this busy season to the jail in Columbia." After a whisper from Joe, Boozer replied, "but the government is not ready, and can't be for a week or more." With this encouraging information we were marched back in the same order, having contributed something to the fees of these officials, Marshalls and Commissioner. No other motive could be seen for the parade.110Witnesses could be had to say anything at a price, and their stories made the trials the kangaroos they were. A colored man who had sought shelter at Dr. Jacobs' during the riots testified that he heard him cuss the black race up and down and sent some mounted whites to kill Wade Perrin at Martin's Depot.111
Some of the evidence was marvelous. For instance, one witness swore that he saw Maj. Leland standing at the public well on the South side of the Court House (near where the Confederate monument now is) kill a certain man in Robertson's delivery stable. Col. Simpson, our Attorney, made a diagram of the grounds and showed that the bullet would have to go under or over or through the wooden building that stood where the Simmons Building now stands, or at almost a right angle, take the alley between that building and the next one to it, and after passing through the alley, make another right angle to the left to reach the stable. The evidence was accepted. Colonel Simpson appealed to the Commissioner to strike out the evidence as it was utterly impossible for that to be done, and when the commissioner said he would accept the evidence, he gathered up his papers and hat, and turning to the prisoners said if that kind of evidence was to be allowed against us, he could do nothing for us at this state of the cas and may the Lord help us. The Commissioner threatened to have him arrested for contempt of court. He went to his hotel and came to see us after we got back to the jail.112After Simpson walked out of the hearing, a number of the prisoners were allowed to stay at a hotel close to the jail. Here Dr. Jacobs preached to them of whom "a score . . . were members of my own church."113
One of the Clinton prisoners, Mark ---, an ignorant foreigner who had come to Clinton after the riot, but just in time to be arrested, was placed in solitary confinement and restricted to bread and water. Marshall Hubbard starved him into swearing some statements against the Clinton prisoners which Mark would not divulge. At 4:00 on April 24, all eighteen were handcuffed and put on the train to the Charleston court.114Most all the Laurens prisoners were released May 10 or 12, 1872, under $3,000 to $5,000 bond for a hearing in October.
AT HOME DESPITE THE ARRESTS
Despite the arrests and trials, hope was again springing in the hearts of many citizens. In 1872 James S. Blalock resigned his position as overseer of an estate in Chester and Union Counties and came to Martin's Depot. Blalock was a Rhett Butler prototype. He had run cotton through to the British West Indies during the war and received payment in gold with which he bought great tracts of land at Martin's Depot. The people were so amazed at this gesture that the place came to be called Goldville.117 Dr. Jacobs enumerated improvements in Clinton which included a
fence around the Methodist Church, work on my house, new steps to Copeland's store and the lodge, a new kitchen at Charlie Franklin's, [and the idea of] a project in my head which, like many other projects, is, I fear, to be finally unsuccessful. I propose the establishment of an orphan asylum under the care of the South Carolina Synod, the same to be placed here and to be taken care of by the Presbyterians of South Carolina. If I were a man of faith and energy I could easily carry it into effect, but . . . were I to undertake it it would be a signal failure.118There were rumors of another resurrection of the Laurens Railroad, but some of "the Laurens people say they are going to build a railroad from Laurensville to Augusta and throw away ours altogether. If so, goodbye Clinton."119 Rumors did not deter Mr. Green who restarted his mill in Clinton in 1872, where there were forty families resident. With the railroad on and off again and the population at 450, Mercer Silas Bailey expanded his store in 1870 to include a saw, flour, and grist mill, a shingle factory (one of the first in the state), and a sash, door, and blind factory all before 1880.120 Cotton at Charleston was bringing 21 1/2-23 1/4 and at Augusta it was 21 1/2.121 In Columbia, Joe Crews had submitted a bill to repeal the charter of Laurensville; and at the Herald, his brother, Editor T.B. Crews, was pushing for acceptance of the new sub-soil plow.122 Laurens got a ninth snow in early March, 1872, "and according to the prophets three more are yet to come."123 Out in the Rocky Springs community Thomas Workman124 was thinking, "I believe this country needs some efficient means of irrigation," and he proposed windmills to fill above-ground cisterns placed on a hill and to power the water through pipes across the fields. The cistern could also be used for "raising fish, ducks, and many other things that would be desirable." Plus, telegraph wires could be run along the pipes and one could "be in constant communication with anybody." He also had an idea for a hydraulic or compressed air chamber plow using a windmill and compressed air and water to power it. "The winds of heaven would plow my fields for me and the brook of the vally would assist them. . . There would need be no time waisted in resting my horse or waiting for steam to get."125
"a general drunken row and fight among said negroes, shouting as they went in, 'no town council--no marshall now!' and at it they went. However no shots were fired and we believe no clubs, rocks, brickbats, or knives nor pistols were brought into requisition--Nature's clubs being the favorite weapons on the occasion. [They fought until sundown while Trial Justice Byrd watched and took notes for fines.] Casualties: Shotwounds--none, 'bloody faces'--none, Negroes wounded by whiskey--all, between ten and fifteen."126SCHOOLS AND INSTITUTIONS
northeast of Martin's Depot was a school in the 1860's in a small
Barnett Smith, the Methodist circuit rider, and Billy Metts were
in 1877.130 The
Laurensville Female College was composed of primary, Academic, and
departments. With three stories, fifteen rooms, a museum, and a
volume library, "this institution was the most celebrated female
in upper Carolina. . . In the departments of music and art she cannot
excelled by any in the State." The school closed during the War,
but reopened and became a success in the postbellum years.131
The Clinton Library Society had public lectures for a dime admission at the Female Academy in April 1872 to raise money for a library. With people moving in, Dr. Jacobs met August 31, 1872, in R.N.S. Young's store with the men who had built the Female Academy building and proposed a Clinton High School/College, coeducational, with a male, female, and music teacher. Dr. Jacobs was made President, and anyone could vote on the board for a $20 contribution. In October Thomas Craig gave land worth $100 for the school, and by December they had a curriculum In the 1873-74 academic year the school had forty-two pupils. Mr. Nichols J. Holmes and his sister were the first teachers.132
Dr. Jacobs on January 6, 1874, bought and staked land for an orphanage. Construction began May 5, and the cornerstone was laid the 28th.133 The next year a newspaper, the Clinton Enterprise began operation. Dr. Jacobs had brought the first printing press to Clinton in 1864, and had become publisher of Our Monthly with 4,000 subscribers at $1 each.134 The first building of Thornwell Orphanage, Home of Peace, was completed October 1, 1875.135 Jacobs wrote in June 1874:
I hereby resolve to establish a college in the town of Clinton, as well as other institutions. I do it for the glory of God and to show that a poor country pastor, living in the least of villages, can do, if he will, great things for God.136RELIGION OF THE TIME
they understood its doctrine, as because their kith and kin were in it. They regarded any attack upon the special ties of their religion as a personal affair. They would argue the case up and down, not at all seeing the force of their arguments or the force of their scriptural quotations, but nevertheless most earnestly and vehemently. The bitterness between the various denominations was more than considerable, it was great. The practice of religion was a much more difficult affair. There was great opposition in all the churches to certain kinds of sin, such as horse-racing, betting, gambling, and drunkenness. But as to the weightier matters of the law, they gave less attention to them.139They believed money belonged to the Lord, but that it was not important to give. Church was held once a month, and therefore, the Sabbath was once a month. The other Sundays they visited and entertained. They would rather go a long time once a month than every week. "Social interest had more to do with church going than religious zeal."140 Workman had heard some call a thing a humbug.
Some have said that the Lord Templars is humbug. Some say that Political Enterprise is humbug. Others go so far as to say that some of the fundamental doctrines of the church are humbug, even strong members say this. When I [hear?] of these facts I am [?] to mark seriously What is the world striving to? Where are we drifting? But such has always been the case since the church was established. And justly [should?] be.141The Clinton Presbyterian Church at the end of the war had thirty white members, only a few colored, no Sabbath school, no choir, no prayer meeting, no church collection, no officer's meetings, no ladies' society, and only two services a month.142 In Laurens the Baptists had organized in 1834 and established a church in 1851, and by 1860, of the forty-two members, only fifteen were white. In 1869 the membership got up to seventy-three but soon declined. They were reorganized with five people in September 1876 by J.C. Hiden of the Greenville Baptist Church, and they built a wooden building painted white with green blinds.143 The Church of the Epiphany, Episcopal, was built in 1846, a "neat little brick building, situated on the prettiest part of Main Street." After the war, because of the small number of members who could not afford a resident rector, worship was discontinued until 1882 when a priest from Wellford would officiate once a month. The Methodists had a wooden white building with green blinds and a circuit begun in 1825 under Rev. Barnett Smith. The black Methodists led by Rev. Child built a church by subscription in 1870 on land donated by "C. Martin Mills, colored." The Presbyterians had a "neat little brick building on Church Street with a yard in front, enclosed with a beautiful iron fence" put up in 1850. "The Sunday School is in a flourishing condition" with 115 members. The colored Presbyterians had a church called Mt. Pisgar in Jersey on Hance Street, built for a school house and used as a church and school until 1878 when it was used only for worship. There was the Old Rock Church on Main Street facig the Laurens and Columbia depot lot. This was the church of the old Seceders, but no Associate Reformed Presbyterian had been in town for years.144 The broad-minded citizens of Laurens had established the Riverside Cemetery, "the burial ground of the white population, regardless of religious denomination."145
such as cutting benches, going in and out at unseasonable hours, sitting on back seats when the front seats are not full, refusing to sing or to help sing without being asked. When he asked to stand all who would be able to sit on the front seats and help sing, nearly all stood up.158Warrior Creek Baptist met once a month on Saturday at 12:30pm to hear a sermon and then have court for offenders. If they had asked forgiveness and said God had forgiven, they could remain in the church. If not, they were dismissed. "Drinking, dancing, playing cards, stealing, fornication, being with child in unbecoming manner, or absent from service (especially males.)" was considered grounds for dismissal. Two or three members were appointed to make sure the wayward one stayed on the straight and narrow. "This practice lasted until early 1900."159
Last night a prayer meeting was held at Leesville by appointment. [Josiah Leak presiding asked Workman to speak.] Some remarks by T.M.W. somewhat as follows. I would have preferred not to be called on tonight. Don't feel so full of the Christian as perhaps I should. My mind is busy studying the evidences of christianity. I know that the Christian religion has a foundation of truth, but I am not always able to find it. Up to the present I don't believe that science, Philosophy or anything of the kind has ever laid its hand upon life. It has examined the structures of living matter and handled the steam that rolls the mighty trains and the electricity that flows with lightning speed over the telegraph wires. It has done all these things but up to the present has not done anything with life itself. There is only one thing that we do know of life and that is what we get from the bible. Yet there are many persons willing to dispute the bible because of science. Yet take this bible away from us and befre long you would see men bowing and worshipping the sun, moon, birds, or some other object, or an image made by their own hands. Science would vanish and superstition would take its place, Men will have something to worship. Again there is no other religion that is superior to the religion I've professed. None that promise life eternal on such reasonable terms. None that so much elevates the human race. Should we not then be ashamed of our conduct--our unwillingness to do our whole duty.160The black Christians saw their duty as forming their own churches, and the white Christians were duty-bound to help them. Leaving the white churches was "self-inspired secession." In the white churches the Negro had no "voice in the government of his religious organization. At first the whites opposed the negroes' leaving, but the Baptists with their tradition of religious freedom "were the first to sanction and even encourage such separation."161
The white folks sometimes had niggers to go to their church and set in the back or gallery. In our neighborhood, niggers had their own church dat they made of poles and brush and called it "Brush Harbor." They made seats from small logs sawed off of rough plank.162The black members of Leesville Methodist Church began brush arbor services in 1865, and the thatched shelter by February 3 of the next year was used for Sunday school, prayer meeting, and church service.163 In Waterloo the black Baptists formed Laurel Hill as early as 1861, with the religious rival of the Baptists forming Smyrna African Methodist Episcopal by 1874. John A. Leland implies that the Freedmen's Bureau helped start the separate churches and schools. The withdrawal led eventually to politics; the black man should vote against his former master on every occasion because of his obligation to God who emancipated him and to the Radicals who were God's instruments to free him.164
Dear Sir: I hope you will excuse me for the liberty I have taken in writing this communication, being a stranger in your midst to both white and black. I am a native South Carolinian, born and reared at the metropolis, the "city by the sea."The greatest contribution of the black church may have been its very being. It helped give the Negro identity and community and kept alive "an indigenous black culture."170 The first African Methodist Episcopal "Conference resolved that a separate religious organization was necessary for the Negro. Leaders argued that prejudice ruled out both races worshipping at the same altar.171 The A.M.E. church, which before the war had no Southern membership by 1880 had 400,000 members. However, Baptists were more successful because of the church's freedom to make it's own decisions on the preacher, discipline, and finances. Untrained men were welcomed as leaders.172 In Clinton a colored man, zealous for learning, stole some of Dr. Jacob's Greek and Hebrew books and hid them under leaves in the woods. When he was caught he was turned over to his denominational council as he was studying for the ministry, and he was excused because he only wanted the books for use in learning. Later when the council considered licensing him, someone objected that he had not been to seminary and did not know enough. Someone else said he had spent four years in the Columbia Penitentiary "and that was education enough for any man." He was duly licensed.173 Thomas Hood was well known for his singing, and June Kennedy for his itinerant preaching. Martin C. Cunningham started prayer meetings at his home, and the numbers grew. While working together at T.B. Baggett's Mill, six miles west of Clinton, Kennedy and Hood wondered if, owing to the large prayer meetings, a church could not be organized in the community. Interest was high even among the non-religious, and the black members of Beaverdam and Huntsville (white) Baptist churches were dismissed to form their own church. "Wade Perrin preached the first sermon under a brush arbor in Mr. S.M. Bailey's woods. His intention was to plant there an A.M.E. church, but the Baptists were too strong." New China Baptist Church was the result.174
The occasion of my writing this, is the late fire upon the premises of Nelson Davis, witnessing, as I did, the deep interest manifested on the part of whites, and the efficient assistance rendered by them to check and prevent the spread of that formidable foe which seemed intent upon devouring without pity all that its flaming tongue could reach, but was arrested by the kindly aid of your citizens. But that was not all: a more excellent feeling was instantly exhibited in the act of a contribution in the interest of the persons who had sustained the loss. This latter manifestation cannot but elicit the admiration of philanthropists.
I take it upon myself to write this communication, because I feel it but due to the noble-minded gentlemen of Laurens village that some proper and grateful acknowledgement be made of their generosity, and that my race might verily know that they have friends in their midst; and all that is necessary is for us to understand each other in our new relationship; then, there will be a no more prosperous or happy people on the face of all the earth.
I am, Mr. Editor,
Your humble servant,
Pastor of the colored body of Presbyterians.
Laurensville, S.C., March 14, 1872.
"The first members came out of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church (white) for the purpose of having a church of their own. You remember that the Colored people, before emancipation, had their membership in white churches. After emancipation they remained with their friends until churches of their own could be established. Large crowds used to come to hear [D.B. Burnside, first pastor,] preach under a brush arbor."In 1871, Rev. Morton held prayer meetings at his home and a service once a month. On August 5, 1873, Center Rabun was organized, and the sermon preached by C.P. Arnold was ironically titled, "And the Door Was Shut." "Brother M.E. Mahaffey, a white friend, served as clerk for several months because none of the blacks were able to write." Rocky Spring was established in 1871 with twelve members from New Prospect (white) as June Kennedy preached under a brush arbor. White Plain came in 1872 with eleven members, five miles southwest of the courthouse near the railroad, and Christian Hope was organized the same year by June Kennedy. Flat Roof, two miles northeast of Barksdale, began in 1872 with Joseph H. Sanders as first pastor. Good Hope was built in 1872 near Puckett's Ferry under Wallace Evans, and burned in 1887. "The faithful brethren prayed and labored hard in order to get this church on foot." June Kennedy struck again in 1873, six miles from the courthouse toward Boyd's Mill on the Reedy River wih Mount Zion. He preached under a brush arbor on Robert H. Hudgen's land, and organized with six members which increased about 50 a year to 300 members. Little River Zion was organized in 1876 out of Bush River (white) with B.F. Lively as the first pastor. Laurel Hill and Duncan's Creek have left no records, but were very early. This mushrooming led in 1879 to the Tumbling Shoals Baptist Educational Association175 where Thomas Jones taught in a log schoolhouse. New Prospect, begun by June Kennedy and Robert Holmes, was the head church of the Association, one-half mile from Tumbling Shoals. Hebron was organized in 1883 with fourteen members from New China. They first met at Clinton Presbyterian until the whites helped build their church. "These sketches are being recorded in the absence of many records and are subject to some inaccuracies."176
FOR THE RAILROAD, DEATH FOR JOE CREWS
The talk about refurbishing the railroad came to action in January, 1875, and by December a free excursion was offered to Newberry. Everyone rode down to see if it would make it. "The date of the completion of this road separates the 'Laurens that used to be' from the Laurens of today," Mr. Garlington wrote in 1888. "Immediately the town was enthused with new life and as a consequence the log cabins and wooden structures that were then on the square gradually disappeared" and were replaced with brick buildings for the first time.179 Thomas Workman reports: "Morrow a week ago I was at Clinton (August 2nd). Miss Belle Boyd The celebritie "Rebel Spy" was thru. she had delivered a lecture of some kind the night before, and staying at Dr. Irby's she went just before me to the picture gallery of 'Lawrence Culbertson.'"180 One occurrence of importance involved the old devil himself, Joseph Crews. "At the commencement exercises of the Laurensville Female" College, a drunk Press Chappell swore he would kill Joe Crews. Chappell was arrested, but he escaped and was not pursued because 'it was a hot day.'"181 Thomas Workman, who does not usually get out of his little world of farming, prayer meeting, and pretty girls, is the best provincial source on the assassination of Joe Crews.
Yesterday morning so says report a curious[?] affair occurred some distance from this place. Joseph Crews was riding in a buggy with a young man who had come to Laurens with him from Columbia. and just after crossing a small stream three miles from Laurens he was fired upon by men concealed at the side of the road (ie. It is supposed they [?]) The shot took affect in the back and neck of the Hon. Joseph Crews, one however, so I am told, struck the young man. The former is in a very critical condition and at present it is not thought that he will survive. [Then an entry two days later:] I learn that Hon. Joseph Crews is dead. Died last night about midnight from the effects of the shot he received the other day. Some strange suspicions have also been aroused as to who the persons are that committed the deed. Report seems to favor the idea that it was because a certain party was hung some days ago and that Joseph had promised to get him released. One thousand dollars reward is now offered for the apprhension of the guilty parties, I don't want the money. Neither do I want to be concerned in this affair in any way, Better keep out of fusses as long as possible.182In July 1876 the Republicans demanded an investigation of Crews' assassination. "It was said he knew who fired the bullets into him." The killer reportedly visited Crews, "was welcomed with a cordial handshake and assured his act would not be revealed and that Crews died with lips sealed."183
In this immediate neighborhood we have a great many meetings of one sort and another, Sunday schools, preaching, prayer meeting, Good Templars, Granges, and sometimes night singings. Those meetings to some appear to be a nuisance, [but] this is a part of life that all intelligent people enjoy. I am glad we have so many meetings.184Shortly after the train was running, telegraph poles were put up, but many people "did not believe in it simply because they did not understand it."185 Thomas Workman had his opinions about the telegraph also.
One of the most beautiful arts of the present day is the Art of telegraphy. I think it ought to be more generally understood and practised than it is. there might be a telegraph placed in every house. And if the people would give it the proper attention it would be a profitable investment tool. . . . I believe the day is not far distant when all enlightened neighborhoods will have telegraph wires running from house to house till the country will be full of them and you will see them stretched along every road and across many of the fields. . . Let us hope that soon we may see telegraph lines not only from town to town, But from house to House in this very neighborhood. Speed the day.186RED SHIRTS AND THE ELECTION OF HAMPTON
White folks, I sho nuff did ride wid de "Red Shirts" fer Marse Hampton. Dar was two other darkies what rid wid us. Dey is bof daed now. One was Jack Jones, and de t'othern I does not recollect his name. Him and Jack is both daed. Dat leave me de onliest living one what rid in de company. I rid wid Marse Jimmie Young and he was de Cap'un. He live out yonder at Sardis Church. I got every registration ticket in my house, and I still votes allus de democratic ticket. . . . I was jes' turnt seventeen when I jined de Red Shirts and got into de Democratic Club, and I has been in it ever since. It ain't gwine out either."195R. Means Davis, correspondent for the Charleston News and Courier, reported from Laurens on July 27, 1876, that the county was solid Straightout for every state, district, and county office, with every white voter already registered and in a club. In response to Republican pleas, a company of the 18th U.S. Infantry was detached from Greenville to Laurens about August 26, 1876.196 There were eight barrooms in Laurens, open all the time, cotton was between fifteen and twenty cents a pound, and people did not save. There were two kinds of white ruffians, the ruffians which were of well-to-do families who caroused, were always where the trouble was and not unwilling to start it. One rode his horse up the stairs of a brick building to the Laurensville Herald office once. The other could be called a specimen. He was of the lower class, brutal, and would shoot in two or three years about six or seven negroes in cold blood. He would meet a negro in the road and shoot him for no reason. He was never tried for his crimes, and he had enough sense not to antagonize other whites. "The galloping and riding and shooting went on," and it was all the older men could do to keep the younger ones in line.197
Sho was a pretty sight to see 'bout a hun'ded mens up on fine horses wid red shirts on. . . Our red shirts fastened wid a strong band 'round de waist. Dar wasn't nar'y speck o' white to be seed no whars on 'em. Dey was real heavy and strong. Fact, dey was made from red flannel, and I means it was sho 'nough flannel, too.199The paraders had a brass band, "and it is said to have learned to play with some success a single tune--possibly with less success, three or four. One other band had been imported, and the martial music was abundant." The mile-long parade moved toward a wood on the southern side of town, and the dust was suffocating on the dry October day. The numbers were close to 5,000, and the area right in front was reserved for black voters. Colonel Beaufort Watts Ball presided and introduced Hampton. "A long torchlight procession at night ended the hilarious day."200 The speakers' stand was decorated with flowers, but speaking was secondary to the effort to impress the negro mind. After the dust had cleared from Hampton, Chamberlain came to Laurens, and the Red Shirts made it "warm for him, but they did not hurt him. I have heard my father say, by the way, that whatever might be said to Chamberlain's discredit, cowardice was not his weakness."201
People have been living here for nearly two hundred years, and were it as bad as some people would paint it, it would long since have been deserted and allowed to return to the native oaks and pines that grew upon these hills.207The people of Laurens County lived through the Reconstruction years without a great deal of tattering, or changing. They held on as much as possible to the past, for there was not much present for them, even the free Blacks, and they saw no future. J.N. Wright provides a fitting conclusion:
My task is about done. I have endeavored to write a true account of the doings of those terrible days. I have tried to say nothing that would arouse the feelings and passions that were so rampant at that time. We all know that bad men of both races were responsible for the terrible condition then.208_____________________________
The 1888 Laurens
Directory furnishes valuable information on economic development in
40 Store clerks.
16 each of Lawyers and Farmers.
11 Railroad men (including 1 colored).
10 Carpenters (8 white, 2 colored).
9 Cotton buyers.
8 each of Blacksmiths (7 colored, 1 white prop'r) and Newspapermen (4 at Herald, 4 at Advertiser).
7 each of Bankers and Educators (4 white, 3 colored)
6 Preachers (3 white, 3 colored).
4 each of Physicians, Colored Brickmasons, Jewelers, and Bookkeepers.
3 each of Dentists and Travelling Salesmen.
2 each of Undertakers, Shoemakers (1 white, 1 colored), Brokers, Boarding House prop'rs, Machinists, Foundrymen, Butchers (1 white, 1 colored), Postmen (1 white, 1 colored), and at the Sheriff's Office (Sheriff and Deputy), and Clerk of Court's Office.
1 each of a U.S. Marshall, Town Constable, U.S. Revenue Officer, Trial Justice, Dairyman, Colored Tonsorial artist, Lumberman, Prop'r of Ben Della Hotel, Prop'r of Robertson Hotel, Tinner, Real Estate broker, Colored Rockmason, Bridgebuilder, Tailor, Painter, Prop'r, Hudgens' Factory, Wagon Manufacturer, Cabinetmaker, Surveyor, Colporteur of American Bible Society, Colored Welldigger, Colored Barber, Livery Stable Prop'r, Draymaster, and Sewing machine agent.
The Building and Loan Association opened January 1885. The People's Loan and Exchange Bank of Laurens opened July 1886 with $50,000 capital. The National Bank of Laurens opened in fall 1886 with $63,000.
The Laurens Railroad to Columbia was built with private subscriptions. Grading began 1850-51, and after changing hands several times went bankrupt. The iron rails were stolen during the war. It was rebuilt in 1874 by private subscription. In 1888 it was bought by the Richmond and Danville Railroad. The depot the first year was east of the Little River, then was moved to the former large brick depot and was used as a prison in Ku Klux times. "Before the boom caused by the completion of this railroad had died away, still another was caused by the construction of the Greenwood, Laurens, and Spartanburg Railroad, and still by the Greenville and Laurens. Thus with all these roads centered here, Laurens can well be termed 'The Atlanta of South Carolina.'"
Laurens also had the Laurens Iron Foundry and Machine Shops at Hudgens' along with his corn, saw, and planing mills. Gray and Anderson made doors, sashes, and blinds. C.T. Whitten had a carriage manufactory. The Laurensville Herald was begun in 1845, and the Laurens Advertiser was established in 1885. The Laurens Guards was the only military organization, numbering 50 members. Two fire departments kept the city safe from flame. The Hector Fire Company was white; the Crescent Hook and Ladder Company was colored. The population of Laurens 1884-1888 had "twice doubled" to an estimated 2800-3000. The one thing they currently wanted was a cotton factory. "No town suffered more from Radicalism than Laurens. The riot of 1870, is long to be remembered." "The town is free from debt."209
Listed by comparison is Laurens in 1840: Two doctors, "a fancy confectionery and fruit store. Carriage, buggy, and wagon shops; boots and shoemaking; a tannery, with saddlery and harness shops; a tailoring establishment; building contractors; flour and corn mills and eighty-one registered whiskey distilleries."210
December 1864, Dr. Jacobs furnished the following information about
4 Dry Goods Stores.
3 each of Blacksmiths, Shoe shops (one colored), and Physicians
2 each of Groceries Stores, Assorted Stores, Carpenter shops, and Millineries (women).
1 each of a Buggy Factory, Wagon Factory, Harness Factory, Ginmaker, Tinner, Steam saw-grist-and-flour mill, male academy, female academy, Presbyterian church, Methodist church, hotel, Masonic Lodge (#44), and a tailor.
The only brick building was a barroom. The rest were wooden shanties.
Dry Goods: Phinney & West, Hayne, Williams, Huett; Grocery: Copeland & Bearden, Wm. Rose; Assorted: Craig and Tobin, Mess. Bailey; Buggy: W.D. Johnson; Wagon: Robert Huett; Harness: Richard Huett; Blacksmithing: Johnson, Huett, Young; Carpenter Shops: W.B. Bowen, Geo. Davidson; Ginmaker and Tinner: Geo. Davidson; Steam Saw-Grist & Flour Mill: Joseph Crews; Shoe Shops: D.T. Compton, Geo. Simpson, Nelson Hood (Colored); Schools: Male-Rev. Theo Hunter, Female-Mrs. R. Dunlap; Hotel: Joel T. Foster; Physicians: Dr. Lon Harris, Dr. Wm. H. Henry, Dr. Richard Dunlap; Millinery: Mrs. Burgers, Mrs. Huett; Tailoring: Wm. Butler.211
COUNTY TAX COLLECTOR
1867-68 J.R. Fowler 1871-72 Volney Powell
1868-70 B.C. Cheshire 1873-74 Cullen Lark
COUNTY TREASURER AUDITOR
1871-76 J.R. Fowler 1875-76 Cullen Lark
1867-68 David Hadden
1869-70 Nathaniel Freeman
1871-76 Pratt Suber
STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES (*-African American)
1864-65 Benjamin Stobo James, Henry William Garlington.
1865-66 Beaufort Watts Ball, Rutherford Pressly Todd, M.M. Hunter.
1868-72 Griffin Coleman Johnson (*-Minister), Wade Perrin (*-Minister), Harry McDaniels (*-Farmer).
1868-75 Joseph Crews assassinated September 9, 1875.
1872-74 James Mills (*-Planter), Caesar Sullivan (*-Farmer).
1872-76 James Young (*-Farmer).
1874-76 E.C. Coleman, Alfred T.B. Hunter (*-Farmer).212
C.P. Sullivan 1865-1867. Former delegate to Secession Convention and Constitutional Convention, 1865. d. July 27, 1876, bur. Laurens.
Young J.P. Owens 1868-1876. Former delegate to Constitutional Convention, 1868 and chairman of the Laurens County Republican Committee. He left Laurens County after the election of 1876 and went to Columbia.
B.W. Lanford 11 January 1866-31 December 1866
Barney Smith Jones elected 1868-10 September 1872, after a buggy accident in Clinton. bur. Clinton; Planter in Clinton. Former member of State House of Representatives 1862- 1863, and Captain of Third Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers, 1861-1863.
S.W. Anderson 1865-1870 also
John H. Little 1873-1876 also John Robertson, John Nabors "from another record."
D.M. Milam commissioned October 20, 1876.
C.L. Fike 1877-1880.213
A conjecture that S.W. Anderson was a deputy may alleviate the confusion listed above. See Appendix A where a sheriff and a deputy were listed in the 1888 directory. However, this time was a confusing one, and there may have been an Avignon rival.
of South Carolina of 1851 lists informative data on various aspects of
life in Laurens County at that time. . . . Total real estate was valued
at $7,100,120 although $4,500,000 was estimated as personal and
was listed under general property. With 36 common schools total
was 863 pupils, in addition to four male academies, three female
with 90 students and one charitable school with seven pupils.
"Twelve paupers cost the district $1,200 annually, and there were 1,968 farmers and 31 grist mills in 1851. Under famous persons in the county was Maj. Edward Anderson, inventor of the cotton screw for packing cotton, 'an invention second in importance to the cotton gin.' As to the general character of the county's citizens, Mill's Statistics said, 'Marriages are early and generally prolific. It is rare to find a woman of 25 who isn't a wife or a widow.'"214
Laurens County Census
1851 Free- 11,592 Slave-12,096 Total-23,688
1860 White-10,529 Black-13,329 Total-23,858
1880 White-11,756 Black-17,688 Total-29,444
Surrounding Counties by
1880 White-10,516 Black-13,551 Total-24,080 Union
White- 8,236 Black-18,261 Total-26,497 Newberry
White-13,172 Black-27,637 Total-40,815 Abbeville
White-22,983 Black-14,511 Total-37,496 Greenville215
In 1859 a sixteen-year old student at Laurensville Female College named Mary Helen Sullivan wrote a composition of her vision of the future of America.
"Who can fully realize the future glories of our land? She
rivals Old England her parent-country. One hundred years ago the
United States were the most loyal part of the British Empire--then
were but four newspapers in America--steam engines had not been
and telegraphs were far from the dreams of the wildest
Now she is a free and independent republic--railroads traverse her
and valleys--the electric telegraph with the speed of lightning
between her flourishing cities.
"Now if America has done so much in the past ought she not to do much more in the future? It is folly to suppose that she is to ascend no higher in the scale of improvement. Who can believe that our country is merely a brilliant meteor to dazzle for a moment and vanish as quickly as it appeared? Rather let the home of the brave be compared to one of those luminous bodies which was long veiled in darkness by the ignorance of man but at length sound happy genius arose who revealed their glory to a wondering world.
"Then the facilities of traveling will be every way increased. Not only Europe and America but our whole globe will be united by the electric telegraph or some happier invention of which we can not at present conceive. The telegraph now our greatest wonder may be considered a slow means of conveying intelligence; railroads will be entirely neglected--stagecoaches will exist only in the annals of the past.
"The one living and true God will be acknowledged by all. Neighborhood tattling will terminate. The common people being educated will have more important subjects to engage their thoughts. May we not hope that war shall cease that man amid all his knowledge may learn to govern himself? The everyday conveniences of life shall be much increased. We who now enjoy so many advantages will be looked back upon with astonishment that we could live at all.
"One little world will be too narrow for the expanding genius of man. Why have so many worlds of light been created if they are not to be explored? Are the inhabitants of each to live known to the other only in imagination through all eternity? It seems more probable that the All-Wise Creator has left it to the genius of his creatures to discover means of communication between them. But all this and much more cannot be accomplished without labor. America must not sink in luxury and supiness as the Roman Empire did. If she does, the same fatal consequences must inevitably follow her present greatness.
Laurensville Female College June the 29th, 1859."216
Bolick, Julian Stevenson. A Laurens County Sketchbook. "A Brief Sketch of the Development of Laurens County" by Edna Riddle Foy. Clinton: Jacob's Press, 1973.
Cruden, Robert. The Negro in Reconstruction. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1969.
Davis, Dr. Marianna W., et. al. South Carolina's Blacks and Native Americans 1776-1976. Columbia: State Human Affairs Commission, 1976.
DuBois, W. E. Burghardt. Black Reconstruction in America. Cleveland: World Publishing Company, 1962.
Holt, Thomas. Black Over White: Negro Political Leadership in South Carolina During Reconstruction. Chicago: University Press, 1977.
Jacobs, William P., ed. The Scrapbook: A Compilation of Historical Facts About Places and Events of Laurens County, South Carolina. Clinton: Laurens County Historical Society and Laurens County Arts Council, 1982.
Jarrell, Hampton M. Wade Hampton and the Negro. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1949.
Simms, William Gilmore. The History of South Carolina. Revised by Mary C. Simms Oliphant. Columbia: The State Company, Printers, 1918. The famous old public school textbook.
Shenton, James P. The Reconstruction 1865-1877. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1963.
Simkins, Francis Butler, and Woody, Robert Hilliard. South Carolina During Reconstruction. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1932.
Thompson, Henry T. Ousting the Carpetbagger from South Carolina. Columbia: R.L. Bryan Co., 1926.
Wallace, David Duncan. South Carolina: A Short History 1520- 1948. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1951.
Williams, Alfred B. Hampton and His Red Shirts. Charleston: Walker, Evans, and Cogswell, 1935.
After Slavery: The Negro in South Carolina During
1861-1877. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina
Legal and Business Sources
Austin, Samuel, foreman. Presentment to the Grand Jury October, 1870. Laurens County, South Carolina: In General Sessions.
Garlington, S.F., comp. Business Directory of the Town of Laurens, Together with Historical Sketch. Laurens: Laurens County Advertiser Office ?, 1888.
Report of the Joint Investigating Committee on Public Frauds, 1877-78.
Clinton Chronicle. November 12, 1970. Tricentennial Edition.
Greenville News. July 9, 1961, pg 1-D.
Laurens Advertiser. June 10, 1970. Progress Edition.
Laurensville Herald. March 1, 8, 22, 1872.
"Matters in Laurens." Daily Phoenix (Columbia, SC). September 7, 1870, p.2, col. 2.
Shelley, Byran. "The Times of Pratt Suber: First Laurens County School Commissioner Was Black." The Laurens County Advertiser. 12 February 1975, p. 10.
"The Difficulty in Laurens." Daily Phoenix (Columbia, SC). October 25, 1870, p. 2, top of col. 2.
Laurens." Anderson Intelligencer. October 27, 1870,
p. 2, col. 2.
Ball, William Watts. A Boy's Recollection of the Red Shirt Campaign of 1876. Columbia: The State Company, Printers, 1911.
Ball, William Watts. The State that Forgot. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1932.
Jacobs, Thornwell. The Life of William Plumer Jacobs. New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1918.
Jacobs, Thornwell, ed. William Plumer Jacobs: Literary and Biographical. Oglethorpe University: Oglethorpe University Press, 1942.
Leland, John A. A Voice from South Carolina. Charleston: Walker, Evans, and Cogswell, 1879.
South Carolina Narratives. Vol I & II. St. Clair Shores,
MI: Scholarly Press, Inc., 1976. The W.P.A.
Workman, Thomas M. To Sayings and Doings: This Book is most Truly Dedicated. Laurens County, South Carolina, 1875. His journal.
Dillon, Jean Witherspoon. History of Laurens, South Carolina. Presbyterian College, May 22, 1945.
Harry McDaniel Manuscript. Entitled "Politics." n.p., n.d.
Slaunwhite, Jerry L. John L. M. Irby: The Creation of a Crisis. Master's Thesis, University of South Carolina, 1973.
South Carolina Libraries. South Carolina Counties, 1989.
"Some Recollections of 1870, 1871, and 1872." June 21,
Memoir of the only surviving participant
at that time of the Conspiracy Trials.
1.Thornwell Jacobs, ed., William Plumer Jacobs: Literary and Biographical, (Oglethorpe University: Oglethorpe University Press, 1942), p. 52.
2.W.E. Burghardt DuBois, Black Reconstruction in America, (Cleveland: World Publishing Company, 1962), pp. 385-386.
3.Laurens County Advertiser, June 10, 1970, Tricentennial Edition.
4.Jacobs, Literary, p. 13, 19.
5.William Watts Ball, The State That Forgot, (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1932), p. 129.
6.DuBois, p. 382.
7.Laura Caldwell (77), interviewed May 20, 1937, in Slave Narratives: South Carolina Narratives, (St. Clair Shores, MI: Scholarly Press, Inc., 1976), Vol I, Sec. i, p. 169. She was born in Union County near the Tyger River ferry.
8.Mattie Wilson Hudson, "Warren Wilson Family," in Jacobs, William P., ed., The Scrapbook: A Compilation of Historical Facts About Places and Events of Laurens County, South Carolina, (Clinton: Laurens County Historical Society and Laurens County Arts Council, 1982), pp. 408-409.
9.Laurensville Herald, March 22, 1872.
10.Francis Butler Simkins, and Robert Hilliard Woody, South Carolina During Reconstruction, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1932), p. 190.
11.One of them died before they reached Columbia.
12.Clinton was incorporated in 1864, and a dispute arose over the name of the town. Some wanted Five Points because of the number of roads coming together and because it was the name of a section of New York City; some voted Round Jacket after one of the citizens. As they argued, Mr. Henry Clinton Young who "always caught the Clinton vote" was passing through to Newberry. Someone suggested it be named for him, and it stuck. Jacobs, Literary, p. 12-13.
13.Edna Riddle Foy, "A Brief Sketch of the Development of Laurens County," in Julian Stevenson Bolick, A Laurens County Sketchbook, (Clinton: Jacobs Press, 1973), p. 23.
14.Jacobs, Literary, p. 60.
15.Jacobs, Literary, p. 12. The year 1854 brought the first train through to Laurens, but by the end of the war it had closed. By December 1863 "tri-weekly hack line Laurens to Newberry to transport mail, [war news], and passengers." Cash money could be sent by the engineer. One was "given a receipt by the driver, who was not under bond; but a man's word was his bond."
16.Jacobs, Literary, p. 47.
17.Named by Frank Carpenter of Richmond, Virginia, while rebuilding the Laurens Rail Road.
18.S.F. Garlington, comp. Business Directory of the Town of Laurens, Together with Historical Sketch, (Laurens: Advertiser Office?, 1888), pp. 29-31. Spelling is his own.
19.Scrapbook, p. 45. Cross Hill was founded at the crossing of Indian trails on the high ridge from about Chappells to about Greenville and the North-South path from the fish dams on the Broad to the dams on the Savannah. Years later Cross Hill had a bank, two drugstores, five doctors, a knitting mill, two gins, and two boarding houses.
20.Foy, p. 25, Scrapbook, p. 68. On the opposite slope of the creek was Nuby's Big Poplar, twelve feet in diameter.
21.Scrapbook, p. 69. Renno was originally Reynosa, an Indian name.
22.Foy, pp. 25-26. Miss Yeargin finished college in two years (1885) and taught there three years until the Board of Trustees asked "her to resign because of her views on suffrage for women." In 1891 Governor Tillman appointed her to a three member commission for a women's school--Winthrop College. She drowned in a boating trip on Lake Cayuga, New York, in 1893, while at Cornell and is buried in Laurens City Cemetery.
23.Scrapbook, pp. 47-49.
24.Foy, pp. 20-21.
25.Jacobs (March 15, 1842-September 10, 1917) knew six languages: English, Latin, Greek, French, German, and Hebrew, and was a student of metaphysics, history, astronomy, and shorthand. His mother was an orphan, and he attended Columbia Seminary, where James H. Thornwell had a great influence on him. He came to the disorganized Presbyterian Church in Clinton of only forty-seven members in 1864. They called his orphanage "Jacob's Folly." Greenville News, July 9, 1961.
26.Jacobs, Literary, pp. 14-15.
27.Jacobs, Literary, p. 13.
28.Jacobs, Literary, p. 56.
29.Foy, p. 16 .
30.Jacobs, Literary, p. 21. He continues, "for it must be faced that at that time the reputation of the town was more of a concern to the mothers, sisters, and wives, than to the men of the town."
31.Jacobs, Literary, p. 21. Thomas M. Workman, in his unpublished journal To Sayings and Doings: This Book is most Truly Dedicated, 1875, p. 79, is quoted undoubtedly from his declared membership in the Templars: "Before making a regular practice of drinking intoxicating liquors a man should be able to answer the following five questions in the affirmative: 1st-Do you know that drinking intoxicating drinks will do you good? and as some liquors are poisonous the next question follows as a matter of course 2nd-Do you know that the sort you will use are the sort to do you good? 3rd-Do you know precisely when you have taken enough to do you good? 4th-Will you under any and all circumstances never exceed this limit? 5th-Do you know that you will never set a bad example and lead others or give encouragement to anyone who cannot contain himself within a proper limit? I think a person who can answer "yes" to each of the above questions especially the latter two, has a legal and indisputable right to use those drinks."
32.Foy, p. 23.
33.Ball, State, p. 127.
34.Euna Mae Pitts , "The Pitts and Wyatt Families," Scrapbook, p. 305.
35.Morgan Scurry (age 78) interview ed May 19, 1937. Elmer Turnage, ed., Slave Narratives, (II, ii, 89-90). He adds: "I was born in Newberry County , near the Laurens County line, above Chappells depot." He belonged to Drury Scurry who owned 300 acres and 40-50 slaves. The slaves hunted possums, rabbits, and squirrels. "We killed more squirrels than you can count. When freedom come, he come to us in the yard where we had congregated and told us we was free and could go anywhere we wanted."
36.Jacobs, Literary, pp. 47-48, 57.
37.Ball, State, p. 118.
38.Keith L. Cannon , "Martha Duckett Dendy," Scrapbook, p. 159.
39.Ball, State, pp. 115-116.
40.Gordon Grazier Bluford (age 92) interviewed June 7, 1937. Leland Summer, ed., Slave Narratives, (I, i, 62-64). "I was born in Laurens County, S.C., at the 'brick house,' which is close to the Newberry County line." She said they used corn, apples, and peaches to make whiskey, wine, and brandy. Persimmons were for making beer. She m. at 14 years old to Arthur Bluford and had ten children. Married at "white folk's Methodist Church, by a colored preacher named Rev. Geo. De Walt."
41."Mother" to N.J. Holmes, July 7, 1868, quoted in Joel Williamson, After Slavery: The Negro in South Carolina During Reconstruction, 1861-1877, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1965), pp. 119-120.
42.The spelling is a guess based on the recalled pronunciation of my grandmother and great-uncle.
43.Mrs. Peter L. Robinson, "The M.A. Cunningham Family," Scrapbook, p. 150. He was taught to read and write by the family owners and attended Benedict College, became a teacher and minister, and in 1912 founded Tumbling Shoals High School.
44.Ball, State, p. 139.
45.He is also supposed to have served in the South Carolina House, but I can find no concurring record of it.
46.Byran Shelley, "The Times of Pratt Suber: First Laurens County School Commissioner was Black," The Laurens County Advertiser, February 12, 1975, p. 10.
47.South Carolina Libraries, South Carolina Counties, 1989, "Laurens County," p. 2; Marianna W. Davis, et. al., South Carolina's Blacks and Native Americans 1776-1976, (Columbia: State Human Affairs Commission, 1976), p. 116.
48.Harry McDaniel Manuscript, unpublished, n.d. It adds that he proposed bills to incorporate churches and establish roads in Laurens County. In 1877 he bought 110 acres for $560. He is buried at Union Baptist Church. Sons were Wister and Sam Wright.
49.Simkins and Woody, pp. 445-446, 630-631. Newberry had bands of persons with false faces and white sheetsriding at night and threatening and abusing negroes. Anderson was more organized. Edgefield was so strong "that it had everything its way." York county organized to protect the whites. The whites stopped it after the election.
50.John A. Leland , A Voice from South Carolina, (Charleston: Walker, Evans, & Cogswell, 1879), p. 51.
51.Otis A. Singletary, Negro Militia and Reconstruction, (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1957), p. 124.
52.Simkins and Woody, p. 93, 204, 128.
53.Leland, pp. 52, 70. His sometime partner in crime, Young J.P. Owens, chairman of the county Republican committee, had deserted to the enemy early in the war.
54.George Patterson, in Slave Narratives, (II, i, 226-229), interviewed on May 27, 1937, edited by R.V. Williams. He grew up at Kilgore's Bridge on the Enoree. His mother was an Irish woman working for the Pattersons. Not a slave, but married to his father "by his 'Marster.'" "I've never seen a moving picture. Once a man offered to give me a ticket to a movie, but I told him to give me a plug of tobacco instead." He said that when colored preachers "are educated they learn to steal everything a man has, if they can." "You remember Joe Crews and Jim Young--what they did in this state? Well, they tried to lead all the niggers after the war was over. I was the one who got Jim Young away from the whites. I carried him to Greenville, but he got back somehow, and was killed. Joe Crews was killed, too. The Ku Klux was after them hot, but I carried Jim Young away from them." When he was set free, he and his father stayed with Joe Patterson to bring in the crop and then went to Spartanburg. In the woods there were wild turkeys, rabbits, squirrels, and wild hogs with six inch tusks. Cattle ran wild and were dangerous at all times. (II, i, 230), May 31, 1937: When there was a surplus of apples and peaches they made brandy, corn or rye--whiskey, 40 cents a gallon. Butter $5/lb., Eggs 6 cents/doz., Hens 10 cents, Salt deer $50/barrel. Plenty of wild turkeys, ducks, wild geese on the River. Turkeys tear up gardens and planted seed.
55.Thornwell Jacobs, The Life of William Plumer Jacobs, (New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1918), p. 89.
56.Cruden, p. 151.
57.DuBois, p. 402, Scott was a bluecoat colonel during the war, and former assistant commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau.
58.William Gilmore Simms, The History of South Carolina, rev. by Mary C. Simms Oliphant, (Columbia: The State Company, Printers, 1918), p. 321.
59.Columbia Daily Phoenix, October 25, 1870.
60.Singletary, pp. 15, 46.
61.Simkins and Woody, pp. 451-453. They organized in Columbia, Union, Laurens, Newberry, Edgefield, Kershaw, and Spartanburg Counties. According to the Adjutant General, between March 1 and October 27, 1870, the state issued 7,222 stands of arms and 88,000 rounds of ammunition. White companies were not accepted by the Governor except one which disbanded because it got a Negro colonel.
62.Thomas Holt, Black over White: Negro Political Leadership in South Carolina During Reconstruction, (Chicago: University Press, 1977), p. 142.
63.Leland, p. 54.
64.Report of the Joint Investigating Committee on Public Frauds, 1877-78, p. 1687. DuBois, p. 422: "No court in Christendom would, without further data, receive the fraud report of South Carolina as the exact truth."
65.Leland, pp. 52, 53.
66.Columbia, SC , Daily Phoenix, September 7, 1870.
67.Jacobs, Literary, pp. 19-20 ; Life, pp. 87-88. "A difficulty had also occurred at Chappells. But Sheriff Paysinger with a company of one hundred men captured sixty negroes there without bloodshed. The whites immediately began to assemble at Clinton, and by eleven o'clock yesterday over a thousand men had assembled on the public square, whereat the negroes became very much alarmed and agreed to go home and behave themselves. By night, however, a hundred negroes had again collected, the whites having dispersed, but they were notified by the guard of fifty whites who had been left in town that they would all be arrested unless they dispersed immediately began to scatter. So ends the affair, I trust. They have threatened to make a San Domingo of South Carolina, but no San Domingo here!"
68.Daily Phoenix, September 7, 1870. The next night a white lawyer murdered another in a boarding room on the square.
69.Daily Phoenix, October 25, 1870.
70.Leland, p. 56.
71.Leland, p. 55. According to Simkins and Woody, p. 454, in Newberry the militia intimidated the Negroes into voting Republican. A near riot occurred when a negro voting Reform was beaten by negroes.
72.Daily Phoenix, October 25, 1870.
73.Leland, pp. 56-57. The Phoenix, October 25, 1870, reports that Colonel Smith told them "that they were the weaker race, and that if they provoked a collision, they would go under."
74.David Duncan Wallace, South Carolina: A Short History 1520-1948, (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1951), p. 581. Negroes threatened to burn Chester, and in January 1871, Union County militiamen murdered a white man for refusal to give them the whiskey he was hauling. On January 4, the KKK took two from the Union jail and lynched them. On hearing that they would be moved to Columbia for safety, 500-600 KKK'ers lynched the rest of them.
75.Simkins and Woody, pp. 453-454.
76.Samuel Austin, foreman, Presentment to the Grand Jury October, 1870.
77.Columbia, S.C. Daily Phoenix, October 25, 1870.
78.Leland, pp. 58-59.
79.William Watts Ball, A Boy's Recollection of the Red Shirt Campaign of 1876, (Columbia: The State Company, Printers, 1911), p. 3.
80.Daily Phoenix, October 25, 1870.
81.Leland, p. 65. p. 69: "even his infamous coadjutor,' the Hon. Senator Owens,' had made his exit, and shed his perspiration, under a load of wheat straw, in a wagon bound for Greenville."
82.Anderson Intelligencer, October 27, 1870. Leland, pp. 67-69, tells of his escape from the county with the election returns. The story is of Captain Estes of the U.S. Infantry who helped him get away. Capt. Estes had arrived in Laurens four days after the riot and garrisoned his men in the abandoned depot. On October 30, 1870, Joe appeared at the HQ and demanded U.S. protection and conveyance out of the county. He looked so haggard that the Captain agreed, and asked him to come back at 5am. He arrived well before time, and disgusted Estes with his boasting and threats, so Estes decided to get even. They used a handcar with two on the crank, two armed soldiers, Estes, and Crews wrapped in canvas to represent a side of beef. After a few miles Crews, distressed, complained he would die if forced to breathe that same air any longer. Estes reminded him to obey orders, or he would leave him to his own safety, but the whimpering continued until Estes cut a slit in the canvas. Then he began again to swagger, and Estes could silence him by asking his men did they nt see suspicious men watching from a distance.
They would stop in a ruse to make Crews think they were about to be attacked. At one stop, Estes assured him everything was all right, that they were picking blackberries. Whereupon Crews sat up and said, "Damn your blackberries, when a man's life is in danger." The threat to leave him to his fate again put Crews into a quarter of beef. On reaching Newberry, he harangued listeners and boasted "in a strain that ancient Pistol might have envied. . . Such was the exit of this famous "Colonel of Militia."
83.Leland, p. 61.
84.Leland, p. 62.
85.J.N. Wright, "Some Recollections of 1870, 1871, and 1872," (Unpublished, June 21, 1918), p. 2. "Colonel T.W. Woodward of Fairfield who was a terror to the ruling powers, kept his club of 100 mounted men in their saddles at Winnsboro waiting to see if they would be needed."
86.Ball, A Boy's, p. 4.
87.Jacobs, Life, pp. 88-89; Leland, pp. 62-63; Ball, A Boy's, pp. 3-4; Daily Phoenix, October 25, 1870. The Phoenix estimates the mounties at 2,000 to 2,500 men. Leland tells of speculation that the great number of murders occurring on the highway next to the railroad may have been done by one party going home to Newberry County, and they may have been searching for Crews who would have fled in the direction of his friends in Columbia.
88.Leland, pp. 62-63. He continues: "And even if they did [belong to the county], what county is there, north, south, east or west, which cannot furnish rowdies enough to perpetrate all that was done in Laurens, in a time, too, of excitement the most intense?"
89.Leland, p. 75. The aurora is mentioned in the Anderson Intelligencer, October 27, 1870. "The appearance of this electrical phenomenon has been more frequent this fall than at any time within the memory of our steadfast and never-failing friend, 'the oldest inhabitant.'"
90.Holt, p. 142.
91.Leland, pp. 76-77.
92.Leland, pp. 80-81; Wright, p. 1. The prisoners were Dr. D.A. Richardson, physician and Intendant; Turner Richardson, his son; Colonel B. Smith Jones, sheriff and democrat; Colonel G.F. Mosely, "landlord of the only hotel in the place;" Colonel R.P. Todd, a prominent lawyer; Captain R.E. Richardson, clerk of court; S.D. Garlington, apothecary and druggist; Captain Hugh S. Farley; and George Copeland, the wealthiest merchant in Clinton.
93."And martial law was to be proclaimed in certain counties of South Carolina, including Laurens, of course."Leland, p. 56, 86; Simkins and Woody, pp. 457-464. Leland, p. 56: "This fact was so notorious, that when certain citizens of this county were brought to trial in the United States Circuit Court, on a charge of 'conspiracy an murder,' no effort was made on the part of the prosecution to prove the existence of a single Ku Klux Klan. They had an inexhaustible number of false witnesses, ready to establish any fact, on oath, for a consideration; but even Crews himself was ashamed of this lie."
94.Jacobs, Life, p. 90.
95.Wright, p. 2.
96.Leland, pp. 88-89.
97.Wallace, p. 582; Thompson, pp. 55-56. The counties were Spartanburg, York, Union, Laurens, Chester, Newberry, and Chesterfield. James P. Shenton, The Reconstruction 1865-1877, (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1963), pp. 196-209, gives information about Ku Klux trials in other counties, and the term for KKK confession which is to puke.
98.Leland, p. 90. Leland continues, p. 79: "The previous course of the [Republican] party, all over the State, had made it notorious that they care nothing for these outrages and murders, in themselves considered, particularly when they were confined to the colored race; but when they could be made to subserve their party purposes, they could raise a howl which would reach from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Lakes to the Gulf. How else can we account for the fact . . . that the high crimes of conspiracy and murder alleged to have been perpetrated [in the Upstate] in the Fall of 1870 were ignored and unnoticed by the constituted authorities, till the Spring of 1872."
99.Ball, State, p. 139. Thompson, pp. 56-57, said arrests in the upstate were mostly at night, without warrants, or evidence. Several hundred from Spartanburg, 200 from Union, 195 from York were the heaviest arrests. President Grant announced: "It is believed no innocent person is now held in custody." Now the President may have been correct, but it was not etiquette to judge the prisoners before their trials, no matter how ridiculous the trials would be.
100.Leland, pp. 91-93; Jacobs, Literary, p. 20; Wright, p. 2. Wright adds: "Am sorry can't give all their names. I remember [from Clinton] Dr. Craig, George Davidson, Sam L. West, Sim Pearson, Henry Suber, and Dr. W.C. Irby. There were two colored men--Bluford Meadors and ----Johnson. The Laurens party were Maj. J.A. Leland, Dr. Thomas McCoy, Capt. A.W. Teague, Beverly Potter, W.E. Crisp, Capt. Aleck McCarley, Enoch West, Capt. Robert E. Richardson, B.F. Ballew, W.T. Finley, Samuel Bolt, Watt Allison, John Allison, W.E. Black, James M. Hudgens, Sam Oliver, and J.N. Wright. "I brought my wife to her Mother's . . . [because] I had heard that there was a warrant for me and I thought it best she should be with her father and mother if I was taken."
101.Wright, p. 2-3.
102.Leland , p. 93.
103.Wright, pp. 2-3.
104.Wright, pp. 4-5.
105.Leland, p. 101.
106.Wright, p. 5, 6.
107.Leland, p. 105;.p. 97: He adds that the Bible they used for devotions during their jail stay "is now deposited in the Presbyterian Church in Laurens, on the table under the pulpit, as a memorial of the troublous past." Wright, p. 6, says: Dr. Wilson preached to them, "the father of our great and beloved president of these United States."
108.Wright, pp. 5-6.
109.Leland, pp. 108-109, 111-114.
110.Leland, p. 108.
111.Jacobs, Literary, p. 35-36. The court did not take it as truth. Dr. Jacobs saw the man later. He said, "Aw, Dr. Jacobs, I knew they wouldn't believe me. I was just saying it in fun."
112.Wright, p. 6. Leland, pp. 109-110: did not know about the riot until 2:00pm when parents of the girls at the college requested him to keep them there for safety.
113.Jacobs, Literary, p. 20.
114.Leland, p. 117. They did the same thing with one of the York prisoners. Leland adds, p. 121: "We heard from the Clinton delegation to-day, and they informed us that they had rather a rough time of it going down. After they had been paraded through the streets of Columbia, in handcuffs, they were locked up in the same car, with the colored witnesses against them, including the famous 'Ferguson.' Arrived in Charleston, they were marched a mile and a half through the streets to the 'House of Correction,' formerly known as the 'Sugar House.' But kind friends were awaiting their arrival, and they were faring now even more sumptuously than they had done in Columbia."
115.Leland, pp. 115-116.
116.Wright, p. 8. "I am still under bond in the sum of 3500.00 for any appearance at U.S. Court, Columbia, S.C., to answer to the charge of conspiracy and murder. The rest of the party have passed to the beyond."
117.Foy, pp. 20-21. Laurens Advertiser, June 10, 1970 . Eleven years later the name change was made official. The Blalock estate had seventy plows, and one plow can handle about twenty acres. In later years he saw the need for a mill, and he hired convicts from the state to make bricks, build a five thousand spindle mill, and farm his land. Scrapbook, p. 72, reports that Blalock purchased 7,000 acres and harvested 1,000 to 1,500 bales of cotton a year.
118.Jacobs, Life, p. 94.
119.Jacobs, Life, p. 94.
120.Jacobs, Life, pp. 99-100. Jacobs says that the families divided into 29 Presbyterian, 8 Methodist, 2 Baptist, and 1 Jewish. Scrapbook, 93.
121.Laurensville Herald, March 8, 1872.
122.Laurensville Herald, March 22, 1872. According to South Carolina Counties, "Laurens County", p. 3, we see for the first time in the re-charter of 1873 the name change to drop the -ville for Laurens. In the March 8, 1872, issue, under "PLOWING RIGHT," is the following: "Captain John Robertson, with his big plow, was in our town recently, and literally 'ruined' as some of our old fogy friends predict, two or three gardens--our own among the rest. The aforesaid plow is one of Ames' large two-horse steel implements, with the North Carolina sub-soil attachment, which penetrates mother earth to the depth of fully 12 inches. 'Dad' by which endearing [name] the Captain is perhaps better known, has a trio of these noble brothers, with which he 'ruins' all his bottom lands."
123.Laurensville Herald, March 8, 1872. "The snow on Friday night was the largest of the season measuring, we are told, fully six inches on fair ground. This count of the number of snows does not include small skiffs, rain-freeze, and sleets, but large full-grown in the 'old way.'"
124.Betty W. Irwin and James P. Sloan, "Thomas Madison Workman," Scrapbook, pp. 412-414. According to J.C. Garlington's Men of the Time, (Atlanta: Foote and David Company, 1901), Workman (1847-1921) is the inventor of the first telephone of which there is record. Workman called it "an electric speaking trumpet." Workman heard of a man named Bell who was working on a similar machine, and he sent him his ideas for collaboration. Bell never wrote back, but Workman claimed he used his ideas freely. His invention of steam brakes for locomotives met the same fate, but he did make a steam thresher with which he threshed wheat for community farmers, and drew crowds. He also built an automatic car brake and a press to make round cotton bales. In 1871 he advanced the theory in newspapers that mosquitoes carried malaria, which the medical community ridiculed. He grew up six miles east of Laurens and 300 yards from the railroad and attended rural schools, but by age eleven he was reading Comstock's Philosophy and exploring the causes of thunder, lightning, and eclipses. In later years he grew restless and would walk to visit relatives, once going as far as Mississippi, carrying a cane to knock rocks out of the road.
125.Workman, Sayings and Doings, pp. 42-47.
126.All from Laurensville Herald, March 1, 8, 22, 1872. The article about the fight illustrates the conservative sensitivity to the Republican newspapers: "Who will be kind enough to re port to the Union? Come now ye racy, ready correspondents of said paper, don't all speak at once; but let it be said that several letters were received from Laurens county giving accounts of a riot." Also from the 3-22-1872 issue: "Wesley once said that 'Many a good farmer or mechanic had been spoiled to make a poor preacher.' There is little doubt in the minds of many who have witnessed the remarkable gyrations of some of the members of the General Assembly that many a good harlequin has been spoiled to make a very poor legislator. We have this to say to the Republican party of this State. If there is not a change for the better in the next Legislature then God help the State."
127.Laurens' first schoolhouse was on Reedy Fork Creek near the residence of Colonel Ball. The first teacher was Charles Stone. Garlington, p. 46.
128.Jacobs, Literary, p. 13.
129.Scrapbook, pp. 503-505.
130.Scrapbook, p. 513.
131.Garlington, pp. 47, 49-50. By 1887, it had 160 students. It was founded in 1858. See Appendix D. Scrapbook, p. 514. Jean Witherspoon Dillon, History of Laurens, South Carolina, (Presbyterian College, May 22, 1945), p. 8, adds: "Some differences arose and there was indebtedness which involved a lawsuit about 1875."
132.Jacobs, Literary, p. 24-25. In October 1880, Dr. Jacobs suggested the high school be made a college, and M.S. Bailey approved. Professor William States Lee of Edisto Island and Rev. Zelotes Lee Holmes were the first professors. The prep school was in the charge of "an excellent lady." "It was with a little degree of surprise at our own audacity and of amusement on the part of the town people that we made an announcement of what we had done upon the streets.[sic] It was to be a town institution only, co-educational to care for our sons and daughters."
133.Jacobs, Life, p. 120. On p. 100: July 1872--" If one dollar is offered me for the Home of the Fatherless this month or one child is tendered me I will take it as God's call to this work, and if I enter upon it then my lot is fixed for life in Clinton." On Christmas morning a little homeless boy appeared on his doorstep looking for a warm place. He noticed his hand clutching something tightly, and he opened it revealing a 50 cent piece. When asked what it was for, he said, "I am going to give it to you to build that home for orphans." Jacobs refused the money, but the boy left it, and there were no contributions for a month. Then his daughter Florence gave him her savings and he had $1 and only a thousand to go. That night he received $5 from a man in Charleston; an Illinois woman sent $5 more, and a Clinton woman gave $3. He was on his way. Literary, p. 81: He raised $1360 in 1873, and the granite came from a nearby quarry.
134.Scrapbook, p. 38; Jacobs, Literary, p. 16.
135.Nancy Parks, "Thornwell, Tribute to Founder, William P. Jacobs," Laurens Advertiser, June 10, 1970.
136.Jacobs, Life, p. 122.
137.Workman, Sayings and Doings, p. 89, September 16, 1875.
138.Jacobs, Literary, p. 64.
139.Jacobs, Literary, p. 28-29.
140.Jacobs, Literary, p. 29.
141.Workman, Sayings and Doings, p. 75. He adds from p. 83: Some are of the opinion that the Bible use Hyperbolean expressions. But I think the matter may be seriously doubted [e.g., of Abraham's descendants being as numerous as the stars and sand]. The New Testament says that the true christian is a child of Abraham. I cannot see why a thing like this could not be so, for on the earth there are now living many millions of human beings and every year there are millions more born."
142.Jacobs, Literary, p. 30.
143.Scrapbook, p. 443-444. By 1888, they had 120 members in church and Sunday School.
144.Garlington, pp. 57ff. The colored Baptists were not organized until 1886 at St. Paul, on land donated "by C. Martin Mills, colored." Rev. G.T. Dillard was the Presbyterian pastor in 1888.
145.Garlington, pp. 51-52. The cemetery was located on the corner of Harper and Hunter Streets "and extends backwards almost to the banks of Little River. . . . It was originally the family burial ground of Mr. Thos. Porter. The first person buried there-in was his little daughter, who died from the bite of a mad-dog." Laura Adelaide Porter, two years old, buried on the southside of the cemetery in 1817.
146.Foy, p. 44. Jane Bradley ( age 80), in Slave Narratives, (I, i, 74), May 17, 1937, edited by Elmer Turnage, adds: "I was born in Newberry County, near the Laurens County line, above Little River. Me and my mother belonged to the Workman family . . . [who was] good to his slaves."
147.The latter had a fire; the former apparently didn't keep them.
148.The circuit eventually included Leesville, Clinton, Salem, Hopewell, Sardis, Rehoboth, and Sandy Springs, Scrapbook, p. 460.
149.Scrapbook, p. 426, 432-433, 443-444.
150.The Harmony deed named the trustees as "Elders of the Presbyterian and Deacons of the Baptist Church, Share and Share A-Like." Foy, p. 44. Jacobs, Literary, p. 52.
151.Jacobs, Literary , p. 42.
152.Jacobs, Literary, p. 37. "It would seem to indicate that the Duncan's Creek Church was almost broken up already."
153.Jacobs, Literary, p. 31.
154.Jacobs, Literary, pp. 30-31. Therefore a box was placed at the door. "On a certain day, the treasurer having forgotten for several Sabbaths to open the contribution boxes, the box was discovered to have been broken open and whatever was in it to be gone. This created quite a sensation among the people though from my experience of that box, I am sure the thief was very sorely disappointed." p. 32: A Presbyterian elder asked a man of another denomination: "'How much do you pay to your preacher?' He told him a little shame-facedly that his subscription was only $50. The reply he got was, 'I'd see my preacher in the bad place and the church along with him, before I would pay that much money.'"
155.Jacobs, Literary, p. 52.
156.Jacobs, Life, p. 109.
157.Jacobs, Literary, p. 46.
158.Workman, Sayings and Doings, p. 97.
159.Scrapbook, p. 500.
160.Workman, Sayings and Doings, p. 92, September 20, 1875.
161.Joel Williamson, After Slavery: The Negro in South Carolina during Reconstruction, 1861-1877, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1965), pp. 193, 194. By 1874 the separation was nearly complete statewide.
162.Morgan Scurry in Slave Narratives, II, ii, 89-90. He adds, "There wasn't much time for learning to read and write. In Ku Klux times, I met five or ten of them in the road one night. They never bothered me. They had long white sheets over them and the horses. Slits were cut for the head, eyes, nose and mouth. I think everybody should belong to the church and be a Christian."
163.Scrapbook, p. 458.
164.Leland, pp. 39-40.
165.Maria Cleland (age 80), in Slave Narratives, (I, i, 204), May 17, 1937, edited by Elmer Turnage. "I was born near old Bush River Baptist Church, in Newberry County, S.C. I was the slave of John Satterwhite. My mother lived with them. I was a small girl when the war was on. My brother went to war with Marse Satterwhite. When de Ku Klux and paddrollers traveled around in that section, they made Mr. Satterwhite hold the niggers when they was whipped, but he most all the time let them loose, exclaiming, 'they got loose'--he did not want many of them whipped. People there did not believe much in ghosts. They were not much superstitious, but one time some of the negroes thought they heard the benches in Bush River Baptist Church turn over when nobody was in the church. Before de Negroes had their own church meetings, the slaves went to the white folks' Bush River Baptist Church and set up in the gallery. I moved to Newberry when I was young, after I got married."
166.Scrapbook, p. 74; Foy, p. 42; Jacobs, Literary, pp. 48, 63-64; Jacobs, Life, p.86. In Jacobs, Literary, p. 36, "The colored people of Clinton have made wonderful progress in all that goes to make good citizens. They are a tax-paying and property-owning set and are working hard to get for themselves a good reputation. In the early days after the war, I preached for them for five or six years every afternoon and organized a church and Sabbath school. The church had about 200 members. Some of them did not understand church life very thoroughly." They would change churches. One man who joined the Methodist church said upon being accosted by Dr. Jacobs for quitting them: "Oh, I just did that to encourage them, I ain't jined dem, I belongs to you yet." The church did not thrive well under the Northern General Assembly. "I asked our Presbytery to give them an organization under our care, but they declined. I feel sure that had the Presbytery taken different action, a large colored Synod would now be under our care. But it was not approved by those at the head of our work in this State."
167."Piedmont Presbyterian Began in Brush Arbor," Clinton Chronicle, November 12, 1970. Others from Liberty Springs were Messrs. Carey Jones, Thomas Nance, Edmond Nance, Anthony Jones, C.W. Jones, Hampton Bartee, Allen Watts, Thomas Jones, Martin Johnson, and Emanuel Floyd. "These families belonged to the Nances, Williams, and Dr. Phillips."
168.Scrapbook, p. 479. In 1844 the Little River church was composed of 46 whites and 15 blacks. In 1859, 201 whites and 224 blacks. By 1866, there were 62 whites and 90 black. In the spring report of the Presbytery of 1869, the Negro membership was omitted for the first time. p. 470: Mount Pleasant Baptist, est. 1826, had the following: 1848--164 W, 97 B; 1851--223 W, 99 B (largest in the Association); in 1867 the white Sunday school failed. In 1869 the church had 124 colored members.
169.Scrapbook, p. 477.
170.Robert Cruden, The Negro in Reconstruction, (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1969), p. 85.
171.Williamson, p. 189.
172.Cruden, p. 82.
173.Jacobs, Literary, p. 35.
174.0.W.C. Lawson, "Church Built near Baggett's Mill," Laurens Advertiser, June 10, 1970. June Kennedy was the first pastor until 1877, and the charter members were George Hooker, George Nelson, Mary Blakeley, Letia A. Cunningham, M.C. Cunningham, George and Silvia Davis, and Emma Hooker. The membership reached 350 by 1900.
175.Mary Whitener, "Contributions by Negroes," Laurens Advertiser, June 10, 1970. The association was founded by Homer Hill, Calvin Pitts, Haywood Donaldson, M.A. Cunningham, all ministers, and deacons John Finley, Priest Miller, and others.
176.Scrapbook, p. 496-499.
177.Scrapbook, pp. 430-4 31; 493.
178.Scrapbook, p. 491.
179.Garlington, p. 32.
180.Workman, Sayings and Doings, p. 77. "At a distance she had a very fine appearance. I stayed at a respectable distance untill I could gain some idea of her ways and manners, for I had heard a great many things said about her braveness, I might say wrecklessness. But I entered her company and found her very quiet and peacable. Not disposed to quarrel with anyone. her features were to my eyes very haggard and care worn. From her appearance she might have been forty instead of twenty eight. I fancied that she was far from enjoying herself in the present situation. Her laughter seemed a forced merriment instead of genuine mirth."
181.Jerry L. Slaunwhite, John L.M. Irby: The Creation of a Crisis, (Master's Thesis, University of South Carolina, 1973), p. 14n. See also the Laurensville Herald, November 28, 1890.
182.Workman, p. 86, September 9, 1875; p. 88 , September 14, 1875. He adds: "I can have no idea as to the probable cause of such conduct on the part of any person or persons. Possibly on account of the political career of Joseph Crews, [?]. and maybe some private difficulty or it maybe because he was thought to be investigator in the murder of Ira Clinton Shell or maybe something else was in view. I can't have any idea as to what was the cause of it." p. 88: There is no end to the fancies which people can bring up on such occasions. Things are imagined and soon they are going the rounds as the truth, No use in believing report in this matter. for it is uncertain who is speaking the truth. Leland, p. 134, says the public opinion is that it was a private revenge. "He was only of the scum, brought to the surface, in the boiling of the political cauldron, and it is astonishing how soon his memory has rotted."
183.Alfred B. Williams, Hampton and His Red Shirts, (Charleston: Walker, Evans, and Cogswell Company, 1935), pp. 47-48. He adds that everyone knew but refused to say who the killer was, and reveals that he knows but will not tell. "Years later he rose to prominence and importance, but his name does not appear in any record connected with the killing of Crews."
184.Workman, Sayings and Doings, p. 90, September 17, 1875.
185.Jacobs, Life, p. 123, 132-134; Jacobs, Literary, p. 51.
186.Workman, Sayings and Doings, p. 40.
187.Holt, pp. 183-184, 202-203.
188.Thompson, pp. 118-119.
189.Williams, p. 72.
190.Williams, p. 105.
191.Foy, p. 37.
192.Foy, pp. 18, 37; Shelley, p. 10; Williams, pp. 145-146; Simkins and Woody, p. 509; Scrapbook, p. 31; Ball, A Boy's, pp. 7-9. Some club names were: the Laurens Courthouse Central Club, Rabun Creek Democratic Club, Tumbling Shoals Democratic Club, Thomas Crossroad Club, Lyons Beat Club, Pea Ridge Club, Waterloo, Tip Top, Mount Gallagher, Centerville, and Mount Pleasant clubs. Some rifle clubs across the state changed their names when outlawed: Allendale Mounted Baseball Club (150 man team), Mother's Little Helpers, First Baptist Church Sewing Circle, Hampton & Tilden Musical Club.
193.Thompson, p. 116; Simkins and Woody, p. 512.
194.Madison Griffin (age 84), interviewed 1937, in Slave Narratives, (I, ii, 212-214), edited by Elmer Turnage. He was from Whitmire. "After de war, we went hunting and fishing on Sundays. We never had Saturday afternoons off. We killed wild deer and other things. When freedom come, de master [Billy Scott] come to us and told us de damn Yankees done freed us, 'what you gwinter do? If you want ter stay on wid me, I will give you work.' We stayed for awhile. De Ku Klux had bad niggers dodging like birds in de woods. Dey caught some and threw dem on de ground and whipped dem, but de master say he don't know nothing 'bout it as he was asleep. Dey caught a nigger preacher once and made him dance, put him in muddy water and walloped him around in de mud. I joined de church when 28 years old, because I thought it was right. Wanted to git right and git to God's Kingdom. I think everybody ought to join de church."
195."Uncle Pen" Eubanks (age 83), interviewed May 4, 1937, in Slave Narratives, (I, i, 27-29), edited by Elmer Turnage. "I is got memory, but I ain't got no larning; dat I is proud of, kaise I is seed folks wid larning dat never knowed nothing worth speaking about. Robinson's Circus come to Union. De circus folks gib everbody a free ticket to de circus dat 'longed to de Democratic Club. Dey let all de scalawag niggers in fer registration tickets dat de Republicans had done give dem to vote fer Chamberlain. Dem niggers wanted to go to de circus wu'se dan dey wanted to do anything else." They didn't care about voting.
196.Williams, p. 53, 109.
197.Ball, A Boy's, p. 9-11.
198.H. Williams, p. 177; Thompson, p. 110.
199."Uncle Pen" Eubanks, Slave Narratives, (I, ii, 27-29). At the Union courthouse, a "darky sung a song like dis: 'Marse Hampton was a honest man; Mr. Chamberlain was a rogue'--Den I sung a song like dis: 'Marse Hampton et de watermelon; Mr. Chamberlain knawed de rine.' Us jes' havin fun den, kaise us had done 'lected Marse Hampton."
200.J. Williams, pp. 200 -201.
201.K. Ball, A Boy's, p. 11-14.
202.L. Williams, p. 278.
203.M. Thompson, p. 127.
204.N. Williams, p. 307.
205.O. Thompson, p. 129.
206.P. Jarrell, p. 93, 98. Simkins and Woody, p. 514, results: Republican claim 86,216 for Chamberlain; 83,071 for Hampton. The Democrats claimed 91,127 for Chamberlain; 92,261 for Hampton.
207.Q. Miller McCuen, "Memories of Laurens," Scrapbook, p. 66.
208.Wright, p. 8.
209.S.F. Garlington, Business Directory of the Town of Laurens, Together with Historical Sketch, 1888.
210.Foy, p. 16.
211.Jacobs, Life, pp. 73-74.
212.Dr. Marianna W. Davis, et. al., South Carolina's Blacks and Native Americans 1776-1976, (Columbia: State Human Affairs Commission, 1976), Appendix D, pp. 231, 235.
213.Scrapbook, pp. 31-35.
214.Mary Thompson Byrd, "Mill's Statistics Provide Many Humorous Insights," Laurens County Advertiser, June 10, 1970.
215.David Duncan Wallace, South Carolina: A Short History 1520-1948, (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1951), p. 711.
216.Mary Helen Sullivan, "America in the Year Two Thousand," June 29, 1859, in Laurens County Advertiser, June 10, 1970.