Letters Received by the Office of the Adjutant General (Main Series), 1871 – 1880

National Archives Microfilm Publication M666 Roll 1

“Statements, depositions, and other records submitted by Gov. William W. Holden relating to crimes of the Ku Klux Klan against citizens of North Carolina, 1869 – 1871”

Ashboro, NC
Octo. 28th, 1870

Gov. Holden

Dear Sir:

Yours of 30th inst. is to hand. I am sorry to have to inform you that Randolph County is almost entirely governed by the Ku Klux. I supposed before election that there were a good many in the County but I had no idea that they were half so well organized; but I am proud to say that my Township gave a large Republican majority. The Ku Klux have not committed many gross outrages in this County like they have in some others, their object seemed to be to decoy as many as possible into the organization by making them believe it was not a very bad thing. They paraded through several neighborhoods just before the election in order to terrify the most timid Republicans and by threats &c make them stay away from the election; they knew very well who was easily scared; they have not been so bold since the Militia was called out. If the Republicans had not (some of them both white and colored) been so easily intimidated and stayed at home we could easily have carried Randolph. It is very hard to know whom to put confidence in; I know a great many men who lay out during the war, who were whipped, kicked and handcuffed by the Rebels during the war who are now among the Ku Klux and voted for the men that abused them so badly. I don’t now that any person in this County has been murdered by the Ku Klux.

I only know of two that have been whipped, one was a colored boy I think by the name of Cheek, was taken to Franklinsville last Spring in the night and tied up and whipped in the Village.

James Brookshire, a colored man, was whipped at his own house last Spring and his gun taken away and he forced to leave the neighborhood.

One school house was burned in 1869; it belonged to the colored people. A great many, both white and colored, were visited by the Ku Klux and severe threats made against them if they voted the Republican Ticket.

Respectfully Yours,
Joel Ashworth