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”

Wyatt Prince, Colored

Being first sworn to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, says he is a citizen of North Carolina, and a resident in the County of Chatham.

In the month of July, while at home with my family, and all in bed asleep, a company of white men, masked, approached my house, and without giving any warning, burst the door in and one of the number struck a match, and from the light thereof saw where I was lying and exclaimed, “there he lies, come in boys, come in,” and immediately the house was filled with men who gathered around him. I attempted escaped, when one of the number exclaimed, “God damn him! Shoot him boys! Shoot him.” Whereupon they commenced shooting with pistols and wounded me in the right arm, left side, left thigh, and below my left knee. During this time I had moved from my first position and they missing me, they endeavored again to strike a match, and not succeeding, I made my escape through a window and fled to the woods. For several weeks I was bedridden with my wounds. I am now a refugee from my home, and cannot return for fear of losing my life. These Ku Klux frequently visit my house of a night and have declared that if they ever catch me, they intend to cut me open and fill my body with rocks and sink it in the river. My family are still in Chatham, I cannot go to them, nor can they come to me. My corn crop still stands in the field ungathered and my cotton has been gathered in part by one of my enemies and appropriated to his own use. I believe I know four of the persons who may made the attack upon me.

Alvin Nash, colored, who brought the information of the outrage upon me to Raleigh has been persecuted for the part of friendship he showed to me. His liberty has been taken from him, and he is under arrest under false charges.

I am not sensible of having done anyone a wrong – I attended to my own business, and only have given offence by being, or I believe, a true Republican.

Wyatt (X) Prince

Sworn and subscribed before me this the 21st day of December, 1870.

W. Whitaker, J. P.