Date of Award

Summer 1989

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Harold S. Wilson

Committee Member

Peter C. Stewart


Blacks were the passive victims in Kemper County, Mississippi, the scene of violence and murder in Reconstruction. The Ku Klux Klan, the Order of '76, and a continuing animosity between scalawag Radical Republicans and white-line Democrats were instrumental in perpetuating a frontier atmosphere wherein the pistol and Bowie knife were commonplace. Shooting or killing was an acceptable method of settling one's differences with another. Freedom and new rights for the majority black population of the county and seven years of Radical rule in the county provoked night-riding violence, murder and finally, the Mississippi Plan, successful revolution at the ballot box in 1875. The revenge of the Democrats was not complete until April, 1877, when a mob stormed the county jail and murdered the former Radical Republican sheriff and two of his children.


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