So great were the gains of blacks through the Republican Party those Democrats begun to fight back not only as they had in Georgia through the manipulation of laws and election results, but also literally as in Louisiana. Recall that black Americans had made huge gains in Louisiana with the election of 127 black legislators and even a black lieutenant governor, P. B. S. Pinchback, who later served as State governor. To halt such progress, in 1866, Democrats – in conjunction with the city police and the Democratic mayor of New Orleans – physically attacked the Republican Convention in that city, killing 40 blacks, 20 whites, and wounding 150 others. Democrats later rushed the floor of the Louisiana Legislature to seize power by force away from the elected black Republicans, but federal troops arrived to restore peace and return African Americans to their lawfully elected positions. Similar violent and often deadly attacks by Democrats against Republicans also occurred in other States.
While much early Democratic opposition occurred on a State by State or local basis, in 1866 Democrats formed a group that became an 1868 report of democrats expelling black leaders’ P.B.S. Pinchback national. Its declared purpose was to break down the Republican government and pave the way for Democrats to regain control in the elections. What was the name of that group? The Ku Klux Klan. 146 democrats rushed the legislature to expel black republicans democrats attacked and killed both black and white republicans 1872 congressional documents irrefutably prove that democrats started the Ku Klux Klan.
Although it is relatively unreported today, historical documents are unequivocal that the Klan was established by Democrats and that the Klan played a prominent role in the Democratic Party. In fact, a thirteen volume set of congressional investigations from 1872 conclusively and irrefutably documents that fact. Contributing to the evidences was the 1871 appearance before Congress of leading
South Carolina Democrat E. W. Seibels who testified that “they the Ku Klux Klan belong to the reform party – that is, to our party, the Democratic Party.”
The Klan terrorized black Americans through murders and public floggings; relief was granted only if individuals promised not to vote for Republican tickets, and violation of this oath was punishable by death. Since the Klan targeted Republicans in general, it did not limit its violence simply to black Republicans; white Republicans were also included. In 1871, Joseph Hayne
Rainey, a black U. S. Congressman from South Carolina, reported the klan hung republicans, white as well as black an incident concerning an elderly man named Dr. John Winsmith, a white Republican State Senator:
The doctor, a man nearly seventy years of age, had been to town during the day and was seen and talked with by many of our citizens. Returning home late, he soon afterward retired, worn out and exhausted by the labors of the day. A little after midnight he was aroused by someone knocking violently at his front door. The doctor arose, opened the door, and saw two men in disguise standing before him. The doctor immediately stepped back into the room, picked up two single-barreled pistols lying upon the bureau, and returned to the open door. At his reappearance the men retreated behind some cedar trees standing in the yard. The doctor, in his night clothes, boldly stepped out into the yard and followed them. He continued to advance, when twenty or thirty shots were fired at him by men crouched behind an orange hedge. He fired his remaining pistol and then attempted to return to the house. Before reaching it, however, he sank upon the ground exhausted by the loss of blood and pain, occasioned by seven wounds which he had received in various parts of his body. As soon as he fell, the assassins mounted their horses and rode away. He had joined the Republican Party in the fall of 1870; and for this alliance and this alone he has been vehemently assailed and murderously assaulted. Because he has dared become a Republican he has become the doomed victim of the murderous Ku Klux Klan
David Barton – “David, I want to tell you, I look forward to coming to church every single week.” And I can’t tell you what that did to me. That put a spring in my step. I feel the same way. I really, really do.