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    [1876 Presidential Election]. Charleston Riot Group consisting of two letters, three reports, and one list. Two days after the November 7 election, a riot erupted on the streets of Charleston, South Carolina when Republican Congressman Edmund W. M. Mackey, reading the results of the election to a group of black listeners, was struck in the face by an inebriated white man. The two men fought and a gunshot went off. The crowd believed Mackey (who was also white) had been killed and stormed down the street. They were held up when fired upon by white citizens. A group of black police officers joined the mob and began to fire at any whites they saw. The riot was finally quelled when 500 men of the various rifle clubs assisted two companies of Federal troops in restoring order. In all, one white man and one black man were killed with twenty-three others on both sides injured.

    Included in this lot is a Daniel H. Chamberlain ALS, one page, 8" x 10", on State of South Carolina Executive Chamber letterhead, Columbia, November 9, 1876. Chamberlain, the governor of South Carolina, is writing to commander of the Department of the South, Thomas H. Ruger, forwarding a telegram, also dated November 9, which he has received from the Mayor of Charleston reading, in part: "The rifle clubs have congregated with their arms at their armories Unless they are compelled to disperse at once a serious riot may follow." In his letter, Chamberlain expresses the hope that Ruger "...will issue such orders as may be necessary, and if you need anything...from me I will give it."

    Also included are several reports after the riot from Federal officers describing the action: D. H. Kinzie Copy of a Report, November 18, 1876, describing the movement and actions of his battery during the riot He writes, in part: "I was take a portion of my Battery to disperse a party of colored men at the corner of Broad and King streets who were firing at white men...after dispersing the crowd I heard firing up King street, marched in that direction dispersing all assemblages ...I persuaded both parties to disperse without using violence." [and:] R. T. Frank Copy of a Report, November 18, 1876, regarding "...Batteries B 1st Arty and E. 5th suppressing the riot which occurred in this City [Charleston...We had not been at the Citadel more than an hour, when a Citizen came in in great excitement, saying that a big fight was in progress down town - that more than a hundred shots had already been fired... I do not remember to have seen upon our arrival here any with Musket or rifles...except the police - certainly no bodies of men...Firing being heard toward King street, Major Kinzie was that direction..." [and:] Henry J. Hunt Fair Copy of a Report, nineteen integral pages, 8.5" x 14", Washington, November 27, 1876, describing the movement and actions of troops from the 5th Artillery, 2nd Artillery, and 1st Artillery stationed at various points throughout South Carolina during the 1876 election. Includes an account of the riot in Charleston in amazing detail.

    With a Henry J. Hunt ALS, November 9, 1876, to Thomas H. Ruger giving a detailed description of the riot in Charleston the day of the election, 1876. [and:] List of Polling Places, n. d. (circa October 20, 1876). Handwritten list of the forty voting precincts for "...the County of Charleston, exclusive of the City limits..."

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
    4th-5th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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