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Report of Join Select Committee- Pearce, Charles H.

Esteban Morera

Research/Writing Assignment


States, made to the two Houses of Congress February 19, 187


Witness Name: Pearce, Charles H.

Age/DOB: 51/ 1820

Race: African American

Gender: Male 

Place of Birth: Eastern shore of Maryland

Place of Residence: Tallahassee Florida

Slave/Free Prior to 1865?: Not addressed.

CSA or USA Veteran: noncombatant, in Canada at end of war.

Recent Occupation(s):Elder Minister of African Methodist church (eq. to bishop)

Party Affiliation(s):Republican

Offices held: State Senator for the 8th district, Leon County

Marital Status: n/a

Family: n/a

Other pertinent info: Went to Canada as a missionary and came to reside in Florida in 1865.Testimony includes the proceedings and resolutions of a convention of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Florida, in which the governor was attendance.

TESTIMONYDate of Testimony: November 13, 1871 Jacksonville, Fl

Focus of Testimony: Determine whether the laws of the state have proved to adequately protect person and property.Involved questions concerning the forced loss of property, intimidation at the voting polls, murders, and even threats to state officials by what they believed to be the KKK.Also states the concerns and interests, both political and industrial, of the African American population of the state.

No. of incidents described: Three specific incidents described.One of the murder of Doctor Kreminger, the other of a teacher threatened into closing his school for African Americans.The third incident described was the visitation of the Klu Klux Klan to state secretary of state Mr. Gibbs.As state senator Pearce was aware of a plentitude of crimes and actions against the African American community, stating that many of the incidents were private matters in which he could not share the details.One specific incident mentioned in which a shipment of arms for the protection of the state was destroyed en-route to Tallahassee by what was deemed to be the KKK.

Location(s) of incidents: Incidents said to have occurred in La Fayette, Taylor, Hamilton and Columbia, and Leon counties.Highest volume of the violence and number of incidents located in Jackson County.

Date(s) of incidents: Murder of Kreminger, fall of 1871.Dates of other incidents not mentioned.

Testimony based on eyewitness account or hearsay? Majority of events hearsay, through letters written to the representative.Although Pearce personally saw the KKK going to threaten Mr. Gibbs

Nature of incident(s): Murders, Beatings, peoples being forced out of their homes.Threats at the voting polls, destruction of state arms, destruction and forced closing of colored schools.

Ascribed motive(s): Ensure the African American population would not be educated.Secure victory for Democratic Party elected officials.Reassert power of the white population in the State of Florida.

Number of victims: Pearce gives no specific number of victims for the many crimes he describes.But in Jackson County alone 75+ were counted to be killed or maltreated.

Identity of victims (individual or grouped, by race): All victims republicans, majority African Americans, but there is reference to a few republican white men being maltreated.

DMU Timestamp: February 02, 2012 08:30