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Days after the massacre at Hamburg, an address circulated in print seeking to convey the magnitude of the outrage and injustices taking place in South Carolina, where White supremacist groups were using violence against persons of color to “influence and control political elections”. The address sought not only to correct the “many gross misrepresentations of the origin and cause of the outrage, and circumstances connected with its perpetration” but to perform essential duties for “truth and justice” to prevail in honoring the memories of those “peaceable and law-abiding citizens” murdered.

An excerpt from the address, delivered by Robert Brown Elliott, to a crowd convened in Columbia emphasized the egregious encroachment on human and civil rights:

“The fact that such outbreaks of inhuman and barbarous deeds invariably occur on the eve of elections, and in counties containing Republican majorities, and the further fact that they are usually preceded by the threats and menaces from prominent leaders of the Democratic party leads us to believe that the Hamburg massacre was not only an assault upon our right to exercise our privilege as part of the arms-bearing population of our country, but also a deliberate plan.”

Courtesy of the South Carolina Historical Society