Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Haley Barbour Forgets His Citizens Councils History; Sovereignty Commission Files Help Restore Memories

Guess old Haley Barbour has totally forgotten about the relationship of the Citizens Councils to the ... Sovereignty Commission... to the... state the... state public officials, etc. Take a look at these files I found on the Sovereignty Commission site. All clearly show that everyone was working closely with Citizens Councils to keep Blacks "in line."

Just think what we would know about this history if ALL of the files were made available! My guess is that plenty of these files are still sitting in the basements of some Yazoo City, Mississippi homes (alternate state capital) waiting to be discovered.

File 1

File 2

File 3

File 4

File 5

File 6

File 7

File 8

File 9

File 10

Files 11

File 12

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Any black farmer terrorism stories in the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission files? Wouldn't surprise me!

It would not surprise me at all if I found some related files in the Sovereignty Commission records. Thought I would take a look this evening and will share anything I find. Would like to hear from anyone who finds something that relates to terrorizing black farmers in Mississippi (in earlier years than this particular settlement covers.)

On Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 4:14 PM, Dr John Boyd wrote:

For more than 10 years, tens of thousands of Black farmers have been denied justice and a share of a $1.25 billion government settlement as compensation for decades of discrimination in federal farm loan programs. Many have lost their farms waiting. Some have died waiting. And on Aug. 5, before going on its summer recess, the Senate prolonged the wait by failing to once again appropriate the funds to right this egregious wrong.

Consistent with an unfortunate pattern that has stalled Congressional action on everything from healthcare reform to unemployment benefits, the Senate is stuck in a stalemate over the Black farmers’ settlement due to partisan bickering over how it will be financed. But, as noted in a recent Reuters news story, “The measure brought to the floor included offsets required under congressional ‘pay-as-you-go’ rules mandating new spending be offset with cuts elsewhere so as not to add to the deficit.”

This is a clear case of political obstructionism and a violation of civil rights. Attorney General Eric Holder and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the settlement in February. President Obama included money for it in his current budget. The House of Representatives approved the funds in July. But the Senate has repeatedly refused to add its final stamp of approval. According to John Boyd, Jr., President of the National Black Farmers Association, “It shows that some of the same treatment that happened to the Black farmers at the Department of Agriculture is transpiring with the Senate’s inaction to help Black farmers.”

The original class-action lawsuit, Pigford v. Glickman, filed in 1997 and settled in 1999, awarded $50,000 to Black farmers who were denied Department of Agriculture farm loans due to racial discrimination from 1983-1997. The government has already paid out more than $1 billion to 16,000 farmers. The new funding is for payments to as many as 70,000 farmers who were denied previous payouts because they missed the deadline for filing.

The Black farmers’ settlement bill has the support of the White House, the Agriculture Department, Senators and House members of both parties, the Congressional Black Caucus and the major civil rights organizations, including the National Urban League. The National Black Farmers Association has taken the fight to Capitol Hill on numerous occasions and has appealed to the White House for help.

When the February settlement was announced, CBC Chairwoman Barbara Lee and many others thought that justice had finally arrived. In a statement then she said, “I am encouraged that today’s settlement is an opportunity for Black farmers who were denied the benefit of USDA loans and programs to begin to be made whole.”

But justice continues to be denied. This is a travesty. The federal government has spent trillions on bailouts to banks, corporations and investment firms, but struggling black farmers have been left out in the cold. As John Boyd said, “It seems like the trains leaving the station in the Senate manage not to have the black farmers on them.” — (NNPA)

Marc Morial is president and CEO of the National Urban League.

It would not surprise me at all if I found some related files in the Sovereignty Commission records. Thought I would take a look this evening and will share anything I find. Would like to hear from anyone who finds

Monday, May 03, 2010

Federal building to be named after three civil rights heroes: Paul Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner

Unidentified Mississippi woman eulogizes Paul Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner. (Photograph by Susan Klopfer. Taken during a ceremony on the courthouse steps of Neshoba County, Mississippi)

After countless Mississippi buildings, reservoirs and post offices named after the likes of Sen. James O. Eastland, Gov. Ross Barnett and politician Walter Sillers, there's finally an effort to name a structure after three true civil rights heroes.

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill to designate the Federal Bureau of Investigations building, currently under construction in Jackson, Miss., the James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner Federal Building.

A Tribute to James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner

"Perhaps the most notable episode of violence came in Freedom Summer of 1964, when civil rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner left their base in Meridian, Miss., to investigate one of a number of church burnings in the eastern part of the state. The Ku Klux Klan had burned Mount Zion Church because the minister had allowed it to be used as a meeting place for civil rights activists. After the three young men had gone into Neshoba County to investigate, they were subsequently stopped and arrested by Neshoba County Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price. After several hours, Price finally released them only to arrest them again shortly after 10 p.m. He then turned the civil rights workers over to his fellow Klansmen. The group took the activists to a remote area, beat them, and then shot them to death. Dittmer suggests that because Schwerner and Goodman were White the federal government responded by establishing an FBI office in Jackson and calling out the state's National Guard and U. S. Navy to help search for the three men. Of course this was the response the Freedom Summer organizers had hoped for when they asked for White volunteers.

"After several weeks of searching and recovering more than a dozen other bodies, the authorities finally found the civil rights workers buried under an earthen dam. Seven Klansmen, including Price, were arrested and tried for the brutal killings. A jury of sympathizers found them all not guilty. Some time later, the federal government charged the murderers with violating the civil rights of Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney. This time the Klansmen were convicted and served sentences ranging from two to ten years."

Source: Curtis J. Austin, State Historical Society. "The Civil Rights Movement in Miss." Curtis J. Austin, Ph.D., is professor of history at the University of Southern Mississippi.
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You can use the new Search Box I've added to this blog to find posts on these three men who gave their lives to civil rights at the start of Freedom Summer of 1964.

The Sovereignty Commission, of course, followed every move of the investigation ... Here are several links to get you started:|72|2|72|1|1|1|5285||72|2|74|2|1|1|5291||46|0|98|1|1|1|11003||8|0|18|1|1|1|426||166|2|75|1|1|1|55380||158|1|8|7|1|1|48557|

There are hundreds of Sovereignty Commission files to go through. Be sure to check the multiple names, spellings (i.e. Mickey Schwerner, M. Schwerner, Michael Schwerner). Check for mispelled versions, too. Note the file on Rita Schwerner. Here's the link to MDAH files

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Scott Sisters; Not the First Time Mississippi Has Mistreated Ill, Black Prisoners

Clyde Kennard, (Photo from Northeastern University archives

Mississippi had a similar, infamous case when it kept a prisoner with cancer working in the fields. He suffered greatly and was finally released just before he died.

Clyde Kennard of Hattiesburg was arrested September 15, 1959 for illegal possession of liquor and speeding. This happened shortly after Kennard was rejected the second time for admission to Mississippi Southern College, now the University of Southern Mississippi.
The Scott Sisters, Jamie and Gladys, were sentenced to double life terms each in prison after being convicted of armed robbery where transcripts conflictingly state that $11 could have been netted. A 14 year old witness for the state testified to being threatened to be made into a woman at Parchman Penitentiary if he did not implicate the sisters. They have served 16 years of this sentence to date.

While Mississippi Sovereignty Commission records show authorities once considered placing dynamite in his car (and a Hattiesburg lawyer offering to run him out of the country), the state finally succeeded in its quest to punish the poultry farmer and U. S. Army veteran when thirteen months later, on November 21, 1960 Kennard was convicted on charges of stealing chicken feed. He was sentenced to Parchman Penitentiary for the maximum penalty of seven years.

NAACP leader Medgar Evers heard of the verdict and told a reporter Kennard’s conviction was “a mockery of justice” for which Evers was arrested, charged with contempt and sentenced to thirty days in jail. The Supreme Court later overturned the conviction. But Kennard was literally beaten and worked to death at Parchman and after becoming seriously ill, he was diagnosed with cancer by the University of Mississippi Hospital.

Returned to Parchman, Kennard was dragged out to work in the fields each day despite his growing weakness. Prison authorities canceled his appointment for a medical checkup and he was not allowed to see his lawyer, Jess Brown. The Jackson attorney asked to receive Kennard’s medical reports but never got them. Tougaloo students mobilized to try and free Kennard, a friend of one of their instructors.

The story was picked up nationally as Dick Gregory and Dr. Martin Luther King demanded Kennard’s release. Finally, in 1963, Governor Barnett ordered Kennard’s release, concerned over potential bad publicity for the state if Kennard died at Parchman. Kennard underwent surgery in Chicago and soon died at Billings Hospital, shortly after he was paroled.

Was it an administrative oversight? Or was it deliberate negligence because of his connection with school integration? These questions, asked by Kennard’s attorney, were never answered. “No one can say for sure. You have to draw your own conclusions,” Jess Brown said.

Clyde Kennard died at the age of thirty-six on July 4, 1963.

Footnote: In one 1959 memorandum found in Mississippi Sovereignty Commission files, commission investigator Zack VanLandingham tells of a conversation he had with a Hattiesburg lawyer, Dudley Connor, about Kennard in the late 1950s.

"If the Sovereignty Commission wanted that Negro out of the community and out of the state they would take care of the situation," VanLandingham quoted Connor as saying. "And when asked what he meant by that, Connor stated that Kennard's carcould be hit by a train or he could have some accident on the highway and nobody would ever know the difference."

In another memo, written by VanLandingham to Gov. J.P. Coleman in 1959, the investigator relates a conversation he had with John Reiter, a campus police officer. "Reiter had several weeks ago told me that when Kennard was attempting to enter Mississippi Southern College in December 1958 that he had been approached by individuals with possible plans to prevent Kennard's going through with his attempt," he wrote.

"One of the plans was to put dynamite to the starter of Kennard's Mercury. Another plan was to have some liquor planted in Kennard's car and then he would be arrested."

So for the Scott Sisters, it appears to be just one more chapter of Mississippi Goddam.
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Some Sovereignty Commission Links Relating To Kennard ...

NAACP Fund Raising Letter For Kennard

Medgar Evers and Kennard

Newspaper clipping on Kennard's Guilty Verdict

Kennard's attempt to enroll in state college

Letter to editor written by Kennard

Kennard's file is large, so there are many more articles to view.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Scott Sisters Update

Message from group aiding the Scott Sisters:

The MWM is spearheading a Press Conference on 3/26 outside of the Capitol in Jackson, MS at 12 noon. Details are available by contacting them at 267-636-3802 or e-mail: or Many people in the area are excited and ready for this to happen, so please do make plans to attend if you're able to be in the area on that day!

More information at the Scott Sisters site.

Please visit the site and help pass on information about the upcoming event.
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From the official site:

Jamie Scott's temporary catheter (for the purpose of dialysis) has been moved to her chest and is plugged up with green fluid and pus. Her hands and feet are swollen and she is in tremendous pain. She is very, very weak. This is at least her fourth catheter infection and this one is extremely bad. Jamie is doing very poorly. The prison is aware of her current condition yet, she remains in the prison infirmary. Jamie needs to be carried to the hospital and she needs to remain there until this infection is cleared.

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Could Oprah Fare Better on Cold Cases Than FBI? Is the Idea Really So Far-Fetched?

Nina Zachery-Black, 73, is sitting home alone today in Minneapolis-St. Paul, admittedly frustrated over the lack of help she's received from the FBI in trying to find out what happened to her grandmother.

Forty-four years ago, Adlena Hamlett and Hamlett’s friend, Birdia Keglar, were both killed after their car was hit head-on by a drunk driver in Sidon, Mississippi. The women were on their way home from a civil rights-related meeting in Jackson.

Family members of both women reported seeing "something very wrong" at the funeral home when it appeared the women's body parts had been severed.

“The first woman I spoke with at the Minneapolis FBI office was sympathetic but she didn’t know much at all about what the times were like when my grandmother was living in Charleston, Miss. She had no idea of how frightened people were then -- and even now -- to talk about this incident and everything else they faced when they tried to vote or went up against Jim Crow,” she said.

But Zachery-Black started to believe the FBI might actually take some interest in her grandmother and Keglar when they called her again last week and said they were going to transfer and reinvestigate this case in Jackson, after all, as a cold case.

The second call from the FBI came after Zachery-Black contacted her freshman senator, Al Franken, and complained how the first agent told her the cold case happened too long ago to investigate and would have had to occur on federal land.

Stunned at this explanation, Zachary-Black says she recorded the agent’s later phone message that repeated the message and even chided her because the family didn’t call the police and complain at the time of the deaths.

Other family members actually wrote a letter to the U.S. Dept. of Justice over their concerns back in 1966 but received no answer, she confirms.

Hamlett and Keglar, the former a school teacher and the later a funeral home business manager, were known around Charleston, Mississippi for their brave acts as they first tried to integrate the public schools in the early 1950s. Achieving little success, they moved on to voting rights.

“They had to be very brave women. When anyone showed concern about their safety, my grandmother would say she had reared her own children and her grandchildren were of an age they could move on without her. She knew that she might very well be killed for what she was doing.”

Hamlett’s daughter, Louise McKinley, would often call her mother and beg her to leave Mississippi, fearing her imminent death. But her mother remained firm. “She would tell us, this is my home and my life and I’m not going to leave. I am going to do what I can to make things better.”

Keglar was working to form the first NAACP chapter for Tallahatchie County at the time of her death and was chosen to work with John Doar and the Justice Department on Doar’s first Mississippi voter registration test case -- and they won.

It was Doar and U.S. Marshals who escorted James Meredith to class at the University of Mississippi. Doar later contributed to drafting the Civil Rights Act of 1965.

According to Mississippi’s Sovereignty Commission files, the local prosecutor and sheriff were particularly angry with Keglar over her testimony. The Commission was a state agency funded to keep Mississippi segregated and was know to have close ties to the Ku Klux Klan. Later, it would be found that some deputy sheriff’s in Tallahatchie County also belonged to the Klan.

When the two women decided to work on voter rights, “...that’s when my grandmother was hanged in effigy.”

Despite the dangerous environment, Zachery-Black was allowed to spend summers in Charleston with her grandmother, with whom she had a close relationship. She recalls that her grandmother “...always marched up to the courthouse to vote in every national election. She was called ‘nigger Adlena’ and people would say ‘Here comes nigger Adlena to vote.’ They would tear up her ballot and put it in the garbage can.”

On one trip to the courthouse when she accompanied her grandmother,” They were poking fun at her and calling her names. I asked her why were they so mean and she said it was okay because one day her vote would be counted. She reminded me it was her constitutional right to vote.”

After the death of his mother, Birdia Keglar’s son James Keglar returned home from the military on early leave to investigate. Keglar told others he spoke with FBI agents in Clarksdale and said they gave him a special telephone number to call. Three months later, he was arrested and put into the Clarksdale jail. Keglar was apparently released around midnight and returned to Charleston where he was found dead the next morning when his house burned to the ground.

Where are the FBI records? One Keglar family member says she has repeatedly asked for this information, but to no avail.

As far as Zachery-Black is concerned, it’s going to take something much bigger than the FBI to learn what happened to her grandmother. “I want to know what happened and why before I die. I am nearing her age and I want an answer.”

The retired Minneapolis teacher, who recently taught classes of Somali children who were newly immigrated into the U.S., says she believes this country owes answers to her and all other families of victims, but concedes they may never come if it is up to the FBI to conduct investigations.

“I asked one agent if she knew about Sen. James O. Eastland, a powerful Delta senator who was tied to the Klan and had connections everywhere, including the Sovereignty Commission. She stopped for a moment, and said she thought she’d read something about him.”

Agents she has come in contact with are “too young” and “don’t seem to understand any civil rights history or how bad it was back in those days,” she asserts.

Zachery-Black also admits she sometimes toys with calling Oprah Winfrey. “At least I know she would care.”
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Again, check your spellings when you look for the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission files. You will find Keglar and Kegler; Birdia, Birde, Bridie, Elizabeth and perhaps even more. I've never found single records on Adlena Hamlett.

Got to and choose Archives and Records Services. Select Digital Archives and then Sovereignty Commmission Online.

Here are a few files to get you started:

Dec. 5, 1961, a report to the Sovereignty Commission on Keglar's complaint to the U.S. Civil Rights Department.

Newspaper clipping on voter registration suit

Suit with U.S. Justice

List of Mississippi Democrat Freedom Party members by county

"Etheridge" "Ethridge" "Ethredge"; Mississippi Sovereignty Commission Files Not So Easy to Research

When the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission kept files on various people, the names often were misspelled. Thus, you will need to do multiple name guesses and searches. A good example are the files kept on a Clarion-Ledge columnist.

You will need to look under the names Etheridge, Ethredge, and Ethridge. Here are a few to play with -- these were found under Tom Ethridge.|9|2|38|1|1|1|15739|

Letter from Sovereignty Commission Director re the Ole Miss Law School that mentions the reporter|21|2|41|1|1|1|4259|

Letter to the editor re an angry Methodist Youth Minister over a column written by “Ethridge”|25|0|55|1|1|1|27984|

Letter about “Ethridge” column from The Methodist Interboard Council

These are fascinating files that give a good feeling for this segregationist reporter who was apparently throught quite well of by the state's spy agency -- the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission.
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Monday, March 08, 2010

Medgar Evers Was Targeted By Mississippi Sovereignty Commission; 2010 80th Anniversary of Evers's Birth

Medgar Evers, Mississippi's first NAACP leader. 2010 eightieth anniversary of his birth.

Blogger Rev. Gerald Britt pays hommage to Medgar Evers, Mississippi's first NAACP leader who was murdered in the driveway of his home:

This year is the 80th anniversary of the birth of Medgar Evers, one of our country's most significant Civil Rights freedom fighters.
Recognition of Evers often gets lost between that given Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcom X, yet for 10 years, ending with his assassination in 1963, Medgar Evers was a prominent figure in the struggle for equal rights, serving as field secretary for the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples) in Jackson, Mississippi.
Rev. Britt is the Vice President of Public Policy & Community Program Development of Central Dallas Ministries. He is also the author of a monthly column for The Dallas Morning News.

At his site, Britt shows two important film clips..."The excerpt from the documentary 'Eyes on the Prize', gives the context of the movement - the institutionalization of the culture of injustice, the intimidation of those who sought to register to vote (briefly shown is an example of the 'literacy test' given to actually disqualify voters. The same type of test recommended by Tom Tancredo at the recent TEA Party Convention). It also shows how the legal system gave cover to those who committed such heinous crimes, such as the assassination of Evers."

The second clip is of Myrlie Evers-Williams at the Martin Luther King dinner.

Of course the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission digital database was filled with files on Evers. Here are just a few to get your started:

Info on Evers's auto

Integration Agitator/Medgar Evers

Report on NAAACP efforts in Laurel
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Sunday, March 07, 2010

Margaret Block Remembers Charleston, Mississippi and Birdia Keglar

Margaret Block and I spent the afternoon with Robert Keglar, the late Birdia Keglar's son. While the state of Mississippi officially recognizes that civil rights activist Birdia Kelgar was murdered in 1966 and has dedicated a portion of Highway 35 south between Charleston city limits and the Panola county line as "The Birdia Keglar Memorial Highway," the FBI has consistently refused to classify Keglar's murder as a cold case.

Block's life was once saved by Keglar's quick thinking while Block was working as a SNCC worker in Charleston. Keglar, a funeral home manager, learned the Ku Klux Klan had targeted Block and was able to get her out of town quickly in the back of a hearse.

Margaret has several files online via the state's collection. So do her brother Sam, as well as Robert and Birdia Keglar. Be sure to look for multiple spellings (i.e., Birdie Keglar).

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Civil Rights Cold Cases Dumped by the FBI; Join Me On a Quick Trip to the Delta

Getting ready (packing) for my trip to Mississippi to work on several cold cases that seem to be shunned by the FBI and others. Actually, the FBI has thrown in the towel and apparently won't be using the $8 million they were awarded to investigate these killings of black people like Birdia Keglar, Adlena Hamlett, James Keglar, and others (all have Sovereignty Commission records). Or maybe they already ran out of money!

Click the audio clip, above, and I'll fill you in on the trip. Along the way I'll be blogging with audio and video and will appreciate you comments, questions and suggestions. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Sovereignty Commission files show a 'slice of life'; North-South relationship formed via U.S.mail

Mississippi's Sovereignty Commission received mail from around the world -- the few files that remain typicaly show positive comments. Here are six files that show the request of a New York senior to learn more about the Southern way of life (he said he supported it). The young man follows up with a request for information and a pen pal (white). And the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission comes up with a buddy. You can follow the budding relationship here ...

1. Postcard to Sovereignty Commission

2. Writer requests help in learning more about the Southern way of life.

3. Sovereignty Commission responds.

4. Young writer asks for a white pen pal.

5.Sovereignty Commission sets up pen pal for N.Y. high school student.

6. Photo of pen pal.
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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Civil Rights Photography Portfolio; Match Names With Mississippi Sovereignty Commission Files

The latest issue of the New Yorker features a portfolio of photographs by the British photographer Platon. The portfolio, accompanied by text written by David Remnick, includes photographs of the Little Rock Nine, members of the Greensboro Four, members of SNCC, and relatives of Medgar Evers.

It pairs these images with historic photographs of iconic civil rights leaders like Ella Baker and Fred Shuttlesworth. In the context of a movement whose success owes a debt to the power of the visual image, it is a remarkable and moving series of photographs.

You will be amazed at how many of these folks have Sovereignty Commission files ... Take a look ... Here are a few links to get started:

Ella Baker


SNCC & 1964 Summer

Medgar Evers "Consolidation" File

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Monday, February 01, 2010

Racial Incidents in South Carolina Drew Attention of Mississippi Sovereignty Commission; Includes Reports on Jackie Robinson

Fifty years ago, four black university students entered the Woolworths in Greensboro, sat down at the "whites only" lunch counter, and refused to budge. The sit-ins continued for six months

Meanwhile in Mississippi, the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission was collecting news clips of "South Carolina Incidents" and other reports on the status of the civil rights movement in Greensboro and elsewhere ...

"15 Negro Pupils Apply in South Carolina and Elsewhere"

"Protest Treatment of Jackie Robinson"

"Negro March Planned"

"South Carolina Leaders to Support Protests"

"Randolph Is Supporter Of Rights March"

"South Carolina Getting Rights Advisory Group"

"300 March on Airport to Protest S.C. Violence"

"Lunchroom Sit-Ins Spread"

"Tough Attitude Shown Negros"

These clippings and more were found in the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission digital files in the South Carolina folder.

A separate file for Jackie Robinson also appears in Sovereignty Commission files --

Report of a booklet discovered on "Jackie Robinson Day"

"Jackie Robinson Day Program"

"Investigation on Racial Agitators -- Robinson's name included on p. 5"

Still more to discover...
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Louis Allen Cold Case; Family Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired of FBI; No Results

In 1943, at age 23, Louis Allen enlisted in the Army. He drove ammunition trucks in New Guinea during World War II. While there, Louis also started boxing. His burly 5-foot-8-inch, 220-pound frame made him a formidable fighter. In July 1944, he received an honorable discharge. According to his discharge papers, his character was rated “excellent.” The Army gave Louis $300 in “mustering out pay.”

Back in Liberty, Louis returned to the tenuous privilege of being a black person favored by the whites of his community. He established a successful logging business with loyal customers of both races. His fortunes changed, however, on Sept. 25, 1961.

Read the story of Louis Allen here ...
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When searching the Sovereignty Commission files, check under both spellings of Louis and Lewis...

Here are some links to get you started:

"Mysterious Killing of the Only Witness to the Murder of Negro By a White Man"

Louis (Lewis) Allen Had Asked For Federal Protection But Was Refused

Conference Regarding Death of Herbert Lee
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The FBI needs to open all of its files and then it needs to send a representative down to Mississippi and start collecting Sovereignty Commission Files. What do you think??

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mississippi Sovereignty Commission Files: Dr. King Spied On By State-Hired FBI Agents

Lots of links in the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission files showing the state officials's hatred of Dr. King.

Here's a poster calling for his murder:|55|12|41|1|1|1|20869|

Memo detailing plan to harm Dr. King:|93|0|15|1|1|1|77228|

Mississippi student gets in trouble for hanging up picture of Dr. King (1971). This is interesting, because I received reports that a Cleveland, Mississippi first-grader was warned he would be sent home if he brought to school a picture of President Barack Obama. This happened right after the election.|19|2|49|1|1|1|57945|

Dr. King is accused of promoting violence in Grenada.|149|0|30|6|1|1|45781|

Sovereignty Commission investigators are sent into Grenada; SCLC activities.|149|0|30|1|1|1|45771|

King Files Could Could be Opened -- Sen. John Kerry

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was threatened early on not to come into Mississippi. Here's an early report:|2|0|4|13|1|1|380|
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From the Clarion Ledger --

U.S. Sen. John Kerry plans to introduce legislation next week that would pave the way for the release of thousands of FBI documents on the life and death of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Kerry said the bill, which failed in 2006, can pass this year in honor of King. "I want the world to know what he stood for," Kerry said. "And I want his personal history preserved and examined by releasing all of his records."

The bill calls for creating a Martin Luther King Records Collection at the National Archives that would include all government records related to King. The bill also would create a five-member independent review board that would identify and make public all documents from agencies including the FBI - just as a review board in 1992 made public documents related to the 1963 John F. Kennedy assassination.

This is very good news. The Sovereignty Commission files, of course, are filled with reports on Dr. King. Later today (when I have some free time), I will start posting some links...susan

More --

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Mississippi Good 'Ol Boy, Charlie Capps, Meets His Maker

Charles Capps, Jr.

This reported December 27, 2009 by The Clarion Ledger:

Former Rep. Charles Wilson Capps Jr. of Cleveland, once one of the most powerful
members of the Mississippi Legislature, has died at the age of 84.

Known across the state simply as "Charlie," the cigar- chomping Democrat from the Delta was renowned for his leadership and charisma.

Capps, the longest-serving member in the Mississippi House, died Friday at Bolivar Medical Center after years of deteriorating health. He served in the House from 1972 until he retired in 2005.

"Charlie was one of the most engaged-in-life human beings I have ever known. He had a big heart and kept a positive outlook," said Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville. "He cut a wide path for a long, long time, and his legacy is one for the ages."

Capps was chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and Constitution Committee, and also served on the Military Affairs, Ethics, and Insurance committees.
During his years over the Appropriations Committee, Capps was regarded as one of the most powerful people in the Legislature.

"He had control over the money, but never tried to throw his power around," said political columnist and veteran journalist Bill Minor.

Minor recalls Capps as being a person with a "wide capacity to get along with everyone," and a person who loved to trade stories over a glass of whiskey.

"It was his likability which made him able to survive the sharp break in the Legislature (between Democrats and Republicans). Capps' personality was such, he was able to mend the two sides together," Minor said.

Holland, who served with Capps for 24 years, beginning when Holland was 26 years old, said Capps was like a father to him. Capps' two biggest loves were higher education and the Delta, he said.

Contact Nicklaus Lovelady for more Capps PR at (601) 961-7239.

So where's the beef??

Charlie Capps served as the president of the segregationist Central Bolivar (White) Citizens Council in the early 1960s.|61|1|46|1|1|1|2324


In December 1964, Capps called for support of Neshoba County Sheriff Lawrence Rainey who had recently been arrested in connection with the murders of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner.

Capps was sheriff of Bolivar County, Mississippi from 1964-68 and president of the Mississippi Sheriff Association in 1964-1965.|134|0|13|1|1|1|84918|

Capps opposed the 1994 prosecution of Byron De La Beckwith, the murderer of Medgar Evers. (In 1994) Rep. Charlie Capps Jr., a longtime member of the Mississippi legislature and chairman of its powerful House Appropriations Committee, wrote in his individual capacity to Ed Peters (then Hinds Co. District Attorney):

I cannot imagine your purpose, but for whatever reason, your indictment and proposed trial of Mr. Beckwith has done great and irreparable harm to our state. The State of Mississippi and thousands of private citizens have worked for several decades in an effort to change our image nationally, and I believe that this trial will destroy 30 years of work overnight. (DeLaughter, Bobby. Never Too Late. p.232)

Charles Capps, RIP.
Might be fun to dig through some more of Capps Sovereignty Commission files...

But like Eastland and others, the good stuff is in someone's basement...|100|0|63|1|1|1|78120|

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sovereignty Commission -- Meet Infragard!

Just had my Sunday ruined by Jesse Ventura.

Heard of Infragard? I had not heard of this by-invitation-only group that is a citizens/fbi operation. Those who "belong" get secret information from the government and have special authorizations to (?)

You can try to join your state organization, but good luck. Sounds pretty disgusting if you're at all into the Bill of Rights. I'm going to send in an application and see what happens. Will report what happens.

BTW, Ventura's new conspiracy cablevision program is quite good. Better investigative reporting than what's done by regular media.

So -- if you thought the Sovereignty Commission was limited to Mississippi, I guess we're learning it was just a good model for the rest of the country.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Mississippi & JFK: Links

John Bevilaqua has been investigating the Kennedy assassination and Wickliffe P. Draper for almost 20 years. He offered some interesting observations in Dec. 09 on, including the following ...

"Sam Crutchfield was also the attorney of record for the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission during the period when Wickliffe P. Draper provided secretive funding to the MSC using his J. P. Morgan trust fund account as documented by recent Pulitzer Prize winning author, Doug Blackmon in a Wall Street Journal article published on June 11, 1999.

"Three of the four major funds transfers from Draper to the MSC occurred either right after the assassination of Medgar Evers, Jr., in Mississippi in June 1963, just before the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, in Mobile, Alabama, in September of 1963, killing several choir girls, or just before the murders of the Freedom Riders: Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman in Philadelphia, Mississippi in June of 1964.

"Draper was linked to the Medgar Evers, Jr. murder via Senator James Eastland, from Mississippi, who headed up the Draper Genetics Committee for the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee. Evers' killer was KKK and NSRP member, Byron DeLa Beckwith, who was visited often in jail after he was arrested for the murder of Medgar Evers, Jr. by Maj. Gen. Edwin Walker who had organized and led the riots at Ole Miss when James Meredith attempted to enroll there as the first Afro-American student.

"Maj. Gen. Edwin A. Walker was specifically named by Jack Ruby, who shot Lee Harvey Oswald, in his Warren Commission testimony as being directly involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

"Byron DeLa Beckwith whose middle name was only one word and pronounced like "delay" and not like "day-lah" was also a close friend of Joseph A. Milteer a racist leader in both the KKK and The National States Rights Party (NSRP), who predicted the exact way that JFK would meet his ultimate demise a few weeks before the assassination actually occurred: "...from a tall building with a high-powered rifle."

"This statement was made by Milteer and secretly tape recorded by Willie Somersett, an informant for the City of Miami Police Intelligence Division. This intelligence gathering incident was arranged by Lt. Gracey Lockhart from that department while Somersett and Milteer were attending a Congress of Freedom convention in Indiana.

"The Congress of Freedom was started in the early 1950's by Willis A. Carto with financial support from Wickliffe P. Draper. Conventions of the COF featured rabble-rousing, hate filled and vitriolic anti-Kennedy speeches made by Dr. Revilo P. Oliver who was later referred to in the novel, The Manchurian Candidate, by Richard Condon in 1959. Some of his bombastic, vindictive and hate filled tape recorded anti-Kennedy speeches can be heard at this white supremacist website:"
* * * * *

Here are some Mississippi Sovereignty Commission files that support some of what this well-known (and controversial) JFK assassination scholar says:|70|0|105|1|1|1|50529||15|0|15|2|1|1|112453||15|0|15|2|1|1|112453||15|0|17|2|1|1|112460||15|0|17|3|1|1|112462|

These links and others were used to support what I wrote in Where Rebels Roost:

Both researchers (Tucker and Blackmon) met by coincidence in Jackson, Miss. while looking into boxes of Sovereignty Commission files newly released to the public.

“Blackmon was the only national reporter that I know of who seemed interested in Draper,” Tucker said.

Blackmon, searching for bottom line information, and after looking through the treasure trove of ledgers, invoices and correspondence recording the commission’s finances, reported that

"[R]ecords show large transfers of money by Morgan on behalf of a client who turns out be a wealthy and reclusive New Yorker named Wycliffe Preston Draper. Mr. Draper used his private banker to transfer nearly $215,00 in stock and cash to the Sovereignty Commission for use in its fight against the Civil Rights Act. The entire budget for the effort amounted to about $300,000.

"Adjusted for inflation, Mr. Draper's contributions would be worth more than $1.1 million today. The Sovereignty Commission files do more than simply document one man's role. They show that some of the most virulent resistance to civil-rights progres in the 1960s was supported and funded from the North, not just the South. The files also highlight the ethical issues that confront an institution like Morgan Guaranty, the private-banking unit of J. P Morgan & Co., when it is drawn, even unwittingly, into a client's support for repugnant causes.

"When Mr. Draper died in 1972, Morgan was an executor of his estate, overseeing distributions totaling about $5 million to two race-oriented foundations. The primary beneficiary was the Pioneer Fund, an organization Mr. Draper helped found and which became known in recent years for funding research cited in "The Bell Curve," a book arguing that blacks are genetically inclined to be less intelligent than whites or Asians. In his will, Mr. Draper instructed that after his death, the Pioneer Fund use Morgan for financial advice; the fund did so for two decades.xxv

"Embedded within Sovereignty Commission files was a note to Erle Johnston regarding a phone call from Satterfield, and instructing Johnston to send a telegram to “Mr. Rossiter” in the Trust Department of Morgan Guaranty in New York. “Satterfield had a call from Draper’s attorney Weyher about the telegram” regarding stock transfers and sales, and “the banks need to be advised what action to take.”xxvi

"Most of the money supporting Mississippi’s fight against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, so it turned out, came from outside of Mississippi, from a Northern neo-Nazi, racist “philanthropist” with a focused racist agenda.xxvi

"Satterfield and others used these funds for putting together an impressive marketing campaign that emphasized a mix of speeches, publicity, direct mail, newspaper advertising, radio and television advertising, ghostwritten editorials and pres releases."
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Spending a little more time, lately, I found some more interesting files that relate to these topics... focusing on Satterfield, who died on 5 May 1981 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Satterfield headed the Mississippi Bar and for two terms headed the National Bar Association.|74|0|7|1|1|1|5404||70|0|100|1|1|1|50514||36|0|36|1|1|1|75424||50|0|15|1|1|1|80446||51|0|15|1|1|1|81020||67|0|5|1|1|1|83072|