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Joseph L. Bernd collection of Federal Bureau of Investigation records on the 1946 Georgia election, 1946.

Author: Joseph L Bernd
Edition/Format:   Archival material : English
Summary:
In the summer of 1946, Lamar Caudle, Assistant Attorney General in Washington, D.C. contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to launch a comprehensive investigation of every allegation of deprivation of civil rights of African Americans in the south in connection with the 1946 election. The investigation was based on complaints that the political supporters of Eugene Talmadge, a candidate for Governor,  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Diagrams
Interviews
Memorandums
Reports
Speeches
Named Person: Joseph L Bernd; Eugene Talmadge; Eugene Talmadge
Document Type: Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: Joseph L Bernd
OCLC Number: 760914010
Description: 1 box (.5 cubic feet)

Abstract:

In the summer of 1946, Lamar Caudle, Assistant Attorney General in Washington, D.C. contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to launch a comprehensive investigation of every allegation of deprivation of civil rights of African Americans in the south in connection with the 1946 election. The investigation was based on complaints that the political supporters of Eugene Talmadge, a candidate for Governor, were making efforts "to bring about the wholesale purge" of African Americans from the voter registration lists regardless of their qualifications under Georgia law. The claims led to separate investigations in ninety counties in Georgia including: Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Baker, Baldwin, Barrow, Bartow, Ben Hill, Bibb, Bleckley, Brooks, Bullock, Butts, Calhoun, Camden, Chatham, Chattahoochee, Clark, Clay, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crawford, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Douglas, Early, Echols, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hall, Hancock, Haralson, Hart, Henry, Houston, Irwin, Jackson, Jasper, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Jenkins, Jones, Lamar, Laurens, Liberty, Long, Macon, Madison, Marion, Meriwether, Miller, Mitchell, Monroe, Montgomery, McDuffie, McIntosh, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Peach, Pierce, Polk, Putnam, Randolph, Rockdale, Schley, Seminole, Spalding, Stewart, Sumter, Taylor, Telfair, Thomas, Toombs, Twiggs, Upson, Walton, Warren, Washington, Wilcox, Wilkes, Wilkinson, and Worth. The photocopies of FBI reports in this collection detail civil rights and domestic violence claims by countless victims throughout the state and contain interviews with complainants, challengers, members of county Board of Registrars, and others. Also included are diagrams with legends about attacks on homes, memorandums, and speeches. Examples of the numerous claims include: picketers outside polling places armed with sticks and rocks in Manchester, Georgia threatening African American voters; white men burning a fiery cross in Greenville, Georgia where approximately 52 registered voters were prevented from voting; in Meriwether County, 700 challenges were filed against all black voters registered since 1944 and 400 of the voters were disqualified at a hearing of the Board of Registrars or by failure to appear when subpoenaed; in Cairo, Georgia approximately 21 automobiles and trucks containing masked white men shooting rifles, shotguns, and revolvers visited the homes of three prominent African American citizens telling them not to go to the polls and instructing them to their friends not to go to the polls. The records were obtained from the FBI by Joseph L. Bernd as part of a thirty-year project that began in the 1950s. The files are only partially redacted and in many cases include the names of witnesses, participants, and victims involved in the investigations. The Georgia Historical Society contacted the FBI for permission prior to making these records available to the public. According to Associate Division Counsel of the FBI in Atlanta, any information that has gone through the Freedom of Information Act process and made available to an individual citizen is considered to be public information and may be made available to a wider audience for research purposes.

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Primary Entity

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