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South Carolina Archives
Series Description

Indictments, 1866-1957

 


CALL NUMBER:        L 40059


CREATOR: South Carolina, Court of General Sessions (Richland County)

TITLE: Indictments

DATE: 1866-1957

VOLUME: 92.66 Cu Ft (78 c, 44a) (3 volumes)

ARRANGEMENT: Series arranged numerically by roll number.

SUMMARY SCOPE NOTE: This series comprises the original case papers of record in the court of general sessions.  Documents generally include bills of indictment, warrants, affidavits, and recognizance.  Information consists of the nature and circumstances of the offense charged: the names of defendants, judge, solicitor, defense attorney, and witnesses; testimony of witnesses; the verdict rendered; and the sentence imposed.

Of special interest in this series are the cases brought against former Republican officials after the end of Reconstruction.  The bulk of these cases were started at a special session of the court in August 1877 with three additional cases started in October term 1877.  The Federal government after the "Redeemer" violence against blacks in the summer of 1876 brought federal charges against Democrats that became known as the "Ellenton Cases," and the two sets of cases became linked in negotiations between Governor Hampton and President Hayes.

Among the Republicans indicted by the "Redeemers" were former governors Robert K. Scott and Daniel H. Chamberlain, former state treasurers Niles G. Parker and Francis L. Cardozo, former comptroller general Thomas G. Dunn, former lieutenant governor Richard H. Gleaves, former governor and speaker of the House of Representatives Franklin J. Moses, former clerk of the Senate Josephus Woodruff, former clerk of the House of Representatives Albert O. Jones, former U.S. Congressman and newspaper editor Lewis Cass Carpenter, and former state Senator and U.S. Representative Robert K. Smalls.  Cardozo and Smalls were found guilty but appealed their sentences; most of the other cases were carried forward until March 28, 1881, when they were rendered nol pros. Under terms of the negotiated agreement Cardozo and Smalls were also pardoned.

The cases against the Republicans have the file number 905 (the Robert Smalls case and its appeal), 925 and 926 (two of the Josephus Woodruff cases), 969-972 (Lewis Cass Carpenter), and 1208 through 1230.  The major conspiracy case against Francis L. Cardozo with its appeal seems to have lost its file number and has been assigned the vacant number 1231.  An earlier 1875 case against Robert Smalls has the file number 741.

For background on the negotiations over the two sets of cases see William J. Cooper, Jr., The Conservative Regime: South Carolina, 1877-1890, pp. 29-32.

INDEX/FINDING AID:  Cases from 1866-1891 are indexed in the repository's On-Line Records Index.  Names of defendants, persons murdered or attempted to be murdered, crimes and related subjects, and geographic locations are included.  Witnesses, attorneys, and similar names have not been included.  Defendant indexes B (1891-1923), C (1924-1950), and D (1951-1957), available on microfilm produced by the repository and in manuscript.  Index A (1866-1890) was already missing at the time of the Works Progress Administration Historical Records Survey of the 1930's.  

GENERAL NOTE: The last indictment in the repository is number 22441.  Cases numbered 1850-1999 covering the last half of the year 1886 and all of 1887 are missing.

HIERARCHICAL NOTE: Forms part of the records of the South Carolina Court of General Sessions (Richland County).