5 Replies Latest reply on Mar 25, 2016 5:45 PM by rick peuser

    Secret Service investigations into KKK, 1871-74


      I am trying to find an exchange of letters between U.S. Attorney General Amos Akerman and Secret Service chief Hiram C. Whitley, which would have occurred between the fall of 1871 and summer of 1872, in which Whitley described the activities of his undercover agents who were infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan in the South.  The College Park archives have Secret Service records (Record Group 87) for every time period *except* the key years 1871-74.  In the DOJ records, Record Group 60, I found a few references to H.C. Whitley on both microfilm and textual records.  However, none of them are *from* Whitley.  Whitley was based in the Secret Service's New York office during this time period.  The U.S. Secret Service archivist advises that Whitley had about 8 agents working to infiltrate the Klan and that two of them were named Bauer and Drummond.  There is a reference to a letter Whitley sent to Akerman in October 1871 that is cited in the late Allen Trelease's book White Terror (1871), suggesting that it is part of a special collection within RG 60 available on microfilm and entitled "Reconstruction in the South."  Trelease's citation also includes an odd reference to the "O.W. Holmes device" (Oliver Wendell Holmes)?  The College Park staff knew nothing about it.  Trelease's acknowledgements indicate that he did a lot of archival research in Boston, so I'm wondering if this collection might be found at the Boston branch of the National Archives.  Thank you!