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Hello Mr. Hunt,
The records you want are in Record Group 21, Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685 - 2009. The series with papers regarding the Colfax Riots would be Case Files, 1873 - 1911. This series consists of unbound papers filed in criminal proceedings including indictments, information, capias, motions, notices, writs of commitment, sentences, warrants affidavits, records of proceedings before U. S. Commissioner, warrants of arrest, testimonies, rules, pleas, demurrers, findings of the grand jury, orders, summonses, and subpoenas.
The National Archives has twenty-six scanned pages of United States v. Columbus C. Nash et al, one of the cases related to the riots, in our catalog. Those papers have the National Archives Identifier 251435 and they can be viewed here. Click on the hyperlink “26 item(s) described in the catalog” or the green-gray box “Search within this file unit” to view them.
If you have additional questions or wish to see more, please contact the National Archives’ Fort Worth office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Refer to ELA144, CRIMINAL CASE FILES 1873-1911, cases 11 and 12.
Thank-you for your question and best of luck to you!
Thanks! I see that case 12 is U.S. v. Nash, et. al., which is exactly what I was looking for! I kept looking for a District Court record for U.S. v. Cruikshank, et. al., but I didn't realize that Nash was the first listed defendant in the original trial and that it was in Circuit Court as it was a capital case. Do you know what the title of case 11 is or is that just another part of the Nash file? Also, it looks as though the digitized pages contain all of the obvious filings, do you know if there are any paper-only files from the case? I think what's online should be good for my research but I just want to make sure I'm not missing any significant filings that could change the story.
Thanks again for your help!
2 people found this helpful
Yeah, I was surprised how difficult it was to find even the names in the originating cases. Fortunately Cruikshank had implications with Reconstruction Era politics so there was enough interest to digitize the microform.
Unfortunately those seem to be the only records available online.
Speaking for myself regarding Case 11--my suspicion is that it had less priority for digitization or microfilming. This sometimes happens when records are not in good enough condition for digitization and remedying that utilizes resources best used elsewhere. This would be especially true if Case 12 were in optimal condition and was substantively similar or superior to 11. Or perhaps they are in similar condition and 11 has less scholarly interest or contains fewer juicy bits of history...
In any case you'll need to contact the Fort Worth NARA office email@example.com for further information.