Ku Klux Conspiracy
Danville, Virginia Riot of 1883
The Senate committee of Privileges and Elections was directed to look into a bloody
clash between blacks and whites in the community of Danville, VA in November. Over
160 witnesses, primarily city residents, were questioned about events supposedly
sparked by political issues. Among those giving committee testimony were dozens of
African Americans. They were asked many questions; the resulting answers give great
insight to the black community in and around the city, as well as a large amount of
genealogical data. Researchers accessing this rich resource will find very revealing
information about race relations, political views, neighborhood relationships, migrations,
former slave owners, community traditions, and more within the local African American
Over a thousand pages in length, this investigation was published as part of the 48th
Congress, 1st session, Senate report number 579 in the U. S. Serial Set. Many research
facilities have the report in one of four forms: original bound volumes, microfiche,
microcards, or in a digital format online through Lexis-Nexis.
The alphabetical list of witnesses testifying in the report can be found below.