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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Re: Black History Month in LeFlore County, OK

Hello Mr. Johnson,

I’m sorry, but, the Spiro Graphic Newspaper does not utilize the internet. I think you will have to subscribe or order it from them.

This history was very interesting when it was presented at a Symposium that I attended and participated in at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith by Dr. Ken Barnes, a professor at the University of Central Arkansas and the author of the book, “Who Killed John Clayton: Political Violence and the Emergence of the New South, 1861-1893” There was also a host of other Professors that were presenters.

John Clayton was the brother of William Henry Harrison Clayton, the first prosecuting attorney for Judge Isaac C. Parker, the federal Judge for the western district of Arkansas. John Clayton was also the brother of Powell Clayton, governor of Arkansas in 1868. John Clayton was a victim of the voter suppression and corruption that took place, during reconstruction. He, a politician that was instrumental in building the coalition of Blacks and poor whites, and, as a result, he was called N****r lover for being so well liked by black voters.

He went to Plummerville, Arkansas to retrieve a black ballot box, walked in to a plot and was shot. To this day his murder is unsolved.

My participation in the Symposium was to read some of the letters written by a person who fled from Conway County, Arkansas to Liberia. He wrote family members back in Conway County contrasting the difference in living in Liberia and Conway County—revealing how it was much better living in Liberia.

The book written by Dr. Ken Barnes will give you a great perspective of the horrible climate of voter suppression, racism and corruption that was practiced in Conway County, Arkansas, during reconstruction, by the Democratic Party.

The organizers of the Symposium wanted to bring descendants of John Clayton, together, with the descendants of some of the people that fled that area, during that time. I was there representing George Brewer--one of the persons who fled that area.

Some of the famous people that are descendants of some of those people that fled are my cousins, Ron Brewer, one of the “Tripletts” that played basketball with Marvin Delph and Sidney Moncrief at the University of Arkansas in the mid seventies and the Portland Trailblazers. His son, Ronnie Brewer, who currently plays for the Utah Jazz. Rod Shoate, who played for the New England Patriots in the mid seventies.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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