Sept. 25 Memo
The Department of Justice
Bureau of Investigation
September 25, 1922
MEMORANDUM FOR MR. BURNS
Mr. Paul Wooton, Washington correspondent for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, presented a letter addressed to the Attorney General, by Governor John M. Parker of Louisiana, asking for assistance in investigation of Ku-Klux matters in northern Louisiana. Mr. Wooton’s address is 611 Colorado Building, and his telephone is Main 4047.
The Governor has been unable to use either the mails, telegraph, or telephone because of interference by the Klan. He has received a large number of anonymous and other communications, and much of mail, particularly from Monroe, has been opened. The Postmaster at Monroe is understood to be a member as are a number of prominent officials and business men.
Conditions have been brought to a head at Mer Rouge, when two white men, one an ex-sargeant, were done away with mysteriously (the case of ex-sargeant F.W. Daniel already has been called to our attention by Senator Wadsworth and Joseph Morningstar, of New York).
The other victim was named Rogers. One of these men is supposed to have been burned to death in a barbaric manner, and the other weighted down with chains and irons and dropped into a lake. Neither of the bodies has been found.
Mr. Wooton already has seen Mr. Simmons, Chief Post Office Inspector, who has promised to send an inspector from Washington, to cover the Post Office angles. This man probably will leave tomorrow, as the Postmaster General has approved such action.
The local authorities are absolutely inactive, and they have been unable to get any action by the Grand Jury at Mer Rouge. The Governor has tried to get the State legislature to pass a law requiring registration with the Secretary of State, but failed. He is confident that the Sheriffs, Prosecuting Attorneys, and Judges have all been reached. The attitude of the Attorney General of the State, Mr. Coco, is not exactly pleasing. It is imperative that any one sent there interview the Governor before approaching Mr. Coco.
Representative Sandlin, of the 4th District, and Riley J. Wilson of the 5th District, are believed also to be involved, while both of the Senators from the State are understood to have a great mass of information and of course to be opposed to the organization. Senator Ransdell leaves tonight, and he will have to be interviewed immediately. The Governor’s telephone wire has been tapped and he is unable to conduct even ordinary conversation without interference, and as the telegraph companies are incompetent, the only way to feel safe and to get the matter before our attention was to send Mr. Wooten here and to bring back a letter from the Attorney General to support his former request for assistance.
All of the activities involved are of recent occurrence so that Messrs. Bales, Farland, and Shipp could not have covered them at the time in that vicinity. The Mer Rouge case is merely the climax of a series of events, and the principal reason for the Governor calling it to our attention.
Mr. Wooten is to have luncheon with Senator Ransdell and would like to be communicated with.