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Franklin in Williamson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

The Franklin Riot of 1867

"Carnival of Blood"

 
 
The Franklin Riot of 1867 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Masler, February 29, 2020
1. The Franklin Riot of 1867 Marker
Inscription.  Several armed clashes occurred among political groups and the white and black populations after the Civil War. In May 1866, Memphis rioters killed about fifty. In July, a riot engulfed New Orleans, killing almost 240 including more than 200 U.S. Colored Troops veterans. Fortunately, Franklin did not experience such levels of violence, but on July 6, 1867, an incident in this square reflected the boiling tensions in the post-war South. On that day, several Republican candidates (called Radicals) made speeches in the courthouse without incident. Later, Joe Williams, an African American aligned with the Democrats (conservatives), spoke there. Some Radicals clashed with Conservatives, John L. Houseformer Confederate officer, struck J.C. Bliss, a white merchant aligned with the Radicals. Members of the Union League (a bi-racial group affiliated with the Republican Party) also were present, and tempers flared. The League members left after firing a few shots into the air, and the tension increased through the late afternoon, as Conservatives (also a bi-racial group) gathered in the public square and near John House's store. Just after 8 P.M., the
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Union League marched into the square, heavily armed. According to A.N.C. Williams, the Leaguers had informed House they would lay down their arms, but as they passed the Conservatives, a white Conservative fired two pistol shots into the Leaguers, who returned fire. White Conservative Michael Cody was killed, and six white and several black members were wounded. Twenty-seven Leaguers were wounded; most had been shot in the back. Dr. Daniel B. Cliffe, a Unionist, helped treat the wounded. United States soldiers arrived from Nashville the next day to restore order.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil Rights. A significant historical year for this entry is 1867.
 
Location. 35° 55.488′ N, 86° 52.139′ W. Marker is in Franklin, Tennessee, in Williamson County. Marker is at the intersection of Public Square and 3rd Avenue South (Tennessee Highway 96), on the right when traveling south on Public Square. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 305 Public Square, Franklin TN 37064, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Reconstruction (here, next to this marker); Courthouse (here, next to this marker); Franklin’s Civil War Sites (here, next to this marker); March To Freedom (a few steps from this marker); U.S. Colored Troops (USCT)
The Franklin Riot of 1867 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Masler, February 29, 2020
2. The Franklin Riot of 1867 Marker
(a few steps from this marker); The Battle of Franklin (within shouting distance of this marker); Franklin Town Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Our Confederate Soldiers (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Franklin.
 
Also see . . .  Race Riot in Franklin, Tennessee. (Submitted on March 9, 2020, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee.)
 
Deposition of African-American Mariah Otey Reddick regarding who fired first - the Conservatives. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William "Damani" Keene
3. Deposition of African-American Mariah Otey Reddick regarding who fired first - the Conservatives.
Mariah signed with her X. She and Bolen Reddick lived in a building on one corner of the town Square downstairs from the HQ of the Union League.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 10, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 9, 2020, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 770 times since then and 42 times this year. Last updated on April 10, 2020, by William "Damani" Keene of Sora, Republic of Panama. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 9, 2020, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee.   3. submitted on April 10, 2020, by William "Damani" Keene of Sora, Republic of Panama. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 20, 2024