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Alan Schaffer Collection of F.B.I. Files Relating to the Lynching of Willie Earle

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: Mss-0156

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of photocopies of correspondence, memoranda, clippings, teletypes/telegrams, excerpts from the book The F.B.I. Story (by Don Whitehead, 1956) and the New Yorker (June 14, 1947), lab reports and an investigative report concerning the Willie Earle lynching and the F.B.I.'s involvement in the case. Also includes deleted page information sheets. Some of this material is sanitized, with the section of Freedom of Information and Privacy Act permitting sanitization often noted in the margin of the item. Most of the clippings are from Washington, D.C. and Greenville newspapers; clippings will often have passages concerning the F.B.I. underlined.

The investigative report includes a synopsis of the case; report on the crime scene investigation, preliminary investigation and interviews; copies of statements by suspects, divided into those who did and did not confess to the lynching; copies of corroborating interviews; an auto grouping and movement survey; elimination and screening of suspects; and physical descriptions of the suspects.

Some of the material in the collection concerns the F.B.I.'s displeasure over the tactics used by defense attorneys Thomas Wofford and John Bolt Culbertson, and include inquiries as to Culbertson's relationship with the C.I.O. In addition to the Willie Earle case, some of the material in this collection related to lynching in the South in general.


  • 1947 - 1988
  • 1947 - 1947


0.25 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Ownership and Custodial History

From F.B.I. files; requested by donor under Freedom of Information and Privacy Act provisions as FOIPA No. 292,473 dated August 9, 1988.

Immediate Source of Acquisiton

This collection was acquired through the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act by Dr. Alan Schaffer, a history professor at Clemson University, in 1988.

Location of Originals

Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.


Alan Schaffer Collection of F.B.I. Files Relating to the Lynching of Willie Earle
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Repository Details

Part of the Clemson University Libraries Special Collections and Archives Repository

230 Kappa St.
Clemson SC 29634 U.S.A. US