Voting and the Atlas Family in East Carroll Parish

We came across a court case today, called Nicholas Burton et. als versus Charles Hicks et. als. that took place in (East) Carroll Parish and had to do with a contested election for a congressional seat that took place on November 2, 1874...135 years ago this weekend. The congressional race was between William B. Spencer (Democrat) and Frank Morey (Republican) in the 5th district of Louisiana.

Here is what was charged by the contestee, William B. Spencer:

Poll 2, Carroll Parish – The only specific charge of contestant in his notice of contest touching the election at this poll is as follows: At ward or poll No. 2 in said parish, on said 2d November 1874, the said Geroge C. Benham and others of your partisans did, by unlawful and violent conduct and threats, intimidate the colored voters of said parish, and snatched their ballots from their hands as they approached the polls to vote, and forced them to take and vote other ballots than those they had and were going to vote, thereby wrongfully and fraudulently procuring, by force and intimidation, votes in his and your interest; which violent conduct was persisted in throughout said day at said poll, in violation of the freedom of election secured by law.

Spencer's contest was won and he eventually took the congressional seat for the 5th district.

And...who did we find on the list of 713 voters at poll 2 which was in the second ward of the parish? King Atlas, Sr., King Atlas, Jr., Andrew Atlas, John Atlas, William Atlas. King Atlas, Sr. is the earliest traceable ancestor of our family and King, Jr., Andrew, John and William are his sons.

We already knew that we have family members who are a part of the Congressional record (additional record), but did we have any idea that our earliest traceable ancestors were as well?

On the eve of celebrating the one year anniversary of the US electing it's first African American president, it's fitting that we came across this.


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