Manuscripts/Mixed Material [Reminiscences: Ku Klux]
Spartanburg Dist. 4
May 13, 1938
REMINISCENCES: KU KLUX
Mrs. Sallie Matthews who died at the age of 82 was a heroine of the Ku Klux days in Union County. Her home was in Pacolet during her latter days. Mrs. Matthews was a native of Fairfield County, but came to Union to live with her sister, Mrs. F.H. Counts, and attended the old Union Female Academy or Seminary. She was 14 years old at this time. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. George S. Hinnant
In the old Counts home (then on South Street and now torn away) robes and masks for the Ku Klux Klan were made and stored away in the garret. Mrs. Matthews was familiar with much of the activities of the robed organization, but she was bound by oath not to reveal any of the secrets of the Klan, and these she kept inviolate until a year or so ago when she related the story to her nephew, Mr. Charles B. Counts, of Union. She said shortly before her death that the only reason she told this was to let it be preserved for posterity.
“I was in an old out-house with aunt 'Em' who was ironing when I overheard the following conversation. My sister's woodshed joined the laundry. Old 'Rackin' George, as we called him, was in there cutting wood. Another negro, whose name I did not know, came in there and told 'Rackin' George about plans that the Union soldiers and the negroes were making to set a torch to Union that night at twelve o'clock. I went to the door of the ironing house and listened to their plans, for 'Rackin' George was one of the band who was to