Testimony Taken By The Joint Select Committee
to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs
in the last Insurrectionary States
South Carolina, Vol. III
Washington, Government Printing Office, 1872

Page 917, Rev. E. W. Cummings, Sworn and Examined
Spartanburgh, South Carolina, July 15, 1871
Questioned concerning Dr. Javan Bryant


(excerpt) page 929
Question: Do you know Dr. Bryant?
Answer: He was a member of the legislature for two
years.
Question: Do you know Dr. Javan Bryant?
Answer: I know him.
Question: Is he a Republican?
Answer: Yes sir.
Question: An active Republican?
Answer: Yes sir.
Question: A man to disposed to assert his rights on all
occasions?
Answer: I think so. He canvassed the county last fall
as candidate for the
legislature.
Question: He is also understood to be one of the
principle leaders in the
county?
Answer: Yes sir; he is regarded as among the leading
Republicans in the
county.
Question: He was a member of the legislature?
Answer: Before he was a Republican.
Question: He has been a Democrat then?
Answer: Yes sir.
Question: He is one of those recent changes?
Answer: I voted for him in 1868 I believe.
Question: He is, like yourself, one of those recent
changes from democracy
over to republicanism?
Answer: Yes sir.
Question: Was he also a member of the investigating
committee in relation to
the Third Congressional District of South Carolina?
Answer: I have heard it stated that he was on an
investigating committee,
either the 3rd or 4th, I think it was the 4th, but I
may be mistaken -
appointed by the legislature.
Question: In regard to what you spoke of a moment ago,
the reports and the
rumors in these wild times in South Carolina, I wish to
read to you what is,
perhaps, rather a florid specimen of political
literature; but I read it as
coming from Dr. Bryant in an official report - I
believe it is a minority
report:
"No one can fail to be struck, upon reading the
evidence taken by the
committee, with the many vague, incoherent, and
ludicrous accounts given by
those poor colored people, many of whom were so
ignorant as not even to know
their own names, of the Herculean size, hideous
proportions, and diabolical
features of what they call the Ku Klux. And it affords
me great pleasure to
be able to report, that, after having 'thoroughly
investigated' the matter,
I am of opinion that the ghosts, hobgoblins,
jack-o-lanterns, and Ku Klux of
the 3rd Congressional District, are but allotropic
conditions of the witches
of New England, whose larvae having long lain dormant
until imported hither
in the carpet bags of some pious political priests,
germinated in the two
credulous minds of their poor proselytes, and loomed
into luxuriance in the
fertile fields of their own imaginations."
The Chairman: What is the date of the report?
Mr. Van Trump: There is no date given here, but it is
headed "Report of the
Committees on Investigations in the 3rd Congressional
District," and is
signed Javan Bryant.
The Chairman: What is the date of the paper in which it
appears?
Mr. Van Trump: It is in the Daily Columbian Phoenix, of
March 1, 1870.
Mr. Stevenson: Is it a minority report?
Mr. Van Trump: I suppose so.
Mr. Stevenson: He was then a democrat.

(snip) page 934
Question: When was Dr. Bryant elected by the democrats
to the legislature of
this county?
Answer: It must have been in the fall of 1868. He
served two years prior to
the present legislature.
Question: Was he the candidate on the Republican ticket
last fall?
Answer: Yes sir.

Submitted by
Glenna Kinard
gkinard@sc.rr.com