Frank Cooper

Frank Cooper was a child when he spoke to his mother about her time in enslavement.  Here, he recounts a tale she told him of the Ku Klux Klan coming into her town and the measures the men in town took to protect themselves and their families from the potential cruelty the KKK would bring.

*“Historically-used terms that are offensive, marginalizing and/or disparaging have been removed from the transcripts and replaced with [victims].
See full document • Visit the Library of Congress to see the original document


My mother related some experiences she had with the Paddy-Rollers, later called the Ku Klux, these Paddy-Rollers were a constant dread to the N***oes. They would whip the poor victims unmercifully without any cause. One night while the N***oes were gathering for a big party and dance they got wind of the approaching Paddy-Rollers in large numbers on horseback. The N***o men did not know what to do for protection, they became desperate and decided to gather a quantity of grapevines and tied them fast at a dark place in the road. When the Paddy-Rollers came thundering down the road bent on deviltry and unaware of the trap set for them, plunged head-on into these strong grapevines and three of their number were killed and a score was badly injured. Several horses had to be shot following injuries.

When the news of this happening spread it was many months before the Paddy-Rollers were again heard of.

Formerly enslaved person
Birth Year (Age)Interviewer
WPA Volunteer
Enslaver’s Name
Frank CooperUnknownWilliam R. MaysGood,  Burton, Cooper
Interview LocationResidence StateBirth Location
Franklin, INIndianaKentucky
Themes & KeywordsAdditional Tags:
ViolenceFirst person, whipped, Klan/mob violence