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Grant number: FT-10732-70

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Gladys-Marie Fry
University of Maryland, College Park (College Park, MD 20742-5141)

The Night Riders: A Study of Social Control of the Negro

Fellow to establish the historical validity of an alleged system of psychological control of the Negro by whites which involved the use of an indoctrinated fear of supernatural beings to discourage unauthorized movement and assemby of Negroes, especially at night. Psychological control said to have evolved from the practice of masters and overseers dressing as ghosts during slavery; later extended to antebellum patrols, the Reconstruction Ku Klux Klan, and finally the night doctors (a folk term used to refer to body snatchers). Fellow gathered information for her dissertation, The Night Riders: A Study in the Social Control of the Negro, from oral accounts of 150 Negro informants in the Washington, D.C. are. Will use printed sources (plantation accounts, letters, diaries, farm journals, records, family papers) to substantiate theory.

Project fields:
History, General

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$1,500 (approved)
$1,500 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/1970 – 8/31/1970