Jerry P. Shinley Archive:
Date of Clinton CORE Voter Registration Drive Discovered?



Subject: Re: East Feliciana Officials Listen
Date: 20 Jul 2000 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <8l6p0g$f20$>

       I have found in the CORE papers a description of a voter registration drive which matches some of Henry Earl Palmer's recollections:

Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) Papers
Part 2: Southern Regional Office 1959-1966

edited by August Meier and Elliot Rudwick

University Publications of America, Frederick MD


Reel 4, Frame 519

OCTOBER [1963]                                    BILL BROWN


Reel 4, Frame 521

Thur. [October] 10 [1963]


       - Early this morning we had 14 people at the house ready to go to the registrars office. At 8:00 A.M. the[y] walked from Mama Jo's [Josephine Holmes] house to the registrars office. At the end of the day 24 persons had attempted to register; however, not one of them passed. Complaint forms were made out for all. It was reported that the registrar left his office for a short period.

       - This entire operation was handled by local CORE people. Verla Bell & Loria Davis were in charge, and did quite a nice job. They are able to run this phase of the program alone from here.

[end of excerpt]

[According to Corrie Collins (10-26-67), Verla Bell was present at the drive and recalled seeing the black Cadillac. In another statement (1-31-68) Collins mentions that he worked at the drive with both Verla Bell and a Laura Davis (Andrew Sciambra's spelling, apparently).--JPS]


       This account matches some of Henry Earl Palmer's recollections:

[thanks to Dave Reitzes]


June 1, 1967 (Dictated and transcribed)

TO: JIM GARRISON, District Attorney

FROM: ANDREW SCIAMBRA, Assistant District Attorney



ON MAY 29, 1967

Lt. Francis Fruge and I talked to Mr. Palmer at his office which is located across the street from the Courthouse in Clinton, Louisiana.

Mr. Palmer said that some time between September 1st and October 15th of 1963 he had occasion to talk to LEE HARVEY OSWALD. Mr. Palmer said he feels very strongly that it was in the first week of October, possibly around the 6th or 7th. He said he was the Registrar of Voters at the time and his office was on Main Street located across the street from the Courthouse. Mr. Palmer said that on this particular day there was some Civil Rights [sic] activities in town and the colored people had a voter registration drive on. He said there was a long line of colored people lined up to register with him.


[end of excerpt]

[I think we can rule out August 23, 1963 (as the date of the black Cadillac incident):

Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) Papers
Part 2: Southern Regional Office 1959-1966

edited by August Meier and Elliot Rudwick

University Publications of America, Frederick MD

Reel 5, Frame 502

                                                 EVENTS OF AUGUST 23, 1963
                                                 OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR
                                                 CLINTON, LOUISIANA

       I arrived at the regular waiting place at exactly 9:00 A.M. There were two or three people on the scene. Mary Daniels said whe [sic] would [be] in around 9:00, but she didn't come until around 9:00 with Janie Daniels and Barbara Kilbourne who both had been identified by Idella Shannon w[h]o had herself disqualified because she made a mistake in filling out the forms.

       At 9:45 Mary came downstairs and said she had to find someone (two persons) to identify her because the registrar (Palmer) had challenged Mrs. Kilbourne and Mrs. Daniels because Idella Shannon had herself taken off the registration roles [sic]. He even read a note to them than [sic] Mrs. Shannon had written to him telling about the mistake she had made. In the meantime, Mrs. Kilbourne remained in the office and was given the test once again. She identified herself with a drivers license. I waited down the street and called Danny Mitchell to report it to him. After I made the call I came back and waited around five minutes before Mrs. Kilbourne came down and said she had passed. Mrs. Daniels said she had something to do and wouldn't be able to go up and register. The registrar sent word for Delores Matthew to come up and take the test over. She returned in the afternoon with two people to identify her. They were Louida White and Mattie Matthews. She came down later and said she had passed.

Verla Bell

(end of document)

This doesn't match the description of a long line of people waiting when the registrar's office opened.]

Jerry Shinley

Sent via
Before you buy.


Back to the top

Back to Jerry Shinley Archive menu

Back to Jim Garrison menu


Search this site
    powered by FreeFind

Back to JFK menu

Dave Reitzes home page


Dave Reitzes home page