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1. Overview of the Collection


McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi


James K. Dukes

Collection Number


Collection Title

Dukes (James K.) Papers


1 Folder





Collection Status

Fully processed


Items used by former Forrest County Prosecutor James K. Dukes for a USM University Forum presentation on August 29, 2000.



2. Subjects

Dukes, James K.

Dahmer, Vernon Ferdinand, 1908-1966.

Ku Klux Klan (1915- ) -- Mississippi -- Hattiesburg.



3. Biographical/Historical Note

James K. Dukes, Sr. was a County Prosecutor for eight years. In 1968, Mr. Dukes and Forrest County District Attorney, James Finch obtained the first conviction of a white murderer of an African American in Mississippi. On March 16, 1968, Cecil Sessum was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his role in the murder for Vernon F. Dahmer, Sr.

Mr. Dukes is currently Managing Partner at the Law Office of Dukes, Dukes & Wood.



4. Scope and Content Note

This collection contains items used by former Forrest County Prosecutor, James K. Dukes in a USM Honors Forum presentation on August 29, 2000.

Included in the collection are a photocopy of an affidavit of Cecil V. Sessum regarding the January 1966 murder of Vernon F. Dahmer, Sr.; photocopies of the Ku Klux Klan sheet “The Forrest Crusader” of March 1, 1966 and April 4, 1966, in which the Dahmer murder is discussed; and a document titled “The Watchful Eye”, which suggests that the F.B.I. may have been responsible for Mr. Dahmer’s death.



5. Related Material

Related collections at the University of Southern Mississippi include:

M250 Dahmer (Vernon F.) Collection

M410 Helfrich (Robert B.) Papers



6. Administrative Information


Donated by James K. Dukes

Use Restrictions

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code). Reproduction of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Provision of photocopies or digital reproductions does not constitute permission to publish, distribute, provide internet access to, or otherwise display images of materials in this collection. Copyright is retained by the lawful copyright holder, and it is the responsibility of the permission seeker to contact and secure permission from the copyright holder. Where copyright permission is not granted, images are only for use in private study subject to the Fair Use exceptions made in U.S. Copyright Law.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Preferred Citation Method

In citing these materials, the following information should be included:

Item, title of collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of

Southern Mississippi.

Processing Information

Collection processed and finding aid written by Amanda McRaney, October 2013.


Collection case file.


7. Container List


Folder 1

Photocopy of an affidavit of Cecil V. Sessum regarding the murder of Vernon F. Dahmer March 7, 1966

Photocopies of “The Forrest Crusader” March 1, 1966; April 4, 1966

Photocopy of “The Watchful Eye”



8. Publication Information


The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries, Special Collections


Physical Address

The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries

McCain Library & Archives

118 College Drive #5148

Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5148


Email Contact

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Revision date

Last revised: October 30, 2013


Prepared and maintained by
The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries Special Collections
118 College Drive #5148   Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5148