National States' Rights Party

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National States' Rights Party
LeaderEdward Reed Fields
J. B. Stoner
FounderEdward Reed Fields
HeadquartersKnoxville, Tennessee
Membership (1970)150
Political positionFar-right
ColorsRed, blue, and white
(party and flag colors)

The National States' Rights Party was a white supremacist[1] political party that briefly played a minor role in the politics of the United States.


Founded in 1958 in Knoxville, Tennessee, by Edward Reed Fields, a 26-year-old chiropractor and supporter of J. B. Stoner, the party was based on antisemitism, racism and opposition to racial integration with African Americans.[2] Party officials argued for states' rights against the advance of the civil rights movement, and the organization itself established relations with the Ku Klux Klan and Minutemen.[3] Although a white supremacist movement,[4] its messaging was never openly neo-Nazi in the way that its successors in the American Nazi Party were.[5]

The national chairman of the party was Stoner, who served three years in prison for bombing the Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.[6] The party produced a newspaper, Thunderbolt, which was edited by Fields.[7] In 1958, the party's first year, five men with links to the NSRP were indicted for their participation in the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation Temple bombing in Atlanta.[8]

On December 27, 1963, Edward Fields was brought to the US Secret Service's attention as a possible threat against protected individuals. This was divulged as part of the JFK file release. The FBI considered that Fields was "one step removed from being insane."[9]

The FBI deems Edward Fields, founder of the NSRP "one step removed from being insane" in 1963


During the 1960 presidential election, at a secret meeting held in a rural lodge near Dayton, Ohio,[10] the NSRP nominated Governor of Arkansas Orval E. Faubus for President and retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral John G. Crommelin of Alabama for Vice President. Faubus, however, did not campaign on this ticket actively, and won only 0.07% of the vote (best in his native Arkansas: 6.76%).[11] The party also ran in the 1964 presidential election, nominating John Kasper for President and J. B. Stoner for Vice President, although they won only 0.01%, i.e., less than 7,000 votes.[12]

The party began to expand its operations and moved to new headquarters in Birmingham in 1960. Supporters were soon kitted out in the party uniform of white shirts, black pants and ties and armbands bearing the Thunderbolt version of the Wolfsangel.[7] Thunderbolt itself gained a circulation of 15,000 in the late 1960s and the party became active in rallies across the United States, with events in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1966 being particularly notorious because five leading members were imprisoned for inciting riots.[7] The Federal Bureau of Investigation targeted the NSRP under its COINTELPRO-WHITE HATE program.[13]

The party attempted to gain international contacts, and during the 1970s took part in annual international neo-Nazi rallies at Diksmuide in Belgium, alongside such groups as the Order of Flemish militants and the United Kingdom–based League of Saint George.[14] Before that, the party had been close to the British extremist leader John Tyndall and his Greater Britain Movement after Tyndall failed in his attempts to forge links with George Lincoln Rockwell.[15]


Five men with connections to the Party perpetrated the 1958 Hebrew Benevolent Congregation Temple bombing in Atlanta, Georgia.[16]

Presidential tickets[edit]

Year Presidential nominee Home state Previous positions Vice presidential nominee Home state Previous positions Votes Notes
Orval Faubus
 Arkansas Governor of Arkansas

John G. Crommelin
 Alabama United States Navy Rear Admiral
Candidate for United States Senator from Alabama
(1950, 1954, 1956)
44,984 (0.07%)
0 EV
John Kasper
 Tennessee Activist
Member of the Ku Klux Klan

J. B. Stoner
 Georgia National Party Chairman
Candidate for Tennessee's 3rd congressional district
6,953 (<0.1%)
0 EV


The party's influence declined in the 1970s, as Fields began to devote more of his energies to the Ku Klux Klan. As a result, in April 1976, U.S. Attorney General Edward H. Levi concluded an FBI investigation into the group after it was decided that they posed no threat.

The NSRP began its terminal decline when Stoner was convicted for a bombing in 1980. Without his leadership, the party descended into factionalism, and in August 1983, Fields was expelled for spending too much time in the Klan. Without its two central figures, the NSRP fell apart, and by 1987, it had ceased to exist.[7]

Similar groups[edit]

The group had no specific connection to the less extreme, southern conservative States' Rights Democratic Party, although it did share some of its views. Similarly, the party had no direct connection to the group of the same name set up in June 2005 in Philadelphia, Mississippi, after the conviction of Edgar Ray Killen for his role in three 1964 murders (although this group consciously picked the name to evoke Stoner's defunct movement).[18]


  1. ^ The Times, June 21, 1963, 250 Arrested In U.S. Racial Riots
  2. ^ 'National States' Rights Party' from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  3. ^ Clive Emsley; Haia Shpayer-Makov (2006). Police Detectives in History, 1750-1950. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 237. ISBN 978-0-7546-3948-0.
  4. ^ Alton Hornsby Jr. (23 August 2011). Black America: A State-by-State Historical Encyclopedia [2 volumes]: A State-by-State Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 319. ISBN 978-1-57356-976-7.
  5. ^ Paul Hainsworth (6 October 2016). Politics of the Extreme Right: From the Margins to the Mainstream. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 295. ISBN 978-1-4742-9096-8.
  6. ^ J. B. Stoner, 81, Fervent Racist and Benchmark for Extremism, Dies
  7. ^ a b c d Profile of Edward Fields Archived 2007-10-17 at the Wayback Machine from Anti-Defamation League
  8. ^ Webb, Clive. "Counterblast: How the Atlanta Temple Bombing Strengthened the Civil Rights Cause," Southern Spaces 22 June 2009
  9. ^ Kubecka, Chris [@SecEvangelism] (November 3, 2017). "Great little synopsis from the @FBI from the JFK release. The founder of the hate group NSRP Edward Fields "1step removed from being insane"" (Tweet). Archived from the original on September 11, 2020. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via Twitter.
  10. ^ Dayton Daily News, March 20, 1960, Faubus Named Presidential Candidate by States Rights
  11. ^ Our Campaigns - Candidate - Orval E. Faubus
  12. ^ Our Campaigns - Political Party - National States' Rights (NSR)
  13. ^ Groups targeted by COINTELPRO
  14. ^ Ray Hill & Andrew Bell, The Other Face of Terror, London: Grafton, 1988, pp. 165-166
  15. ^ Richard Thurlow, Fascism in Britain A History, 1918-1985, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987, p. 269
  16. ^ Fattel, Isabel (28 October 2018). "A Brief History of Anti-Semitic Violence in America". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  17. ^ The ticket received nearly 7% in Arkansas, Faubus' home state.
  18. ^ 'White People's Party Attempts Political Activity' Archived 2007-09-13 at the Wayback Machine from Anti-Defamation League

External links[edit]