American Extremists: Militias, Supremacists, Klansmen, Communists & Others

By John George; Laird Wilcox | Go to book overview

24. National States Rights Party

Formed in 1958, the National States Rights party was the lineal descendant of three other organizations: the Columbians ( 1946), which appeared on the now defunct U.S. attorney general's list of "subversive" organizations; the Christian Anti-Jewish party ( 1952); and the United White party ( 1956). Instrumental in the organization's formation were Edward Fields, a boyishly handsome chiropractor, and Jesse B. Stoner, lawyer and Ku Klux Klan organizer who, on more than one occasion, referred to Adolf Hitler as "a moderate." (Commenting on this, one rightist stated, "Compared to Stoner, Hitler probably was a moderate.") Both Stoner and Fields were officers in the Christian Anti-Jewish party, holding the posts of "Archleader" and "Chief Secretary," respectively. According to George Thayer,

Jesse Stoner originally came from Chattanooga, Tennessee, where his family used to own Rock City, a well-known tourist attraction on top of Lookout Mountain, south of the city. In his youth, Stoner suffered an attack of polio which has left one leg shorter than the other. 1

The group's first headquarters was located in Jeffersonville, Indiana, but the organization soon relocated to Birmingham, Alabama, then to Augusta, Georgia, before finally settling in Marietta, Georgia.Not only has the organization been geographically mobile, it has also managed to absorb several other extreme right groups. Included among these are a Florida group headed by Dewey Taft called the Conservative party, the National White American party, the North Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and the Seaboard Citizens' Council led by John Kasper, who ran for president on the NSRP ticket in 1964. NSRP leaders that same year were Ned Dupes, an elderly arch-segregationist, and two women: Mrs. E. L. Bishop, vice chairman, and Bernice Settle, secretary.

J. B. Stoner began his political career in the 1940s as a Ku Klux Klan Kleagle (organizer) and founder of the Anti-Jewish party, which distributed The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, the notorious anti-Semitic forgery. Perhaps the most outspoken and obsessive anti-Semite in American history, Stoner said that the aim of his party was to "make being a Jew a crime, punishable by death." 2

In February 1966 Stoner appeared before a Congressional committee investigating the Ku Klux Klan; taking the Fifth Amendment, he refused to answer all questions. An attorney, Stoner frequently represented Klansmen in criminal cases. In 1969 he was one of the attorneys handling James Earl Ray's appeal

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