The Ku Klux Klan: A Bibliography

The Ku Klux Klan: A Bibliography

The Ku Klux Klan: A Bibliography

The Ku Klux Klan: A Bibliography

Excerpt

This is the first comprehensive bibliography on the Ku Klux Klan since William H. Fisher published The Invisible Empire: A Bibliography of the Ku Klux Klan in 1980. Our work, however, differs from his book in that it is larger, with nearly seventy-five percent of the citations coming from newspapers. Fisher devoted little space to newspaper articles or to Klan activities in foreign countries, limiting his treatment of the Klan to selected states. We have included their activities in foreign countries as well as in forty-eight states, making this volume national and international in scope.

The Ku Klux Klan had its origin in Pulaski, Tennessee, in 1866. One of the main objectives of this group was to intimidate the newly freed Blacks in that area. The six men that formed this "club" were former college men, who had been officers in the Civil War. They met in secret, put on disguises, and rode horses at night, engaging in wild pranks and much horseplay, according to Klan history. They declared that there were no plans for violence. They only wanted to instill fear in the Blacks as a means of controlling them: to stop them from voting and participating in the political process.

Although the Civil War had ended only a few months earlier, Southern Whites were "ready" to return society to the status quo. Within two years the Ku Klux Klan had gained statewide attention and had spread to other cities. In April 1867, Klansmen met in Nashville, drew up a constitution, and elected Nathan Bedford Forrest, a former Confederate general, as Grand Wizard. Within a few years the Klan had chapters in most Southern states. Now, the method of control was violence against Blacks: murdering, whipping, hanging, and mutilating. As David M. Chalmers pointed out, "To the White Southerner, the Ku Klux Klan was a law-and-order movement because it was directed at the restoration of the proper order. . . ."

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