The Long Unfinished War: KKK & The Invisible Empire

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The Long Unfinished War: KKK & The Invisible Empire

Postby brekin » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:11 pm

The President Who Destroyed the Klan: Ulysses S. Grant, An Unappreciated and Undervalued Leader
By Thomas S. Neuberger
March 29, 2013

“The Man Who Saved The Union, Ulysses Grant In War And Peace,” by H.W. Brands (Doubleday, 2012). A Review (March 26, 2013):

On the scene in South Carolina federal marshals assisted by army troops rounded up many hundreds of Klansmen and associates. The habeas suspension allowed the arrests to take place far more rapidly than they would have otherwise, because the authorities didn’t have to bring the persons arrested before a judge shortly and charge them with a crime. The effects of the sweep went beyond arrest numbers; many Klansmen fled their home counties ahead of the troops and marshals, some fled the state and a few even fled the country. The detainees overwhelmed the available jails and, after they were eventually indicted, clogged the dockets of the courts.

While President, Ulysses S. Grant destroyed the terrorizing Ku Klux Klan to protect the lives of the freed former slaves. But with the intensely disputed presidential election of 1876 to succeed him in office came the “Compromise of 1877," which gave the White House to the Republican candidate in exchange for the removal of Grant’s federal soldiers from the South and the return of complete control of the region to the racist Southern Democrats. This end of the Reconstruction period enabled the Klan eventually to rise again and to terrorize and murder Blacks until President Lyndon Johnson used the FBI to destroy the Klan a second time, almost 100 years later.

To stop Southern Klan terrorism, President Grant engineered the passage of the Ku Klux Klan Act in 1871, which in professor Brand’s words “remobilized the engines of the Civil War to deal with the Klan and the violence it practiced.” Against strong political opposition, Grant then used his new powers to the fullest to protect the freed slaves, as is described above. Using the words of the author, perhaps this is the epitaph which should have appeared on Grant’s Tomb – “Grant’s campaign put the fear of federal power into the Klan and shattered its sense of impunity. Not for decades would the nightriders exercise such influence again.” To his everlasting honor, President Grant stood for the absolute protection of the freed Black race in the face of Southern Democratic political, social and cultural tyranny.
...


Lyndon B. Johnson and the Ku Klux Klan
Written by: Lily (Runhe) Li

Lyndon B. Johnson is the president known for contributing the most to the civil rights movement by passing large legislature such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act. What many do not know is that Lyndon B. Johnson took a personal stance against the Ku Klux Klan, fighting to prosecute them and to eliminate the organization from America.

A Personal Cause

Lyndon B. Johnson’s grandfather (known as “Big Sam”) and father (“Little Sam”) were both politically active. The two Sams sought clemency for Leo Frank, a Jewish victim who was lynched by a mob in 1915 in Atlanta. Due to their outspokenness, the Johnsons were threatened by the Ku Klux Klan in Texas. If they did not withdraw their support for Leo Frank, the Johnsons would be killed. The Johnsons later told friends that they had hid in the cellar of their home while Lyndon Johnson’s father and uncles stood guard on their porch holding shotguns just in case the Ku Klux Klan made good on their threats. These incidents are often cited by Johnson are the cause of his opposition to the Ku Klux Klan’s ideals.

Same Party Enemies

Johnson became the first president to prosecute and arrest Klansmen in the last 93 years (since Ulysses S. Grant). Johnson’s decision to alienate the Ku Klux Klan was even more shocking because he was a Democrat, who relied on the South for a steady vote. Due to his very vocal and daring criticism of the Ku Klux Klan, Lyndon B. Johnson and the Ku Klux Klan became fierce political and ideological enemies.

On March 25th 1965, Viola Liuzzo, a Unitarian Universalist civil rights activist from Michigan was murdered by four Ku Kluz Klan members. The four Klan members were quickly arrested; with “a hooded society of bigots”. Johnson claimed that Viola was killed by “the enemies of justice who for decades have used the rope and the gun and the tar and the feathers in twenty-four hours, President Lyndon Johnson appeared on national television to announce their arrest. In that televised report, Johnson criticized the Ku Klux Klan as to terrorize their neighbors.” Johnson even went as far to say that the KKK “struck by night… for their purpose cannot stand the light of day”. Johnson warned the KKK member to leave the Klan and “return to a decent society before it is too late”. Starting on March 26th, President Johnson called for a full investigation of the Ku Klux Klan. Lyndon Johnson used this opportunity to condemn the actions of the Ku Klux Klan members and used this bout of infamy to persuade Congress to pass the Civil rights Act of 1964.


The Elections of 1964

During the 1964 elections, the Ku Klux Klan fully placed their support on Barry Goldwater. Because a large amount of the Ku Klux Klan were Southern Democrats, this was the first time a Republican made headway into the South, which was previously dominated by the Democratic party. As a result, some of the dirtiest and harshest campaign videos emerged from both sides. Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration did not hesitate to use the fact that the Ku Klux Klan was a supporter of Barry Goldwater to portray him as a man who supported lynching and burning crosses, terrorists and murderers. Johnson was able to successful dirty Goldwater’s name and isolate the Southern Democrats and the Ku Klux Klan in the process. To retaliate, the Ku Klux Klan funded a commercial criticizing the immoral America that seemed too obsessed with sex and luxury, attributing such moral corruption as reflective of the corruption of America’s leader, Lyndon B. Johnson.

A Brave Man

Lyndon B. Johnson may have left office due to his actions in Vietnam, but his loyalty towards domestic matters, especially civil rights cannot be ignored. Although it hurt him politically, Johnson stuck by his values and fully persecuted the Ku Klux Klan, an issue that so many Presidents avoided in order to preserve their political careers. But then again, it does make sense that the tall, charismatic man who towered over you and poked you in the chest while making his point was also the man who had the courage and the unshakable sense of justice to go after one of the most infamous and terrible groups in the United States’s history.

https://sites.google.com/site/domesticp ... -klux-klan
(Of course MLK was assassinated under LBJ's watch, (with KKK & FBI possible collusion) the equivalent of Frederick Douglas being assassinated under Grant's presidency.)

Act III

The Ku Klux Klan is slowly rising again
http://nypost.com/2016/06/30/the-ku-klu ... ing-again/

The number of KKK groups in America more than doubled last year, says new report
http://fusion.net/story/269778/kkk-groups-in-america/

US hate groups including Ku Klux Klan increased dramatically in past year, report finds
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... finds.html
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Re: The Long Unfinished War: KKK & The Invisible Empire

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:19 pm


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4ZyuULy9zs

Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swingin' in the Southern breeze
Strange fruit hangin' from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant South
The bulgin' eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burnin' flesh

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
For the sun to rot, for the tree to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop
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Re: The Long Unfinished War: KKK & The Invisible Empire

Postby American Dream » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:30 pm

Did President Johnson destroy the Klan, using the FBI? In a certain sense maybe but only to a degree. J. Edgar Hoover was a power unto himself, remember. Weren't elements of the Klan useful in harassing and attacking MLK? Didn't Klansmen lead a lot of violence, as with Greensboro in 1979? Weren't Klan elements pretty well integrated into the power structure in Mississippi, Alabama etc. all through the 60's and into the 70's?

I think this is an important topic but way more complicated- and even contradictory- than sometimes portrayed.
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Re: The Long Unfinished War: KKK & The Invisible Empire

Postby brekin » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:46 pm

American Dream » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:30 am wrote:Did President Johnson destroy the Klan, using the FBI? In a certain sense maybe but only to a degree. J. Edgar Hoover was a power unto himself, remember. Weren't elements of the Klan useful in harassing and attacking MLK? Didn't Klansmen lead a lot of violence, as with Greensboro in 1979? Weren't Klan elements pretty well integrated into the power structure in Mississippi, Alabama etc. all through the 60's and into the 70's?

I think this is an important topic but way more complicated- and even contradictory- than sometimes portrayed.


Indeed, as I said:
(Of course MLK was assassinated under LBJ's watch, (with KKK & FBI possible collusion) the equivalent of Frederick Douglas being assassinated under Grant's presidency.)

And the notorious use of paid Klan informants working for the FBI is something that has come up in the forums.
The crux is the KKK surges back and forth in power without federal attention and crackdowns.
How is this presidency going to respond to a growing and increasingly emboldened KKK?
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Re: The Long Unfinished War: KKK & The Invisible Empire

Postby American Dream » Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:00 pm

Trump is equating terrorists with Muslims but not including any White Nationalists under that rubric, near as I can tell.
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Re: The Long Unfinished War: KKK & The Invisible Empire

Postby brekin » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:39 pm

American Dream » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:00 pm wrote:Trump is equating terrorists with Muslims but not including any White Nationalists under that rubric, near as I can tell.


The reason Grant & LBJ were able to challenge the Klan is because their efforts counteracted voter intimidation and suppression that helped garner them votes for their liberal parties (for their respective times, Grant was R and LBJ was D) in the South and big cities in the North. Trump and Co. will probably subtly encourage and covertly lead the White Nationalists because they will help rally their white nationalist demographic and possibly/likely intimidate and push out demographics that vote Democratic in key areas. We may be heading back into the genteel apartheid of aristocratic democracy but with corporations being the new plantations. Think "Making America Great Again" like around the gilded age and Jim Crow era.

Image
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Re: The Long Unfinished War: KKK & The Invisible Empire

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:14 pm

New Jersey Elementary School Asks Students to Design Their Own Slave Auction Posters

We should be confronting the horrors of the past, not recreating them.
By wagatwe / DailyKos March 16, 2017

Image

Today in #facepalm: A school in my home state of New Jersey came under fire for a quite the peculiar homework assignment—make your own slave poster! Some teachers mistakenly thought it’d be a good idea to include this in their Colonial America Project. Parents rightfully disagreed.

Parent Jamil Karriem wrote a public post showing how awful this assignment is. Asking children to think like a slave owner or slave seller is offensive and unnecessary. The horror of slavery is quite clear; we don’t need any children doing some light roleplay for “education purposes.”


The assignment made me raise eyebrows, but reading a description of the posters in Jezebel made me slightly sick to my stomach:

Posters included images of people with dark skin and descriptions like “Anne, aged 12 years, a fine house girl” or “Men: aged from 20-26, strong.” Some students also drew advertisements for runaway slaves which offered dollar rewards. One depicted the face of a brown-skinned man: “Wanted,” the poster read in large letters above the picture — and then, underneath it, “dead or alive.”

The school heard the displeasure of the assignment and offered an “apology” that shows why a school managed to get into this mess in the first place (they just don’t get it). Here’s what they said, according to CNN:

Jamil Karriem added 4 new photos.
March 7 at 11:34am ·
MAPSO Community-
Have some disheartening news.
While we pride ourselves on our towns culture of progression and acceptance, it has come to my attention that South Mountain Elementary School recently instructed its students to draw slave auction pictorials and then proceeded to hang said drawings throughout the hallways of the school. These images were on display for all students (ages ranging from 4-10) to see, including those that would lack any context of the underlying 'lesson' or 'purpose.' Educating young students on the harsh realities of slavery is of course not the issue here, but the medium for said education is grossly insensitive and negligent. In a curriculum that lacks representation for students of color, it breaks my heart that these will be the images that young black and brown kids see of people with their skin color. Furthermore, it is COMPLETELY lost on me how this project could be an effective way to teach any student in any age group about American history.
It is the responsibility of the community members to hold the board accountable for the future of our towns education. I beg you to join me in the following:
ACTION ITEM
Send one e-mail to the following (cc everyone) expressing your outrage and demanding an explanation for what will be done to rectify the situation and ensure it doesn't happen again.
boemembers@somsd.k12.nj.us - Board of Ed
jramos@somsd.k12.nj.us - Superintendent
ajacobs@somsd.k12.nj.us - South Mountain Principal
In solidarity through struggle,
Jamil

"While it was not our intention, we recognize that the example of a slave auction poster, although historically relevant, was culturally insensitive," said Dr. John J. Ramos, Sr., superintendent of the South Orange-Maplewood School District.

"We certainly understand and respect the strong reaction which some parents had to seeing slave auction posters included with other artwork from the assignment," he added in a statement sent to CNN. "We are rethinking the Colonial America Project for next year, and will eliminate the example of a slave auction poster."
I think this is a great example when we have clueless educators in charge of teaching really important and sensitive matters, especially in the context of history. Most Americans learned a Eurocentric, whitewashed version of history in school growing up and thus don’t have the nuance and sensitivity to properly address these issues. The principal might mean well, but I wouldn’t trust him to properly teach anyone about racism and slavery.

Students at the school in South Orange were assigned to examine "the ugly and foundational role that slavery played in Colonial America," Ramos said. They were asked to select a colony to research and then complete tasks, including creating ads for slave auctions, using their research, he said.
We are supposed to learn our history so we are not doomed to repeat it. So why make children literally repeat racism by participating in the creation of media that dehumanizes Black and Brown faces? Research shows media representation has a marked impact on the self-esteem of children—leaving white boys feeling good, but Black children feeling badly. We should actually challenge and counter the horrors of the past. Not recreate them (with some factual inaccuracies) and place them for display without the proper context and opportunity for learning.
http://www.alternet.org/education/new-j ... on-posters
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Re: The Long Unfinished War: KKK & The Invisible Empire

Postby American Dream » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:33 pm

I agree with what you said but I will add that while the State does sometimes protect and aid us, it's not because our lives matter so much per se. The whole global chessboard was nearing some serious changes in the LBJ era and if Uncle Sam didn't change his act with regards to Apartheid USA, the whole game was at risk. Similarly, Grant represented the push for a united imperial expansion- for which the Natives suffered so greatly. I think expanding power was always the most important factor- far more than any individual and/or the ideals of Liberalism.

I know this wasn't claimed here but it's important to clarify the point.


brekin » Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:39 pm wrote:The reason Grant & LBJ were able to challenge the Klan is because their efforts counteracted voter intimidation and suppression that helped garner them votes for their liberal parties (for their respective times, Grant was R and LBJ was D) in the South and big cities in the North. Trump and Co. will probably subtly encourage and covertly lead the White Nationalists because they will help rally their white nationalist demographic and possibly/likely intimidate and push out demographics that vote Democratic in key areas. We may be heading back into the genteel apartheid of aristocratic democracy but with corporations being the new plantations. Think "Making America Great Again" like around the gilded age and Jim Crow era.
Last edited by American Dream on Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Long Unfinished War: KKK & The Invisible Empire

Postby American Dream » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:11 pm

Of course there's this, too:



KNIGHTS OF THE GOLDEN CIRCLE

The Knights of the Golden Circle (K.G.C.), a secretive organization created in 1854, proposed to establish a slaveholding empire encompassing the southern United States, the West Indies, Mexico, and parts of Central America. Centering on Havana, this empire would be some 2,400 miles in diameter—hence the name Golden Circle. Leaders of the K.G.C. argued that their empire would have a virtual monopoly on the world’s supply of tobacco and sugar and perhaps cotton and have the strength to preserve slavery in the South from constant attacks by northern Abolitionists.

George W. L. Bickley, a Virginia-born doctor, editor, and adventurer, was one of the founders of the K.G.C. According to the records of the K.G.C. convention held in 1860, the organization was “originated at Lexington, Kentucky, on the fourth day of July 1854, by five gentlemen who came together on a call made by Gen. George Bickley….” Bickley then occupied himself with other projects during the mid-1850s, and the K.G.C. did not become active until 1859–1860 when he undertook an organizing campaign across the southern states. As he promoted his organization, Bickley focused on the annexation of Mexico as an essential first step. Newspaper editors across the lower South generally reacted favorably to his message, and Texas proved notably strong in its support. Within a relatively brief time, he organized thirty-two “castles” or local chapters in various cities, including Houston, Galveston, Austin, San Antonio, Marshall, Jefferson, and La Grange. Many prominent Texans joined the K.G.C., and Bickley even courted Gov. Sam Houston, who reportedly became an initiate. Houston, however, regardless of his interest in annexing Mexico to the United States, could not accept the K.G.C.’s anti-Union stance and refused to support its schemes.

In the spring of 1860, a small group of K.G.C. members gathered at the Rio Grande for an invasion of Mexico, but Bickley failed to appear with a large force that he claimed to be assembling in New Orleans, and nothing came of the venture. A group of Knights in New Orleans then publicly attacked him as a liar, coward, and inept leader. Bickley responded by calling a general convention of the K.G.C., which met in Raleigh, North Carolina, on May 7–11, 1860. The convention confirmed Bickley as leader and published a lengthy address to the people of the southern states that remains the most reliable statement of the K.G.C.’s organization and goals.

Like many other secretive societies, the K.G.C. had an elaborate ritual with codes, signs, and passwords, and complicated plans for its military and governing operations. Knights were grouped into three divisions—military, commercial and financial, and political—each of which was in turn divided into two classes. For example, the military division comprised the Foreign Guard, those men who wished “to participate in the wild, glorious and thrilling adventures of a campaign in Mexico” and the Home Guard, men who would support military efforts from home. Bickley created, on paper at least, an army of 16,000 men.

The K.G.C. developed a second plan for invading Mexico later in 1860, but it proved abortive as attention turned to the presidential election and the secession movement that followed immediately across the lower South. Unionists in Texas claimed that the K.G.C. played a role in reducing the vote for Constitutional Unionists (see CONSTITUTIONAL UNION PARTY) in November 1860 and in keeping Unionist voters from the polls when the state held a referendum on secession in February 1861. Once Texas seceded in March 1861, individual Knights participated in the actions that displaced the authority of the United States in Texas, leading some Unionists such as James P. Newcomb to emphasize the role of the organization in destroying the Union. The truth of all these charges cannot be determined with certainty, but secession definitely represented majority opinion across the state regardless of the K.G.C.’s role.

During the Civil War, leaders of the K.G.C. served in the Confederate Army not as members of the society’s military division per se, but simply as soldiers in the southern cause. Elkanah Greer of Marshall, for example, served with distinction as colonel of the Third Texas Cavalry, a unit in the cavalry brigade commanded by future governor L. Sullivan Ross. The K.G.C. itself probably received greater attention during the war for its supposed role in a treasonous plot variously called the “Northwest Conspiracy,” the “Copperhead Movement,” and similar names in the old Northwestern states such as Indiana and Ohio. Joseph Holt, United States Judge Advocate General, submitted a report in October 1864 that warned Secretary of War Edwin Stanton about the danger of this plot, which he attributed at times to the K.G.C. and at other times to different treasonous groups. If such a plot existed, nothing came of it, suggesting that the rumors were just that or that the K.G.C. did not have the strength attributed to it in such reports.

Victory by the Union in the Civil War destroyed the cause for which the K.G.C. had been created and, therefore, ended its life. Bickley, who served as a surgeon in the Confederate Army before being arrested as a spy in Indiana in July 1863 and held until October1865, died in August 1867. Reports of K.G.C. activity circulated for a few more years, but there is no dependable evidence that the organization survived the war in any meaningful way. Perhaps the greatest historical significance that can be assigned to the K.G.C. is its contribution to creating the emotional excitement necessary to persuading southerners to rebel against the United States.

Secretive organizations such as the K.G.C. create an atmosphere of conspiracy, of claims and charges that cannot be proven true but cannot be proven untrue either. It should come as no surprise then that the K.G.C. has drawn the interest of numerous investigators who claim that it was a vast conspiracy that drew inspiration from groups such as the European Knights Templar, Scottish Rite Masons, and the Sons of Liberty. These investigators also allege that many famed characters from the Civil War era, including John Wilkes Booth and Jesse James, belonged to and acted under the influence of the Knights. Some argue that the Knights buried millions of dollars in stolen U.S. Army payrolls in locations across the Southwest, where the money (now worth billions) remained under guard into the mid-twentieth century and perhaps even now. These conspiracy stories associated with the Knights of the Golden Circle are now part of the historical record associated with the organization, but none of them can be reliably documented.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Ollinger Crenshaw, “The Knights of the Golden Circle: The Career of George Bickley,” American Historical Review, 47 (October 1941). Roy Sylvan Dunn, “The KGC in Texas, 1860-1861,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 70 (April 1967). Donald S. Frazier, Blood & Treasure: Confederate Empire in the Southwest (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1996). Warren Getler and Bob Brewer, Rebel Gold: One Man’s Quest to Crack the Code Behind the Secret Treasure of the Confederacy (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004). Joseph Holt, Report of the Judge Advocate General on “The Order of American Knights,” alias “The Sons of Liberty.” A Western Conspiracy in aid of the Southern Rebellion (Washington, DC: Union Congressional Committee, 1864). K.G.C., Records of the KGC Convention, 1860, Raleigh, N.C. (http://gunshowonthenet/AfterTheFact/KGC/KGC0571860.html), accessed August 27, 2010.


http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/onli ... cles/vbk01
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Re: The Long Unfinished War: KKK & The Invisible Empire

Postby brekin » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:08 pm

Secretive organizations such as the K.G.C. create an atmosphere of conspiracy, of claims and charges that cannot be proven true but cannot be proven untrue either. It should come as no surprise then that the K.G.C. has drawn the interest of numerous investigators who claim that it was a vast conspiracy that drew inspiration from groups such as the European Knights Templar, Scottish Rite Masons, and the Sons of Liberty. These investigators also allege that many famed characters from the Civil War era, including John Wilkes Booth and Jesse James, belonged to and acted under the influence of the Knights. Some argue that the Knights buried millions of dollars in stolen U.S. Army payrolls in locations across the Southwest, where the money (now worth billions) remained under guard into the mid-twentieth century and perhaps even now. These conspiracy stories associated with the Knights of the Golden Circle are now part of the historical record associated with the organization, but none of them can be reliably documented.


Yes, interesting. If not obviously or cleanly a fully linked up conspiracy to other groups or events (Lincoln's assassination, the sabotaging of Reconstruction, etc.) shows that such groups can have enormous influence, and attempt even more. Fringe groups seem to be an anomaly or anachronism until current events sync with them, even briefly. And then its just a matter of the social network and opportunities.
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Re: The Long Unfinished War: KKK & The Invisible Empire

Postby American Dream » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:20 pm

The myth- as sometimes promoted by some right wingers- is that the KGC never went away and is carefully guarding its hidden treasure because THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN!!!
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Re: The Long Unfinished War: KKK & The Invisible Empire

Postby American Dream » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:26 pm

Our dishonorable past: KKK’s Western roots date to 1868

Image
A gathering in Seattle during the Ku Klux Klan’s revival of the early 20th century.


Before the Klan, there was a precedent on the Coast for secretive, guerilla-style groups. A predecessor was the Knights of the Golden Circle, Southern sympathizers who promoted secession of the Confederacy and a larger, hemispheric plan to spread slavery. During the War, they were said to operate as a kind of Fifth Column in the North and in the West. They formed a secretive, armed group—also sometimes called the Knights of the Columbian Star–who schemed to take California, Oregon and Washington Territory out of the union to form a Pacific Republic sympathetic to the South. The Knights are considered by historians to have provided a template for the post-war Klan.


Read at: http://crosscut.com/2017/03/history-you ... on-oregon/
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