Although the Klan involved its members in politics and some charity work, most historians associate the organization with acts of violence and terrorism. The Klan became the community watchdog, and when a citizen did not exemplify the Kluxers' moral standards, a midnight whipping party flogged the offender. Local law officers sometimes handed criminals over to the Klan and occasionally participated in the punishment. Members of the organization sometimes arranged these whipping parties for personal reasons, such as debt collection or competition for a girl. Although usually racially motivated, the violent act ostensibly punished a "crime" as well. The Klan also targeted European immigrants, Americans Indians, Jews, Catholics, and religious groups. On the whole, however, Oklahoma Kluxers directed most of their attention to white Protestants who had gone astray.
In an 1868 newspaper interview, Forrest boasted that the Klan was a nationwide organization of 550,000 men, and that although he himself was not a member, he was "in sympathy" and would "cooperate" with them, and could himself muster 40,000 Klansmen with five days' notice. He stated that the Klan did not see blacks as its enemy so much the Loyal Leagues, Republican state governments like Tennessee governor 's, and other carpetbaggers and scalawags. There was an element of truth to this claim, since the Klan did go after white members of these groups, especially the schoolteachers brought south by the , many of whom had before the war been abolitionists or active in the . Many white southerners believed, for example, that blacks were voting for the Republican Party only because they had been hoodwinked by the Loyal Leagues. Black members of the Loyal Leagues were also the frequent targets of Klan raids. One Alabama newspaper editor declared that "The League is nothing more than a nigger Ku Klux Klan."
Ku Klux Klan. Constitution and laws of the WKKK, adopted in 1927.
KeywordsKu Klux Klan African Americans Lynching Oklahoma Governor John C. Walton Civil War Tulsa Race Riot Fraternal Orders Violence
How many members did the Ku Klux Klan …
Although Oklahoma had a diverse population gathered from all parts of the world and the nation, many white residents, especially in the southern parts of the state, had strong ties to the southern culture that had produced the original Ku Klux Klan. Midwesterners with stringent religious beliefs and strong moral consciousness also had migrated to Oklahoma. Into this environment neatly fitted the Klan's beliefs and actions, aimed at preserving rural, white culture and Protestant Christianity and on attacking perceived threats to the racial status quo.
Making the Invisible Empire Visible The Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s
The second coming of the Ku Klux Klan originated in Georgia in 1915. The founder, William Joseph Simmons, possessed great oratorical skills but lacked organizational abilities. In 1920 Simmons partnered with the Southern Publicity Association of Atlanta, and Klan membership soared to 100,000 in eighteen months. An early Oklahoma meeting discussing Klan membership occurred at Sifer's, an Oklahoma City candy store, in 1919. Earlier that year in Skiatook, Oklahoma, Klansmen publicly paraded during a Liberty Loan drive.
Ku Klux Klan | The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History …
The Ku Klux Klan is an outlawed, racist, ultra-conservative, fraternal organization dedicated to the supremacy of an Anglo-Saxon, Protestant society.
Ku Klux Klan - The Oregon Encyclopedia
The Ku Klux Klan is an outlawed, racist, ultra-conservative, fraternal organization dedicated to the supremacy of an Anglo-Saxon, Protestant society. Although never successful across Canada, the Klan was briefly popular in in the 1920s.