Newspaper Page Text
and BOOK SECTION *rck STrilmitJe MAGAZINE and BOOK SECTION PART VII TEN PAGES SUNDAY, JANUARY 2, 1921 PART VII TEN PAGES Once Outlawed Ru-Klux Klan Plans Northern Invasion; Negroes Demand a Federal Investigation of Secret Soeiety Maintenance of "White Supremacy" Is One of the Order's Professed Objects By Torrey Ford WITH the blue law epidemic barely on the wane and the building trade frauds still Jn the news, New York City can hardly afford to interrupt the height of its busiest shooting season with ot?aj more sideshows. Yet another looms ominously, almost demanding attention. Enter?to put the matter concisely?the Knighta of the Ku-, Klux Klan. Though nearly a half century has passed since a night-riding clan of Southern whites took the law into its own hands and terrorized the r.ewly emancipated negroes, few have forgotten the tragic details of those bloody times. Thomas Dixon re created the whole episodo in The Clansman; Griffith, with a genius for realism, again presented the Klan to a nation of film f ans in "The Birth of a Nation," and now comes a revival that has neither paint nor powder, scenery nor advance agents. Branches in the North A reorganized Ku-Klux Klan, with branches already established lh?onghout the South, has invaded the North with the avowed intention of becoming a national fraternal order. A den has been projected for New York City. As all activities of the Klan are accomplished with the direst secrecy, the exact status of the local den is not known. Not an address nor a name has been divulged during the course of the investigation. Colonel William Joseph Simmons, Imperial wizard of the Knights of the Ku-Klux Klan, in a statement telegraphed from Atlanta last week, refused to comment on the situation except ln general terms. "I can neither affirm nor deny the eadstence of a local Klan in New York City," he said, "as we have never formally- announeed such facts to the public. This informa? tion is of vital interest only to mem? bers of the organization. Should an emergency arise in New York de? manding the presence of the Ku Klux Klan for the preservation of the fundamental principles for which this organization stands, I eaa say frankly that the Ku-Klux Klan would be there on the job.' Adraits New York Branch Later in the week, while indulg ing in a telegraphic debate with Al fred J. Talley, then Assistant Dis? trict Attorney, Colonel Simmons .made some further admissions about the New York den. "It would doubtless surprise Mr. Talley," said Colonel Simmons, "to know just how many workers and members of the invisible empire are in New York City to-day, and it would probably shock Mr. Talley to know who they are and what their official ar.d business standing is in N'sw Yerk City." Doubtk-ss there will be Bome sur? prise for Colonel Simmons when it ls brought to his attention that the Srst definite information concerning the proposed New York den came through confidential correspondcncc of the Klan with an official of the National Association for the Ad Tancement of Colored People, ??'ho3e headquarters are at 70 Fifth Avenue. Posing asto white man interpstfd ?n the formation of a local den an association official arranged to have fcis name submitted for membership to the Klan. The Klan'* Objects After a few days he received the Wkming letter from the "Imperial Paiace of the Invisible Empire, De Ptrtment of Propagation, Office of *? Imperial Klragle, P. O. Box 12?4, Atlanta, Georgia": &'-?r Sir: Aa a leading citizen of your com ftttitjr, and having confidence ln 7<>'iT patriotism, I take the liberty ? brioging to fovt attention a ESiit m which cannot fall to appeal to ?"?ry real American. Tr.*. atorj of the Ku-Klux Klan, of "*? r?eonttrsetioa days, and its Kkllaat ntr/;? ln hehalf of v/hito jjtpramaejr, !n?urp* n * piace ln the ?**rt ot ev<*ry true American, there h ftddisg to tho tUty which elos ?*r? atovni th* nurn?:n of <>,rir:ral jtfttbsn JJedford Furrr-.l, iu Grand . ^I%rd, and Gen^rnl John B. (Jor A 4oa, who waK at tho head of the <*rt ln Gaorgl*. A branch of the rawrgMlfA Klan jfM to-day, which ha? b?an bro?d*n*d W* a atandard fraternal ordar, :*fc?/eby enlarglng the acope of its <K y*t r*ta;ning all of the pro "*? fMtarts of th? old Klan, should bo ln every eommunity of tho nation. Ita need to-day, when the four teen million people of the colored race are organizing, and when the ?narchist and Bolshevik forcea are to this "feeler," for shortly after ward ho received another letter from the Imperial Kleagle, dated Sept. 17, 1920. It read: Dear Mr. -: Your very good letter arrived dur? ing my absence from tho city on a speaking tour. It is gratefully ap preciated. Wo expect to start an organization of work in New York State in No? vember. I hope we may have your ablo cooperation, aa I am sure you are qualified for m?mbershlp in our order. 1 attach herewith question naire which I will thank you to flll out, and when the answers to the questions are received, no doubt you will qualify to be on tho inside of our work, and I will then be in posi tion to give you some information which will be of interest and prob? ably startling to you. We have in mind about 800 men in New York City whom we expect to honor by bringing into the initial glorious country that lt has been in the past. With kind regards and highest esteem, I am Very truly yours, (Signed) EDWARD YOUNG CLARKE (L) IMPERIAL KLEAGLE. In tho name of our fathers?for our country, our homes, and each other. The Qtfesflonnaire The questionnaire was attached to a letter from the Aulik of the Imperial Wizard, which ran: Dear Sln ? Your Inquiry has been received by the Kligrapp of tha great Wizard and he is lnstrocted to pro pound to you tha followlng neceB sary lnterrogatorles. Upon the re? ceipt by us of this sheet, with all the questions below properly and tmth fully answered by you, if same ls satisfactory, we will lmpart to you tho information you desire. With? out delay you will flll in, slgn and return this sheet by early mail. You will find stamped envelope enclosed for this purposc. Very truly yours, KNIGHTS OF THE KU-KLUX KLAN, By 17. Of what rellgious faith are your parents? - 18. What secret fraternal orders are you a member of (if any)? 19. Do you honestly believe '.n the practice of real'fratemity? 20. Do you owe ANY KIND of alle giance to any foreign nation, gov? ernment, institutiafc. $vcx, people, raler or person? - I most solemnly assert and afflrra that each question above ls trutii fully answered by me and ln my own hundwriting,. and that below la my real signature. Signed ' Date !?-? Inqulre* Postofflce address " ?? : Investigation Begun At this stage of the negotiations the correspondence was abruptly termi nated, and it was taken or granted that the Klan had discovered the identity of the man who was apply ing for membership. The colored association turned over the complete correspondence, together with other land and the Constitution upon which our government is founded. Are Labeled Fanatics "This Ku-Klux Klan, on their own declaration of principles, is composed of narrow-minded bigots and scare head fanatics. There is no place for therift in New York, and good citi zens and real Americans will set their faces against them and, their wild aspirations. "Let the aearchlight of truth and fair dealing be turned on these ?brave knights' who aro afraid to fight in the open and claim to be part of an 'invisible empire.' This is no time, nor is America the place, for the creation of any empire, invisible or otherwise." Colonel Simmona, wiisard of the Klan, replied to this attack with considerable vehemence. In part, he said: "When Mr. Talley, by inference, chargea that the operations or ac? tivities of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in New York City will be in violation of law or antagonistic to the fundamental principles and ideals of the American government, out of ignorance he states an un truth, and if his threat to prevent the operations of the Knights of the Ku-Klux Klan in New York City is based upon the expectation or belief that the organization in its opera &-.-_ where this organization is active and \ here crime has passed beyond the control of regularly constituted au thority, our organization has won for itself the deep gratitude of the ofiicials of law and order and the sincere appreciation of the citizens cf the community. As an arm of the law and a real bulwark of civil authority and the preservation of law and order the Ku-Klux Klan is an invaluable asset to any commu? nity ln America." Another view of the revived Ku Klux Klan is presented in Tho Crisis for January in an article by Walter F. White, assistant secre? tary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Referring to recent Klan activities ii the South, Miv White writes: "Pathetically Amusing*' "If one looks at the Ku-Klux FJan solely from th? viewpoint of the larger cities of the South, like "TTH/S" illustration is a sketch from an actual photograph of a Ku-Klux Klan initiation in a Georgia wood PHO70. 'OLONEL WILLIAM JOSEPH SIMMONS, of Georgia, imperial wizard of the Knights of tlie Ku-Klux Klan encroaching daily upon the banlc principles of Arn'rriranltim, Cfinnot fail to ho appar?nt to the thinking man. If you are Intarested ln the mat? ter I WOUld ba i;!ail to hear from you ?t once Yours very truly, (Signed) EDW. YOUNG CLARKE. In the name of our fathers for ; our coui ' , 01 r hom< i and each j other. Membership Qualificutiom 'lt>- colored inve?tifin.tor appar 1 ently made a satiafnet^y responiKi organization in Now York City. We are receiving pleading lett<Ts from Mainf, Illlnois, Mlssouri and Cali fornia for u? to send organizera to these places to begin work. In viaw of the work that thls organization, with The Moi I Sublimo Ltneago in all History is doing and expects to do, I do most sincerely trust that you will qualify, nnd thtvt you .'3ii soon bi on the Insidu of t,'<i< rahka of our rapidly incrcasing army of REAL, n d blooded, L00 per cont American , dlotei rriinod that America ohall be in the future the great and 1. Is tho motlve prompting your inquiry serious? ?-? 2. What is your age? 3. What is your occupation? -? 4. Whero were you born? 5. How lonjr havo you reslded In your present locnlity? ??? C. Aro you married, slngle or wid ower? T. Were your pnrents born in tho United States of America? - 8. Aro you a Gentilo or a Jew? 9. Are you of the v.hito race or of a colored rnce ? - - ln. What educational advantn^e have you? ? 11. Color of eyo"? - Hair? - Woightl . Height? 12. Do you believe ln the principle:! I of .i PURE Americani8m? 13. Do you believe in white eupre macy? I 1. U ha( is your polii cs? ! i \\ i.a: ?? '/our ? ?' " " ' h V i 10. i If whal church ai c ; > ; s. i m> , ber (if any)? ?;-- - material evidence, to the Department of Justice, which began an immedi? ate investigation. Judgo Talley, until last week Assistant District Attorney, in a i statement issued both as a warning j to the organizers of the Ku-Klux Klan and as a reassurance to negroes I of this city that they would be pro- I tected, declared that no quarter would be shown any member of such ; an organization if it employed ter roristic methods or violated the law in any way. % "There is no room," he said, "in the great, broad-minded State of i Now York for so un-American an organization as the Ku-Klux Klan.! The pretonsions that it apparently makes to patriotism enforce Samuel! Johnson's definition of patriotism as j 'the ?ast rofugc of a scoundvel.' No . oath-bound organization is nceded to preserve and perpetuate; dovohio:3 to t?o American gov*??*-1 ,ea?nt nor to uphold the laws of tho"} tions in New York will violate any | laws of the land or any fundamental principle of the American govern? ment, then Mr. Talley is chasing a cold trail, and his dcsire to inter fere with the operatioi3s of this or? ganization is doomed to serious dis appointment. Says Klnn Is Neetled "Tho statement that the organiza? tion is not needed in America is an expression of mere personal opinion, but if the crime wave record in New York City at the present time is any criterion by which "-.o judge the needs of America for an organization like the Knights of the Ku-Klux Klan, it would certainly seem that ai least New York City needs the organiza? tion and needs il /ery badly at this time. ? "2u*| <s:\-J2; parta of the nation, ">??. ?\ tfewaO \ Jacksonville, Attonta and Birming- I lam, where the negro population is I concentrated in certain section?, the1 (.'fforts of the Klnn are pathetically 1 amusing and are treated as such by | colored people. Forty years ago, when'the original Ku-Klux did ef i iective work in terrorizing, murder ing and pillaging the negroes ofthe i South, it was dealing with four million recently emancipated slaves, | with all the characteristics follow , ing in tho wake of two and a half centuries of human bondage. They were ignorant, superstitious, easily frightened, poorty organized, dis< trustful of each ^ther and btill be Head of the Organization Says There Are Already 300 Members in New York City ieving that they were inferior to .vhite men. It was a comparat'vely =imple matter to envelop tha Klan Mth a cloak of supernatural power *nd to send a colored man shiven ing to cover until a parado had oassed. "To-day, however, the set ting has manged. A new generation of negroes has arisen, with thousands jf university, college, high school ind grammar school graduatea among them, possessing property and the respect for self that ac :ompanies such possessions. ln re ?ard to the Klan, even tho unedu cated negro looks upon it with amused contempt. A Jucksonville Parado "In Jacksonville, for example, & parade of the local Klan was held on Saturday night, October 30. Large nunibers of colored people turned out to see the parado. On? old colored woman of the ante bellum type that is fast disappear ing called out derisively to the marching Ku-Klux: " 'White folks, you ain't done nuthin'. Them German guns didn't scare us, and I know them white faces ain't going to do it now.' "That remark ppitomizea the feel? ing. Phrased in better English it likewise expresses the sentiment among the larger number of edu cated colored citizens of Jackson? ville. But beneath the amused tolerance there is a grim realiza tion that the Klan will not spend its energy in marching?that th? sinister purposes of the movement betoken no good to colored people. "The situation in th* srnaller towns and isolated rurai *ommunl ties where the negro population la widely scattered is of a more serious nature. Thre the Klan can wreak their vengeance on any negro who dares offend them by being too pros perou's or being suspected of some crime, great or small, or by in ;urring the displeasure of any white man of the community. This rengeance extends tij wliite men who iffend some loyal member of a Klan >r who dare show too great friend liness for negroes, whether for sel fish or other motives." Foundcd in 1866 The original order of the Ku-Klux Klan was founded in 18(i(* in Pulaski, 1'enn., ns a social club of young i ? it, had an absurd ritual and a str uniform. The members accidentally discovered that the fear of it ha great influence over the !< superstitious blacks, i soon club expanded into a great fei tion of regulators, absorbing nu ous local bodifs that had been foi i in the absence of civil law. To control the negro the Klan played upon his supei by having night patrols, pa i drills ? covere< with white s heel 3, i ull with coals of fire for eye bones to rattle, and w i asks In calling upon negroes they v.. to terrify at night they i i be the spirii s of dead ' !oi "just from Hell." Mj and warning i were to i politicians. In organization the Klan was 3nod eled after the Federal Union. Its prescript or constuution provided for the following organization: The en tire South was the invisible empire, under a Grand Wizard, General N-. B. Forrest; each state was a realm. under a Grand Dragon; several counties formed a dominion, under a Grand Titan; each county was r. province, under a Grand Giant; tht smallest division being a den, under a Grand Cyclops. The staff officers bore similar titler ?Gerii, Hydras, Furies, Goblins, Night Hawks, Magi, Monks and Turks. The private members were called Ghouls. Pegenrratrd Inln Outlaws The object cf the Klan was to protect the whites during the dis orders that followed the Civil War and to oppose tfce policy i f the Nortb toward the South. In many com munities, however, 3:;e Klan fell i3it(' the control of viole came simply a band of < ?t h was finally broken up by thc "force laws" oi 1871 -'72. The Klan \\..-: offit iallj in 1889, but its. for ome time after. >r I ilar societies are freq fused with the Kn-Klux K . ! :; (here ras i. [other than a common '?.itorosi.