The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 9, July 1905 - April, 1906

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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.

THE KU KLUX KLAN.
W. D. WOOD.
The publication by Thomas Dixon of a sketch of the origin,
organization, dissolution, and ritual of the Ku Klux Klan, or the
Invisible Empire, in the San Antonio Daily Express, of September
4, 1905, brings vividly to the recollection of people who lived in
Texas during the period from 1867 up to 1870 the reconstruc-
tion legislation of the Federal Congress, which for a time handed
over the people of the several Confederate States to Negro rule and
domination, with all of its humiliation and attendant horrors.
The effect of this legislation was to disarm and disfranchise the
Confederate white man, and place the ignorant Negro, the rapa-
cious carpetbagger, and the camp-follower, in control of the gov-
ernment of each of the several Confederate States, and these, too
often, under the thin disguise of law, proceeded at once to organize
a saturnalia of robbery and crime that threatened to pauperize the
people of the Confederate States, disrupt all social order, and
destroy the just end and aim of government. What could be more
repugnant to the instincts of an intelligent Southern man than to
be ruled, robbed, and insulted by his former slave? It was during
this troublesome period that the Ku Klux Klan was an important
factor in many, if not all, of the late Confederate States.
That the humiliation, pauperizing, and ruin of the people of the
South was the aim of many of the fanatic leaders of the North,
who forced through Congress the reconstruction legislation, there
can be no doubt; and though they failed in their purpose, it was
not for the want of a desire to succeed. As evidence of this may
be cited the actual introduction into Congress by Thaddeus Stevens
of a bill confiscating the property of the Confederate people. It
is well known that the Negro had been promised, as his share of
the spoils, forty acres of land and a mule. Though Congress
balked at the actual confiscation, it authorized the Freedman's
Bureau, with its numerous agents scattered in every neighborhood
of the South, and sent out an army of 35,000 soldiers, whose busi-
ness it was to uphold the Bureau and the lawless and arbitrary
acts and decree of its agents, and to maintain the supremacy and

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 9, July 1905 - April, 1906. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101036/. Accessed August 30, 2014.