The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962 Page: 81
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Notes and Documents
early in 1861 when he left Texas to engage in secessionist propa-
ganda and military organization in Kentucky and Tennessee.
His nephew, Charles Bickley, and Dr. George Cupples continued
the work of the organization from its state headquarters in San
Antonio until it disappeared into the military organizations
created for the War Between the States.2
General Bickley received a cordial welcome in Texas, especially
from those men who supported the Breckinridge-Lane ticket.
The Knights of the Golden Circle quickly added new castles
and these castles grew rapidly in size. Bickley spoke in Houston
on the night of October 3o, 186o, and he received an enthusiastic
reception from the citizens of the city and its leading newspaper,
the Houston Telegraph, then edited by E. H. Cushing. The news-
paper reported the meeting in most complimentary terms and
declared that forty young men of the city had joined the order at
the close of the meeting. General Bickley left Houston on No-
vember 5 for Marshall by way of Hollandale and Huntsville,
and it was reported that he would visit all the important towns
of East Texas. A week after the first meeting the membership
in the Houston castle was reported to be some sixty men.8 By
November 27, the Telegraph reported that there were over 19o
members of the K.G.C. in Harris County. It quoted the La
Grange True Issue as reporting the K.G.C. castle there as having
some sixty members including some of "the most respectable and
enterprising citizens of that county."4
Sentiment for action was rapidly rising in Texas during the
weeks following Lincoln's election, and the gain in the mem-
bership was largely because of this. Because of the slowness of
the mails, leaders of the K.G.C. used the newspapers as a means
of communication. These letters printed in the Houston Weekly
Telegraph provide information on the activities of the K.G.C.
in Texas during the last two months of 186o. It may well be that
the Knights of the Golden Circle played a more important role
in the secession movement in Texas than has been previously
3Houston Weekly Telegraph, November 6, 186o.
lIbid., November 27, 186o.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962, periodical, 1962; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101195/m1/101/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.