True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 14
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14 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
course my answer was in the affirmative. He then asked if
I was willing to take part in a movement to insure white supremacy.
I told him I was. He then told me that a movement
was on foot to organize the white men and he wanted me to
join the organization. I agreed and on the following Tuesday
night I was initiated in the Texas Klu Klux, though it was
known by a different name. I was the first man initiated, my
number being eleven. There were ten charter members, Colonel
Jones being No. 1, Captain Evans No. 2, Major Clark No. 3 and I
forget the others, but I do remember that the late General
C. C. Beavens was No. 10, but being a strict Catholic the priest
objected to his belonging to a secret society and he never took
part in the organization. Aside from the advantage gained by
making the order as mysterious as possible I could never see
reason for any secrecy, for it was an absolutely lawful association,
and its members were sworn to do all in their power to
maintain the supremacy of the white men by lawful means
and to restore law and order.
We picked our men and in less than a month we had over
300 members in Houston and the order had extended to nearby
towns. In a month or two the order had gone all over Texas,
and had thousands of members. The idea of profound
was carried out in every way. Members were known only by
numbers, and no written record was ever made or kept. When
investigations were necessary or when any outside work was
to be done no one ever knew who was chosen to do the work
except the general and those who were chosen. Of course the
negroes, loyal leagues and carpetbaggers became greatly excited
when they discovered the existence of our organization and
they made every effort to find out something about us. That
they could not do because there was absolutely nothing to find
out. I belonged to the order from the day of its organization
until it was dissolved and I never knew of an unlawful act
done by it, nor of one done by some over zealous or silly member
that was not promptly rebuked. The order accomplished
its object the very moment it was organized, for its mere
existence, surrounded as it were with so much mystery, struck
terror to the negro heart and caused their white backers to
pause and take notice. During a small riot and threatened
uprising of the negroes one Sunday morning the old market
bell was tolled in. a peculiar way by some unknown person.
Within a few minutes several hundred men armed with shotguns
and pistols suddenly appeared on Main Street and the
negroes and their white friends disappeared as suddenly. -But,
as Kipling says, that is another story, and as it is rather an interesting
one, I shall reserve it for another time.
Here’s what’s next.
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Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young., book, 1913; Galveston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/m1/14/?rotate=90: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .