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The Origins Of The Ku Klux Klan.

1660 words - 7 pages

On December 24, 1865, in the law office of Judge Thomas Jones, in the small town of Pulaski, TN, near the Alabama border, six young Confederate veterans organized a secret society. The name was debated over, starting from "kuklid" from Greek word "kuklos, meaning "circle." Then it was broken into two parts, "ku klux." The "klan" part was then added to make the repetitious sound.The Klan wanted to arouse public suspicion about the organization, various things were used to make this happen. First off, the oath bound every member to complete secrecy about the organization. One was not allowed to disclose the fact that he was a Klansman. One was not allowed to solicit membership. Each member was required to show up to every meeting attired in a long white robe, a tall white hat made of pasteboard, and a white mask. Meetings would be held in cellars of old deserted shacks just outside of towns.The officers of the Klan had very unique names. The "president" was called the "Grand Cyclops." The "vice-president" was called a "Grand Maji." The "Grand Turk" was the "marshal." The "treasurer" was referred to as the "Grand Exchequer." Two "Lictors" or guards, would be on post outside. One would be at the door, the other halfway between the meeting place and town. The Lictors would carry large spears, and would be dressed in their Klan attire.The start of the Klan had no purpose, other than to gain members and to mystify outsiders and have fun. Membership increased extremely fast over the summer. The newspapers had many references to the Klan, and there was much discussion of the movement of it. Young men from the surrounding areas and other parts of the country were inducted, and created their own "dens" in the area that they lived, keeping the same complete amount of secrecy. Rumor had it, that the Klansmen were actually dead Confederate soldiers. Red lights and fires could be seen from graveyards where initiations would occur. The Klan appealed to people as a show of powers of darkness. Soon, any neighborhood where a Klansman lived, no black could be induced into leaving their house after nightfall.The speed at which the organization grew during 1865 through 1866 was outrageous, especially considering the group still had no primary purpose except for the mystery of others and the amusement of themselves. As time passed, however, the members began to realize what sorts of power they held. They held the ability to influence many unknowing men, which would prove to be very useful. Most members realized there would be a great mission for the Klan to accomplish, and all would then know the purpose of the organization.Finding the mission would prove to be very easy. There were drastic changes that needed to be made, and through the fear of the Klan, many people could be influenced into doing what the group wanted. The group could protect property and contain crime to a minimum, and because of the fear of the organization, nobody would attempt anything against...

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