Bibliographical Key

Sue Wilson Abbey

“The Ku Klux Klan in Arizona, 1921-1925,” Journal of Arizona History, 14 (Spring 1973): 10-30.

American Sentinel (Birmingham, AL)

The American Sentinel began weekly publication in fall 1922, declaring on its masthead that it was "The voice of and for ex-service men." By summer 1923, the masthead declared, “Recognized Klan Paper--By the Grand Dragon, Realm of Ala.” And, it declared in September 1923, it was "Alabama's Oldest Klan Paper." Only scattered issues from 1922 and 1923 have survived in the archives (Library of Congress, Samford University, and the Alabama State Archives), but contemporary newspaper directories indicate that it continued publishing until 1931.

Arkansas Traveller (Little Rock)

The Arkansas Traveller, published in Little Rock, is not recorded in contemporary newspaper directories, though the paper received an endorsement in October 1923 from the Badger American, a Klan paper published in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The issue of 3 November 1923 declares it to be the "Official Organ Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Realm of Arkansas." That issue, and the issue of 15 October 1923 (Vol. 1, number 27) are held at Archives, Knights of Columbus Supreme Office, New Haven, Connecticut, SC-11-1, File 166. No other issues have been located.

Mary Wear Briggs

“The Road by Home: Harrison County, Iowa, in the 1920s,” The Palimpsest, 73(Summer 1992):88

Broad Axe (Chicago)

The Broad Axe, an African American paper, and highly critical of the Ku Klux Klan, was published between 1897 and 1927 at Salt Lake City, Utah; St. Paul, Minnesota; and at Chicago. It has been digitized and can be examined at the Chronicling America website.

Norman D. Brown

Hood, Bonnet, and Little Brown Jug: Texas Politics, 1921-1928 (College Station: Texas A. & M. Press, 1984)

Call of the North (Minneapolis)

The Call of the North was published in 1923-1924 at St. Paul, Minnesota. It advertised itself in the Indiana Fiery Cross of 14 December 1923, as “A Voice of Militant Protestantism.” The final issue appeared on 15 February 1924, with the announcement that the "Minnesota Fiery Cross, Official Klan Organ, Starts With Next Week's Issue." Microfilmed copies are held at the Minnesota Historical Society.

Carlock: Ku Klux Klan Carlock Unit No. 71 (Carlock, Ill.) records

1924-1925, Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

The Carter-Klan Documentary Project

David M. Chalmers

Hooded Americanism: The First Century of the Ku Klux Klan (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1965)

Colonel Mayfield’s Weekly (Houston)

Colonel Mayfield’s Weekly was published in Houston, Texas, by Billie Mayfield, an officer in the Texas National Guard and the Klan candidate for lieutenant governor in 1922, from 24 September 1921 until soon after Mayfield sold the paper in summer 1924. The Oklahoma Herald (Muskogee, Oklahoma) for 11 October 1921 captured Mayfield’s enthusiasm for the Klan: "Col. Mayfield, down in Houston, Texas, likes the Ku Klux Klan so much that he has started a newspaper all of his own to boost the organization along." Microfilmed copies are held at the Texas State Library.

Nancy Bergmann Cuthbert

"A Social Movement: The Norfolk Klan in the Twenties," Virginia Social Science Journal 2 (1967): 101—18

FF: Fellowship Forum (Washington, D.C.)

The Fellowship Forum published its first issue in June 1921, with George Fleming Moore, the “Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Free Masonry, Southern Jurisdiction of the United States,” as titular editor and James S. Vance as business manager. Both men had been associated with the Scottish Rite’s New Age Magazine, and the FF shared that magazine’s devotion to the American public school and distrust of the Catholic Church. That bent led the FF to sympathize with the Ku Klux Klan against its enemies and soon brought it into the Klan’s orbit. By 1923, according to rumors, the Klan was subsidizing the FF in order to benefit from the greater respectability of the paper’s Masonic associations. By the mid-1920s Vance had charge of the enterprise, and a few years later he successfully canvassed readers for contributions that enabled him to purchase a Washington radio station, with new call letters of WTFF. Circulation peaked in 1926 at a reported 310,000, and the FF itself staggered on until its final issue, despite a March 1937 change of name to Nation’s Forum, in 1938. Vance sold the radio station in 1934 and died at home in McLean, Virginia, in 1942. Microfilmed copies of the FF are held at the Library of Congress.

Craig Fox

Everyday Klansfolk: White Protestant Life and the KKK in 1920s Michigan (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2011)

Frank Granger

“Reaction to Change: The Ku Klux Klan in Shreveport, 1920-1929,” North Louisiana Historical Association Journal, 9(Fall 1978):219-227.

Julian LaRose Harris Papers

Emory University, Atlanta

Elizabeth Dorsey Hatle

The Ku Klux Klan in Minnesota (Charleston: The History Press, 2013)

Roger Hux

“The Ku Klux Klan in Macon, 1919-1925,” Georgia Historical Quarterly, 62(Summer 1975):155-168

Indiana Fiery Cross (Indianapolis, IN)

The Indiana Fiery Cross began by July 1922 as an independent Klan publication, and within a year claimed circulation of more than 100,000. In short order, the Klan contracted to take over the publication, starting a dozen state Klan papers, all titled Fiery Cross. In 1924, the paper’s founder took the Klan to court for non-payment, and the paper reported in September 1924 that all disputes had been settled. The paper continued into 1925. Microfilmed copies are available at the Indiana State Library.

Imperial Night Hawk (Atlanta, GA)

The Imperial Night Hawk was an official Klan magazine, published from 28 March 1923 to 19 November 1924 in Atlanta. The issue of 25 July 1923 explained its origin: "The Imperial Kloncilium or national executive committee of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in their meeting of January, 1923, voted unanimously to establish an official publication for the order to be published from the Imperial Palace. . . . . The magazine is owned by the Klansmen of the nation and is financed through their national treasury. . . . . A number of copies of the magazine are mailed each week to the Exalted Cyclops of every chartered and provisional Klan in the country for distribution in his Klavern. . . . . The magazine is not conducted for profit not does it accept advertising." Microfilmed copies are held at several locations.

Kenneth T. Jackson

The Klan in the City, 1915-1930 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1967).

Philip Jenkins

Hoods and Shirts: The Extreme Right in Pennsylvania, 1925-1950 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997)

Emerson Hunsberger Loucks

The Ku Klux Klan in Pennsylvania: A Study in Nativism (Harrisburg, PA: Telegraph Press, 1936)

Kourier Magazine (Atlanta, GA)

The Kourier was the successor to the Imperial Night Hawk and also an official Klan magazine, published monthly from December 1924 to November 1936. It is not to be confused with the several short-lived Klan newspapers also titled Kourier. Microfilmed copies are to be found at several repositories.

Missouri Klan Kourier (St. Louis)

Missouri Klan Kourier began in July 1923 as an independent anti-Catholic, pro-Klan newspaper in St. Louis. To help boost circulation, the editors changed the paper’s name to the Missouri Fiery Cross in early 1924, but that name had already been claimed by the national Klan, and the paper soon returned to Patriot. In May 1924, the Klan Kourier, published by two leading Klan officers, took its place as the official Klan publication for Nebraska and Missouri. Apparently the Klan in Nebraska went its own way, and the paper became the Missouri Kourier in July 1924, living on until the end of December that year. Microfilm of all the iterations of the paper is available at the State Historical Society of Missouri.

Missouri Valley Independent (St. Joseph, MO)

Missouri Valley Independent was published weekly at St. Joseph, Missouri, between 1922 and 1927.After proudly associating itself with the Klan in 1924, its preferred description after that year was “Independent,” albeit a reflection more of the Klan’s poor fortunes than of any real change in editorial policy. The State Historical Society of Missouri holds microfilm from January 1923 to November 1927.

Monitor (Aurora, MO)

The Monitor was a weekly anti-Catholic paper published at Aurora, Missouri. Its ancestry began with The Menace, a paper founded at Aurora in 1911 to preach anti-Catholicism that borrowed its circulation-boosting methods from the well-known socialist paper, the Appeal to Reason, of nearby Girard, Kansas. By 1915, the Menace had outstripped the Appeal, with a claimed circulation of 1.5 million a week. That was the peak, but the paper continued to lead a significant anti-Catholic trend in politics until World War I shifted fears and attention from the Pope to the Kaiser. A fire destroyed the Menace’s plant in November 1919, and, as a legal fight over the property prevented the paper from resuming publication immediately, the leading figures—Gilbert O. Nations, later publisher of The Protestant, in Washington, D.C., and Billy Parker, a well-known anti-Catholic lecturer—started in spring 1920 a paper called The New Menace. It never acquired the lofty circulation of its predecessor, but it could claim a national reach. Thus, its ready defense of the Klan in fall 1921, after the New York World’s expose and the subsequent congressional investigation both publicized and paralyzed the Klan, helped bring the ranks of anti-Catholic activists into the Klan and aided the Klan’s shift from night riding to politics in 1922. The New Menace broke with the Klan in 1923 when that organization sought to ban independent pro-Klan papers and anti-Catholic agitators and gave its support in 1924-1926 to the Independent Klan of America (based in Muncie, Indiana). Looking for a new start in the midst of the Great Depression, the New Menace changed its name to the Monitor and immediately restored good relations with the equally moribund Ku Klux Klan. The Monitor continued publishing until 1942. The Menace has been digitized and is available through the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America website, microfilmed copies (incomplete) of the New Menace are available at the State Historical Society of Missouri, and microfilm of the Monitor is held at the New York Public Library.

Monterey County Weekly (California)

Article printed September 20, 2001. (see also )

Muncie Post-Democrat (Muncie, IN)

The Muncie Post Democrat and its publisher, George R. Dale, won fame in the 1920s for unstinting criticism of the Ku Klux Klan and its influence on Indiana politics. Dale made his editorial attacks at some risk, ranging from libel suits to actual gunplay. He survived to win election as mayor of Muncie in 1930, a post in which he was just as controversial. He failed to win reelection in 1934 but continued to publish the Post Democrat until his death in 1936. Microfilmed copies are available at the Indiana State Library. (See also the following exhibit )

New Menace (Aurora, MO)

Michael Newton

The Invisible Empire: The Ku Klux Klan in Florida (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2001)

New York Evening World (New York City)

The New York Evening World, under editor Herbert Bayard Swope, began investigating the second Klan in summer 1921, as the Klan’s salesforce of Kleagles spread out across the country and as news reports of hooded vigilantes inflicting punishments also spread across the country (See “Reign of the Tar-Bucket,” Literary Digest, 27 August 1921). For several weeks in September and October 1921, the World exposed the Klan as for-profit enterprise exploiting prejudices and marketing extra-legal violence. The World also arranged for newspapers across the country to carry the expose, including offering it at little or no cost to African American papers. William Randolph Hearst’s New York American hurried a copycat series to press, and Congress investigated the Klan. By Thanksgiving Americans everywhere knew about the Klan.

Condemnations of the Klan, many solicited by the World, rained down from government and law-enforcement officials, and recruitment of new members slowed so badly that the Kleagles could not make a living. The state sales managers—Grand Goblins, in Klan parlance—revolted in December 1921, attempting unsuccessfully to oust the Klan’s founders. In Texas, where Klan recruiting had been widespread before the expose, the numbers were sufficient to force the Klan in Atlanta to name Hiram Wesley Evans, a leader of the Dallas Klavern, as the national secretary. The Ku Klux Klan recovered from the expose in 1922, but did so by playing down the vigilante appeal and embracing anti-Catholic political action, tying itself to already existing networks of organizations, agitators, and newspapers. Thus, for example, the 1922 Oregon referendum mandating compulsory public schools attendance, often credited to the Klan, had entered Oregon politics earlier through a coalition of anti-Catholic groups, including the Scottish Rite Masons, and the legislation borrowed from a similar campaign in Michigan that arose prior to the Klan’s spread. Throughout the Klan’s rise and fall, the New York Evening World kept up the close coverage and also provided space for Klan opponents. In 1922, the World received the first Pulitzer Prize for community service for its expose. Microfilm copies are available at the New York Public Library.

North Dakota American (Fargo, ND)

The North Dakota America professed to be the official paper of the Klan in that state, emerging at Fargo in late spring 1925 and, if entries in annual newspaper directories can be trusted, surviving until 1928. Only one issue is known to exist today, and that issue, from 25 July 1925, is held by the North Dakota State Historical Society.

Oklahoma Herald (Muskogee, OK)

The Oklahoma Herald was published at Muskogee, Oklahoma, with the first issue appearing on 24 September 1921, in the midst of the New York World’s expose of the Klan. The Weekly Herald, as it was named until February 1922, openly supported the Klan, although its masthead slogan was more capacious: "America First, Last and All the Time." In February it took the name Oklahoma Herald. Although circulation never passed 6,000, the Herald was important first as a strong defender of the Klan and in 1923, when factional fights divided the Klan’s national leaders, as a defender of the faction associated with former Imperial Wizard William Joseph Simmons. Microfilmed copies of issues from 1921 to 1924 are available at the Oklahoma Historical Society.

Official Monthly Bulletin (Atlanta), University of Georgia Library, 1926-1928

The Official Monthly Bulletin was published at Atlanta by the Klan to encourage local Klaverns to recruit new members and hold on to their existing members. It began in November 1926 and ended publication in July 1927, and copies are held at the University of Georgia Library. The editor was Harry Kyle Ramsey, a Klan careerist. He was Kligrapp of Shreveport Klan No. 2, Realm of Louisiana, from February to December 1922, and Grand Kligrapp, Realm of Louisiana, June to December 1922. He then moved to Atlanta as Imperial Kligrapp, December 1922 to October 1924; Imperial Kladd, October 1924 to September 1925; Imperial Klazik, September 1925 to September 1926; and Imperial Klaliff, September 1926 to September 1930. He left the Klan to operate the Wieuca Rabbitry, in Atlanta (“Raise Rabbits for Meat and Fur! LITTLE TIME - - LOTS OF FUN,” ad on back cover of Kourier, May 1930). He returned to the Klan as Imperial Kligrapp in October 1936 (See Kourier, November 1936).

Nicholas Pruitt

“Broadening the Scope: The High Plains Klan of the 1920s,” West Texas Historical Association Yearbook, 82 (January 2006):156-169

Michael W Schuyler

“The Ku Klux Klan in Nebraska, 1920-1930,” Nebraska History 66 (1985): 234-256

Center of Southwest Studies (Fort Lewis College, Colorado)

Duane A. Smith, “Removing the Mask: The Ku Klux Klan in Bayfield, Colorado,” Colorado Heritage, (Autumn 2005):19

St. Louis Patriot

Searchlight (Atlanta)

The Searchlight was the official Klan newspaper, owned and published by the Klan in Atlanta. Its first issue probably appeared in autumn 1920, as the recruitment campaign for the Klan got underway in Texas, Virginia, and other states. In the beginning it was a paper reporting fraternal news, co-sponsored by the Klan and the Junior Order United American Mechanics. The latter was a nativist fraternal order with pre-Civil War origins and one of the organizational vehicles for anti-Catholic politics in Atlanta and Georgia (inspired by the populist demagogue and U. S. Senator, Thomas E. Watson, as were the elections of governors on anti-Catholic platforms in Florida in 1916 and Alabama in 1918). Once the New York World’s expose began in September 1921, the Searchlight became a fulltime defender of the Klan, both by responding to critics and by reporting every charitable donation and church visit made by local Klans across the country. Such daytime visits hardly outweighed night-riding vigilantism, but they did publicize the Klan in a more positive light, and they remained a staple of Klan journalism (and also an indispensable source for the identifying numbers in this database). When Klan leaders fell out in 1923, the Searchlight at first sided with former Imperial Wizard Simmons. After making peace with the Evans faction of the Klan, the Searchlight became the official organ of the Georgia Realm of the KKK (20 October 1923). The last known issue is dated 15 November 1924, and the Searchlight then dissolved into the South Atlantic edition of the Klan Kourier. The most complete collection, recorded on microfilm, is at the Auburn University Library.

Joseph W. Sullivan

“Rhode Island’s Invisible Empire: A Demographic Glimpse into the Ku Klux Klan,” Rhode Island History, 47(May 1989): 74-82.

Richard K. Tucker

The Dragon and the Cross: The Rise and Fall of the Ku Klux Klan in Middle America (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1991)

Tuskegee Institute Newspaper Clipping Files

The Tuskegee Institute Newspaper Clipping Files originated with that school’s attention to compiling information relating to African Americans in the U.S. by clipping relevant newspaper stories and filing them by subject. From its first notices in the press, the staff at Tuskegee kept track of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Inc. The files are especially useful for compiling reporting from numerous African American papers and for, in an age prior to the searching capabilities at digital newspaper databases, aggregating news coverage of the Klan, as well as numerous other subjects. The files have been microfilmed and are available at numerous institutions, including the Hampton University Library.

T. W. K. Monthly (Birmingham, AL)

T. W. K. Monthly was published in Birmingham for the Alabama Klan. The Imperial Night Hawk announced its start in the issue of 4 July 1923: "These mystic initials mean something of real value to all Klansmen.” What they meant, of course, was “Trade With a Klansman,” an encouragement to Klansmen to support one another and to merchants to show their colors by advertising in the magazine. The magazine existed at least to 1925, and to 1928, if the newspaper directories are believed, but the only issue found is that for October 1924, in the Julian LaRose Harris Papers at Emory University (Harris was the son of Joel Chandler Harris, the creator of the so-called Uncle Remus stories, and, with Julia Harris, his wife, the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in 1926 for anti-Klan editorials in the Columbus (Ga.) Enquirer Sun).

Washington Post (Washington, DC)

Norman Fredric Weaver

“The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan,” (Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Wisconsin, 1954)

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