Excerpts from the book The Ku Klux Klan or Invisible Empire by Mrs. S.E.F. Rose and endorsed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughers of the Confederacy.
The following are some excerpts from “The Ku Klux Klan or Invisible Empire by Mrs. S.E.F. Rose,” published by L. Graham Co. Ltd., New Orleans, 1914. In another document on this website we detail the UDC career that S.E.F. Rose made out of her promotion of the Ku Klux Klan as the heroic effort of Confederate soldiers.
This book is dedicated by the author to the Youth of the Southland, hoping that a perusal of its pages will inspire them with respect and admiration for the Confederate soldiers who were the real Ku Klux, and whose deeds of courage and valor, have never been surpassed, and rarely equalled, in the annals of history.
The Ku Klux had no written history. Their Constitution declared, “That the origin, mysteries, and ritual, of this order shall never be written, but shall be communicated orally.” This secrecy was made necessary by existing conditions, and in no sense reflected upon the bravery of its members, for they were the “bravest of the brave.” Even at this late day, it is difficult to secure information in regards to the this mysterious Brotherhood, and many books of reference contain false statements about the Klan. To give a detailed history of the Ku Klux Klan, would require many volumes, for Klans were formed in all the Southern States, and their membership reached large numbers, estimated at a half a million, but in this book may be found true and authentic history answering the following questions:
Who were the Ku Klux? Where did the Klan originate? What was its object and mission?
For the purposes of giving the youth of our land true history about this remarkable organization, whose services were of untold value to the South, during a dark period of her history, this book is written. The facts herein contained are absolutely authentic, being recorded form the lips of the survivors themselves.
MRS. S.E.F. ROSE
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The author acknowledges with deepest gratitude the kind assistance of many Confederate Veterans and prominent men who were members of the Ku Klux Klan, who have furnished data and written incidents related in this book, also for the permission, so willingly given by Prof. Walter L. Fleming, Professor of History in the Louisiana State University, and author of book, entitled “Ku Klux Klan,” to use paragraphs and pictures from his book. Also to many noble Southern women and to the widows of those brave men, Major James R. Crowe, and Mr. John B. Kennedy, last surviving Charter Members of the Klan, who furnished valuable data and photographs. The Author has been bidden “God Speed” by Confederate Veterans, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Daughters of the Confederacy, in the preparation of this history, which is a complete vindication of the Ku Klux Klan borne out by facts that are absolutely authentic, and statements from men who were members of the Klan, whose integrity is unquestioned. This book goes out to the world with a mission to perform: “To bring these truths of history directly to the youth of our land.” The Author prays that its mission will be accomplished. The attractive illustrations and true history should make interesting reading for young and old, and for all those who hold the glorious deeds of our Southern Heroes in everlasting remembrance.
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This book was endorsed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, in Convention assembled at New Orleans, La., November 12-15, 1913, and co-operation pledged to endeavor to secure its adoption as a Supplementary Reader in the schools and to place it in the Libraries of our Land.
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A Resolution to endorse this Book was adopted, without a dissenting voice, by the Sons of Confederate Veterans at Reunion May 6-8, 1914 at Jacksonville, Florida, and their efforts pledged to have it placed in the schools throughout the South.
LESSONS TAUGHT BY THE KLAN.
Many instances could be related of the god done by the Ku Klux Klan, for, in every instance, they protected the just rights of the negro as well as the whites, and they stood always for the protection of the menaced life, liberty, and property of all innocent men. The record of the Ku Klux Klan teaches forcibly three lessons, which are so plain that he who runs may read. First, the inevitability of Anglo-Saxon Supremacy; when harassed by bands of outlaws, thugs, carpet-baggers, and guerillas, turned loose on the South and upheld by political machinery, during the Reconstruction period, the sturdy white men of the South, against all odds, maintained white supremacy and secured Caucasian civilization, when its very foundations were threatened within and without. Second, a new revelation of the greatness and genius of General Nathan Bedford Forrest, the “Wizard of the Saddle,” the great Confederate cavalry leader. As Grand Wizard of the Invisible Empire, to his splendid leadership was due, more than to any other thing, the successful carrying out of the high and noble purposes of the real Ku Klux Klan.
Third, the grandeur of the character of the “Men who wore the Gray,” the Confederate soldiers, the real Ku Klux. They were not only great in war, but great in peace, and great in the performance of every Duty, which Robert E. Lee, the mightiest military chieftain the world ever saw, pronounced, “The sublimest word in the English language.”
CHAPTER XVIII. CLOSING REFLECTIONS
The younger generation should know the true history of the Ku Klux Klan, and have the proper respect for this organization, which did so much for the South in her dark days. Children will be told all the false things concerning it, so we should see to it that they are told the truth.
Our Southland, so conscious of her rectitude, so firm in her belief that she was “constitutionally and eternally right,” and so proud of the heroism of her sons, has not felt the great necessity of vindicating her acts, but it behooves us now to see that the searchlights are turned on her part in the war, and let the world know the truth of her history.
Too long have we of the South remained silent, and perhaps our silence has been construed as an acknowledgment of shame at being connected with the Ku Klux Klan and its history, whereas it should be our proudest boast, as it was organized and kept up by our best and noblest men, who had proven their worth and valor on so may battlefields, and who preserved the purity and domination of the Anglo-Saxon race.
Some day when the South comes to her own, when her magnificent resources have been developed and the riches of her mountains and her valleys drawn forth, there will be many great and good things to be said of her history. Men will never tire of speaking of this land of romance, so different in many essential respects from the rest of the country; and women will read, with joy and tears, the story of her long fought battle for supremacy. But when the tale is all told, and the history of her labors in war and in peace has been recounted, no brighter chapter in all her history, no fairer page will ever be read, than that which tells of the illustrious and glorious organization called the “Ku Klux Klan.”
We should ever regard our history as a priceless heritage, cherish and keep green the traditions of the old South, keep alive its chivalrous spirit, and never tire of telling the story of those lion-hearted men, who made this history for us, and around whose names cluster some of the greatest events of the past. Gladstone, the great English statesman, said, “No greater calamity can befall a people than to break utterly with its past; and if we forget our ancestors we ourselves are unworthy to be remembered.”
When the great Napoleon had landed his forces on Egyptian soil and formed them in battle array, lifting his hand high in the air and pointing to the Pyramids, he exclaimed: “Soldiers, forty centuries behold you,” and when we realize to-day, the valor of our noble sires and grandsires, the beauty and culture of our mothers and grandmothers are beholding us, we should indeed feel that we are treading on holy ground. The history they have made for us is our most precious and priceless heritage. The very name “Ku Klux Klan” holds one spellbound. It is strange, weird, mysterious, fascinating. Formed from the Greek word, “Kuklos,” meaning a circle, the name was prophetic of the great mission of the Klan, for it indeed formed a circle of protection around the homes and women of the South and brought them through the dark shadows of Reconstruction Days, safe and unharmed. Let us think, then, of the Ku Klux Klan as a great circle of light, illuminated with deeds of love and patriotism, and holding within its protecting and shining circle, the very life and welfare of our beloved Southland.
In the midst of that dark drama, known as Reconstruction days, a ray of light appears, the star of hope gleams again through the dark clouds, by which it had been obscured. The Ku Klux Klan, the great silent organization of the ’60’s, appears upon the scene, with its avowed purpose to preserve and uphold the white civilization of the South. It was a creation born of necessitous times, of pure and patriotic impulses, and to relieve a dire and humiliating distress.
The Ku Klux Klan has been justly called, “the salvation of the South,” and its history should be written in letters of light.