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W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library Manuscript Collections

Guide to the Citizens of Macon County (Ala.) Ku Klux Klan Letter MSS.0303


University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266

April 2009


This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2012-12-17T11:19-0600

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Describing Archives: A Content Standard

December 2012
Collection Title:

Citizens of Macon County (Ala.) Ku Klux Klan letter

Unit ID:



University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama


0.05 Linear feet (1 item)




A letter dated July 1870 and signed by "Citizens of Macon County K. K. K.", threatening W. B. Bowen of Macon County, Alabama


Ku Klux Klan 1915-.

Scope and Contents note

The collection contains a letter dated July 1870, signed by "Citizens of Macon County K. K. K." threatening W. B. Bowen of Macon County, Alabama.

Processing Information:

Processed by

unknown; updated by R. Rumstay, 2008; updated by Martha Bace, 2012

Preferred Citation:

Citizens of Macon County (Ala.) Ku Klux Klan letter, W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama.

Acquisition Information:


Biographical/Historical note

Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically expressed through terrorism. Since the mid-20th century, the KKK has also been anti-communist. The current manifestation is splintered into several chapters with no connections between each other; it is classified as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. It is estimated to have between 3,000 and 5,000 members as of 2012. The first Klan flourished in the Southern United States in the late 1860s, then died out by the early 1870s. Members adopted white costumes: robes, masks, and conical hats, designed to be outlandish and terrifying, and to hide their identities. The second KKK flourished nationwide in the early and mid 1920s, and adopted the same costumes and code words as the first Klan, while introducing cross burnings. The third KKK emerged after World War II and was associated with opposing the Civil Rights Movement and progress among minorities.

The first Klan was founded in 1865 in Pulaski, Tennessee, by six veterans of the Confederate Army. The name is probably from the Greek word kuklos which means circle, suggesting a circle or band of brothers. Although there was no organizational structure above the local level, similar groups arose across the South adopted the same name and methods. Klan groups spread throughout the South as an insurgent movement during the Reconstruction era in the United States. As a secret vigilante group, the Klan targeted freedmen and their allies; it sought to restore white supremacy by threats and violence, including murder, against black and white Republicans. In 1870 and 1871, the federal government passed the Force Acts, which were used to prosecute Klan crimes. Prosecution of Klan crimes and enforcement of the Force Acts suppressed Klan activity. In 1874 and later, however, newly organized and openly active paramilitary organizations, such as the White League and the Red Shirts, started a fresh round of violence aimed at suppressing blacks' voting and running Republicans out of office. These contributed to segregationist white Democrats regaining political power in all the Southern states by 1877.

Source: Wikipedia contributors. "Ku Klux Klan." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 12 December 2012. ( 17 December 2012

Access Restrictions:


Usage Restrictions:



Alabama (localbroad)

Ku Klux Klan (19th cent.)--History (lcsh)

Letters (correspondence) (aat)

Macon County (Ala.) (lcsh)

Organizations (localbroad)

Citizens of Macon County Box 2960