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Guide to the Ku Klux Klan Collection, 1916-1987 and undated

Abstract

Twentieth-century secret fraternal group held to confine its membership to American-born white Protestant Christians. Collection includes a broad range of Ku Klux Klan pamphlets, flyers, and other ephemera regarding Klan membership, Anglo-American values, protests against African Americans, Communists, or non-Protestant people, and promotional Klan events. Early material highlights activities of the Women of the Klan in Pennsylvania during the 1920s, including their charity work and fundraising for the Klan Haven, an orphanage. This material also includes large panoramic photographs of 1920s Klan reunions. Later materials from the 1960s are largely from the Southeast and mid-Atlantic States, and include literature, flyers, and handouts on Klan history, segregation, school integration, Communism, Catholicism, and Judaism.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Ku Klux Klan collection
Creator
Ku Klux Klan (1915- )
Extent
3.0 linear feet, 805 items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Language
Material in English

Collection Overview

Collection includes printed materials, apologetics, membership solicitations, circulars, brochures, pamphlets, broadsides, periodicals, cards, and ephemera. Items were produced and distributed by various chapters of the Ku Klux Klan, dispersed throughout the United States, but largely originating in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic region. The KKK Collection also includes several panoramic photographs, assorted issues of Klan and other hate-group serial titles, and audio materials.

Materials have been acquired from a variety of sources and over several decades. Most of the collection has been arranged according to the geographic origin of the materials. Different branches and factions of the Klan are represented, including the United Klans of America, Women of the Ku Klux Klan, the Invisible Empire of the KKK, the Mississippi Green Knights, and the Mississippi White Knights.

Notable items include: a petition for the incorporation of a Klan chapter in Fulton Co., Georgia, in 1916; panoramic photographs and a wallet with Klan membership cards from Charles D. Johnson, a Florida Klansman in the 1930s; 1920s order forms for Klan robes, fiery crosses, and other Klan administrative materials from the Women of the Klan; pamphlets, circulars, and other literature opposing the Civil Rights movement, desegregation, and school integration, collected in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana in the 1960s; and recruitment flyers for rallies in Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania during the 1980s.

Other items were first distributed during a talk by C. P. Ellis to freshmen students at a Duke University dormitory in 1969. Items include a 45-rpm sound disc with the songs "Flight NAACP 105" and "High ride"; a flyer regarding protests against the playing of the song "Dixie" at student events; a membership form for the North Carolina chapter; and printed items, including God is the Author of Segregation (1967) and an issue of The Fiery Cross (vol. 2, 12th ed.).

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

[Original audiovisual materials are closed to use. Use of these materials may require production of listening or viewing copies. Please contact a reference archivist before coming to use this collection.]

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Ku Klux Klan Materials

General Klan materials dating from the 1960s through the 1980s. Items have been sorted geographically by origin. Contents include Klan recruitment posters and flyers, literature about the Klan and its activities, clippings, correspondence, and general hate speech from Klan chapters and leaders.

Blank form tracking Klan affiliations for electoral candidates in Alabama, 1926
Box 1
Mass mailings sent to C.E. Headley, Exalted Cyclops, 1925-1927

Generic correspondence collected by Headley from the Realm of Alabama. Includes subscription notices from the Kourier Magazine; Klan parade plans; financial missives; Klonverse agenda; Invisible Empire Pass Kode; and other topics.

Box 1
"The Obligation of American Citizens to Free Public Schools" pamphlet, undated
Box 1
Mass mailings from the United Klans central office, 1980s
Box 1
Promotional/recruitment literature, 1965-1968

Includes "What Will You Tell Your Children?," "Savagery in the Raw," arrest statistics, "Know the United Nations," Klan principles, etc.

Box 1
Recruitment Flyers, undated

Titles: "Racial Differences," "Stand Up For Your Rights! Join the Ku Klux Klan," and "Join! the Ku Klux Klan"

Box 1
Charles D. Johnson's wallet, Miami, Florida, approximately 1936

Johnson's complete wallet, including a membership card ("passport") to the Invisible Empire of the KKK. Also includes membership cards for the American Legion, the National Motorists' Association, and United Klans of Florida, as well as automobile insurance cards.

Box 1
Photocopy of Charlie David Johnson and Margaret Ruth Sehl marriage certificate, 12 March 1976
Oversize-folder 1
Blank membership/minutes form, Atlanta, 1920s
Box 1
Articles of Incorporation for the Ku Klux Klan of Fulton County, 1916
Box 1
Blank application for Klan membership, undated
Box 1
Oaths of Allegiance
Box 1
Cartoon drawing of Klansman (photocopy), 1920s
Box 1
The Houghton Line issue on the KKK, 1923
Box 1
Poem about the Klan: Just Ask Ringold, 1923
Box 1
Klan cards, undated
Box 1
Proclamations from Grand Dragon, 1983-1985 and undated

Newsletters and printed materials from the Baltimore Klan. Includes notices about "nigger culture," "Hunting Season" flyers; "nigger employment applications"; Klan recruitment posters; and posters reading "Ground Wanted" for Klan rallies.

Box 1
Klan rally flyers, 1980-1981

Flyers promoting rallies in Braddock Heights and Gamber, Maryland

Box 1
Recruitment literature

Patronage cards, reasons to join the Klan, and printed materials about the Klan's history.

Box 1
"Klan Ledger" newsletter, Greenville-Anguilla, Mississippi, undated
Box 1
"The Christian Conservative Communique," vol. 2, no. 5, 1966

Issue addressing "The Negro Question"

Box 1
"A Delta Discussion" newsletter, Issues 1-4, undated

Targeting citizens of Greenwood, Mississippi

Box 1
Mississippi Parents for Segregation, 1960s

Mass mailing encouraging white teachers in integrated schools to resign.

Box 1
Sticker with Knights logo, undated
Box 1
Photographs of Klan Headquarters, 1967
Box 1
Promotional and recruitment literature, 1967 and undated
Box 1
Dale Walton campaign materials, 1967

Includes flyers, matchbook, nail file, and clippings about Dale Walton's campaign for sheriff

Box 1
Application for membership, undated
Box 1
Promotional literature, 1967

"What can I do to promote Americanism?", "Some Questions that need Straight Answers," other promotional titles

Box 1
Bumper sticker: "Unite Together White Man Register to Vote Now!," 1967
Box 1
Rally flyer for Union, Mississippi, 1966
Clippings about Klan activities, 1960s
Box 1
Notice denouncing Patrick Pennington, and accompanying newspaper clipping, 1967

Klan notice denouncing Pennington for selling his house to an African American family, and an accompanying newspaper clipping from The Northside Reporter (Jackson, Miss.) defending Pennington from the slander.

Box 1
Bulletin threatening Bill Waller campaign, and accompanying clipping, 1967

Bulletin from Local Concerned Citizens threatening to disrupt a campaign dinner for Bill Waller, and an accompanying clipping describing the explosion threats received during the dinner.

Box 1
"The White Sentinel of Mississippi," 1966

Bulletin encouraging white citizens to vote for George Wallace, concluding: "White Supremacy is the Answer to Black Power."

Box 1
KKK Leaflet for "People of Panola County," 1966
Box 1
KKK leaflets centering on Raleigh, Mississippi, 1965

Leaflets distributed by the Klan around Raleigh, Mississippi, denouncing Raleigh Corporation workplace practices; promoting Back to Africa programs; and opposing integration.

Box 1
KKK leaflet for "good people of Aberdeen," Mississippi, 1967

Includes list of white citizens "consorting" with African Americans, along with details of their interactions.

Box 1
KKK leaflet for "negroes of Chicaksaw and Calhoun Counties," undated

Protesting and threatening school integration.

Box 1
Miscellaneous Klan leaflets, 1964-1966

Include recruitment flyers, threatening bulletins, and various printed materials promoting the Klan and its activities.

Box 1
"The Klan Ledger" newsletter, miscellaneous issues, 1965-1966
Box 1
"I Want You" Uncle Sam KKK recruitment poster
Box 1
"Sharkey County News" newsletter, 1967
Box 1
Webster County Klan newsletter, 1966
Box 1
"Affidavit" of Deavours Nix, describing an encounter with the FBI in Laurel, Mississippi, 1966
Box 1
News clippings about the murder of Vernon Dahmer, 1967

Includes articles about FBI probe and suspect Deavours Nix.

Box 1
"The Citizen-Patriot" leaflets, Laurel, Mississippi, 1967

Flyers/leaflets denouncing J.W. West, editor of the Laurel Leader-Call newspaper.

Box 1
"Rebel Press" broadside, 1967

Photocopy of handwritten poster naming people and businesses sympathetic to school integration, encouraging the public to boycott those businesses.

Box 1
Klan patronage card, undated
Box 1
Recruitment posters for Klan based in Vineland, New Jersey, undated
Box 1

North Carolina Klan, 1967-1968

Materials distributed by C.P. Ellis at Duke University freshman dorms, 1969.

"God is the Author of Segregation" pamphlets (2 copies), 1967
Box 1
Flyer "Attention Students," from the Durham chapter of the United Klans of America, undated
Box 1
The Fiery Cross, Vol 2, 12th edition, undated
Box 1
Mass mailings to Klan members, 1986

Promoting a Raleigh Klan march and including a defense of Glenn Miller.

Box 1
Klan essays (photocopied), undated

"The Tragedy of Truth" and "The Yellow Rose of Texas"

Box 1
Recruitment flyer for the NC Klan, Henderson, North Carolina, 1990
Box 1
"Symbols of the Klan" literature, undated
Box 1
White Knights newsletters, Miamisburg, Ohio, undated
Box 1
Correspondence from Grand Dragon Blaine Qualls, undated

Includes photocopied insert about Martin Luther King Jr.

Box 1
Photocopied clipping about Ohio Klan from The Christian Science Monitor, 1969
Box 1
Kentucky Klick membership application for Portland Oregon chapter, 1950s
Box 1
"The Truth" newsletter, York, Pennsylvania, 1981-1983
Box 1
Rally flyers, 1981-1987

Promoting Klan rallies in Cly, Windham Center, and Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania.

Box 1
Wanted poster for William Alston, "escaped cop killer," undated
Box 1
Recruitment posters, undated
Box 1
Mass mailing solicitations for funds from C.C. Cozart, Donating Chairman, undated
Box 1
Application for citizenship, undated
Box 1
Klan literature, undated

"Why?", a flyer opposing Cuban refugee relief funds.

Box 1
Klan patronage and recruitment cards, 1920-1968
Box 1
Klan Youth Corps recruiting poster (photocopy), 1980s
Box 1
White Civil-Rights newsletter excerpts, 1980s
Box 1
David Duke profile, distributed by Arlington KKK, 1980s
Box 1
Klan Haven donation books (blank), undated

Raising money for an orphanage operated by the Klan.

Box 3
Measurement guide for Klan robes, 1920s
Box 3
Order form for Klan supplies, undated
Box 3
Ladies of the Invisible Empire illustration, Portland, Oregon, undated
Box 3
Membership application forms, undated
Box 3
Women of the KKK passport (blank), undated
Box 3
Women of the Ku Klux Klan Pennsylvania Realm, 1926-1928

Official bulletins and correspondence.

Box 3
Women of the Ku Klux Klan Imperial Headquarters, Arkansas, 1926-1928

Official bulletins and correspondence.

Box 3
Charter for Kingston, Pennsylvania chapter, 1934

Includes founding members' names.

Oversize-folder 3
Klan Regent certificate (blank), undated
Oversize-folder 3
Incorporation certificate for a Junior Preparatory Dept. (blank), undated
Oversize-folder 3
Office holder certificates (2, blank), undated
Oversize-folder 3
The Fiery Cross, miscellaneous issues, 1960s
Box 1
Viking Age, undated
Box 1
Miscellaneous printed hate literature, 1960s

"Negro's 23rd Psalm," "Scientists Say Negro Still in Ape Stage," and "Jews Behind Race Mixing"

Box 1
McComb (Miss.) Enterprise-Journal briefs, 1964-1966
Box 1
The Klansman, miscellaneous issues, 1980s
Box 1
Klansman (Clansman?) Vol. 2, no. 1, from La Crescenta, California, 1967
Oversize-folder 2

Photographs, 1920s

Panoramic photographs of Klan meetings and reunions. Includes two copies (one framed, one unframed) of a photograph taken in Gettysburg, 1925.

Panoramic photograph of KKK Celebration, Washington, D.C., 8 August 1925

Acquired through Charles D. Johnson addition.

Oversize-folder 1
Panoramic photograph of Pennsylvania Klan Reunion, Gettysburg Battlefield, 19-20 September 1925

Acquired through Charles D. Johnson addition.

Oversize-folder 1
Framed panoramic photograph of Pennsylvania Klan Reunion, Gettysburg Battlefield, 19-20 September 1925
Box 2
Panoramic photograph of KKK Celebration, Miami, 5 July 1926

Acquired through Charles D. Johnson addition.

Oversize-folder 1
Panoramic photograph of KKK, Miami, 4 July 1927

Acquired through Charles D. Johnson addition.

Oversize-folder 1

Audiovisual materials, Circa 1960s

Original audiovisual materials are closed to use. Use of these materials may require production of listening or viewing copies. Please contact a reference archivist before coming to use this collection.

Sons of Mississippi, "Flight NAACP 105" b/w "High Ride," circa 1960s
(7.0 minutes)
Original 45 rpm phonodisc
Box 4
Audio-phonodisc RL10138-PD-0001
Dr. Hiram Wesley Evans, "America's Task," b/w 100% Americans, "America, Our Nobleland," KKK 75004., circa 1930
Original 78 rpm phonodisc (cracked)
Box 4
Audio-phonodisc RL10138-PD-0002
Christianity and the Ku Klux Klan, circa 1960s
(83.0 minutes)
Original 1/4-inch open reel audiotape
Box 4
Audio-reel RL10138-RR-0001
100% Americans, "Midnight's Roll Call," b/w "Battle Hymn of the Republic," KKK 75005, circa 1930
Original 78 rpm phonodisc (cracked)
Box 4
Audio-phonodisc RL10138-PD-0003

Historical Note

The Ku Klux Klan is a federally classified hate group first established following the Civil War. It advocates a white supremacist, pro-nationalist, anti-immigration America, and historically has used terrorist and intimidation tactics. The first Klan largely died out in the 1870s. The group revived in the 1920s as nativist and anti-Communist, while the third Klan re-emerged following World War II to oppose the Civil Rights movement.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ku Klux Klan Collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Ku Klux Klan Collection was received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library beginning in the 1960s. It has been acquired through gifts and purchases by the library.

Processing Information

Processed by RL Staff

Updated by Alice L. Poffinberger, February 2014

Updated by Meghan Lyon, March 2012

Encoded by Meghan Lyon, March 2012

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 2010-0095, 2011-0194, 2012-0026, 2012-0092, 2012-0093