Jones Winfield - Story of the Ku Klux Klan

Author : Jones Winfield
Title : Story of the Ku Klux Klan
Year : 1921

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Preface. When I began to prepare to write the story of the Ku Klux Klan I knew nothing of the organization except what I had read in tpe newspapers, and I had not been interested in the subject. The task undertaken, however, I determined to get as many facts as possible about the Ku Klux Klan of the present and the past, and to write a concise, accurate history of the organization, new and old, without fear or favor, so that the truth could be laid before the public from an impartial standpoint. I had no interest in the subject other than to write facts. Therefore I first secured permission from Col. William Joseph Simmons, Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, at the organization's headquarters in Atlanta, to. be given access to all the Klan's records, rituals, secret work, history, correspondence, books, accounts, and historical documents, and in fact everything pertaining to the organization. This permission was obtained with great difficulty and only after repeated efforts, for the Imperial Wizard was reluctant to allow anyone to investigate the organization at headquarters, though Colonel Simmons and his associates had nothing to conceal concerning the operations of the Klan. I spent considerable time in the Imperial Palace in Atlanta, and was given access to everything in that building. I feel sure that all the affairs of the organization were shown and that nothing was concealed. Once I had gained the confidence of the Imperial Wizard and the high officials they frankly and sincerely laid everything before me concerning the Order. After I had secured everything at headquarters of the Klan and had made a thorough and painstaking investigation at this source, I ransacked the Congressional Library and other libraries for everything that had been printed concerning the old Ku Klux Klan, that originated soon after the Civil War. In this search I secured a large amount of extremely interesting information concerning reconstruction days, including many original documents and letters describing episodes and occurrences of those stirring times when the "white horsemen" galloped over the South in their mission to restore the political and social rule of the Caucasian. I also attended all the sessions of the Congressional investigation in Washington, securing a copy of the testimony, and therefore, when I started to write the story I believed I had obtained most of the available information on the subject. ...

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