The Origin and Development of the Ku Klux Clan, General Order No. 1.
The following data is extracted from Trinity College Historical Society .
Headquarters Realm No 1
Dreadful Era, Black Epoch
General Order No. 1.
WHEREAS, information of an authentic character has reached these headquarters that the blacks in the counties of Marshall, Maury, Giles and Lawrence are organized into military companies, with the avowed purposes to make war upon and exterminate the Ku Klux Clan; said blacks are hereby solemnly warned and ordered to desist from further action in such organizations, if they exist.
The Grand Dragon regrets the necessity of such an order. But this Clan shall not be outraged and interfered with by lawless Negroes and meaner white men, who do not and never have understood our purposes.
In the first place this Clan is not an institution of violence, lawlessness and cruelty; it is not lawless; it is not aggressive; it is not military; it is not revolutionary.
It is essentially, originally and inherently a protective organization. It proposes to execute law instead of resisting it; and to protect all good men, whether white or black, from the outrages and atrocities of bad men of both colors, who have been for the past three years a terror to society, and an injury to us all.
The blacks seem to be impressed with the belief that this Clan is especially their enemy. We are not the enemy of the blacks, as long as they behave themselves, make no threats upon us, and do not attack or interfere with us. But if they make war upon us they must abide the awful retribution that will follow.
This Clan, while in its peaceful movements, and disturbing no one, has been fired into three times. This will not be endured any longer; and if it occurs again, and the parties be discovered, a remorseless vengeance will be wreaked upon them.
We reiterate that we are for peace and law and order. No man, white or black, shall be molested for his political sentiments. This Clan is not a political party; it is not a military party; it is a protective organization, and will never use violence except in resisting violence.
Outrages have been perpetrated by irresponsible parties in the name of this Clan. Should such parties be apprehended, they will be dealt with in a manner to insure us future exemption from such imposition. These impostors have, in some instances, whipped Negroes. This is wrong! wrong! It is denounced by this Clan, as it must be by all good and humane men.
The Clan now, as in the past, is prohibited from doing such things. We are striving to protect all good, peaceful, well-disposed and law-abiding men, whether white or black.
The Grand Dragon deems this order due to the public, due to the Clan, and due to those who are misguided and misinformed. We, therefore, request that all newspapers who are friendly to law and peace and the public welfare, will publish the same.
By order of THE GRAND DRAGON OF REALM No. 1.
By the Grand Scribe.
Source: Trinity College Historical Society