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SUSAN L. DAVIS
WILLIAM A. DUNNING
WALTER L. FLEMING
JOHN C. LESTER
ALBERT PIKE
PIKE AND THE KLAN
.
Allen W. Trelease’s
White Terror
Allen W. Trelease is sometimes cited by anti-masonic writers as supporting the claim that Albert Pike was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. In context though, Trelease is simply reporting that others have made the claim. It is noteworthy that, while he labels Pike’s Appeal as being pro-Klan, he fails to provide any examples of Pike’s alleged pro-Klan writings. On the one occasion that he does refer to an article in the Appeal, he cites a quotation from another newspaper.
Dr. Walter Lee Brown’s four-volume dissertation A life of Albert Pike states that in a newspaper editorial written by Pike on April 16, 1868, he "left the impression that he neither belonged to the organization nor considered it worthy of his support." [Fayetteville : University of Arkansas Press, 1997. 610 pp. : ill. ; 27 cm. LoC: 019116].
Trelease is also cited in The Ku Klux Klan : an encyclopedia by Michael and Judy Ann Newton, [1991, ISBN: 0-8240-2038-3] on page 464: "Pike was also identified as an early Klansman and co-author of the KKK’s original prescripts." They fail to note that, in context, Trelease is saying that Pike’s identification is unsubstantiated and probably fictitious.
"A good deal has been written about the Klan’s further organization at the top levels, but most of it lacks substantiation and much of it is clearly fictitious."
"Similarly, General Albert Pike, editor of the Memphis Appeal, has been identified as the Klan’s attorney general and as a collaborator in drawing up its ritual. The Prescript makes no provision for this office either. Pike may well have affiliated with the Klan, however. He was intrigued by secret societies and rituals, was a leading student and interpreter of Freemasonry, and sympathetic with the Klan’s stated objectives. [pp. 20-21.]
References: Robert L. Duncan, Reluctant General: The Life and Times of Albert Pike (N.Y., 1961) pp. 267-68; Greenville, Tex.. Messenger, Oct. 2, 1930, in Ku Klux Klan clipping file, Tennessee State Library; Davis, Authentic History, Ku Klux Klan, pp. 271-77.
"The two pro-Klan Conservative papers diverged in their reactions. General Pike’s Appeal waxed indignant at this naked and shameless outrage in breaking up a peaceful meeting while the Avalanche (for whom the exposed Grand Cyclops had recently worked as a reporter) preferred ridicule and obfuscation: the police had picked up a bunch of innocent boys who "were simply members of baseball clubs and a serenading glee club." [p. 37.]
References: Daily Memphis Avalanche, April 1, 7, 8, 9, 1868 (the last issue quoting the Appeal); Memphis Daily Post, April 7, 8, 15, May 1, 1868; Nashville Press and Times, March 19, 20, 1868.
"Allen W. Trelease holds degrees from the University of Illinois and Harvard University, and has been Professor of History at the University of North Carolina since 1967. Research for White Terror began in 1962 and has taken Professor Trelease to the archives, libraries and campuses of almost every Southern state." [dust jacket]

White Terror, The Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy and Southern Reconstruction, Allen W. Trelease. London: Secker & Warburg, 1972. 556pp.

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