Once you get to eBay, try Googling "Ku Klux." I did and was surprised how many hits turned up. The description of this item reads,
VERY RARE, ORIGINAL 1872 EDITION OF: "REPORT OF A JOINT SELECT COMMITTEE TO INQUIRE INTO THE CONDITION OF AFFAIRS IN THE LATE INSURRECTIONARY STATES." This seminal 19th century treatise was published by the Government Printing Office [GPO], Washington. Historic work holds an important place in the annals of Ku Klux Klan history. Here for the first time, disturbing details of the Klan's horrific activities were exposed to the American public. The present treatise [Vols. I and II] contain all testimony taken by the committee relating to the Klan's activities in the state of Mississippi.
In 1869, a federal grand jury declared the Ku Klux Klan to be a terrorist organization. In 1871, Republican senator John Scott convened a committee which took testimony from witnesses regarding graphic and disturbing atrocities committed by the Klan. In 1872, the U.S. Congress published this shocking testimony in 13 separate volumes titled "Report of the Joint Select Committee Appointed to Inquire in to the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States." Each volume contained unique material and testimony, and hence, each is considered separate in itself [the complete original series is virtually unattainable].
These landmark volumes exposed the Klan to the American public for the first time, and historians often refer to them as simply, the "KKK Testimony". Their publication revealed the true size and scope of the Klan's activities in the South, alarming Northerners and many Southerners alike, and prompting legislation was which sought to eradicate the Klan's notorious activities. Laws aimed at quelling the Klan are considered to be America's first anti-terrorism legislation.
"[Southern whites] could not rise to openly revolt because the United States troops were everywhere at the service of the carpet-baggers, for the suppression of the armed resistance. They did not sent petitions to Congress, or write letters to the Northern newspapers, or hold indignation meetings. They simply formed a huge secret society on the model of the 'Molly Maguires' or 'Moonlighters,' whose special function was to intimidate, flog, mutilate, or murder political opponents in the night time. This society was called the 'Ku-Klux Klan.'
...It had become so powerful in 1871 that President Grant in that year, in his message to Congress, declared that 'a condition of things existed in some of the States of the Union rendering life and property insecure, and the carrying of the mails and the collecting of the revenue dangerous.' A Joint Select Committee of Congress was accordingly appointed early in 1872 to 'inquire into the condition of affairs in the late insurrectionary States so far as regards the execution of the laws and the safety of the lives and property of the citizens of the United States'." [The Twentieth century, Vol. 19].
The Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and known as simply "The Klan", is the name of several past and present far right hate groups in the United States whose avowed purpose is to protect the rights and further the interests of White Americans of Protestant faith by violence and intimidation. The first such organizations originated in the Southern states and eventually grew to national scope. They developed iconic white costumes consisting of robes, masks, and conical hats. The KKK has a record of using terrorism, violence, and lynching to murder and oppress African Americans, Jews and other minorities and to intimidate and oppose Roman Catholics and labor unions.
The first Klan was founded in 1865 by Tennessee veterans of the Confederate Army, and groups spread throughout the South. The Klan's purpose was to restore white supremacy in the aftermath of the Civil War. The Klan resisted Reconstruction by assaulting, murdering and intimidating freedmen and white progressives within the Republican Party. 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 Republican voting and running Republicans out of office. These contributed to white conservative Democrats regaining political power in the Southern states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
In 1915, the second Klan was founded. It grew rapidly in a period of postwar social tensions, where industrialization in the North attracted numerous waves of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe and the Great Migration of Southern blacks and whites. The second KKK preached racism, anti-Catholicism, anti-Communism, nativism, and anti-Semitism. Some local groups took part in lynchings, attacks on private houses, and carried out other violent activities. The Klan committed most of its murders and acts of violence in the South, which then had a tradition of lawlessness.
The second Klan was a formal fraternal organization, with a national and state structure. At its peak in the mid-1920s, the organization included about 15% of the nation's eligible population, or approximately 4-5 million men. Internal divisions and external opposition brought about a sharp decline in membership, which had dropped to about 30,000 by 1930. The Klan's popularity fell further during the Great Depression and World War II.
The name Ku Klux Klan has since been used by many independent groups opposing the Civil Rights Movement and desegregation, especially in the 1950s and 1960s. During this period, they often forged alliances with Southern police departments, as in Birmingham, Alabama; or with governor's offices, as with George Wallace of Alabama. Several members of KKK groups were convicted of murder in the deaths of civil rights workers and children in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, the assassination of NAACP organizer Medgar Evers, and the murder of three civil rights workers. Today, researchers estimate that there may be approximately 150 Klan chapters with 5,000-8,000 members nationwide.
Condition: Rare set remains in good condition [see images]. First volume bound in later buckram cloth, second volume bound in original black cloth with faded gold spine lettering; moderate cover wear with some chipping to second volume, bookplates and a few unobtrusive institutional markings, gutter repair to title page of first volume, occasional minor spotting and toning, generally clean internally. All in all, this desirable set remains very presentable. Volume I numbers 609 pages [with LX preliminaries] and measures approx 9" tall x 6" wide x 1.5" thick; Volume II numbers 579 pages [610-1189] and measures approx 9" tall x 6" wide x 1.5" thick. Quite a find and a very worthy acquisition indeed.
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