The Second Ku Klux Klan in Florence-Lauderdale

Description

More research needs to be done however it doesn’t appear as though Florence actually had a Klavern, or Klan chapter, until April of 1925 because public sentiment in Florence-Lauderdale was generally opposed to the Klan. According to the Florence Herald in September of 1921 “Florence turned down the organization.” In 1921 city officials of Florence supported by the Florence Herald and Florence Times repudiated the Klan specifically because of its secretive, violent, vigilante nature (though not specifically for its racism).

On September 16, 1921, Florence Times editor Ambrose Camper wrote an editorial denouncing the Klan in which he stated:

"This paper was one of the first to take up the cudgels [sic] against it [the Klan], and the more we see of its movements and effects, the more we are against it. It is calculated to do infinite damage to the south, and can be productive of no good, but of much harm."

The Florence Herald, too, came out against the Klan, on September 23, 1921 stating that, "There is no longer any reason for the Ku Klux Klan in this country. . . . We are glad Florence turned down the organization—refused to have anything to do with it."

Local clubs and service organizations such as Florence’s Rotary Club also publicly" repudiated the Klan and in the 1926 Lauderdale county elections Republican candidates publicly accused several Democratic nominees for county and city offices of being backed by the Klan, asking voters if they wanted elected officials who were responsible to all of the electorate, or only to “that unknown element and invisible force” known as the Ku Klux Klan.” Thus Florence’s relationship with the Ku Klux Klan seems to have been ambivalent at best.

Unfortunately despite all of this, by April of 1925 (possibly, even earlier, in May of 1923) Florence Klan No. 37, Realm of Alabama had been founded. Thankfully no reports of Klan violence against minorities in Lauderdale has been discovered (though on one occasion in July of 1925 Klan No. 37 used tactics designed to intimidate two houses of prostitution, one on East Sweetwater Street and the other—probably Kate Nelson’s—on South Seminary). If such racially motivated violence occurred, it went unreported. We need to do more research but Klan No. 37 seems to have fizzled out by 1928; no reference to it has been located in local papers after August of 1927, again, possibly because public sentiment in Florence, led by the press and city officials, was against it.

The first appearance of the Klan in Colbert County occurred in Sheffield. on Saturday night, November 25, when a group of out-of-town Klansmen in fifteen automobiles, with covered license plates, from "the east" staged a parade through the Streets of Sheffield.

Creator

Florence Times-News
Florence Herald East Lauderdale News

Source

1. Florence Times.
2. Florence Herald.
3. Florence Times.
4. Florence Herald
5. Florence Herald
6. Sheffield Standard
7. Florence Times
8. Florence Times
9. Florence Herald
10. Florence Herald
11. Florence Times
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15. Florence Herald
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37. Florence Herald
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46. Florence Times-News
47. Florence Times-News
48. Florence Times-News
49. Florence Times-News
50. Florence Times-News
51. Florence Herald
52. Florence Herald
53. East Lauderdale News

Publisher

Microfilm
Newspapers.com
East Lauderdale News

Contributor

Lee Freeman

Rights

Images are available for educational and research purposes. This image may not be reproduced for commercial purposes without the express written consent of the copyright holder. It is the responsibility of the interested party to identify the copyright holder and receive permission.

Format

Jpeg

Language

English

Type

Still Images

Files

The Local Ku Klux Klan Agaiin.jpg
Rotarians Hear Prof Appleby Mon FH  Fri May 20 1921 p 5.jpg
The Ku Klux FT Fri Sept 16 1921.jpg
The Ku Klux Klan Probably is Made the Goat FH sEPT 23 1921.jpg
Ku Klux Klan Seems to Have Petered FH Fri Dec 2 1921 p 7.jpg
Ku Klux Parade.jpg
First Circumstance.jpg
Public Invited.jpg
Gravelly Springs.jpg
KKK at Freewill Baptist Church FH Fri Nov 2 1923  p 5.jpg
Sixty Kalsmen.jpg
Klan Planning Big Parade.jpg
Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.jpg
Klansmen's Parade Given as a Warning FT Sat Aug 1 1925 p 1.jpg
Evolution FH Fri Jan 22 1926 p 5.jpg
Alabama Editors Victimds of Hoax FH Fri Jul 2 1926 p 8.jpg
Ramsey and Smith are Nominated FH Fri Aug 20 1926 p 1.jpg
Florence Getting Ready for Reunion FH Fri Sep 17 1926 p 1.jpg
To the Citizens of Florence WF McFarland Ad FH Fri Sep 24 1926 p 5.jpg
Runoff Next Monday FH Fri Sep 24 1926 p 1.jpg
Election Tues Nov 2nd 1926 FH Fri Oct 29 1926 p 5.jpg
Florence Has Flogging of Its Own FTN Sun July 10 1927 p 1 p I.jpg
Florence Has Flogging of Its Own FTN Sun July 10 29017 p 1 p II.jpg
State Joins in Flogging Probe FTN Mon July 11 1927 p 1 p I.jpg
State Joins in Flogging Probe FTN Mon July 11 1927 p 1 p II.jpg
State Joins in Flogging Probe FTN Mon July 11 1927 p 1 p III.jpg
An Editorial FTN Mon July 11 1927 p 1.jpg
Florence Klan Will Offer Reward FTN Tues July 12 1927 p 1 p I.jpg
Florence Klan Will Offer Reward FTN Tues July 12 1927 p 1 p II.jpg
Florence Klan Will Offer Reward FTN Tues July 12 1927 p 1 p III.jpg
An Editorial FTN Tues July 12 1927 p 1.jpg
Five Arrested in Flogging Case FTN Wed July 13 1927 p 1 p I.jpg
Five Arrested in Flogging Case FTN Wed July 13 1927 p 1 p II.jpg
Bail Not Arranged FTN Thurs July 14 1927 p 1 p I.jpg
Bail Not Arranged FTN Thurs July 14 1927 p 1 p II.jpg
Bail Not Arranged FTN Thurs July 14 1927 p 1 p III.jpg
A Dastardly Outrage FH Fri Jul 15 1927 p 1.jpg
Florence Has Its Own Flogging FH Fri Jul 15 1927 p 1.jpg
Five Released on Bond Here FTN Fri July 15 1927 p 1.jpg
Modern Knighthood in Full Flower FTN Sun July 17 1927 p 1.jpg
Reeder Is For Anti Hood Bill FTN Mon July 18 1927 p 1.jpg
Ani Madsking Bill Is Next FTN Tues July 19 1927 p 1.jpg
Alabama Senate May Make History Fri FTN Thurs July 21 1927 p 1 p I.jpg
Alabama Senate May Make History Fri FTN Thurs July 21 1927 p 1 p II jpg.jpg
Anti-Masking Bill Has One More Chance FTN Wed July 29 1927 p 1.jpg
Anti-Masking Bill Has One More Chance FTN Wed July 29 1927 p 1 p I.jpg
Anti-Masking Bill Has One More Chance FTN Wed July 29 1927 p 1 p II.jpg
Florence Floggers Are Guily Fined FTN Mon Aug 1 1927 p 1.jpg
Florence Floggers Are Guily Fined FTN Mon Aug 1 1927 p 1 p II.jpg
Florence Floggers Are Guily Fined FTN Mon Aug 1 1927 p 1 p III.jpg
Five Committed in Slay Flogging FH Fri Aug 5 1927 p 1.jpg
Folsom Lashes Out at State KKK FH Thu Mar 3 1949 p 9.jpg
Klan Members Present.jpg

Collection

Citation

Florence Times-News Florence Herald East Lauderdale News, “The Second Ku Klux Klan in Florence-Lauderdale,” Shoals Black History, accessed October 19, 2021, https://shoalsblackhistory.omeka.net/items/show/1109.