The relationship between the Anti-Saloon League and the Ku Klux Klan in support of national prohibition has been a source of controversy since the 1920s. Both the ASL and the KKK acted to enforce prohibition, the ASL through legal and political means, the KKK through grassroots political pressure and extralegal vigilante methods. Wet observers and, more recently, historians of the Klan movement claimed that the ASL cooperated with the Invisible Empire in direct enforcement of dry laws. ASL activists and prohibition historians, in turn, denied league involvement with the intolerant, occasionally violent, dry vigilantism of the Klan and instead stressed the nonpartisan bureaucratic operations of the ASL. The actual ambivalent relationship reflected shortcomings in the dry regime and in the two organizations. Ineffective enforcement pushed some ASL officials into informal ties with local Klans, while the league tolerated pro-Klan sentiments among some leaders. But extensive and persistent cooperation was not apparent.
On the evening of June 30, 1924, Dr. E. M. Lightfoot, a Baptist minister and the superintendent of the South Carolina Anti-Saloon League, stood to address some sixty men gathered at the New Theater in the small piedmont town of Bennettsville. Two cloaked sentries guarded the doors. Each of his listeners bore a printed invitation “to become part of the nationwide movement to organize American Protestants within the folds of one great organization.” Despite his salaried position with the ASL, Lightfoot was acting as a kleagle, a recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan. The dry leader noted how the “silent forces” of the Invisible Empire had eliminated illegal liquor selling and other law violations elsewhere in South Carolina. He then warmly endorsed the Klan’s commitment to “restricted immigration, pure Americanism, racial purity, law enforcement and organization of the Protestants to offset the organization of the Catholics and Jews,” the principal enemies of prohibition, local control of public schools, and “100%” loyalty to American institutions.
Lightfoot was unprepared for the reaction of this specially chosen audience to his remarks. In sharp contrast to his previous recruiting meetings, nearly half the listeners in Bennettsville refused to rise in agreement with the general Klan principles Lightfoot enunciated, and several people offered “stirring” denunciations of the hooded order, rejecting the Klan’s bigotry and vigilante law enforcement. One critic attacked Lightfoot directly for connecting the Anti-Saloon League to the Klan. “I have for years been paying annually to the Anti-Saloon league,” complained this “ashamed” fellow Baptist. “If you are going to spend your extra time organizing something to sow dissension I think I had better use that money for something else.” Only about ten prospective members remained in the hall as the dissenters filed out.
The national Anti-Saloon League, keen to dissociate its already controversial public image from that of the far more problematic Klan, swiftly acted to discipline its state officers. Informed of Lightfoot’s Klan activities by an official of the Federal Council of Churches, league general counsel Wayne Wheeler, the nation’s most powerful prohibitionist, immediately directed league general superintendent F. Scott McBride to curb Lightfoot’s “detrimental” moonlighting. Within days, the league’s efficient communication network had reminded its workers that dry success hinged on adherence to the ASL’s single focus on prohibition—”this one thing”—and that the league insisted that its superintendents “withhold our public activities from organizations over whose official acts we have no control.” Despite vigorous interest in prohibition enforcement demonstrated by Klan organizations in local communities across the nation, the ASL refused to compromise its single-issue priority, its autonomy of action, and its identity as the foremost moral and political exponent of the embattled prohibition reform.
Nevertheless, the league’s disavowals did not dislodge the popular—and public—perception among wets that the middle-class, professionally directed ASL worked in concert with hooded Klan vigilantes. Indeed, within a few months of the South Carolina incident, the Baltimore Evening Sun charged that “if [the Klan] is not literally a part of the Anti-Saloon League, it is at least so close an ally as to be almost indistinguishable from it in many parts of the country.” The Indiana Klan newspaper, Fiery Cross, likewise quoted celebrated attorney Clarence Darrow’s view that “the father and mother of the Ku Klux is the Anti-Saloon League. I would not say every Anti-Saloon Leaguer is a Ku Kluxer, but every Ku Kluxer is an Anti-Saloon Leaguer.” Rather than viewing Lightfoot’s involvement with the Klan as an anomalous departure from league policy, many anti-prohibitionists asserted a fundamental affinity in outlook and policy between the Klan, the ASL, and the dry cause.
These few examples from 1924 contain in outline form the essential features of the complicated, provisional relationship between prohibition, the Klan, and the Anti-Saloon League. The Klan was simultaneously a potential ally of the Anti-Saloon League in defense of prohibition and a clear danger to the league, even a rival for the loyalty of dry Protestants. As early as 1922, ASL field workers canvassing for subscriptions encountered drys in Oklahoma, a Klan stronghold, who “declined to support [the] League, having already given support to [the] KuKlux.” Hiram Wesley Evans, the Klan’s Imperial Wizard, acknowledged in print the Invisible Empire’s indebtedness to the political methodology of the ASL. “The Klan,” he admitted in 1924, “functions along the same lines as the Anti-Saloon League … by persistently supporting men of certain types and beliefs” for public office. Four years later, Evans crowed, “our influence is even greater than that of the Anti-Saloon League ever was…. We have recently completed a reorganization and revivification of the dry forces of the nation, following the decay that fell upon the Anti-Saloon League.” The hooded knights meant to supplant the ASL as the militant arm of Protestant prohibitionism.
Yet Lightfoot did not detect any inconsistency between his work for the ASL and participation in the Klan, until he was rebuked by rank and file drys and the league hierarchy. That suggests that some league officials were attracted to the Klan’s extralegal attempts to control bootlegging, an indication that the failure of state and national enforcement, as well as divisions within the ASL over enforcement policy, was causing frustration in dry ranks. Moreover, the South Carolina superintendent’s willingness to frame his prohibitionist convictions within the intolerant worldview of the Klan and the vehement objections that those positions sparked demonstrated the tenuous state of unity within the league during the difficult years of national prohibition. Potentially crippling disagreements among drys over the ethnic, religious, and cultural dimensions of prohibition made it all the more imperative that the league stick to its single-issue doctrine. Yet, as the South Carolina case revealed, the ASL remained ambivalent about the Klan. Although Lightfoot was reprimanded for his affiliation with the Klan, he was not removed as South Carolina superintendent. As we shall see, sprinkled throughout the league’s national and state apparatus were officials who maintained ties with the Invisible Empire. Indeed, Lightfoot’s predecessor as South Carolina superintendent had promoted the Klan in the same town in which Lightfoot held his ill-fated meeting. Neither partners nor antagonists, the Klan and the ASL struggled to make prohibition work, eyed one another warily, and left the public to speculate as to the nature of their relationship.
Reform and Repression in Dry Protestant Activism
Historians of both the prohibition movement and the Klan have sketched out some prominent components of that relationship but have not yet crafted the more subtle elements of contingency and nuance that reflect its ambiguous character. Thus, there is a contentious, unreconciled quality to the assertions of the two scholarly camps. Historians of the Anti-Saloon League and the dry movement have emphasized the modern, bureaucratic, interest-group techniques of the dry lobby that guided the drive for national prohibition between 1913 and the implementation of the Eighteenth Amendment in 1920. Similarly, they place prohibition itself within the larger web of progressive reform. Following the methods of other progressives, ASL activists raised public awareness of the personal and public costs of alcohol through a sophisticated publicity campaign, focused attention onto symbols of irresponsible political and corporate power (saloons and the liquor industry that controlled them), and then demanded expanded state authority to protect citizens and to promote the public interest by closing saloons and dismantling the liquor industry. According to this view, even the undemocratic qualities of prohibition reform—its challenge to traditional notions of liberty and local control, its clear cultural insensitivity to the folkways and beliefs of millions of ethnic, working-class, and non-evangelical Americans—fit the harsher aspects of progressive endeavor. The excess of moral zeal and reliance on coercive means that tarnished the dry reform project corresponded with progressive ballot reforms, health measures, and Americanization schemes that reduced political participation and compromised ethnic customs. Although recognizing that prohibition was a flawed reform that quickly proved unworkable as social policy, the dominant scholarly interpretation nevertheless places it within the modernizing patterns of American political development and social activism. While acknowledging the appeal to some drys of the Klan’s local enforcement of prohibition, these historians emphasize the league’s firm rejection of the violence and secrecy associated with the Invisible Empire, its disapproval of vigilantism and nativism, and its success in maintaining its integrity as a distinctive dry voice set apart from the Klan.
The new generation of populist Klan historians, on the other hand, depicts the hooded order working closely with Anti-Saloon League officials at the state and local level within a reform framework. Dissenting from the older interpretive tradition of the second Klan as a violent, repressive band of marginalized white Protestant men alienated by modernity, an image still reflected in the ASL historiography, a series of influential local studies in the 1990s instead stressed the appeal of the Klan to mainstream white Protestant culture in the 1920s. Energized by diverse local issues rather than the intolerant themes articulated by the Klan’s national leadership, the Invisible Empire achieved explosive growth in the Midwest, the Southwest, and western states between 1922 and 1924, increasing to some three million members. The associational and civic elements of Klan fraternalism attracted more grassroots enthusiasm in these regions than did the bigotry and flashes of violence, much of it centered in the South and Southwest, that dominated national press coverage of the Klan. Indeed, argue historians of the movement, the Klan’s flagrant anti-Catholicism and white supremacist ideology, in the context of actual practices in most 1920s klaverns (Klan lodges), was not in itself evidence of extremism. Detailed studies of Klan organizations in Buffalo, New York, Indiana, Southern California, and Oregon found little interest among Klansmen in persecuting minority communities. The anti-Catholic and racist thrusts that filled Klan publications and conversations within the secret confines of the klavern, these historians contend, reflected the dominant white Protestant prejudices of the era. The 1920s Klan, in short, was distinct from its violent, nightriding predecessor of the Reconstruction period and the bomb-planting terrorists and neo-Nazis of more recent times. It was, instead, a social movement of unusual, though evanescent, power that drew from American reform traditions as well as nativist patterns and attracted the short-term allegiance of several million otherwise ordinary white Protestants.
The roots of Klan political activism in the populist and progressive traditions and the significance of prohibition as a galvanizing issue for 1920s Klansmen has led historians of the Klan to argue for a more natural association between dry Knights and the Anti-Saloon League than historians of prohibition have accepted. Although revisionist Klan historians make no direct connection between the revived Klan and late nineteenth-century populism, the political issues articulated by local Klan movements in the early 1920s resemble some of the outraged complaints of the “plain people” who flocked to populist meetings in the 1890s. Corrupt and unresponsive political institutions ignored the concerns of “authentic” Americans, claimed Klan-backed candidates for public offices from the prairies to the Pacific coast. In most communities, Stanley Coben contended, “the Klan fought to overcome the power of business and professional elites,” who stood in the way of law enforcement and community improvements. Many Klansmen envisioned the Invisible Empire as a people’s instrument to remedy a social crisis in which public schools were endangered, lawlessness was tolerated, and alien values were ascendant. As Evans put it with characteristic excess, “The Klan literally is once more the embattled American farmer and artisan…launched upon a definite crusade for Americanism.”
Whether best understood as “white Protestant nationalism” or, more critically, as “reactionary populism,” the 1920s Klan movement, like the dry crusade, also borrowed from the complicated legacy of progressivism. Contemporary observers of the huge picnics and outdoor festivities that marked the Klan’s development in the Midwest compared the contradictions on display at these rallies to those of insurgent progressivism a decade earlier. “The Ku Klux movement resembles the Progressive party,” remarked one journalist, since it attracted the “naïve, inexperienced, youthful” enthusiasm of “middle-class folk” ready to sing “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” but it also gathered in “political hoboes” and what Theodore Roosevelt himself had called a “lunatic fringe.” Another investigator contrasted the “rank and file” of “bronzed, homely, good-natured” Klansmen, who “would have seemed perfectly at home … in a Progressive party rally,” with the “residue of earnest and aimless discontent” that turned the mass meeting into “a parade of Americanism gone a little sour.” Standard progressive goals, such as improved public schools, honest and efficient government, and even tax-supported provision of some social services, were advocated by 1920s Klansmen, but with the hooded order’s distinctively sour, illiberal taint of white Protestant nationalism attached to them. No other public policy issue engaged as many Klansmen in direct action, combined the reform and coercive aspects of progressivism so clearly, and better highlighted the contradictions between moral language and repressive behavior in the Klan movement, however, than did the Invisible Empire’s determination to enforce prohibition.
Commitment to prohibition enforcement, concludes Leonard Moore, the most prominent recent historian of the Klan, was “the single most important bond between Klansmen throughout the nation.” Not only did national prohibition reflect the values of Protestant evangelical morality; the widespread violation of the Volstead Act, especially by Catholics and immigrants, and the failure of local, state, and federal officials to enforce it, symbolized the breakdown of reverence for the law and the Constitution that distressed many of those drawn to the Invisible Empire. “We insist—we must insist—upon active co-operation between courts and police … and all law-abiding citizens,” in enforcing prohibition, declared the Midwest’s major Klan newspaper in 1924. “We must feel the necessity in our own hearts … to uphold our foundational laws. We insist that illegal distilleries, liquor-selling drug stores, hidden fruit-stand saloons, soft drink beer joints, back-alley bootlegger grog shops and ‘speakeasies,’ be hunted out and suppressed…. If the nation, as a whole, does not like the eighteenth amendment, let it take the necessary steps to repeal it. Until then it is a part of the law of the land and the law must be respected, feared, and obeyed.”
In many communities, local citizens’ movements in support of prohibition enforcement prompted the organization of klaverns in the first place. In others, active Klans organized similar vigilance committees as one of their first public manifestations and pressured local authorities to arrest and prosecute liquor law violators. In a typical example, Klansmen in Lima, Ohio, monitored bootlegging and gambling activities for three months in the winter of 1923 but found that city police, although “in possession of the same information … failed to take action.” The Klansmen took their data to county officials and gained cooperation from the probate court and the sheriff, who planned raids on vice outlets using “special deputies … furnished by the [Klan].” By such methods, claimed Iowa knights who operated in conjunction with sympathetic federal and local officeholders, the Invisible Empire showed it was “not the wild-eyed, law opposing organization that it is said to be, but rather works with the law in a co-operative attitude.” It is this vision of a populist, civic-minded Klan—grounded in Protestant moral reformism, politically active, and at least quasi-legal in its grassroots efforts on behalf of prohibition—that influences historians of the hooded order to assume similarities of purpose and method between the Klan and the Anti-Saloon League.
Incompatible with each other, the dominant historical interpretations of the Klan and the Anti-Saloon League also fail to make sense of the South Carolina incident related above. The bureaucratic interpretation of the ASL and the civic/progressive assessment of the Klan are justifiable corrections to outdated interpretations, but, taken together, they do not explain why some league activists would embrace the Klan and others passionately denounce it. To be sure, most Klansmen were indeed nonviolent and few acted beyond rhetorical slights of Catholics and non-whites. Contemporary critics recognized that “probably nine-tenths of the [Klansmen] who attend the meetings ordinarily do nothing but repeat the ritual, pass pious resolutions, and go home.” The Klan entered public affairs and elected slates of candidates committed to the legal enactment of their agenda in Indiana, Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas, and Oregon. But the 1920s Klan also engaged in violence and bigotry in support of prohibition. The most violent region in Klandom, the southwestern bloc of states composed of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana, developed in response to the lawless, liquor-filled atmosphere of oil and gas boomtowns. Until late 1923, southwestern Klansmen traded pistol shots with bootleggers, burned down roadhouses, tarred or whipped liquor-sellers, wayward husbands, and other (mostly white) violators of community moral codes. In a few infamous cases, Klansmen committed murder. Nearly everywhere in the nation, Klansmen took it upon themselves to police moral behavior, even patrolling lover’s lanes to break up illicit automobile-enabled assignations. Even more common was the pattern of crude ethnic and anti-Catholic slurs used by Klansmen to malign wets. “People used to say that the saloon was a recruiting agency for crime,” read a typical blast. “But, as we look over the long list of crimes committed by the Pats and Mickeys, we are inclined to think that some religions are recruiting agencies for crime, too.”
Distaste for violence and bigoted sentiments, as well as genuine alarm over the Klan’s masks, secret membership, and closed meetings, generated a broad and sustained criticism of the Klan in the 1920s that make it impossible to characterize the Invisible Empire as truly “mainstream.” Indeed, Klan membership dropped precipitously at mid-decade when many initiates—who had entered into Klankraft believing that it was a benignly fraternal or progressive moral and political movement—encountered scandals, petty squabbles, and factional politics among national and local Klan leaders, or heard brutally nativist sentiments expressed by traveling Klan lecturers. Attempts by the Klan hierarchy in some states, such as Indiana, to manipulate politics and direct the votes of recalcitrant Klansmen alienated others. In its attempt to act as a mainstream political movement, the Klan also failed, further eroding its membership. Ineptitude, factionalism, or indifference on the part of Klan-backed officeholders doomed the legislative initiatives of the Invisible Empire, even in the states where the Klan seemingly dominated government. Few Klan bills became law, and fewer still, not even Oregon’s highly publicized mandatory public education statute, withstood the scrutiny of the courts. If the 1920s Klan is to be considered a mainstream movement, it was certainly a self-consciously secretive, unstable, short-lived, and unsuccessful one. Many ordinary white Protestants had hoped that the Klan would become an institutional embodiment of their values and aspirations, but relatively few after 1925 believed its promise had been fulfilled.
Yet even in Williamson County, Illinois—where from early 1924 until April 1926 the scene was marked by bloody combat between prohibitionist Klansmen, bootleggers, and corrupt lawmen—the Klan and the Anti-Saloon League intertwined. Labor violence and ethnic strife had an extensive history in the coal-mining communities of “bloody Williamson,” and these tensions were exacerbated after the Eighteenth Amendment by inconsistent prohibition enforcement. In August 1921, the Illinois Anti-Saloon League participated in a series of raids led by the sheriff’s office against illegal liquor sellers and, assisted by local Protestant ministers, encouraged the formation of voluntary law and order leagues to pressure local government leaders to crack down on prohibition violations. Within a year, members of law and order leagues in Herrin, Marion, and other towns attended council meetings, fielded tickets in local elections, and expressed themselves to be “anxious and willing to volunteer as special police” in pursuit of bootleggers. In January 1923, unified by shared participation in the county Anti-Saloon League, the local leagues coalesced into the Williamson County Law Enforcement League. Within months, the Ku Klux Klan took over direction of the Williamson County Law Enforcement League and dominated the antiliquor movement thereafter. At least two prominent figures associated with the county Anti-Saloon League, Baptist minister I. E. Lee and Sam Stearns, who headed Marion’s law-enforcement league and sat on the Williamson County Board of Supervisors, helped lead the Klan movement. Stearns, in fact, became the Exalted Cyclops (president) of the Marion klavern.
As Williamson County descended into the confusion of armed encounters, military occupations, imported gunmen, and twenty killings that brought national condemnation onto Illinois and the Klan, the state Anti-Saloon League disengaged from the struggle. Still, a Baptist editor commended John L. Whiteside, Stearn’s successor as Exalted Cyclops and soon to be Grand Titan of all southern Illinois Klansmen, as “a man who stands for the Anti-Saloon League work and for law and order.” Despite Whiteside’s recent arrest on murder charges following a deadly shootout that killed six men, this ASL loyalist asked national league superintendent McBride to arrange for the Klansman’s appointment as United States Marshall to further the “wonders [that] have been accomplished for law and order” in Williamson County. How does one account for the persistent attachment of some local ASL supporters to the Klan movement, despite official discouragement from the dry league? How deep and widespread were such connections? How forcefully did the national ASL act to maintain separation from the Invisible Empire? Answering these questions first requires an examination of ASL doctrine and tactics and the peculiar problems related to the league’s success in winning national prohibition.
Frustration with Enforcement
From its 1893 founding in Ohio, the Anti-Saloon League developed an unusually focused and effective public policy machine. First of all, the league was streamlined. A small, salaried body of officers and field agents, most of them Protestant ministers or attorneys, directed the antiliquor sentiment of churchpeople toward specific political ends. Advertising itself as the agent of “the church in action against the saloon,” the ASL through its state affiliates prepared model legislation, drew up candidate lists, and focused attention on local referenda or bills in state legislatures aimed at maximizing the advance of dry territory. Second, the league was single-minded. However attractive other reforms or issues, such as women’s suffrage, might be to its cause or constituency, the league’s national organization insisted that attacks on the liquor trade take precedence (although, in practice, state leagues sometimes endorsed antivice, sabbatarian, or even nativist initiatives). That policy remained in place during national prohibition. After the New York Times reported in 1921 that Kansas ASL officials had participated in an anti-cigarette raid, William H. Anderson, New York’s hard-charging league superintendent wrote to the newspaper, “If the Anti-Saloon League in any jurisdiction is taking part in any fight against cigarettes or tobacco, or engaging in any activity except promoting enforcement of prohibition in harmony with the law,… any such activity, if there is any, is in absolute defiance of the constitution and policy of the league.” Finally, the ASL was, as it liked to say, omnipartisan in politics. It focused on individual officeholders and candidates, not parties. Whoever pledged to support the league’s bills received the league’s endorsement, even if that individual was personally wet, corrupt, or otherwise objectionable. Those who crossed the league were hounded into the next election and often driven from office. Similarly, despite the fact that the overwhelming constituency of the league was Protestant, the ASL officially welcomed support from dry Catholics, Jews, and nonbelievers. It also pledged to work with other prohibitionist organizations, such as the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, but would not compromise its independent course.
National prohibition testified to the league’s potency as an interest group, but the means by which it was achieved, as well as the surprising speed of the victory, created difficulties that would hamper the ASL in the 1920s. After drying up much of the Midwest and the South through local option or state prohibition, the league launched a campaign for national constitutional prohibition in 1913. Bypassing the wet states of the northeast corridor, urban Midwest, and Pacific Coast and racing against the congressional reapportionment that would follow the 1920 census (and increase representation from the wet cities), the league pressured Congress to pass a prohibition amendment to the Constitution. Although some in the ASL, led by Ernest H. Cherrington, the director of the league’s substantial publishing arm, expected the campaign to last up to twenty years, the combination of league pressure, congressional desire to turn the vexing issue back to the states, liquor industry blunders, and the atmosphere of World War I led to passage of the Eighteenth Amendment in 1917, ratification by 1919, and the implementation of national prohibition in January 1920. The amendment specified that state and federal authorities would concurrently enforce prohibition, the details of which were set by the Volstead Act, which barred the manufacture, sale, and transportation of all beverages containing more than 0.5 percent alcohol, a stringent standard that mandated bone-dry conditions throughout the nation.
Government enforcement provisions were entirely inadequate to meet the demands of the Volstead Act. The concurrent enforcement expected from state governments was largely unforthcoming in the 1920s. Although every state but Maryland passed a state enforcement act, most underfunded the effort (in 1927, twenty-eight states allocated no money to enforce their prohibition laws), and some, led by New York in 1923, soon repealed their enforcement codes. A Tennessee prohibitionist complained in 1924 that “90% of our local officers of the law are entirely willing that ‘George’ should do it—only in this case ‘George’ is Uncle Sam.” But federal resources were also hamstrung, for which the Anti-Saloon League shared blame with Congress. The ASL’s Wayne Wheeler insisted that prohibition could be enforced economically, and Congress played along, parceling out stingy budgets of six to ten million dollars from 1921 to 1926, rather than the fifty million dollars required by more realistic projections. Intent on maintaining the league’s influence over political appointments, Wheeler until 1927 also fought efforts to place prohibition agents under civil service. Underpaid and poorly screened, too many of the roughly 3,000 federal agents took bribes, fired their weapons incautiously, or ignored their duties. Dedicated and able agents were too thinly spread to shut down the illegal commerce in liquor. The record of the Bureau of Prohibition until 1927, according to an official review, was “seven years of chaos.” If national prohibition were to succeed, the Anti-Saloon League, central to the passage of national prohibition, would also have to play a role in enforcement.
Yet inconsistencies, divisions, and unresolved issues within the ASL aggravated the difficulties of enforcing the Eighteenth Amendment. National prohibition deepened a fundamental strategic disagreement within the league’s leadership that was never resolved. Cherrington advocated a patient education campaign to convert drinkers, especially recent immigrants, into prohibition supporters. He told a conference of New England league superintendents in 1925, “It is perfectly reasonable to say right here within these walls that we got Prohibition in the United States before the public sentiment of the United States was ready for Prohibition.” Rather than pushing for additional coercive laws, Cherrington felt that the league should help the public accept prohibition as a genuine reform. Wheeler’s faction, on the other hand, as part of its political emphasis, demanded strong law enforcement on the part of public authorities to compel respect for prohibition. One state superintendent implored his colleagues not to “waste any sympathy on ‘ignorant foreigners who don’t understand our laws.’ They knew enough to come here and certainly know enough to find the way back.” Rather than commit the league to one of these approaches, its divided leadership awkwardly tried to promote both of them.
Even by itself, law enforcement on the Wheeler model suffered from disabling shortcomings. The ASL hierarchy adamantly maintained that the league was not to act as a “detective agency.” In its early years, league superintendents had attempted to carry out private law enforcement, hiring detectives and pursuing individual violators, but they found the approach too costly, uneven in effectiveness, and likely to produce friction with government authorities. By the coming of national prohibition, the league preferred the uniformity of government enforcement and saw its role to work as “an organization for the creation of public sentiment and for the directing of that public sentiment” onto public officials so as to maximize prohibition enforcement. Thus in 1921, rather than encouraging ASL followers to raid bootleggers, Wheeler’s law-enforcement program directed dry citizens to organize law-enforcement conventions to encourage enforcement officers and prosecuting attorneys, to compile statistics, to “voice a dignified protest” when officers neglect their duty, and to support passage of tougher dry laws. A bolder initiative to supply expert league attorneys to the states proved too expensive and was discontinued. In short, the league applied the same political methods that had produced national prohibition to tackle enforcement, which, given the weakness of federal and state resources, carried no promise of success.
Rank and file drys quickly sized up the futility of old methods in meeting “this new crisis of law enforcement.” An exasperated ASL supporter granted that the league had once “stir[red] up and marshall[ed] the Christian forces…. in getting rid of the saloon,… but if you mean to suggest that you are doing this kind of work now, allow me to suggest that you read the story of Rip Van Winkle.” He, along with many others, dropped his ASL subscription. Cherrington worriedly observed in 1924 that “the clutch is slipping” on prohibition sentiment. Wheeler complained that same year that “few of the states have made even a gesture toward carrying out” his enforcement program. Frustrated drys had already turned to the Klan and vigilantism. “Other organizations,” Wheeler admitted, “have stepped in in many places and have attempted to do enforcement work by wrong methods and have hurt rather than helped the cause.”
Pressured by grassroots drys outraged at evasions of the law, several state leagues began to undertake direct enforcement work. As early as 1921, Iowa’s league superintendent personally made purchases of illegal liquor, obtained search warrants, and led police raiding parties against bootleggers and liquor-selling pharmacies. New Jersey’s ASL attorney reported to a 1924 league workers’ conference that he and Garden State league investigators worked directly with a special federal prohibition agent and a sympathetic district attorney to obtain injunctions against bootleggers. Although this activism strayed from established league policy, he maintained that “when the wheels are stuck and will not revolve, and folks are becoming discouraged and desperate, it may be very advisable to show the way, to cut new grooves, to get the officials initiated into doing their duty, to go out and get the evidence and place it, in concrete, affidavit form, in the hands of officials who otherwise would not—sometimes could not—get it.” The firewall between necessity and league doctrine had been breached. In some locales, arrangements with dry Klansmen, who were eager to “cut new grooves,” became possible.
Thus, in the spring of 1924, the Civic-Church League of Asbury Park welcomed the assistance of the Invisible Empire and the Anti-Saloon League in a bid to dry up the resort towns of coastal New Jersey. The ASL furnished a detective to accompany a Civic-Church League member to a dinner for businessmen hosted by Asbury Park’s mayor, which allegedly featured copious drinking of bootleg liquor and “an improper display” by five dancing women. Klansmen and the pastors of the Civic-Church League met at a Methodist church and agreed to take the information to the public prosecutor. Two days later, the assistant state superintendent of the ASL addressed another Civic-Church League meeting at the same church to coordinate a public anti-vice campaign. Arthur Bell, the most prominent Klansman in the state, directed his hooded knights to guard the Civic-Church League witness and acted as attorney for the reform group in the ensuing legal case. Although the Grand Jury dismissed the charges, Bell made it clear that the “the Klan was [behind] the Civic-Church League and the Anti-Saloon League in the fight against the Mayor” and wide-open liquor violations in Monmouth County.
Just as the appeal of vigilantism brought some ASL drys into the orbit of the Klan, the ecumenicalism of official league doctrine sometimes slipped to reveal anti-Catholic sentiments similar to those of the Invisible Empire. Despite league rhetoric, there were only a handful of prominent Catholics associated with the ASL. Patrick H. Callahan, the league’s chief liaison to the Catholic community, often felt alone in a sea of evangelical Protestants. “We Congregationalists and Catholics are merely scenery at this Convention,” a friend complained to him at the league’s national meeting in 1929. “It is altogether a Methodist and Baptist movement.” Despite his dry convictions, Callahan had to agree that the ASL gathering was “not comprehensive in religion.” Callahan contended that many of his coreligionists resisted prohibition for this very reason. “Most Catholics look upon [prohibition] not as political but as Protestantism,” he confided to another dry Catholic, “or at least as something that Protestant preachers and their churches are doing, and therefore they feel they must be against it.” Some within the league correspondingly held that Catholics could not be prohibitionists. A Protestant couple from rural Illinois in 1925 threatened to stop sending money to the league if Callahan were allowed to address the league’s annual convention. Some Anti-Saloon League leaders, such as Thomas Nicholson, a Methodist bishop, took pains to contrast the league’s openness to the bigotry of the Klan, but the ASL’s deep Protestant roots and its difficult relationship with wet Catholics offered further opportunities for interaction with dry Klansmen.
Deficiencies in the formal enforcement mechanisms of government and contradictions in the Anti-Saloon League’s enforcement policy, demands for action and declining support from the league’s constituency, and the Protestant power base and distinctively Protestant vision of reform embodied by the ASL all help explain the attractiveness of the Ku Klux Klan’s dry vigilantism to many harried supporters of the ASL. Yet the league’s attitude toward the Invisible Empire was ambiguous, neither clearly hostile nor overtly supportive. Instead, the unresolved tensions, inconsistencies, and weaknesses within the ASL movement after the prohibition victory of 1920 found complicated expression in the league’s contradictory attitudes toward its officials with Klan affiliations. Although jealous of its independence and reputation as the architect of national prohibition, the league—including the publicity-conscious Wheeler—nevertheless tolerated Klan membership on the part of a very few major ASL figures. The most prominent of these was Lycurgus Breckenridge Musgrove, a millionaire coal producer and philanthropist from Alabama who chaired the ASL’s executive committee during the campaign for national prohibition and served on the league’s national board of directors during the 1920s. A generous contributor to both the ASL and Hiram Evans’s national Klan organization, Musgrove also conducted three political campaigns with Klan support between 1920 and 1926. Mixing endorsements of prohibition and labor with attacks on the Catholic Church, Musgrove lost a close United States Senate race to Oscar Underwood in 1920. In 1924, one of the most visible Klansmen in Alabama managed Musgrove’s battle with Underwood for presidential electors. Finally, in 1926, Musgrove lost another Senate race to fellow prohibitionist Klansman Hugo Black in a split Klan vote.
Despite the high-profile airing of Musgrove’s ties to both the Klan and the ASL, Wheeler was unruffled. In a conciliatory note to Musgrove after the 1926 defeat, Wheeler matter-of-factly observed that “with the national Klan going one way and the state Klan going the other the result was inevitable.” Musgrove’s prestige (and checkbook) may have muffled ASL criticism of his Klan membership and political adventures, but more important was the fact that Musgrove kept his league responsibilities separate from his Klan membership. He never seems to have mentioned the Invisible Empire or its aims when conducting league business. For the ASL, whose single-issue philosophy led it to support tainted political candidates, such as the corrupt Illinois senator Frank L. Smith, if they pledged to vote dry, Musgrove’s single-minded devotion to prohibition when working in his official capacity was sufficient reason to ignore his identification with the hooded order. In a more modest example of this blinkered approach, McBride responded to the demand of a Massachusetts minister that “the Catholic Church should be definitely and aggressively fought by the Anti-Saloon League,” with the suggestion that “it might be possible for you to give whatever aid you care to to that [anti-Catholic] fight as a wholly separate proposition from the Anti-Saloon League program and still support aggressively the Anti-Saloon League.” Indeed, most scholars believe that, as Darrow suggested, many rank-and-file Klansmen also supported the ASL and were welcomed as long as they kept Klan concerns “wholly separate” from league activities.
An even greater test of the Anti-Saloon League’s willingness to tolerate public displays of support for the Invisible Empire was provided by the colorful Georgia congressman, William D. Upshaw. Upshaw was an entertaining and highly popular lecturer for the ASL, as well as perhaps the most vocally adept defender of prohibition in Congress during his tenure from 1919 until 1927. He was also an outspoken friend of the Ku Klux Klan, although he was never proven to be a member of the organization. Upshaw was lavishly attentive to William J. Simmons when the founder of the second Klan appeared before a congressional committee in 1921. He contributed articles to the Klan publication, The Searchlight, and concluded his affectionate correspondence with a Klan leader by using the ceremonial benediction supposedly known only to those familiar with Klankraft. Moreover, letters of Klan officials published in Georgia newspapers indicated that Upshaw worked as an agent for the Klan in Congress. “If he was never a Klansman in fact,” historian Arnold Rice concluded, Upshaw “was always a Klansman in spirit.” Yet criticism of Upshaw from within the league appeared only when the Georgian’s demand to be paid for making speeches for the ASL became public in 1926, thus compromising the dry federation’s reform image. Nevertheless, the ASL still supported Upshaw that year in his unsuccessful reelection bid, even though his chief opponent was safely dry. “We must not let them take away from us our leaders,” McBride emphasized. Upshaw had become a symbol of the Anti-Saloon League and its cause, and loyalty to both trumped his ties to the Klan and his embarrassing demands for money.
The national ASL leadership was more serious about discouraging its state workers from dalliances with the Klan, since the dangers of poor discipline and dry vigilantism were concrete at the local level, but incidents involving ASL cooperation with the Klan occurred nonetheless. In Wyoming, the new league superintendent lost his position in 1926 when he strayed from league methods, “undertook to be elected head of the Ku Klux Klan of the state,” and angled for high political office. Two years earlier, a stolen Klan membership list in Buffalo revealed that the popular western New York district ASL superintendent had been kluxed into the Invisible Empire. In Milwaukee, a maverick league official tried to recruit Klansmen into an abortive law-enforcement agency he had created in the name of the ASL. In 1927, the ASL superintendent of Alabama joined eminent Klansmen in defeating an anti-mask bill aimed at curbing vigilantism on the part of the Invisible Empire and encouraged public support for Klansmen charged in a fatal flogging. Unique was the ignominy that befell Georgia superintendent Charles O. Jones in 1925. When two of Jones’s sons were arrested and convicted for prohibition violations while working as government dry agents, the fact that one of the sons had been personal assistant to former Imperial Wizard Simmons gained national publicity. League officials, at Jones’s urging, wrote clemency requests for the two brothers to President Calvin Coolidge. Each of these episodes forged links in the popular imagination between the league and the Ku Klux Klan.
Yet even as they cracked down on unauthorized detective methods, top league officials seemed more forgiving of their subordinates who had made arrangements with Klansmen. After his exposure as a Klansman, George Fowler, the Buffalo ASL official, was recommended by McBride to fellow league officers as a “high-class, aggressive young man” and was offered the Wisconsin league superintendency before he retired into the ministry. Even Thomas Nicholson, a major anti-Klan figure in the ASL, inquired after Fowler’s services. The erring Milwaukee official, who had been a disruptive force within the Wisconsin league, was also offered another league job before he self-destructed and left prohibition work. After a temporary Kansas league superintendent was unmasked as a hooded knight, McBride mused, “it would be better not to have a state superintendent who is a Klansman,” but the national superintendent still hoped to place the man in a less prominent ASL post. Only when it became clear that the Kansas Klansman had set himself against his erstwhile league colleagues did McBride blackball him.
In other cases, when state officials took to heart league warnings to avoid direct ties with the Klan, top ASL officials appeared less vigilant than their junior associates. For instance, an alert league sympathizer in North Dakota warned McBride, who was intent on organizing the state, that a certain activist dry minister was “either a member [of the Klan] or so extremely friendly, that his appointment would at once raise the question whether the Anti-Saloon League is not being run by the Klan.” Yet when McBride instructed the new state superintendent to stamp out vigilantism, he failed to advise him to avoid the Klan-connected clergyman, even after the incoming superintendent specifically named the reputed Klansman, an old acquaintance, as a possible contact. On at least one other occasion, the national superintendent maintained a puzzling silence on the Klan question. After McBride’s cautionary circular letter of 1924 following E. M. Lightfoot’s misstep with the Klan, West Virginia ASL superintendent O. M. Pullen provided an ideal account of fidelity to league methods. “Very many times I have been invited by good friends to join the Klan,” Pullen recounted. “They have, also, asked me how they could give us the fullest cooperation in prohibition work. I have informed them that the Klan stand for certain things we do not, and that if their attitude on prohibition would come up to ours it would be necessary for them to put aside their hoods, work in the open, and, also, to enforce the law through the regularly constituted authorities.” Rather than commend Pullen for his clear articulation of league policy or even reprint the statement in league publications, as was often done with other noteworthy expressions of ASL aims, McBride filed the letter and said nothing. McBride was no partisan of the Invisible Empire. He appeared unsure, however, of when league officials could look past the Klan’s broader agenda to focus on common prohibitionist objectives, as the league did in giving political support to “drinking drys” or other objectionable figures such as Frank L. Smith, and when contact with dry Klansmen threatened the league’s reputation and compromised its independence of action. Inconsistent leadership on this point enabled careless state ASL officials to stumble into crippling entanglements with Klansmen in the mid-1920s that did significant damage to the league.
One such episode occurred in Kansas, where energetic, personable league superintendent Fred Crabbe promoted an ambitious law-enforcement program. One of his district superintendents recalled the league’s deep involvement in grassroots enforcement: “I made the round of all the County, State, Municipal and Federal Officers in my Dist[rict], then I kept in close touch with all officers but especially Secret men who were gathering evidence in every way posible [sic] and preparing for Raids, which were to be supervised and directed by the set [of] officials who were the most likely to bring out the best results, then round up the evidence and get it before the officers and go with them on the raids and assist both as an officer and as an adviser and stimulant, then round up the witnesses and assist the prosecution in every pos[s]ible way, then I went out in the county and held week-night-rallies with citizens and got select crowds or committees in each community to put up a stated sum to cover expenses of all the work.” Evidently, some of the “Secret men” involved were Klansmen, for when it came to light in September 1925 that Crabbe had not turned over to the league the funds he had raised, but instead kept much of the money for himself without carrying out promised antiliquor raids, Kansas ASL officials reported that “the Ku Klux Klan have a host of affidavits which they have been threatening to turn loose if Crabbe did not resign,” or if he attempted to run for public office.
The scandal broke nationally in December when John G. Schaibly, Crabbe’s replacement, handed incriminating material from ASL files to the newspapers and was subsequently dismissed by the state league. The national ASL office, as well as the press, emphasized the misappropriation of funds and the charge that Crabbe had funneled money to the state’s attorney general and to a Kansas supreme court justice who happened to be a member of the national ASL executive committee. But within the Kansas league, the Crabbe scandal had already ignited a controversy over the presence of the Ku Klux Klan in the dry federation. Charles Griffith and Richard Hopkins, the two public officials implicated by Schaibly, had been key figures in the state’s legal attempt to oust the Klan from Kansas. Both served on the headquarters committee of the Kansas ASL. Schaibly, feted by the press as a reformer in the Crabbe episode, was actually a Klansman who had broken up a church in Minnesota with his Klan activities. After arriving in Kansas some months earlier, he had, at the state league’s request, ceased speaking for the hooded order, but appeared to side with the Kansas Klan in the Crabbe dispute. Moreover, another member of the state headquarters committee, a United Brethren minister and elder, was also a Klansman, along with nearly all his fellow United Brethren pastors. Divided internally, the Kansas ASL “as an organization can neither be klan nor anti-klan” concluded a worried state worker. After several tense weeks, however, Kansas ASL officials, grumbling that Schaibly “would have delighted to make a brand new lecture for the K.K.’s out of this wreckage of the League,” persuaded the national organization to remove him as superintendent in November, although he remained a league employee until he provided the confidential league records to unfriendly newspapers. The aftermath of this complicated affair hindered the effectiveness of the Kansas league for years.
A more public rift over the Klan nearly destroyed the Texas Anti-Saloon League in 1924. Central to the dispute were the volatile political ambitions of wet former governor James E. Ferguson, a polarizing figure who had been impeached in 1917 and barred thereafter from state office. In 1922, when the Klan issue had become paramount in state politics, Ferguson reinvented himself as an anti-Klan reformer and ran for the United States Senate. The national ASL endorsed Ferguson’s Klansman opponent, Earle Mayfield, who became the first representative of the Invisible Empire elected to the Senate. Admitting it “peculiar that in this campaign we happen to be linked with the Klan behind Mayfield,” Wheeler nevertheless pronounced the dry Klansman “a high-grade man.”
Two years later, Ferguson returned in the proxy campaign of his wife, Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, for governor, and once again Texas league superintendent Atticus Webb supported the dry Klan candidate, Felix Robertson, who, according to the New York Times, “made no effort to conceal his Klan affiliations.” At this point, ASL national executive committeeman W. J. Milburn, a Texas resident, interjected himself into the campaign. Milburn charged that Webb was under the thumb of a state Klan leader who had been convicted of liquor-law violations and claimed that the superintendent had turned the Texas league over to Klansmen. He released a widely disseminated public statement accusing Webb of holding a salaried position with the Texas Klan and inviting its representatives to attend the state ASL convention. “Our duty is clear,” Milburn declared. “There is no place in Texas for Lenins and Trotzkys and emperors and grand dragons and titans.” Webb replied that Milburn had violated the ASL’s neutrality policy by “doing everything on earth he can to involve the Anti-Saloon League in Texas in the fight between the Klan and the anti-Klan,” and the board of managers of the Texas league demanded that Milburn be expelled from the national league’s executive committee. “The anti-Klan and Klan fight there had shot things pretty much to pieces,” McBride concluded after an investigation, but, significantly, he determined that “Webb’s endorsements [of dry Klansmen] were not far from the rules of the Anti-Saloon League…. however, Milburn certainly has overstepped the proprieties” of his office. The league hierarchy took no action, leaving a resentful Milburn on the executive committee, Webb presiding over the dispirited Texas league, and the nominally dry “Ma” Ferguson (along with her wet “secretary” husband) in the Texas governor’s mansion. Meanwhile, the willingness of the ASL to endorse known Klansmen solidified the popular impression of an alliance between the Anti-Saloon League and the Invisible Empire.
The actions of William H. Anderson, the New York ASL’s talented yet volatile superintendent, further reinforced the notion that the Klan and the league worked in tandem. Anderson was abrasive and sensationalistic, but he had compiled an impressive record of dry legislative victories in the wet strongholds of Illinois, Maryland, and particularly New York, where his “meat-ax” methods had helped push the Empire State into the prohibition column despite the considerable opposition of urban voters and New York City’s Democratic Tammany organization. Observers in the press considered Anderson to be “perhaps, the most outstanding figure in the group of men who removed the stigma of amateurishness from the prohibition movement.” Such celebrity made more notable Anderson’s decision in March 1920 to attack publicly the Catholic Church as complicit with Tammany in defiance of prohibition. “Most of the officiary of the Roman Catholic Church in this state,” he emphasized in a blunt clarification of his original remarks, “are in sympathy with the Tammany effort to destroy the prohibition victory.” He encouraged Protestants to rally against the alleged wet conspirators.
By 1923, as Al Smith’s administration moved to revoke the state prohibition-enforcement law and prosecutors charged the combative superintendent with financial misdeeds, Anderson intentionally introduced the Klan into the battle. Although he denied belonging to the hooded order and rejected secrecy and lawlessness, Anderson “spoke in [the Klan’s] defense in the friendliest manner conceivable,” according to the New York Times, arguing that the Catholic-Tammany “politico-ecclesiastical combination” would drive embattled Protestants and prohibitionists into the Klan. Shortly thereafter, in what was at least partly a political prosecution, Anderson was convicted of third-degree forgery and spent nine months in Sing Sing prison. Anderson’s conviction deeply wounded the integrity of the league and significantly contributed to its decline as an effective political force.
Upon his release in 1925, Anderson quarreled with his successors in the New York league and openly worked to craft an alliance between Klansmen and ASL supporters. He founded an organization called the American Patriotic Prohibition Protestant Protective Alliance (soon shortened to American Protestant Alliance) and declared war on what he called “Political Romanism.” Publishing in the Klan-allied journal Fellowship Forum, Anderson charged that ASL leaders “gladly accept financial, political, and moral support from members of the Ku Klux Klan. You are glad enough,” he continued, “to have it nominate dry candidates for you to support. A very large proportion of those of your constituency who have not quit, gone to sleep, or become indifferent, are members or supporters of the Klan.” He implored ASL loyalists to affirm that organized wet Catholicism was “a common major enemy” of both drys and the Invisible Empire. He also contended, in print, “that the New York Anti-Saloon League is in touch with and cooperating with the Ku Klux Klan in New York in a legitimate and proper way.” Through the remainder of the prohibition decade, Anderson spoke against the presidential bids of Al Smith—the nation’s leading wet Catholic politician—before Klan gatherings, wrote to Catholic ASL worker Patrick Callahan that “the prohibition cause will not be saved in my judgment except through the influence and sentiment that the Ku Klux Klan represents,” and encouraged his former ASL colleagues to support a nativist constitutional amendment reducing political representation for districts with large numbers of alien residents.
For a time, Anderson was shunned by the Anti-Saloon League, but more for his criticism of league leadership and his frank anti-Catholicism than for his remarks concerning the Klan. McBride assured concerned league supporters than Anderson had failed as “a team worker” and joked that the former superintendent’s “new organization is an A.P.A. [a reference to the nativist American Protective Association of the 1890s] in earnest, with four P’s in place of one!” Others stressed the league’s traditional methods, especially in light of Al Smith’s political ascendancy. “The Anti-Saloon League, by opposing wet candidates, has repeatedly defeated some contingent aligned with the wets,” wrote a Tennessee league official. “If now, as some aver, the political part of the Roman Catholic Church has aligned itself with the wets in the hope of entrenching itself in power, the Anti-Saloon League … by defeating the wet combination will thereby defeat that contingent.” ASL founder Howard Russell explained to Anderson’s wife in 1928 that “we have had, and now have, much aid from persons of the Roman Catholic faith, and I favor continued fellowship rather than antagonism by our League officers.”
Yet even in Anderson’s case, there was ambivalence in league ranks. Anderson had been a strong critic of Wayne Wheeler, arguing in 1921 that “Mr. Wheeler jeopardizes [the ASL’s] position in order to work quietly with the politicians.” Wheeler’s dislike for Anderson influenced the latter’s exile from the league. After Wheeler’s sudden death in 1927, Anderson was again welcome at league meetings, where his supporters “almost mobbed the former outcast” and allowed him to speak in favor of his alien representation amendment. Without invoking the Klan, James Cannon, the ASL’s most powerful southern Democrat, spearheaded southern Protestant opposition to Smith’s 1928 presidential campaign with criticisms of Catholicism similar to those offered by Anderson. “I have viewed with some concern Mr. Anderson in conference with various ones of our leaders at our conventions,” one wealthy ASL figure alarmingly noted in 1930. “Atmosphere is the most vital thing there is and I do not believe we can afford to have our cause touched with the atmosphere of anything Anti-Catholic.” The league seemingly could not shake free of Anderson and the connotations of bigotry and the Klan that clung to him.
Despite the admonitions of the ASL leadership, it is obvious that as prohibition enforcement—and the league itself—confronted a crisis of competence in the mid-1920s, a significant segment of league workers slipped into relationships, some formal but most informal, with the Ku Klux Klan. It is equally evident, however, that connections with branches of the Invisible Empire often produced scandals or sharp internal fights that damaged the public standing of the ASL and weakened its potency as a dry public policy agency. Sometimes the Klan also suffered by making common cause with other organized drys, as in 1924, when Klans in Orange County, California, were nearly bankrupted by a joint law-enforcement sweep with the ASL and civil authorities. Desperation and dwindling resources rather than a deeper commitment to shared ideas most often drove league officials to join Klansmen in vigilante raids on bootleggers. In politics, the Klan and the ASL often supported the same candidates and legislation in pursuit of their distinctive agendas. Except in a few cases, it is more accurate to characterize the dry endeavors of the ASL and the Klan as periodic intersections of common interest instead of the close association that outside observers claimed. That is not to deny, however, that some ASL officials and many of its followers shared elements of the anti-Catholic, hyper-Protestant, and ultrapatriotic attitudes that characterized the Klan’s devotion to the enforcement of the Eighteenth Amendment.
The intricacies of that relationship can best be reconstructed in Indiana, where both the league and the Invisible Empire exerted unusual political influence in the 1920s and rare Klan membership records allow for comparative analysis. The Indiana realm, with as many as 400,000 members at its high point, was the best known and most powerful Klan organization of the 1920s. Its grand dragon, the strutting, charismatic D. C. Stephenson, had thoroughly organized the state and created the Military Machine, a political organization of Klansmen that infiltrated newspapers, kept track of opinion in neighborhoods, and on election days threw Klan-approved slates of candidates, sealed with clothespins, onto the front porches of Protestant voters. Between 1924 and 1926, Klan votes gained control over most state legislators, the governor, the mayor of Indianapolis, and both of Indiana’s U.S. senators. Most Indiana Klansmen were passionate about prohibition enforcement. The Klan revived the Horse Thief Detective Association (HTDA), by means of which Klansmen were deputized as assistant sheriffs, issued badges and in some cases firearms, and—either in the company of sympathetic law-enforcement officials or, in some cities, in defiance of them—carried out raids, in one county as many as fifty in a month, against bootleggers, road houses, gamblers, and liquor-transporting motorists.
Journalists connected the rise of the Hoosier Klan to the spadework of the Indiana Anti-Saloon League and especially its superintendent since 1908, Edward S. Shumaker. The tight, block-by-block, political organization built by the ASL, observers noted, served as the model, perhaps even the foundation, for Stephenson’s Military Machine. “Indianans,” R. L. Duffus reported, “think that Shumaker and his league prepared the way for the Klan by drilling their followers to take orders and to apply the single test of wetness or dryness to candidates for public office.” Moreover, by politicizing Methodist and Baptist ministers, the ASL made it easier for the Indiana Klan to recruit clergymen, who were allowed to join the Invisible Empire without paying dues. Critics charged that the ASL and the Klan actively collaborated in prohibition enforcement. “In raiding expeditions and other ventures, subdivisions of the two powers have frequently cooperated,” claimed one journalist. League lobbyists and Klan legislators jointly produced the 1925 Wright bone-dry law, one of the most severely restrictive prohibition laws in the nation.
The clay feet of their leaders also linked the Hoosier Klan and the ASL in the press. Stephenson’s stunning murder conviction, imprisonment, and jailhouse exposé of Klan-inspired corruption in Indiana government, which transfixed the state in 1925 to 1926, were followed by Shumaker’s 1927 conviction and short prison term for contempt of court at the hands of a crusading anti-Klan attorney general, who took exception to Shumaker’s criticism of the state supreme court. Shumaker’s “domination of the State has been as great as that of Stephenson,” observed Nation reporter Louis Francis Budenz, and now, he exaggerated, the dry leader’s criminality made him “a close publicity rival to that of his fellow Hoosier celebrity, ex-Grand Dragon D. C. Stephenson.”
The firmest connection of Shumaker to the Klan came in 1928, when Hugh “Pat” Emmons, the disaffected former Exalted Cyclops of St. Joseph County testified that, at the behest of Klan leaders, he had met with Shumaker in 1926 and that the ASL superintendent agreed that “the Anti-Saloon League, the Klan, and the [Protestant] church” should work together to elect Arthur Robinson, Stephenson’s personal friend and a reputed Klansman, to the U.S. Senate. Shumaker denied any knowing collusion with the hooded knights, but this episode reveals the intermittent contacts within the dry coalition that seemed acceptable to the ASL. In 1924, Shumaker wrote to McBride that “the Klu (sic) Klux Klan … is doing many things which we would have liked to have done, but we are not working with them in either an official or unofficial way.” In 1928, he carefully stated that the league had no “political” or “organic” connection to the Klan, but in the same statement, as well as later, he endorsed the “splendid work” of the Horse Thief Detective Association. At the same time, he acknowledged that the Indiana ASL newspaper had once profiled Emmons as a reformed bartender turned dry crusader and did not challenge Emmons’s claim that in 1924 the league changed its endorsement for St. Joseph County sheriff after Emmons identified one of the candidates as a wet Catholic and the other as a dry Protestant. Most significantly, Shumaker remarked that “Robinson was dry and always had been held in high esteem by the Anti-Saloon League and did not have to go through the Klan to get our support.”
Although the political interests of the Klan and the Indiana ASL often dovetailed, the two organizations remained separate. Two important documents, a list of Indianapolis Klansmen published in Tolerance, an anti-Klan journal, and a manuscript listing of Klan officers in the Indiana realm in 1925, yield the name of only one officer of the Indiana ASL, George S. Henninger, a Methodist minister elected by his religious conference to the ASL board of trustees. Henninger was a vocal Klansman who supposedly screened out Catholic job applicants for the Klan administration of Indianapolis Mayor John Duvall, but he did not exercise great influence in the state ASL. Shumaker and other state league officials endorsed for league work a public prosecutor identified as a Klansman in the secret Klan roster of 1925. The league had also worked with Klansman Charles Orbison, who was state prohibition director in the Wilson administration. But these were peripheral ties.
The ASL had compelling practical reasons for remaining independent from the Indiana Klan. Despite its success at electing candidates, the Hoosier Klan was an ineffective legislative force. Disputes between Stephenson and Imperial Wizard Evans had factionalized the state Klan so badly that in 1925, it failed to support its own “Americanization” legislative package, and the Indiana legislature tabled most of the Klan bills. Klan-backed legislators voted for the bone-dry bill, but the ASL crafted the bill and steered it to passage. Stephenson’s fall and further discord among rank-and-file Klansmen continued to cut into the Klan’s legislative effectiveness. In short, the ASL was a more effective legislative instrument than the Invisible Empire and would have gained nothing from a closer relationship with the Klan. Although many Indiana Protestants supported both the Klan and the league, ASL officials only joined forces with the Klan sporadically, when it suited their interests. Such was the case in 1923, when George W. Titus, the top Klansman in St. Joseph County, “repeatedly” gave to the Anti-Saloon League “information upon stills and bootleggers.” In 1924, Shumaker may have urged the league, the HTDA, and the Klan to back Robinson for the Senate, since that position fit league political guidelines in the McBride era, but only the Klan, which initiated the contact, stood to gain from a full-scale alliance.
In the end, the ties between the Anti-Saloon League and the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s were more extensive than most prohibition historians have conceded, yet they were looser and less consistent than contemporaries and recent historians of the Klan have supposed. Even William Anderson presented his American Protestant Alliance as a means to woo disgruntled Klansmen to a less corrupt, more focused expression of dry Protestant fraternalism. Although both the Invisible Empire and the ASL were deeply invested in the success of prohibition, neither was powerful enough to support the dry reform on its own ideological and organizational terms. Hamstrung by an inadequate enforcement mechanism it had helped design, divided at its highest levels over proper strategy, and unable to eradicate bigotry and adventurism among some of its officials, the ASL in the 1920s too often found itself leaning on the popular energy and vigilantism of the Klan movement to make prohibition work at the local level. For its part, the Klan was too beset by tensions between state and national leaders and discontent among the rank and file to maintain its electoral power and too amateurish to function as an effective legislative agency. Dry Klansmen were forced to rely on the ASL to produce and defend prohibition laws. Administrative weakness as much as dry Protestant solidarity pushed the league and the Klan together.
Nevertheless, the overlapping of the secret hooded order with the bureaucratic, nonpartisan Anti-Saloon League testifies to the need to understand the popular social movements of the 1920s in more fluid, less ideologically deterministic ways. The Klan and the ASL drew on progressive reform traditions yet, to differing degrees, harbored nativist, repressive convictions that derived from a reactionary strain in American culture. Both organizations maneuvered within the mainstream of public life in the early 1920s but nonetheless attracted fervent opposition that placed them on the margins of extremism by the end of the decade. That became the fate of Prohibition itself, which was not only undone as policy by 1933 but for much of the twentieth century was consigned by scholars to the marginalia of the American political epic. The significance of Prohibition to the contentious and uncertain politics of the 1920s recently has been rediscovered. To better comprehend that story, historians need a firmer grasp of the complex interplay between its two flawed defenders, the Anti-Saloon League and the Klan.
1ï¿½ Many librarians and archivists assisted me in locating material, none more assiduously than Peggy Feild at the Interlibrary Loan office at the Loyola-Notre Dame Library, assisted by Ginnie Smack-Harper. Janet Newland at the Archdiocese of Indianapolis took special care to make available a critical document. I also enjoyed swift cooperation from archivists at the Indiana Historical Society (IHS), the Indiana State Library, the Ohio Historical Society, the Yale Divinity School Library, the DePauw University Library, and the University of Chicago Library. Jason Lantzer shared advanced chapters of his dissertation and his knowledge of Edward Shumaker. Loyola College provided research grants and a one-semester sabbatical. History department colleagues and my family made it possible to use those resources effectively. To all, thanks.
2ï¿½ “Klan Organization Meeting Stirs Debate in Marlboro,” The Columbia State (South Carolina), July 7, 1924, 6, clipping enclosed in Boyd Doty to F. Scott McBride, July 28, 1924, microfilm edition of F. Scott McBride Papers, Ohio Historical Society, roll 2 (Hereafter MP roll #).
3ï¿½ Wayne Wheeler to McBride, July 12, 1924; McBride to Wheeler, July 21, 1924, MP 10; “Form letter sent to all State Superintendents,” July 21, 1924, MP 3; E. J. Moore to E. M. Lightfoot, July 22, 1924, MP 5.
4ï¿½ “Look Out, John,” Baltimore Evening Sun, Aug. 28, 1924, clipping, MP 9; “Darrow Says He Opposes Prohibition,” Fiery Cross, Nov. 7, 1924, 2. See also, “Pastor Says Klan Plans World Drive,” New York Times [Hereafter NYT], Nov. 27, 1922, 1; and M. V. Boyland to Editor, NYT, Jan. 24, 1929, 19.
5ï¿½ Minutes of Anti-Saloon League Speakers’ and Field Secretaries’ Conference, July 26–27, 1922, 5, Executive Committee File, microfilm edition of Ernest H. Cherrington Papers, Ohio Historical Society, roll 87 (Hereafter EHC roll #); Stanley Frost, “When the Klan Rules: The Crusade of the Fiery Cross,” Outlook, Jan. 9, 1924, 66; Hiram Wesley Evans, “The Ballots Behind the Ku Klux Klan,” World’s Work, Jan. 1928, 246–47.
6ï¿½ “Klan Organization Meeting,” The State, July 7, 1924, 6.
7ï¿½ For national ASL policy, see K. Austin Kerr, Organized for Prohibition: A New History of the Anti-Saloon League (New Haven, 1985). A good state-level example is Jason S. Lantzer, “Prohibition is Here to Stay: The Reverend Edward S. Shumaker and the Rise and Fall of Dry Culture in America,” (PhD diss., Indiana University, 2005). More general histories of temperance reform within this framework include Jack S. Blocker, American Temperance Movements: Cycles of Reform (Boston, 1989), and Thomas R. Pegram, Battling Demon Rum: The Struggle for a Dry America, 1800–1933 (Chicago, 1998). For a preliminary assessment of the Anti-Saloon League and the Klan, see Thomas R. Pegram, “Kluxing the Eighteenth Amendment: The Anti-Saloon League, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Fate of Prohibition in the 1920s” in American Public Life and the Historical Imagination, ed. Wendy Gamber, Michael Grossberg, and Hendrik Hartog (Notre Dame, IN, 2003), 240–61.
8ï¿½ The key arguments of this interpretation are presented in Leonard J. Moore, “Historical Interpretations of the 1920s Klan: The Traditional View and Recent Revisions,” Journal of Social History (Winter 1990): 341–57. See also the essays in Shawn Lay, ed., The Invisible Empire in the West: Toward a New Historical Appraisal of the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s (Urbana, 1992).
9ï¿½ Shawn Lay, Hooded Knights on the Niagara: The Ku Klux Klan in Buffalo, New York (New York, 1995); Leonard J. Moore, Citizen Klansmen: The Ku Klux Klan in Indiana, 1921–1928 (Chapel Hill, 1991); Christopher N. Cocoltchos, “The Invisible Empire and the Search for the Orderly Community: The Ku Klux Klan in Anaheim, California,” and Eckard V. Toy, “Robe and Gown: The Ku Klux Klan in Eugene, Oregon, during the 1920s,” in Lay, Invisible Empire in the West, 97–120, 153–84.
10ï¿½ Hiram Wesley Evans, “The Klan’s Fight for Americanism,” North American Review, Mar. 1926, 49 (Evans appropriated the “plain people” trope of the Populists; see p. 43); Stanley Coben, Rebellion against Victorianism: The Impetus for Cultural Change in 1920s America (New York, 1991), 140–41; Moore, Citizen Klansmen, 105–06.
11ï¿½ Stanley Frost, “When the Klan Rules: The Giant Begins to Rule Us,” Outlook, Feb. 20, 1924, 309; Robert L. Duffus, “Ancestry and End of the Ku Klux Klan,” World’s Work, Sept. 1923, 528; Moore, Citizen Klansmen, 23; Nancy MacLean, Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan (New York, 1994), 79.
12ï¿½ Moore, Citizen Klansmen, 191; “Sparks from the Fiery Cross,” Fiery Cross, Mar. 21, 1924, 4.
13ï¿½ “Lima Decrees End of Bootleggers,” Fiery Cross, Apr. 27, 1923, 6; “Klan Breaks Back of Bootlegging Ring,” Fiery Cross, Aug. 8, 1924, 5. For a summary of similar actions, see the editorial, “Klansmen Well Repaid,” Fiery Cross, Jan. 25, 1924, 4. Historians disagree on whether antiliquor raids carried out by Klansmen or other volunteers acting as special deputies should be considered vigilantism. In labeling citizen participation in direct prohibition enforcement as vigilantism, I am following the careful argument of Masatomo Ayabe that “vigilantism is often, but not necessarily, extralegal. It can be nonviolent, though the use of violence is always implied. Vigilantes may work in cooperation with public officials, have public officials among them, and enjoy a temporary legal status through special deputation, although they retain a private and voluntary character and act always on their own initiative.” Masatomo Ayabe, “The Ku Klux Klan Movement in Williamson County, Illinois, 1923–1926” (PhD diss., University of Illinois, 2005), 24–28, quotation on 28.
14ï¿½ Frank Bohn, “The Ku Klux Klan Interpreted,” American Journal of Sociology 30 (Jan. 1925): 399.
15ï¿½ “Sparks from the Fiery Cross,” Fiery Cross, June 20, 1924, 4; Charles C. Alexander, The Ku Klux Klan in the Southwest (Lexington, KY, 1965), 31–77. Studies of southern Klans find more consistent patterns of violence and racism than in the North or West. See MacLean, Behind the Mask of Chivalry, 149–73; Glenn Feldman, Politics, Society, and the Klan in Alabama, 1915–1949 (Tuscaloosa, AL, 1999), 40–42, 92–108, 160–92; and Michael Newton, Invisible Empire: The Ku Klux Klan in Florida (Gainesville, FL, 2001), 49–73.
16ï¿½ For a sample of contemporary periodical articles critical of the Klan, see Leroy Percy, “The Modern Ku Klux Klan,” Atlantic Monthly, July 1922, 122–28; Robert L. Duffus, “How the Ku Klux Klan Sells Hate,” World’s Work, June 1923, 174–83; “Law for Others—Not for the Ku Klux Klan!” Outlook, June 6, 1923, 109; Stanley Frost, “When the Klan Rules: Old Evils in the New Klan,” Outlook, Jan. 2, 1924, 20–24; William Allen White, “Annihilate the Klan!” Nation, Jan. 7, 1925, 7; Ben B. Lindsey, “My Fight with the Ku Klux Klan,” Survey, June 1, 1925, 271–74, 319; William Robinson Pattangall, “Is the Ku Klux Klan Un-American?” Forum, Sept. 1925, 321–32; “The Rise and Fall of the K. K. K.” New Republic, Nov. 30, 1927, 33–34.
17ï¿½ “State of Indiana vs. The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan,” Deposition of Hugh F. Emmons, Feb. 20, 1928, 24–28, 38–41, 124–38, microfilm transcript, Indiana Historical Society; Senatorial Campaign Expenditures: Hearings before a Special Committee Investigating Expenditures in Senatorial Primary and General Elections, United States Senate, Sixty-Ninth Congress (Washington, 1926), 2028–29, 2288–89; Robert Todd Laugen, “The Promise and Defeat of the Progressive Public: Reform Politics in Colorado, 1902–1929,” (PhD diss., University of Colorado, 2005), 334–40; Norman Fredric Weaver, “The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan,” (PhD diss., University of Wisconsin, 1954), 164–68; David A. Horowitz, “The Klansman as Outsider: Ethnocultural Solidarity and Antielitism in the Oregon Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s,” Pacific Northwest Quarterly 80 (Jan. 1989): 15–20. Reflecting a general reluctance on the part of historians to embrace the populist interpretation of the Klan, Robert Johnston’s complicated treatment of the Portland Klan and the compulsory public school bill acknowledges and downplays Klan sponsorship of the bill, argues that the bill reflected a middling “liberal populist” anti-elite ideology, but also forcefully rejects the view that the 1920s Klan itself was authentically populist. Robert D. Johnston, The Radical Middle Class: Populist Democracy and the Question of Capitalism in Progressive Era Portland, Oregon (Princeton, 2003), 221–47.
18ï¿½ Ayabe, “Ku Klux Klan Movement in Williamson County,” 88–132, quote on 94.
19ï¿½ Quotes: W. P. Throgmorton to McBride, Nov. 15, 1924, MP 8. Whiteside was not involved in the shooting and was soon released. McBride suitably cautioned the Illinois ASL superintendent to investigate the Whiteside endorsement “pretty carefully before you take any decisive step.” McBride to Frank L. Ebbert, Nov. 20, 1924, MP 2. “Bloody Williamson,” NYT, Jan. 27, 1925, 12, and “The Golden Rule at Herrin,” NYT, June 30, 1925, 18.; “Troops Keep Peace after Herrin Fight,” NYT, Sept. 1, 1924, 3; Ayabe, “Klan Movement in Williamson,” 276n51.
20ï¿½ Jack S. Blocker, Jr., Retreat from Reform: The Prohibition Movement in the United States, 1890–1913 (Westport, CT, 1976), 219.
21ï¿½ William H. Anderson to Editor, NYT, Sept. 23, 1921, 11; Anderson, The Church in Action Against the Saloon (Westerville, OH, 1906). For the Anti-Saloon League and the achievement of prohibition, see Pegram, Battling Demon Rum, 109–65.
22ï¿½ E. P. Alldredge to Boyd Doty, June 30, 1924, MP, 2; Charles Merz, The Dry Decade (New York, 1931), 201–06.
23ï¿½ National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement, Enforcement of the National Prohibition Laws, vol. 2 (Washington, 1931), 197–270, quote 197; Merz, Dry Decade, 63; Kerr, Organized for Prohibition, 234.
24ï¿½ “Report of the New England Workers Conference of the Anti-Saloon League held in Christian Endeavor Bldg., Clark Memorial Hall, Boston, Mass., February 16, 1925,” 8, MP 7.
25ï¿½ “Superintendents’ and Workers’ Conference of the Anti-Saloon League of America, held at the Raleigh Hotel, Washington, D.C., January 9th, 1924,” 9, EHC 87; Kerr, Organized for Prohibition, 213–41.
26ï¿½ F. Scott McBride, “Report to the Biennial Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Anti-Saloon League of America,” 1925, MP 14; Ann-Marie Szymanski, “Dry Compulsions: Prohibition and the Creation of State-Level Enforcement Agencies,” Journal of Policy History 11 (Spring 1999): 115–46.
27ï¿½ Wayne B. Wheeler, “The League’s Program for Law Enforcement and the Need of Further Legislation” in Proceedings of the Twentieth National Convention of the Anti-Saloon League of America (Washington, 1921), 113–18, quote 114.
28ï¿½ Alldredge to Doty, June 30, 1924, MP, 2; Alldredge to Ernest H. Cherrington, June 10, 1924, MP 2. Total receipts for the Anti-Saloon League fell over ten thousand dollars per month from 1923 to 1924, creating a “very critical crisis” for the league. Howard H. Russell, “The League’s Financial Story and the Present Crisis,” 4–5, Anti-Saloon League of America, Executive Committee Meeting, Feb. 18, 1925, EHC 84.
29ï¿½ “Report of Ernest H. Cherrington to the Executive Committee of the Anti-Saloon League of America, Washington, D.C., November 25, 1924,” EHC 84; Wayne B. Wheeler, “Report of the Legal and Legislative Department of the Anti-Saloon League of America. Quarter Ending November 25, 1924,” EHC 84.
30ï¿½ G. Roneland Munroe, “Compelling Law Enforcement in Face of Official Opposition,” Jan. 9, 1924, 4–7, quotation on 7, EHC 87; “Anti-Saloon League Stirs up the Animals,” newspaper clipping, Jan. 1922, EHC 13.
31ï¿½ “Asbury Park Mayor Accused in Pulpits,” NYT, Apr. 7, 1924, 1 (first quotation); “Grand Jury to Sift Asbury Park ‘Orgy,'” NYT, Apr. 8, 1924, 21; “Affidavit Backs Asbury Charges,” NYT, Apr. 9, 1924, 23 (second quotation); “Tell of Deal Beach Dinner,” NYT, Apr. 18, 1924, 2; “Hetrick Exonerated on Dinner Charge,” NYT, May 2, 1924, 9; David M. Chalmers, Hooded Americanism: The History of the Ku Klux Klan, 3rd ed. (Durham, NC, 1987), 243–48.
32ï¿½ P. H. Callahan to Mrs. Carlton M. Sherwood, Jan. 9, 1928, EHC 19.
33ï¿½ Callahan to Dr. Denis A. McCarthy, marked Feb. 21–Mar. 4, 1929, EHC 119; Mr. and Mrs. William W. Daw to The American Issue, n.d. (probably Oct. 1925), MP 11; Thomas Nicholson to McBride, Nov. 27, 1925, MP 7. For another dry Catholic’s defense of the ASL against charges of anti-Catholicism, see C. P. Connolly to Editor, Commonweal, June 18, 1930, 191.
34ï¿½ Feldman, Politics, Society, and the Klan in Alabama, 64–66, 82–83; J. Wayne Flint, “Organized Labor, Reform, and Alabama Politics, 1920,” Alabama Review 23 (July 1970): 166–71.; “L. B. (Breck) Musgrove Dies,” Birmingham News, July 4, 1931, 1, clipping, EHC 91.
35ï¿½ Wayne B. Wheeler to L. B. Musgrove, Sept. 1926, MP 15.
36ï¿½ E. Wayne Stahl to McBride, n.d. (Aug. 1926); McBride to Stahl, Aug. 11, 1926, MP 14. For Frank L. Smith, see Boyd P. Doty to McBride, Dec. 2, 1926, MP 11, and Wayne B. Wheeler, “Report of the Legal and Legislative Department Anti-Saloon League of America, Quarter Ending November 16, 1926,” 8, EHC 84.
37ï¿½ Arnold S. Rice, The Ku Klux Klan in American Politics (Washington, 1962), 59; Clement Charlton Moseley, “The Political Influence of the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia, 1915–1925,” Georgia Historical Quarterly 57 (1973): 246–47, 253; Thomas R. Pegram, “Prohibition” in The American Congress: The Building of Democracy, ed. Julian E. Zelizer (Boston, 2004), 424–25.
38ï¿½ McBride to Charles O. Jones, July 19, 1926, MP 13; “Wheeler Gives New Data,” NYT, July 3, 1926, 1–2; Peter H. Odegard, Pressure Politics: The Story of the Anti-Saloon League (New York, 1928), 205n50.
39ï¿½ William L. Wade to McBride, Sept. 17, 1926, MP 15 (quotation); Lay, Hooded Knights, 68–69; Feldman, Klan in Alabama, 138–39, 153; “Hutton Maps New Vice War,” Milwaukee Sentinel, Aug. 7, 1925, clipping, MP 6; “Dry Leader’s Sons Held in Liquor Deal,” NYT, Apr. 19, 1925, 9; “Neufield Jones Gets Two Years in Atlanta,” NYT, Sept. 26, 1925, 5; Charles O. Jones to McBride, May 20, 1926; McBride to Jones, May 26, 1926, MP 13. As a paid Klan agent, Neufield Jones also undermined the New York operations of the anti-Klan American Unity League in 1922. Michael D. Jacobs, “Catholic Response to the Ku Klux Klan in the Midwest, 1921–8” (PhD diss., Marquette University, 2001), 107–08, 108n116.
40ï¿½ McBride to George B. Safford, Oct. 2, 1925, MP 8 (first quotation); McBride to Rev. George A. Fowler, Dec. 31, 1925, MP 3; Thomas Nicholson to McBride, Sept. 12, 1925, MP 7; McBride to David L. McBride, June 16, 1925, MP 6; McBride to Julius Smith, Oct. 21, 1925, MP 8 (second quotation); McBride to Brother Superintendents, Mar. 25, 1926, MP 11.
41ï¿½ Charles A. Pollack to McBride, Nov. 23, 1925, MP 7.
42ï¿½ McBride to Thomas W. Gales, Feb. 8, 1926, MP 12; Gales to McBride, Dec. 12, 1925, MP 3; O. M. Pullen to McBride, July 25, 1924, MP 7.
43ï¿½ Samuel G. Jones to McBride, Jan. 27, 1926, MP 13.
44ï¿½ Julius Smith to McBride, Sept. 6, 1925, MP 8 (quotation); Samuel G. Jones to McBride, Feb. 10, 1926, McBride to Jones, Feb. 15, 1926, MP 13.
45ï¿½Kansas City Post, Dec. 10, 1925, clipping, MP 5; Richard J. Hopkins to Howard H. Russell, Dec. 15, 1925, EHC 89; “Kansas High Court Outlaws the Klan,” NYT, Jan. 11, 1925, 16; W. G. Clugston, “The Anti-Saloon League’s Lost Virtue,” Nation, Feb. 24, 1926, 203–05; “Strange News from Kansas,” NYT, Feb. 26, 1926, 20; McBride to Julius Smith, Oct. 21, 1925, MP 8; “Report of Francis Scott McBride, General Superintendent, To the Executive Committee of the Anti-Saloon League of America at Washington, D. C., March 10th, 1926,” 5–8, EHC 84; Smith to McBride, Sept. 16, 1925, MP 8 (first quotation); J. A. McClellan to McBride, Dec. 25, 1925, MP 5 (second quotation); McBride to W. L. Wade, Feb. 9, 1926, MP 15; Robert Smith Bader, Prohibition in Kansas (Lawrence, KS, 1986), 209–11.
46ï¿½ “‘Drys’ and Ku Klux Combine in Texas,” NYT, Aug. 5, 1922, 6; Lewis L. Gould, Progressives and Prohibitionists: Texas Democrats in the Wilson Era (Austin, 1973), 215–21.
47ï¿½ “Both Sides Predict Victory in Texas,” NYT, Aug. 22, 1924, 3.
48ï¿½ “Cites Evidence of Klan’s Activities,” Dallas Morning News, Aug. 21, 1924, clipping in Atticus Webb to McBride, Sept. 1, 1924, MP 9. See also: W. J. Milburn to McBride, May 8, 1924; Milburn to Cherrington, Aug. 19, 1924; Milburn to McBride, Aug. 25, 1924, EHC 91.
49ï¿½ Atticus Webb to McBride, Aug. 21, 1924, MP 9 (first quotation); Webb to the Executive Committee, Anti-Saloon League of America, n.d., marked Sept.–Oct. 1924, MP 9; McBride to Wayne Wheeler, Sept. 18, 1924, MP 10 (second quotation); McBride to W. J. Milburn, Sept. 22, 1924, MP 6; “Report to the Executive Committee of the Anti-Saloon League of America by Francis Scott McBride, General Superintendent. Given at Washington, D.C., November 25, 1924,” 4, EHC 84; Milburn to McBride, Sept. 26, 1924, EHC 91; “Woman Governor or Klan: A Texas Choice,” NYT, Aug. 3, 1924, XX3; “The Fergusons Stand Back to the Wall,” NYT, Dec. 6, 1925, XX3.
50ï¿½ “Not a Case Against Prohibition,” Outlook, Feb. 13, 1924, 252 (first quotation); “Anderson in New Attack,” NYT, Mar. 10, 1920, 17 (second quotation); “Anderson Attacks Catholic Church,” NYT, Mar. 6, 1920, 4; William H. Anderson, To the Pastors of New York State Who Intend To See The Prohibition Fight Through, Anti-Saloon League of New York pamphlet, Mar. 17, 1920, EHC 76; “Catholics and Prohibition,” Literary Digest, Apr. 10, 1920, 44–45, 125–26.
51ï¿½ Anderson to Charles S. Whitman, Sept. 5 and Nov. 8, 1923, William H. Anderson Papers, Special Collections, University of Chicago Library; “Anderson Talks on Ku Klux Klan,” NYT, Sept. 9, 1923, E1 (first quotation); “Says Tammany ‘Wets’ Make Klan Members,” NYT, Oct. 1, 1923, 9 (second quotation); “The Klan in This State,” NYT, Oct. 9, 1923, 20.
52ï¿½ “Anderson Urges Protestants of U.S. to Form Alliance,” Portland Press Herald, 2, clipping, EHC 76; William H. Anderson, American Protestant Alliance: A Comprehensive Introductory Working Outline of Its Philosophy, Principles, Purpose, Policy and Program (New York, 1926), 36–37; Anderson, They Cannot Dodge These Facts, Oct. 31, 1925, APPPPA pamphlet reprinted from Fellowship Forum, MP 1 (first quotation); A Letter to The Dry Protestant Pastors of New York State from William H. Anderson, June 7, 1926, American Protestant Alliance pamphlet, 5, EHC 76 (second quotation); “Fist Fights Mark Klan Celebration,” NYT, Aug. 21, 1927, 24; Anderson to Colonel Patrick H. Callahan, Nov. 23, 1927, EHC 76 (third quotation); Anderson to Cherrington, July 24, 1930, EHC 16.
53ï¿½ McBride to R. H. Scott, July 15, 1924, MP 8; McBride to Edwin Rawden, n.d., marked June–July 1925, MP 7.
54ï¿½ Andrew B. Wood to Senator Thad H. Caraway, Aug. 7, 1926, MP 15; Howard H. Russell to Mrs. William H. Anderson, Apr. 16, 1928, Anderson Papers.
55ï¿½ Anderson to Purley A. Baker, Feb. 17, 1921, EHC 76 (first quotation); “W. H. Anderson Welcomed,” Baltimore Sun, Dec. 7, 1927, 1; Anderson to McBride, Jan. 8, 1932, EHC 16.
56ï¿½ Robert A. Hohner, Prohibition and Politics: The Life of Bishop James Cannon, Jr. (Columbia, SC, 1999), 215–90; Delcevare King to Cherrington, July 19, 1930, EHC 89 (quotation).
57ï¿½ Cocoltchos, “Ku Klux Klan in Anaheim, California,” 114–15.
58ï¿½Senatorial Campaign Expenditures, 2060 (other estimates cap membership at 194,000; see Morton Harrison, “Gentlemen from Indiana,” Atlantic Monthly, May 1928, 681); Weaver, “Ku Klux Klan in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan,” 189–221; “Indiana vs. Ku Klux Klan, Deposition of Hugh F. Emmons,” 227–40, 246–50; Glenn M. Zuber, “‘Onward Christian Klansmen!’: War, Religious Conflict, and the Rise of the Second Ku Klux Klan, 1912–1928,” (PhD diss., Indiana University, 2004), 219–25.
59ï¿½ R. L. Duffus, “A Political Volcano Seethes in Indiana, NYT, Oct. 2, 1927, XX1; Deborah B. Markisohn, “Ministers of the Klan: Indianapolis Clergy Involvement with the 1920s Ku Klux Klan,” (MA thesis, Indiana University, 1992), 40–57. For the most complete analysis of Shumaker and the Klan, see Lantzer, “Prohibition is Here to Stay,” 176–207.
60ï¿½ Louis Francis Budenz, “Indiana’s Anti-Saloon League Goes to Jail,” Nation, Aug. 24, 1927, 178; Transcript of Taped Interviews with Harold Feightner (1972), 33–34, manuscript section, Indiana State Library; Moore, Citizen Klansmen, 181.
61ï¿½ Budenz, “Indiana’s Anti-Saloon League Goes to Jail,” 177.
62ï¿½ Emmons Deposition, 64, 77–78.
63ï¿½ Edward S. Shumaker to McBride, July 25, 1924, MP 8; “Shumaker Denies Dry and Klan Link,” Indianapolis Times, Feb. 21, 1928, 1 (political); “Shumaker in Statement” Indianapolis News, Feb. 22, 1928, 13 (organic, splendid); “Horse Thief Detective Associations,” American Issue (Indiana Edition), Apr. 30, 1927, 1; “A Reformed Saloonkeeper and Gambler,” American Issue (Indiana Edition), Dec. 22, 1914, 8; Emmons Deposition, 88–93; “Doesn’t Recall Pact,” Indianapolis Star, Feb. 21, 1928, 8 (last quotation).
64ï¿½ “Exposure of 12,208 Ku Klux in Marion County, Indiana,” Tolerance, June 6, 1923, 2, microfilm, Indiana Historical Society (special thanks to Janet Newland, associate archivist, Archdiocese of Indianapolis, for arranging the microfilming of this rare document); “Local Officers of the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana 1925,” 21, 25, typescript (SC 2419), IHS; “First Indianapolis List,” Tolerance, Apr. 1, 1923, 2, 16; Zuber, “Onward Christian Klansmen,” 280; Shumaker to McBride, July 3, 1926, MP 14. For the Tolerance campaign against the Klan, see Jacobs, “Catholic Response to the Ku Klux Klan in the Midwest,” 72–134.
65ï¿½ Weaver, 164–69; Frank M. Cates, “The Ku Klux Klan in Indiana Politics: 1920–1925,” (PhD diss., Indiana University, 1971), 166–69; Lantzer, “Prohibition is Here to Stay,” 213; “South Bend Paper is Discredited,” Fiery Cross, Feb. 26, 1923, 4 (quotation).
By Thomas R. Pegram