The original Knights of the Golden Circle formally disbanded the organization and closed its books in 1916, but their descendants still maintain the vows of secrecy and silence taken by the old Confederate veterans. The following year, the Knights began publishing their own newspaper and established their headquarters in Washington, D.C. The order and its alleged influence sparked the formation of Union League clubs to carry on counterpropaganda. The Knights of the Golden Circle had been organized in the late 1850s and were said to be dedicated to preserving the slave states and to establishing a new slave empire in Mexico. A review of Knights of the Golden Circle: Secret Empire, Southern Secession, Civil War by David C. Keehn (LSU, 2013). The Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC) was created in 1854 to establish a slave holding empire that would include many southern states in the U.S., the West Indies, Mexico, and parts of Central America. Its members were known as Copperheads Copperheads, in the American Civil War, a reproachful term for those Northerners sympathetic to the South, mostly Democrats outspoken in their opposition to the Lincoln administration. The K.G.C. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Knights-of-the-Golden-Circle, Texas State Historical Association - Handbook of Texas - Knights of the Golden Circle. These records were sealed from public view for 90 years. The Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC) was created in 1854 to establish a slave holding empire that would include many southern states in the U.S., the West Indies, Mexico, and parts of Central America. From famous battles to infamous generals, test your knowledge of the American Civil War in this quiz. Support the Handbook today. Handbook of Texas Online, Bickley created, on paper at least, an army of 16,000 men. The Golden Circle would have a radius of 1200 miles and would be centered in Havana, Cuba. The Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC) was a pre– Civil War, pro-Southern secret society founded in Ohio in 1854 by George W. L. Bickley, a Virginian, who soon moved the KGC to the South. George W. L. Bickley was one such man. The Knights of the Golden Circle or K.G.C. Abraham Lincoln sent his secretary, John Hay, to investigate. Ollinger Crenshaw, “The Knights of the Golden Circle: The Career of George Bickley,” American Historical Review, 47 (October 1941). Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. create an atmosphere of conspiracy, of claims and charges that cannot be proven true but cannot be proven untrue either. The Knights of the Golden Circle emerged in 1858 when a secret society formed by a Cincinnati businessman merged with the pro-expansionist Order of the Lone Star, which already had 15,000 members. The Knights of the Golden Circle or K.G.C. The original objective of the KGC was to annex a "golden circle" of territories in Mexico (which would be divided into 25 slave states), Central America, northern South America, and Cuba and the rest of the Caribbean for inclusion in the United States as slave states. The group was heavy on ritual, most of which was borrowed from the Masonic Lodge and later from the Knights of Pythias. Joseph Holt, Report of the Judge Advocate General on “The Order of American Knights,” alias “The Sons of Liberty.” A Western Conspiracy in aid of the Southern Rebellion (Washington, DC: Union Congressional Committee, 1864). With Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Channing Tatum. Schulwesen. Published by the Texas State Historical Association. 1st Btn. If such a plot existed, nothing came of it, suggesting that the rumors were just that or that the K.G.C. Knights of The Golden Circle Elkanah Greer was Grand Commander of the Knights of the Golden Circle in Texas. The leaders were sentenced to death or imprisonment by military commissions, but the sentences were suspended, and in 1866 the convictions were overturned by a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. Newspaper editors across the lower South generally reacted favorably to his message, and Texas proved notably strong in its support. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The Knights consisted of many famous individuals including: Sam Houston, Jesse James, and John Wilkes Booth. The eventual goal of the plan was the annexation of all of Mexico to the United States. had its beginnings in the formation of Southern Rights Clubs in various southern cities in the mid-1830s. Some 250,000 to 300,000 oath-bound members were said to have existed in the Midwest. The following year, the Knights began publishing their own newspaper and established their headquarters in Washington, D.C. Audible Audiobook $0.00 $ 0. As he promoted his organization, Bickley focused on the annexation of Mexico as an essential first step. In the summer of 1859 an organization calling itself the Knights of the Golden Circle achieved national notoriety as an influential secret society formed to defend the rights southern slaveholders. Receiving reports of the activities of the Order of American Knights (a new name for the alleged order) in Missouri and Illinois, U.S. Pres. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. In the decade leading up to the Civil War, a fledgling group called the Knights of the Golden Circle joined forces with a well-establish Southern society known as the Order of the Lone Star.The Knights were the brainchild of George W.L. Politische Organisation. These clubs were inspired by the philosophies of John C. Calhoun (1782–1850). See more ideas about american history, golden circle, history. No thank you, I am not interested in joining. What made him different, however, was the fervor with which he took to this task. After the Civil War there were ongoing Congressional investigations. After the war, with the defeat of the South, many of its members were charged with treason and the secret organization was driven further underground, which only seemed to strengthen their convictions. The Knights of the Golden Circle or K.G.C. The ov… According to the Texas State Historical Association, the Knights of the Golden Circle originated in Lexington, Kentucky, fittingly on July 4, 1854. The Knights of the Golden Circle (K.G.C. https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/knights-of-the-golden-circle. These conspiracy stories associated with the Knights of the Golden Circle are now part of the historical record associated with the organization, but none of them can be reliably documented. Regarding Hendricks’ Civil War years in Indiana, there is no evidence that he was a member of any “dark lantern” society, the Knights of the Golden Circle, the Sons of Liberty, or the Order of American Knights; nor was he a Copperhead, if one defines that term as a … / The Knights of the Golden Circle They say that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, so we try always to learn from history. had an elaborate ritual with codes, signs, and passwords, and complicated plans for its military and governing operations. activity circulated for a few more years, but there is no dependable evidence that the organization survived the war in any meaningful way. Knights of the Golden Circle, a semi-military secret society that was active in the Midwestern states during the American Civil War. Thomas A. Hendricks (1819-1885), an attorney from Shelbyville and, later, Indianapolis, became the most prominent Democrat in Indiana during the Civil War era. Well-placed members of the Knights of the Golden Circle plotted to send Federal arms to the South. In the spring of 1860, a small group of K.G.C. Confronted by Copperhead opposition and by dissension within his cabinet, U.S. Pres. “Maybe,” “Likely,” “It seems that.” Those are hardly the words of an author certain of the truth of his thesis, but these are indeed the words David C. Keehn uses in his book, Knights of the Golden Circle: Secret Empire, Southern Secession, Civil War. The Knights of the Golden Circle was a Texas-based secret society. Secretive organizations such as the K.G.C. Centering on Havana, this empire would be some 2,400 miles in diameter—hence the name Golden Circle. Perrine | Jan 7, 2017 3.5 out of 5 stars 5 Roy Sylvan Dunn, “The KGC in Texas, 1860-1861,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 70 (April 1967). Free with Kindle Unlimited membership Learn More Or $2.99 to buy. Puerto Rico, he said, “would be a state today if the Confederacy had won the Civil War. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The following year, the Knights began publishing their own newspaper and established their headquarters in Washington, D.C. This would, according to Bickley, protect the Southern states from being overwhelmed by the industrial and commercial interests of the North. A successor organization, the Sons of Liberty, was alleged to have taken its place. “Knights of the Golden Circle,” Bickley responded by calling a general convention of the K.G.C., which met in Raleigh, North Carolina, on May 7–11, 1860. The Knights of the Golden Circle (K.G.C. Corrections? Knights of the Golden Circle in Brownwood and Brown County, Texas. The Knights of the Golden Circle emerged in 1858 when a secret society formed by a Cincinnati businessman merged with the pro-expansionist Order of the Lone Star, which already had 15,000 members. Free with Audible trial. convention held in 1860, the organization was “originated at Lexington, Kentucky, on the fourth day of July 1854, by five gentlemen who came together on a call made by Gen. George Bickley….” Bickley then occupied himself with other projects during the mid-1850s, and the K.G.C. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. These records were sealed from public view for 90 years. Knights of the Golden Circle Treasure Signs by Roy William Roush. Gen. George Bickley assembled a group of five men whose names have since been lost. For example, the military division comprised the Foreign Guard, those men who wished “to participate in the wild, glorious and thrilling adventures of a campaign in Mexico” and the Home Guard, men who would support military efforts from home. Die Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC) waren eine 1854 von George W. L. 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