Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-02 > 0887086401
From: linda Merle <>
Subject: Re: Clan vs. Klan
Date: Mon, 09 Feb 1998 20:53:21 -0800
Rather than descending from clans -- which are publicly known
family groups, I propose that the Klan might harken back to the
secret societies of Ulster.
Due to the nature of Irish history, those living there tended
to fall into a pattern which is now, according to some authors,
panendemic. (Se ATQ Stewart "The Narrow Ground"). Some (Stewart
for one) beleive it is a part of Irish culture, deeply rooted
in the past, which our ancestors, geographical Irishmen if not
cultural, adapted to by responding in kind.
Throughout Irish history, back to the "brave reparees" you have
secret societies of men who protect their communities. To quote
Stewart: "The primary pattern which emerges from the background
of Irish violence is that of the secret army, the shadowy banditti
'on their keeping' in the mountains and bogs, whose lineage is
traceable from the woodkerne of the sixteenth century... (p 116).
"They were those whom the local populace always referred to,
cautiously but sympathetically, as 'the boys' -- Whiteboys, Oakboys,
Steelboys, Rightbosy, the Boys of Wexford, Peep o'Day Boys, Orange
Boys...." (p 116). The activities of these groups are ritualistic
terror. For instance, they always "notify" the victim before
doing him in. The Whiteboys were one group which began mixed
in religion but ended up entirely Catholic. A favorite activity
was to burn down the home of the enemy after warning them out.
Ring a bell?
Stewart calls these "highly formalized modes of agrarian violence"
which obey unwritten codes and claim to enforce laws which are truer
than the letter of the law. To those who are thinking that this
pattern is a result of poverty -- no! Agrarian violence in Ireland
has consistently been worse in prosperous areas and appears to
be in response to change: "'some active interference, either
actual or apprehended....some positive ill usage or infliction
of evil'" (p 121).
I haven't studied the Klan in any detail -- it is as you say,
avoided -- but it does bear striking resemblance to this pattern.
Glenn Dixon wrote:
> In response (basically) to the "Founder of the KKK" thread:
> Some, it would seem, find this topic disturbing. If that is you, please
> feel free
> to invoke your delete key now and avoid disturbing yourself further.
> I find it rather intriguing and educational. I enjoy learning from the
> past in
> order to (hopefully) avoid repeating the mistakes of our forefathers.
> A few weeks ago, while surfing, I ran across a publication written by
> that just might be a distant relative of mine. It is in the archives of
> the University
> of North Carolina's "Digitized Library of Southern Literature." The
> title of the
> article is "The Clansman, An Historical Romance Of The Ku Klux Klan."
> It was
> written by one Thomas Dixon, Jr. of Dixondale, Virginia in 1904.
> Thomas Dixon condemned both slavery and Klan activity after the
> ended. He was, however, firmly racist.
> Although I have not taken the time to read this document in its
> entirety, even in
> his introduction, and in a brief biographical sketch written about him,
> I have noted
> some interesting comments.
> First, the book is dedicated thusly:
> TO THE MEMORY OF
> A SCOTCH-IRISH LEADER OF THE SOUTH
> My Uncle, Colonel Leroy McAfee
> GRAND TITAN OF THE INVISIBLE EMPIRE
> KU KLUX KLAN
> Second, this quote is from Dixon's introduction:
> How the young South, led by the reincarnated souls of the Clansmen
> Old Scotland, went forth under this cover and against overwhelming
> daring exile, imprisonment, and a felon's death, and saved the life
> of a
> people, forms one of the most dramatic chapters in the history of
> the Aryan race.
> Third, this quote is from a biographical sketch on Thomas Dixon, Jr.:
> Young Dixon's religious and political beliefs were melded in a
> shaped by his region's military defeat and economic depression and
> the fiercely independent, Scotch-Irish Presbyterian faith of the
> Carolina highlands.
> Here are the questions that this leaves me with:
> 1) Was the KKK founded primarily by Scots-Irish (or Scots as the
> recent thread
> has debated)?
> 2) Was the KKK fashioned in some way after the pattern of the old
> Scots clan system?
> 3) What is the actual definition/translation of "Ku Klux" anyway?
> For those who care to see the original quotes, here is the site:
> I find the possibilities here most intriguing, and I look forward to the
> informative and calm responses.
> Glenn Dixon
> ICQ # 392271